Moving Forward

Today is the last day that I’ll be on holiday “vacation”, and that means when we get back to Dallas it will be time to start the routine again and ring in the new year. While on this break I intentionally neglected a lot of my habits as a reward to myself and as a way to minimize my stress and guilt that comes from holiday gorging, playing video games, and slacking. The three notable exceptions are that I still took my daily nootropics/supplements, I did some Duolingo German work daily, and I completed the work and classes for my writing Coursara course. Other than that, I just let myself roll with each day and didn’t worry about exercise, meditation, etc. Thanks to this break I have a clearer idea of what and how I want to make 2016 my best year yet.

First, I am going to take my health more seriously. That means not making excuses for bad eating habits. Just because I am biking almost daily that does not mean I should consume unhealthy foods or lots of beer. I also need to make time for strengthening exercises using body weight or the equipment I have available. I should be able to easily improvise weights with what I have on me.

Second, I want to really learn German. I have a three-pronged approach that is cheap and should be successful. I will continue with daily Duolingo, I’ll listen to the Pimsleur lessons on Audible, and I will watch a German language film 1-2 times per week. I am also going to research other free options online to see if any would fit my lifestyle.

Third, Anna and I are going to get started on “The Adventures of Higgins” (tentative title), a series of children’s books about our bike travels from the perspective of our dog. It will be a picture book that tells his stories exploring the US and will have basic lessons about geography, different cultures around the country, history, fitness, etc. I am going to use the “Isaac Morehouse Method” and try to do one thing daily to keep this project moving forward. This will provide me with an outlet for creativity, writing, and entrepreneurship. And maybe if it is a success it will bring in some cash too. I hope to have our first short book out this year and ready to send to friends who have kids for product testing.

Fourth, get into a regular meditation practice. Meditation, like flossing, is one of those things that I know I should be doing but somehow have a hard time getting into the habit. I know there are incredibly health benefits to mindful meditation and I have time to do it. I need to make it a priority.

So, those are my goals for 2016. I might create some sort of milestone for each with small daily or weekly tasks, or maybe I’ll just wing it. My current spreedsheet that has a point system seems to be working well for me so far. 2015 was the best year of my life and was filled with incredibly adventures and wonderful growth that comes from trials and success. I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring me.

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Words

Language is a funny thing, but for me it can also be incredibly confusing and annoying. I came from conservative upbringing, served in the military, went to college in the South, worked in the liberty movement in DC, and now live in Los Angeles, and all this has taught me that most people don’t listen and that even English speakers are often speaking a different language. When political debates unfold it seems incredibly rare that the two people debating even agree on definitions, but instead of clarifying language people scream past each other. Words like “coercion”, “legitimate”, “oppression”, “equality”, and “freedom” can mean very different things to different people depending on their background and experience.

Personal relationships do not always seem to add much relief to the confusion. When two people have even slightly different personalities or perceptions there can be a lot of confusion. I’ll give two recent examples from my life where my INTJ nature and confidence issues lead me to miss language cues that may have been obvious to someone with a different personality. First, when I asked my best friend what he was up to at night he said he was going to the movies and dinner with some mutual friends of ours. I assumed that if he wanted me to join then he would have explicitly invited me. He assumed that because we have known each other for over 20 years I would know that I am always welcome to hang out if I want.

The second situation was me overanalyzing what a word meant. A hot girl that I’ve talked to for a while and flirted with a bit called me “dude” in a text. I assumed I was being told that she saw me as only a friend and really didn’t think we had a connection beyond that. I asked her about it (which was out of character for me) and my assumption was wrong. I tend to be overly cautious with women because I fear making them uncomfortable, which makes communication very difficult. I basically can’t read implicit signs and fear making explicit comments.

I don’t really know where I was going with this. It was just on my mind and I think we could all benefit from clearly saying what we mean and make an effort to clarify terms when needed. In order to make ourselves, our relationships, and our world a better place I think we need to spend the time communicating clearly instead of assuming the other person knows what we mean.¬†