Category: New Beginning

2018 Reboot!

Let’s be honest; 2017 sucked. Moving on.

 

2018 is going to involve a return to taking care of myself… physically as well as mentally. I’ve really let that slip and I’m feeling it. Bad.

I recently took time to review what makes me feel good, mentally. One of the biggies is being productive; but not in the way of being-busy but of growing, learning, and creating.

So for 2018 I’ve decided to try to make something every day.

Most days it will be something small; that is OK.

Today I made this blog post.

2016 Theme: Level Up!

Well I feel like I’ve said this before, but last year sucked… here’s to a much better 2016!

I see I haven’t posted since Maddie’s 3-year birthday. Since then…. well, very little has changed. At least in 2014 I got several projects done around the house; 2015 not so much.

I did make some progress on building a home-based business, with Sproutwise Kids — had hoped to be much further along by now but I’m still happy with the foundation we have in place. We achieved profitability (without salaries anyway), and managed to give $591 to charities in the process. Good start!

 

So how about those 2015 goals?

I spent a good bit of time a year ago figuring out where my focus should be, in order to look back at the year with satisfaction. What I didn’t put in here was anything relating to Maddie; that is just the giant boulder in the middle of the room that we have to simply work around as we try to craft a happy life…

Here’s what I came up with:

2015

1. Get SL to $200k in profit.

OK… in retrospect that was overly optimistic (though it’s not impossible to do that, given the right type of business and a bit of luck!)

But having that as a focus did help me drive hard in the right direction on a good many things; and frankly having something to work on building helped keep me sane through the long long long days and nights of tending to Maddie.

In 2016, I actually think we could hit that goal, if we execute well. (btw I keep saying “we” — building this business with my brother-in-law; so $200k profit would be split between us…)

2. Establish a Friend Rhythm

FAIL. But it’s still important to me; so it’s something I will work into my 2016 planning which is in progress.

3. Climb three V8’s

Well, I got one. (Technically a V8- but I’m counting it!) But I don’t feel bad about that at all. It was a fun goal to work towards, and it did have some great side effects — helped me focus a bit more on healthy habits; and got me to the gym a couple of times a week (which again helped my sanity).

4. Outdoors Time

Yes. And it definitely worked. More of that in 2016…

5. Grow relationships with 3 mentors/coaches

Hmm; not really. I ended up subbing this with “find some folks online to follow and learn from”. Not nearly as great as real relationships… it was what I felt I could do in 2015. Still need to think about where to go with this one.

 

level-up2016 — Time to “Level Up”.

Forget about New Years Resolutions… to actually get somewhere you need a system.

In retrospect that’s the biggest problem with my 2015 list above — it’s just a bunch of goals without any real strategies as to how I was going to get there…

To be fair, for each of these, in 2015, I did write up some strategies (separately) and I reviewed every month. Useful, and helpful, but I want to find a more effective way in 2016.

The one good thing about surviving the wasteland of suck that was 2015 is that I feel like I’ve truly regained my footing, and can rebuild a better life from here on out.

Maddie will continue to be a roller-coaster and time-sink… but I can work around it. No point in worrying about stuff outside my control.

So going forward I’m putting into place some systems to help get towards my 2016 goals… My theme for 2016 is “Level Up” — been experimenting with lots of things over the last 2 years or so… time to put the pieces together and effect some major changes in 2016. 1% better. Every. Single. Day.

April Experiment: Water

water-90781_1280Not “mind like water“; this month I’m re-discovering how good plain old water can be.

First, though, a quick rundown of the March anti-experiment since I didn’t actually write about it at all yet… which was caused by:

The February That Kicked my Ass

Between the broken hand, Maddie’s issues, and a couple of other problems I coasted into March without much energy to try something new. I ended up basically saying: let’s take a month off. Totally. No experiment, no working on myself, and while we’re at it let’s kind of slack off on my other recent experiments.

An anti-experiment month, in a way: let’s see what happens if I don’t even try to care.

It sucked.

Poor diet, no exercise, and most importantly the lack of a positive focus made it a very low month: low productivity, low energy, low emotions.

Result of March anti-experiment: Let’s never do that again! Having a particular goal to work towards — and see progress towards — yields a domino-effect of positive action touching all aspects of life. Makes it easier to carry through with preexisting commitments, makes it easier to find the good in every day. I have re-started my recent mindfulness, diet, and writing habits and feel better already.

