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Mike Wazowski

Mike Wazowski’s Habbit Laboratory

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Fitness / Health: Well, that was a long hiatus. Been a very lowkey holiday season at my parents' house - made pierogi and generally helped my parents prep for Christmas Eve dinner (we hosted ~10 people total from my dad's family, which is all my uncles, aunts, and cousins except for one uncle and his progeny who've settled in Arizona). Had a TON of cookies and other delicious festive sweets, but also plenty of veggies (I've nicknamed myself "the veggie monster" when I eat dinner with my parents, because I'm almost always taking disproportionately large servings of veggies). I've been mostly mindfully eating, but if I'm being perfectly honest there was a fair bit of eating because I was bored too - not a ton to do in my hometown / I've lost touch with most of the folks who still live in the area and didn't reach out to make plans with the few who do. Oh, and I also binge read a Renaissance Periodization e-book on diet (the old one, not the new one they came out with) and got some motivation / inspiration to tweak some things I'm doing in the new year.

 

Grad School: Also done quite a bit of reading and wrapped up my grad school courses for the semester (one course kicked my butt and I only got a 79% for the overall final grade, but we'll take it - I mismanaged my time towards the end of the semester and didn't dedicate enough time to really learning the last few units' worth of material. I've got til early to mid Feb before the next term starts (MIT is apparently on a weird schedule), so I'm aiming to use my normal grad school time in my week to 1) read some books, both non-fiction and fiction and 2) work through a basics course in R, since I may need to use it at work and I'll definitely need to use it for the next grad school class (and I was really faking it well in one of my classes this semester, but I don't want to feel like I'm faking by the seat of my pants).

 

New Job (and a Book Rec!): Got all my paperwork etc. lined up and I'll be starting my new job on Jan 7th - I'm really excited to use it as a totally clean slate for my work habits, I know I built several that weren't super productive at my old workplace and I'm hoping to give myself a fresh start. And I've been reading a book all about making the most of your at work time - titled, rosily enough, "How to Have a Good Day" and I'm excited to use my new workplace as a lab to start trying good stuff out. I'd recommend the book to anyone, even people who don't work a traditional job - it's got a lot of great info about the latest research in the behavioral sciences and some really well-thought-out strategies for how to apply those to make day-to-day life more enjoyable and productive. I'll try and write about these as I'm 

 

Miscellaneous: I simultaneously went on a big minimalism kick and did a lot of online shopping for little lifestyle upgrades this winter break - and the irony is not lost on me. I picked up some smart lightbulbs and a smart speaker as a major splurge and I'm excited to try them out - I've got visions of having my lights slowly fade in as an artificial sunrise in the morning (with some slowly crescendo-ing wakeup music) and doing the reverse of that in the evening - I know it won't be easy to set up, but it should be a fun project to experiment with (and it's my first step towards having a smart home, which I think is cool if not strictly necessary).

 

Next Challenge: I'm pretty sure I know what I'll be focusing on next time, and it'll be a lot of the same as this time with some additions because of the new job:

  • Make time for learning and reading daily - I value growing my knowledge and entertaining my mind with imagination highly, but I don't always live my day-to-day life in alignment with that; I want to start finding time for reading and/or learning (lunch breaks and/or evenings are the likely contenders)
  • Experiment with and apply "How to Have a Good Day" tips - I invested the time to read 300+ pages about better structuring my approach to the workday and the little interactions within it, time to put those into action.
  • Make time to train in the gym - I think I feel better when I exercise before work (more focused and sharper) as long as I've gotten sufficient sleep, so with the change to jobs meaning lunchtime workouts won't be a thing any more, I'm aiming to work out at least 5 mornings a week
  • Do some mobility / stretching daily - I'm an athlete who's training hard, gotta make time to recover from all that training and ensure everything stays functioning well
  • Making time for mindfulness and prayer - I like the mini-Examen that I've been doing in the evenings, and I want to keep doing that (and maybe tack another 1-2 minutes of reviewing my day on to the prayer exercise) but I also want to add some morning mindfulness - unsure yet if this will take the form of a breathing exercise, a rote prayer (i.e. the rosary) or something else, so it'll be more of an experiment
  • Eating appropriate amounts of food to cut body fat - I sometimes feel vain for having this goal, but the reality is I've decided I want to compete at an elite level in an aesthetic sport-art, and as a result, getting myself leaner is part of elevating myself to that elite level; I'll have calorie and macro targets in mind, and just as important as aiming to hit them will be reflecting on what made it harder to hit them a particular day and any times where I'm feeling under or overfed during the week. Based on everything I'm reading about dietary adherence, I'll be aiming to carve out room in my daily calories for a treat, if I want it (treat being a small dessert or a glass of wine).

