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theflyingaccountant

Respawned: Building the Habit

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Excellent thinking work. Being strong is totally worth it; I think it can make the difference between an old age of fragility and dependence and one of mobility and independence. I'm not sure the 100lb for all four lifts is particularly balanced, though :). It would be more usual for your overhead press to be somewhere between 30-50% of your deadlift, depending on your size, sex, and degree of proficiency.

 

It's definitely not balanced at all. More of an "I'mma just toss out a number that I know I'll probably end up hitting over the course of the next challenge." Since I'm currently at 0 lb (well, technically 45 lb if you factor in starting with the empty bar), I figure that's an easy way to set a goal without having to involve any math ;).

 

The way I anticipate it happening is that I'll hit 100 on deadlifts and squats within the first two weeks or so, which means I'll celebrate those quick early wins and reset my next milestone at 150 lbs.

 

Bench and OHP will probably (theoretically) hit 100 somewhere around the end of the challenge, at which point I'll probably set the next milestone at 135.

 

Worst case scenario, if I don't hit 100 for those two, I can chalk it up to just "eyeballing it." 40 lbs added to my bench press is still a win in my book. ;)

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17 hours ago, theflyingaccountant said:

Due to several long drives over the week, I've had a lot of time to do some reflecting on how I've been handling this challenge and what my goals are for future challenges.

 

 

This all seems like some really insightful thinking and self awareness!  I think even the fact you have given yourself the headspace to think in this way and that you can recognise the feelings you are having and act appropriately shows great development.

 

Great work!

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10 hours ago, Quirky Quinn said:

 

This all seems like some really insightful thinking and self awareness!  I think even the fact you have given yourself the headspace to think in this way and that you can recognise the feelings you are having and act appropriately shows great development.

 

Great work!

Thanks! The meditation's helping a lot.

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Tweak to next challenge:

Move some of those "lesser challenges" to my battle log.

 

Focus the challenge around 3 5 things:

 

1. Getting stronger.

2. Reducing alcohol consumption.

3. Passing CISA.

4. Maintaining meditation practice.

5. Eschewing computer games.

 

Had to make sure the meditation thing was in there. Also did not want to have 4 challenges, so added the computer game thing, too.

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I guess, to answer your question "to what end?" To gain momentum. It costs less energy to give direction to a moving object than to get it to move. :) Forgot where I read this, not my thought.

 

And now you're moving & gaining a sense of direction. Wooht!

 

One of my mantras when I do not feel like doing the stuff that I know make me feel more content/purposeful is "If I do not manage my time, others/other things will."

 

(And one of the things that does is also LOOKING for things that I want to do in orded to become x or y etc. So it totally applies.)

 

Sort of a general variant on the specific "If you do not make time for your fitness, you will have to make time for your illness." 

 

Right, now I am throwing thoughts and quotes at you haha. Anyway, good going!

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Day 16.

 

The War:

Get a private pilot's license and have enough money to be able to enjoy it.

 

The Financial Campaign:

1. Build up a minimum non-retirement savings of $20,000.

 

The Physical Campaign:

2. Keep my body healthy so that I can enjoy flying as I get older.

 

Main Effort: Meditate daily.

Level 1: Meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes each morning before work.

Meditation time: 5+ minutes.

 

Supporting Effort 1. Control my cravings.

Level 1: Limit myself to a maximum of 2 drinks per day.

Drinks consumed: 2

 

Supporting Effort 2. Do things with my body every day.

Level 1a: Do one barbell squat with empty barbell after I get home from work.

Level 1b: Do one pushup after I get home from work.

Squats done: 1+

Pushups done: 0

 

Supporting Effort 3. Establish a daily study habit.

Level 1: Study for the CISA exam for at least 5 minutes each morning after I meditate.

Study time: 5+ minutes

 

Bonus Habit 1.

Level 1: Update the budget spreadsheet for basic daily purchases every evening before bed.

Budget updated: No
  

Bonus Habit 2.

Level 1: Play piano for 5 minutes after doing my barbell squat.

Playing time: 5+ minutes.

 

Bonus Habit 3.

Level 1: Study one Duolingo Italian lesson

Lessons studied: 1+

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5 hours ago, analoggirl said:

I guess, to answer your question "to what end?" To gain momentum.

So weird. I was literally thinking about that same thing yesterday. The concept of "momentum," I mean. That's the whole reason why I picked my challenges the way that I did. Lots of small wins that build momentum over time.

 

Something else that I've learned about those "ends:" I'm limited, to a great extent, by what my body can do.

 

I learned that yesterday evening while practicing the piano.

 

Case in point. I know how a C scale works. I know where every note is on the keyboard.

 

But until my body catches up, I am not going to play a C scale at certain speeds.

 

I can know all sorts of stuff, but if I'm incapable of putting that knowledge into action, why does it matter?

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36 minutes ago, theflyingaccountant said:

Case in point. I know how a C scale works. I know where every note is on the keyboard.

 

But until my body catches up, I am not going to play a C scale at certain speeds.

 

Ahhhh. That is relatable.

 

When I was a teen I was terrible at remembering choreography & making my limbs do the things unless moves were dissected completely.

 

Now I can remember it, and I can see through it alright, but I am not always fast enough to keep up with the rhytm, especially with jumps.

 

39 minutes ago, theflyingaccountant said:

why does it matter?

Knowing is not enough, you must apply! (Bruce Lee)

 

With regards to the piano, a friend said there are ways to train speed. Also to train your strength to be able to hit the keys with the appropriate amount.

