Posts Tagged ‘life’

To be clear, nothing has gone awry quite yet.

In fact, progress has been unwaveringly positive. Since the commencement of this plan I have not missed a day nor a task.

So why the negative preamble? From my experience, holidays and vacations have a strong tendency to derail momentum and unravel patterns of behavior. It is in the very nature of these breaks in regular time to disrupt the status quo for a day, a week or more, to remove us from the monotony of life and tease us with freedom.

Unfortunately this tease and the sort of plan I have in place are not well met. Labor Day alone almost broke my string of successes. Now I venture northward for a week at a remote house on the Atlantic coast with nary a concern. Nice try universe. I will not be swayed.

In fact, I will cause the universe great weeping and gnashing of teeth and add to my daily habits. Since the writing, reading, running and working out has proven successful, I think it’s time to introduce a new daily into the mix. Enter the Matrix!

Or rather, I will return to my daily coding lessons, which I have left buzzing in the background for months now. This way it is I who knocks, who changes the status quo. I will write science fiction. I will write code. I will continue to feed my body with unwelcome exercise and my mind by reading endlessly into the night. This vow I cast into the teeth of Dionysus, to dare tempt me with a week of leisure.

Clearly I do not know how to vacation. Perhaps I will find a balance, all work and no play, etcetera, etcetera… To be fair, the writing and reading are as much play for me as anything else, but the effort of daily practice alongside these other goals makes it become a bit more like work. So I will do my dailies, but I will find peace in the moment, and enjoy the freedom of being elsewhere and not bound to my job.

I will NOT allow it to break my string however. Priorities first.


The time has come once again to make a play at creating new patterns and opportunities, to gamify my life in order to gain control of my future. As evidenced by the lack of entries since early March, I allowed work and life to intercede and eventually derail the 4 week plan I set up for March. Life has been good, but busy, and unfortunately that also means uninspired. There’s been fun and sun. beaches and vacations, and a whole lot of digging from Florida up into West Virginia. Overall it’s been a fun, fulfilling summer, and yet I feel a tide of change is needed.

It’s not terribly complicated. As much as I am happy with my life as it is, there are certain aspects that need changing, and they are roughly the same themes I find myself returning to again and again. This is what I want:

  • First and foremost, to be a published writer. I need more than anything else at this point to fully complete a book, and at the very least self-publish through something like Amazon. I believe the current project I have been on and off again, Copernicus, will be perfect. I just need to change how I approach it. It must be treated as a job, and as such be attended to a specific number of hours every day.
  • Next is my physical health. I am not exactly in poor health, but I could definitely be doing more to ensure I enter middle age (am I already there?) as fit and sound as I possible. A simple regime of running, working out, yoga and meditation could do wonders.
  • The last bit is my pursuit of endless education. Specifically for this run of goals I will bounce between online courses, spanish lessons and coding, The coding is becoming increasingly important to me as it, like my writing, is an avenue to future financial freedoms outside of my career.

Instead of burying myself in planning as I am prone to do, I am simply lifting from my March plan and reorganizing it a bit. The basic breakdown is as follows:


These are the fundamental habits I will work to replicate in my everyday life. And again, taking from the March plan, this would be the rough schedule:


The reason I say it’s a rough schedule is because some elements of it will be more fluid than others. For example, the top three lines are pretty locked in. I want those to occur everyday no matter what is happening in my life. The fourth and fifth lines, relating to my physical health, must also occur consistently, but they obviously play off one another, so I will adapt them as I see fit. The final bits about coding, linguistics and endless education are more of a suggestion, as the goals I have for those lie more in weekly totals. And they’re interchangeable. If for instance I get on a roll with my coding lessons, I will keep them going rather than leaping to my Spanish or other online courses, picking them up later in the week or in the next. The point is to be engaging with these ongoing lessons in an organic way that I feel is making progress. That way I am not a slave to the program.

The last action to take is the elimination of those darling social media sites and apps that are forever wrenching my attention away from what I should be doing and shoving it toward something shiny and absurd. This has always been the key to making these changes in the past, so I will be deleting all social media apps from my phone. I have also already installed tools on my PC that will block these sites, and penalize me for visiting them if I find a way around it (damage and loss of experience to my HabitRPG avatar – I’ll discuss that tool another day).

All of this get’s implemented on September 1st, the day after tomorrow (my bday!), though I am already engaging in a few of these habits today to get the whole mechanism moving. I will be updating regularly through this, my wordpress site, but on everything else I am going dark.

I’ll pick a target date to mark some level of completion, like 21 days or a month, but the true purpose here is to create life-changing patterns that become a part of my everyday life. I want to be published, I want to write and code for money, I want to be physically fit, and I want to disconnect from silly distractions. I know I can do this, I just need to make it so. I will begin right now, turning to the stars and my current writing project, Copernicus.

One Week In

Posted: September 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

So my original intention was to utilize this everyday as I began Project 21 Days, yet of course like all best laid plans that has gone awry. Thankfully the plan itself has not, and I have completed the first six days of the journey with every goal completed thus far. That isn’t to say it hasn’t had it’s difficult moments.

First, to summarize. In the previous post I simply shared the tasks I had come up with, their frequency within the week and the amount of time I needed to commit to them on each of their scheduled days. This is the actual schedule I created based on those goals:

So far the hardest thing has been balancing work and some of the harder, more demanding requirements like lifting and writing. The reading, spanish and running/swimming have been a bit easier to incorporate into my daily life (though the running/swimming has taught me very quickly how out of shape I am). Somehow though I have hit my marks everyday, and am confident I can continue to do so over the remainder of these 21 days.

Overall it has all been greatly rewarding. The reading I had already gained momentum on so that was not a challenge, though it’s useful having that expectation to keep my nose in a book. The Spanish lessons likewise were easy to jump back into as I’ve only recently been getting lax about it. The lifting has been an incredible challenge but also one of the most rewarding. It feels fantastic, like a battle every time against previous limitations. The added changes to my diet have been a little tricky, but it was basically picking up where I left off months ago.

The writing has perhaps been the most rewarding, despite being difficult to find the hour everyday. I really want to see these characters and this story develop and grow, and the more I focus on it, purposefully (and with great effort) blocking all other distractions, the better the work seems to become.

That is perhaps the greatest lesson so far in all of this, that my greatest hurdle is my attention span, which constantly wants to jump from writing to reading to the web to a game to any other random shiny thing. Besides having blocked Facebook & Reddit (though I think this thing automatically posts to FB, so if you comment on it I won’t see it), I have an app that basically serves as a focus timer. It allows me my task for a certain period, gives me a five minute break, then puts me back into it. While the app is running I can’t do anything else, and I keep catching myself reaching for the phone or my book and then having to force my hands back to the keyboard. The hope is that over these 21 days (and beyond of course) I can recondition my mind to have greater focus, to hone my attention on the task at hand until it’s time for another.

That’s it for today. Had to cram this in as well, and now I need sleep before working two jobs tomorrow. I know in one of my outgoing posts on FB I mentioned giving notice to my two current jobs that I was leaving. While I am currently finishing up my last week or so at both places, I have two other jobs I am starting this week alongside my volunteering at the Historical Center in Tampa. So for right now, I have all the jobs. Things will of course simmer down over the next few weeks, but this coming one… it’s going to be helluva time.