I'll also be starting a new dance semester with a new class of kiddos AND learning new routines for my own competitive partnership, so there'll be plenty to challenge me on the dance front as well - but it's gonna be a fun adventure!

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Excellent stuff. It sounds like you got a lot done and that the dance, reading, and school are going well. 79% for one class is good enough, especially given that you didn't keep up toward the end. That can happen to anyone. I'm going to take a look at the have a good day book you mention, I'd like to make more good habits. Hopefully your new job and next challenge will go splendidly! 

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On 12/29/2018 at 12:47 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

also binge read a Renaissance Periodization e-book on diet (the old one, not the new one they came out with) and got some motivation / inspiration to tweak some things I'm doing in the new year.

I am sorry. I am curious, and this means nothing to me. What are you talking about please? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

 

(Quote selection is acting up again--sigh.) "How to Have a Good Day" sounds interesting. Also, I am excited for you re: fresh start at the new job.

On 12/29/2018 at 12:47 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

picked up some smart lightbulbs and a smart speaker as a major splurge and I'm excited to try them out - I've got visions of having my lights slowly fade in as an artificial sunrise in the morning

Ooooo. I might have to challenge my husband to see if he is willing to do this for me. (We wake up brutally early. Who thought a hs start time of 7:05 was a good idea?) As a result, when my alarm goes off and it is pitch black outside, everything in me screams that I am violating nature by getting up in the middle of the night.

 

Your new challenges sound awesome. 

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On 12/29/2018 at 3:39 PM, Harriet said:

Excellent stuff. It sounds like you got a lot done and that the dance, reading, and school are going well. 79% for one class is good enough, especially given that you didn't keep up toward the end. That can happen to anyone. I'm going to take a look at the have a good day book you mention, I'd like to make more good habits. Hopefully your new job and next challenge will go splendidly! 

Thank you!! Let me know how you like the book - I know I got it on @Gemma's to-read list from a previous forray into reading it (I got halfway, and got too perfectionistic about LIVING the things right away - noticing a recurring theme with my life? lol).

 

2 hours ago, Katerina said:

I am sorry. I am curious, and this means nothing to me. What are you talking about please? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Ok, so some context:

  • Renaissance Periodization is the name of a strength training / diet website / series of programs - I believe they straddle the line between body builders and powerlifters, but I could be 100% wrong on that
  • They also have an e-book on nutrition that they just released, but I read the earlier 1st edition of the same book (without some of the updates they made)
  • At a high level, the book had a pyramid of importance for diet as it related to changing body composition (I've chosen to basically ignore the last 2):
    • Calorie balance
    • Macro breakdown (i.e. get plenty of protein plus enough carbs to fuel intense workouts - they recommend more fat because high fat foods are typically tasty and the thinking is tastier average food will help adherence)
    • Nutrient timing (i.e. eating around a workout)
    • Nutrient quality (e.g. protein bioavailability)
    • Supplements
  • Basically, their nutrition book gave me some ideas about how to tweak my food approach around the edges (I had previously read a different book on sports nutrition that focused mainly on endurance athletes, so it was interesting to read a different take more from the perspective of athletes who are judged based on their physiques - also the other book I read was about 30 years old so at times it felt a bit dated to read)

Specific takeaways I'll be taking:

  • Being really diligent about hitting a high protein intake while calorie cutting
  • Specifically, making sure to have some protein shortly after finishing my morning workout (in the form of a whey shake) and having a casein smoothie around bedtime (it happens to fit well in my lifestyle with dance, in addition to being something they recommend)
  • Timing my carbs around my morning workout to get my glycogen levels back up, but not forcing down carbs at other times - I especially don't enjoy eating a really high carb meal before bedtime
  • I'll also be tweaking my daily meal plans to include a bit higher vegetable content, but that's something I already knew and just needed a reminder on from reading the e-book

 

2 hours ago, Katerina said:

(Quote selection is acting up again--sigh.) "How to Have a Good Day" sounds interesting. Also, I am excited for you re: fresh start at the new job.

Let me know how you like it! And thank you, I am very excited as well. :D

 

2 hours ago, Katerina said:

Ooooo. I might have to challenge my husband to see if he is willing to do this for me. (We wake up brutally early. Who thought a hs start time of 7:05 was a good idea?) As a result, when my alarm goes off and it is pitch black outside, everything in me screams that I am violating nature by getting up in the middle of the night.

YUCK - that is brutal. I'm similarly looking at a crazy early start to fit in workouts before work (dance is after work) and I'm thinking that automated lights and music should at least make things a little more tolerable for me.

 

2 hours ago, Katerina said:

Your new challenges sound awesome. 

Thanks! Fingers crossed they go well!

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