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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The Great Facebook Purge

 

fbunfriendWith the new year upon us and my life in full transition I feel the need to cut things out of my life that are not conducive to happiness. This means that I’ll be slowly “unfriending” people on Facebook who I became friends with due to my political ties. I am a libertarian, I love libertarians, but I no longer feel like it is necessary to keep people in my network simply because they are libertarian. This is particularly true for the brand of libertarian who thinks we are a faction of conservativism. If someone is going to ruthlessly put down someone for their sexual choices or their personal lifestyle then they are a negative influence on my life and I don’t want them. I don’t mind reasoned discussions about the pros and cons of lifestyle choices for individuals or society as a whole but blanket attacks on a group of individuals based on who they interact with sexually is childish, intellectually dishonest, and bigoted (basically, it is a reflection of the status quo of DC and not my life).

At the party last weekend I had two interesting run-ins that sort of relate to this. One person, whom I greatly respect and always enjoy talking to, mentioned that he enjoyed my Facebook posts and hoped to talk to me about them. I don’t know what in particular he wanted to discuss but if someone as positive as him enjoyed them then I feel I am doing something right and want to keep my page going in that direction. Secondly, I was part of a conversation where I heard about a couple who very logically sat down regularly and figured out what “friends” in their life where making things better, had the potential to make things better, or were a drain on them. They then acted appropriately to remove people who were a drain and to focus on those who were a blessing.

So I guess this is part of my focus for 2013… cut the fat, remove negative influences, and focus on those people who I enjoy and those people who I think I could enjoy.

Self Evolution

self-improvement

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions but I kind of get them. New Years is a concrete day to change, it is something we can grasp, it is a benchmark… a new beginning. For me self improvement is incredibly important, if a part of my life stops growing and becomes static I feel like it is dying. My body, mind, and spirit needs to be constantly challenged and face new experiences. With this in mind I am not really making a New Year’s Resolution but I am committed to myself and making the most out of my life.

Body: These fragile sacks of water that we roam around in are what keep our spirits in this plane of existence. I have fallen out of shape since my bike ride and it is time to fix that. I need to improve both my exercise routine and my diet. It will all start with baby steps but I would like to do a half marathon this year and really get into a solid plant based diet. This will have the secondary effect of helping my finances.

Mind: To quote Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books”. I read them constantly and my interests are diverse. I find that I rotate through different subjects in a cyclical way and my knowledge of subjects deepens with each cycle. I want to keep this up but I really want to add more writing to my time as well. I have ideas for my book about my bike ride and I have no excuse for not getting those ideas onto paper. I am also finishing up the requirements for a MA program here in Los Angeles, I’d love to have my first classes underway by the end of the year for a Psychology degree.

Spirit: Nourishing the spirit is important to me and at this point I find meditation and yoga to be the best practice. I will also continue to read varying thoughts on the subject and trying out new practices to see what works for me.

Most people advise actual action items for improvement. That has never really been my style but I see some benefit to it so here is a loose list of habits I’d like to get into to pursue my goals. I might do a blog post or have a private list of how I plan to accomplish these habits… or I may not. I don’t really know yet.

  • Run 2-3 times a week
  • Yoga 2-3 times a week
  • Complete Fire Dancing courses that are offered at Fire Groove
  • Apply to MA programs
  • Meditate daily
  • Finish the book of my ride before summer
  • Start making breakfast for myself 4+ days a week