Monday, July 1, 2013

Cultivating Some Good Habits

title: Cultivating Daily Habits

date: 2013-07-01, 11:18:55

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"Next time, You just have to try to hold out longer, and then longer,
and longer, and eventually you'll be great!" - Emi Ibarazaki

For better or worse, human beings are creatures of habit.

There is little to be done to change that, as I personally have found it nearly impossible to do so. However, the knowledge that (at least for me) this is the way things are is a very Powerful Tool. If I only learn to use it consistantly well, then I might be able to improve my quality of life tenfold.

This little project is really just a list of habits I would like to have, and execute, on a near-daily basis. Missing one day here or there is acceptable and even good, as I have never been an advocate of a Regimented life. That has always been more my father’s philosophy than mine. However, I do enjoy having a fairly Organized life. Reasonable expectations. Daily tropes that I fall into when not busy with something else.

And actual, physical organization, but we’ll cover that some other time.

Before I list my actual goals with this little interlude, I would like to point out why I am doing this and what I expect to gain from it.

The why is fairly simple: I am still unhappy with my current state of affairs. I do not like the way I am behaving; it is (from my perspective) irresponsible, inconsiderate, and unproductive to say the least. I hope to be able to drop the prefixes off of those adjectives with this project, and become responsible, considerate, and productive.

What I expect to gain, of course, is a little more complex. I could cop out here and give some kind of generic, intangible, subjective state of satisfaction (as I did with the purpose of this blog, for instance), BUT I do not want to shortchange myself or my Audience by turning to self reference after only four posts. We have a Tumblr for that, anyway.

Instead, I will say this: I hope to gain a bunch of proof (actual, tangible proof) that I am doing alright by some value of my own standards. I want a pile of papers, or a collection of text files, that I can point to when I feel like I am not following my own rules in life. I want to be able to prove myself wrong when I think I am wasting what little time I have to live my life.

Anyway, here is a short list. I don’t exactly know in what way I am going to implement the above, but actually having a list of demands is an important first step. Then, I can take it from concept to completion.

  • Awaken at a decent time each morning. For the past few weeks, I have been extending the nighttime activities to about 0500. It is nearly impossible to maintain that kind of a schedule and wake up the next day before noon (or 10 at the absolute earliest). This rule, therefore, will necessitate me going to bed earlier, and trying to get a decent night’s sleep.
  • Stick to a protein heavy, 1800 calorie diet. Doing the math, science says I should be on an 1800 calorie diet. I want that to be high in protein for two reasons: First, it will make me feel “full”-er. Second, it will help me to moderate my food intake better than a diet high in fats would, without any of the nasty side effects a carb-heavy diet carries along with it.
  • Exercise (Run) daily, Heavy Exercise 3-4x a week. When I was grieving for my grandmother (both before and after she passed away) I let myself get pretty overweight. I dealt with this earlier in the year, to the point where, while overweight, I am still happy with how I look. I also rediscovered that I really enjoy exercise. I wanna start that again.
  • Spend One Hour Playing Music. This is how I make my money, and one of the things I want to do with my life. Seems kinda obvious, from a discipline standpoint.
  • Write a Blog Post. (so meta!) This is a good way to organize my thoughts, and it should keep me from wasting days by not doing anything productive (as if I ever do that) of note. I also like the idea of being accountable to the faceless void that is the internet for the things I say I am going to do, like this blog post.
  • Put $5 away in savings. My actual savings program is supposed to be $40 a week. However, since I own my own business, and my main revenue stream is teaching, I have found that life doesn’t always allow me to do so. Therefore, as a backup, I want to put away $5 a day minimum. This should only come into play on weeks where I lose some business.
  • Read for 30 minutes. People who read can think better and write better, and can relate items and situations they have read to their own lives. I also run and participate in role playing campaigns, so this will help that, too. For now, I am not limiting the medium of text to be read, just that the primary action must still be “to read.”
  • Write for 30 minutes. I want to write a novel, eventually. I also have scripts partially finished for comics, visual novels, and even a video game. Along with technical and tutorial stuff for this blog, 30 minutes should be extremely easy to accomplish.
  • Converse with at least 7 people. I tend to isolate from the world if left unchecked. While I love my solitude, I do recognize that this is unhealthy, and that I cannot let it continue. It hurts those I care about, and is limiting in terms of happiness and productivity. It must be stopped.
  • Follow the full list of habits. Haha, this kinda had to go on here. From the right perspective, this could almost be a freebie. But realistically, it will be the reward for having followed all of the habits. I should do something to celebrate each time I achieve this one.

Time for me to get back to work. Comments are always appreciated!

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