Another round, another set of lofty goals and high hopes.

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

I have been chomping at the bit to start another self-improvement plan and have only now found the time and inspiration to set one in motion. The last venture was a 21 day project involving fitness, good reading & writing habits, and pushing to get that oh-so coveted job in the field for which I went to school, archaeology. It ended just a few days shy of 21 days, but with good reason. After a year of random jobs that demanded so much of my time and gave so little satisfaction in return, I finally found myself employed by an actual archaeological firm. I suddenly had no time to finish my 21 day plan as I was bounced about the country getting paid to dig holes in the earth. That was October. Flash-forward more than four months and I have had the opportunity to be a part of projects all across the eastern US. It has been fantastic, fun and immensely satisfying. The people are wonderful, the projects range from routine to fascinating, and working outdoors… there’s nothing better!

So why a change now?

This time around the goal is more inspired and perhaps less desperate than the previous plan. When I implemented the 21 day plan last September, it was because I did not like what I was getting paid to do, nor did I enjoy having all of my spare time consumed. I am in a different world now, where my job is satisfying, and my spare time is exactly that, spare and mine to use. I have up until now been utilizing it for some productive things, but admittedly after a year of working 7 days a week it has largely been filled with fun times with the wife while catching up on the movies, tv shows and video games I left behind so long ago. As a result some of the habits I sought to implement within the previous plan have fallen to the wayside, specifically the writing and working out. So for the past few weeks I have been cultivating this plan to reinvigorate those habits, as well as grow a few others that may prove useful in the future. It began with a series of plans, each one containing a series of habits to achieve those plans. You must understand, I have a penchant for organizing things in excel, for color coding, and for code names.

Plans

To make it simple:

The Ninja Warrior plan is to get in shape. It is achieved through working out (Hulk Out) and running (Zombies!).

The Taoist Master plan is get my mind and spirit in alignment. I am hoping to do this through daily meditation (Zen) and maintaining this journal.

The Chatter of the Ego plan is to engage and develop my literacy skills. This is through my most revisited and usually well-maintained habits, reading and writing everyday.

The Endless Education plan is to expand upon my skills and open up new doors. I have jumped in and out of coding for years and want to use to finally solidify those skills (Code Monkey). I also am reengaging my spanish lessons (Linguistics) and taking online courses in random science fields of my choosing (CrashCourse).

Next, I needed to assign the habits values:

Habits

Once I figured out what habits were necessary to achieve my plans, and the frequency with which they needed repeated weekly, I then worked out a schedule.

Schedule

Now I know that this may all seem like A LOT of planning, and for many they would say ‘just do it!’ For me though, i need structure and planning if I am ever to act on and maintain a series of habits. This is what works for my brain.

The final step was making this portable and setting it within a reminder/reward system, which is what I did during my last 21 day plan and it worked beautifully. So I have a special calendar app within which all of these details are entered throughout the duration of the plan. I also have them entered in an app called LfeRPG that tracks your progress and rewards you with experience points as you complete each task. For example, when I completed my coding course earlier this morning, it gave me experience points towards gaining a level, as well as feeding experience points into computers and intelligence. Different habits have different attributes they feed into, often crossing over depending on what they help to grow.

I know I know, it seems like a lot of build-up around a simple to-do list, but for whatever reason it’s how my brain works, and this is what makes me take action. I’ve nearly cleared my actions for day 1 (still have to Yoga and Hulk Out), and I feel the momentum within me to follow this through to its entirety. Oh, and this time around I’m going past the 21 day mark and making it a full four-week program. It ends on the 29th of March. I’ve also deleted all social apps from my phone and blocked them from my computer. That worked well last time as sites like Facebook and Reddit can consume an hour in the blink of an eye.

Finally, as with all the habits within this plan, the values assigned to each are minimums. I intend to do much more writing and coding than I’ve allotted, and I would like to write in this journal more than once a week.

That’s it for now. I will update again soon, maybe with greater detail on the individual tasks and how they are going.

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