April Experiment: Water Only* (to drink)

I’ve been doing this since April 1st, actually. Occasionally I have started an experiment on the first Monday instead of the first of the month; but I’m realizing that it works much better for me to prepare ahead of time and actually start on the first. Do what works best for you.

Quick back-story:

I had fallen into a daily pattern of TeaTeaTeaTeaWaterWaterWaterRum/Beer/Wine… Copious amounts of unsweet tea or Diet Dew to power through the morning, switch to water after lunch to hopefully not screw up my sleep that night (I’m sensitive to caffeine), and then switching over to tasty adult beverages when I got to the point in the evening where I didn’t feel the need to be productive anymore. Not every night, but frankly most nights.

But why experiment with changing this?

Because this was not a pattern I decided to adopt. It just sort of snuck up on me over a few years… kind of like the time my left pinkie went totally numb for a few weeks.

The Pinky that Wasn’t There

My work and some of my play has always involved many hours at the keyboard. A few years ago I became aware that my left pinky (and part of my left ring finger) were moderately numb and tingly pretty much all the time. Huh.

Had that come one suddenly, it would have grabbed my full and undivided attention — what the hell happened to my finger??!?!?!!!? But just like the apocryphal frog in boiling water this one came on slowly enough that I mostly ignored it… until I happened to look closely and realized how absurd it was to walk around with a fully numb pinky. Finally it grabbed my attention and I easily fixed it. (Switched to a split keyboard. Much better.)

Just like the pinky, this caffeine/alcohol habit crept into my life without any real conscious thought. So is it really the best pattern for me? Unlikely.

Sometimes You Have to Hit Reset

I could certainly have just decided to scale back one or the other of these minor drugs, but sometimes it’s better to start with a clean slate and then introduce things thoughtfully and see what really works for me. Kind of like what Apple did with iOS7. So since 4/1 I’ve been drinking water only, 24/7. I’ll certainly add things back in later, but on my terms, and consciously.

Besides the clean slate, I want to find out:

  • Is it hard to give these up for a month? If so that’s worth some serious thought.
  • How does it affect my energy levels — morning, afternoon, evenings?
  • Am I more productive? Less? Both, at times?
  • Any effect on my waistline?

So far, it hasn’t been very hard at all, which is reassuring. Too soon to tell on the rest.

* Exceptions…

This isn’t a do-or-die thing. If I’m at a social event with beer/wine, I will have just one. That happened once already. If I decide I absolutely need something fizzy, I will fire up the soda stream. That hasn’t happened yet. It’s important to decide your dos and don’t in advance though, or there is a slippery slope just a’waiting.

New Years: Pure Hope

11654306293_f179d6b03e_cQuick thought…

Tomorrow this blog will start for real; but I’m sitting here watching the countdown to the ball drop in NYC and I can’t help but share a feeling that hits one of the main themes behind “It’s Always Morning” as it exists in my head.

Hope.

There are hundreds of thousands of people, right this very moment, in Times Square. Most have been there all day, at great personal inconvenience and perhaps cost. Others watch from home, and forego sleep to mark the moment…

Why? Why do we even take note of the sunsetting of one year and the birth of another?

Hope.

That’s the thing. We are oddly wired as a species to look for the light at the end of the tunnel… there are always reasons we could look back at the year before and get depressed.

But… at least tonight… all of the millions of people around the world that are watching the countdown to new years are looking *forward* and not *backward*. Tonight, we believe.

We believe that the future will be better, that we will be truer to ourselves, that we can be the person that we want to be and make the change we want to see in the world.

And you know what? We can.

The world is an amazing place when we focus on what we love, what we care about.

Let’s create the lives we want for ourselves. Let’s create the world we want to live in.

(Image credit: John Piekos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpiekos/11654306293/)

Goodbye 2013. Seriously.

8262414788_7599a91fea_cHave been blogging very very sporadically over at screaser.blogspot.com for a while; the plan is to shift that over here, with an invigorated and invigorating focus.

2013, frankly, sucked. 2014 will be awesome, and I’ll be sharing it here as I create it.

 

(Image credit: Bingee – http://www.flickr.com/photos/10292253@N06/8262414788/)