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On 10/14/2019 at 1:29 PM, theflyingaccountant said:

40 lbs added to my bench press is still a win in my book. ;)

 

Most definitely, 40lb is nothing to sneeze at. I suspect it's going to be a couple of years before I can get my OHP to 100lb, if it ever gets there. It's just the most stubbornly weak lift for me. Oh well. I love lifting enough to do it badly, so mere physical unsuitability won't stop me :) 
 

4 hours ago, theflyingaccountant said:

But until my body catches up, I am not going to play a C scale at certain speeds.

 

I can know all sorts of stuff, but if I'm incapable of putting that knowledge into action, why does it matter?


Hmmm. Time to know fewer things and practice more things?

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Day 17.

 

Had a couple of wins today. Meditated for close to 10 minutes. Managed to get my 3rd (of 5) domains in CISA above 70%. Hit 120 BPM hands together on C scale.

 

The War:

Get a private pilot's license and have enough money to be able to enjoy it.

 

The Financial Campaign:

1. Build up a minimum non-retirement savings of $20,000.

 

The Physical Campaign:

2. Keep my body healthy so that I can enjoy flying as I get older.

 

Main Effort: Meditate daily.

Level 1: Meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes each morning before work.

Meditation time: 5+ minutes.

 

Supporting Effort 1. Control my cravings.

Level 1: Limit myself to a maximum of 2 drinks per day.

Drinks consumed: 0

 

Supporting Effort 2. Do things with my body every day.

Level 1a: Do one barbell squat with empty barbell after I get home from work.

Level 1b: Do one pushup after I get home from work.

Squats done: 0

Pushups done: 1+

 

Supporting Effort 3. Establish a daily study habit.

Level 1: Study for the CISA exam for at least 5 minutes each morning after I meditate.

Study time: 5+ minutes

 

Bonus Habit 1.

Level 1: Update the budget spreadsheet for basic daily purchases every evening before bed.

Budget updated: Yes
  

Bonus Habit 2.

Level 1: Play piano for 5 minutes after doing my barbell squat.

Playing time: 5+ minutes.

 

Bonus Habit 3.

Level 1: Study one Duolingo Italian lesson

Lessons studied: 1+

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19 hours ago, Harriet said:

Hmmm. Time to know fewer things and practice more things?

 

Yes.

 

Speaking of practice, all of this stuff with my hands is driving home another point-I have to devote effort to being more precise. I can't just run through something a few times and then move on to the next thing.

 

I hate that. My mind wants so badly just to slap something together and move on to the next thing.

 

"Eh, it's good enough. What's next?" Especially when it comes to things that I'm doing with my body. "I'm not going to be as agile or nimble as other people, so that's pretty good for someone like me. What's the next thing I can try out? That'll be more fun."

 

Means I get stuck in this loop of always being a beginner at stuff. Just drop it when it gets hard or requires more focused attention. And I think I'm being gentle with myself, but in reality, what I'm probably actually doing is just feeding the depression loop.

 

So, to circle back to your very insightful observation:

 

Yes. It is absolutely time to know fewer things and practice more things.

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Day 18

 

Not a good day.

 

The War:

Get a private pilot's license and have enough money to be able to enjoy it.

 

The Financial Campaign:

1. Build up a minimum non-retirement savings of $20,000.

 

The Physical Campaign:

2. Keep my body healthy so that I can enjoy flying as I get older.

 

Main Effort: Meditate daily.

Level 1: Meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes each morning before work.

Meditation time: 0 minutes.

 

Supporting Effort 1. Control my cravings.

Level 1: Limit myself to a maximum of 2 drinks per day.

Drinks consumed: 3

 

Supporting Effort 2. Do things with my body every day.

Level 1a: Do one barbell squat with empty barbell after I get home from work.

Level 1b: Do one pushup after I get home from work.

Squats done: 0

Pushups done: 0

 

Supporting Effort 3. Establish a daily study habit.

Level 1: Study for the CISA exam for at least 5 minutes each morning after I meditate.

Study time: 0 minutes

 

Bonus Habit 1.

Level 1: Update the budget spreadsheet for basic daily purchases every evening before bed.

Budget updated: Yes
  

Bonus Habit 2.

Level 1: Play piano for 5 minutes after doing my barbell squat.

Playing time: 5+ minutes.

 

Bonus Habit 3.

Level 1: Study one Duolingo Italian lesson

Lessons studied: 1+

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On 10/16/2019 at 12:21 PM, theflyingaccountant said:

"Eh, it's good enough. What's next?" Especially when it comes to things that I'm doing with my body. "I'm not going to be as agile or nimble as other people, so that's pretty good for someone like me. What's the next thing I can try out? That'll be more fun."

 

Means I get stuck in this loop of always being a beginner at stuff. Just drop it when it gets hard or requires more focused attention. And I think I'm being gentle with myself, but in reality, what I'm probably actually doing is just feeding the depression loop.

 

Interesting. I guess it's different when you find something you like enough to do even when you're bad at it (for me, lifting and writing). Something where you enjoy the process and enjoy setting and meeting modest, shorter term goals as well as dreaming of those big goals. I never got far in music because I enjoyed the idea of being a great musician more than I enjoyed practicing. 

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Day 19

 

 The War:

Get a private pilot's license and have enough money to be able to enjoy it.

 

The Financial Campaign:

1. Build up a minimum non-retirement savings of $20,000.

 

The Physical Campaign:

2. Keep my body healthy so that I can enjoy flying as I get older.

 

Main Effort: Meditate daily.

Level 1: Meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes each morning before work.

Meditation time: 0 minutes.

 

Supporting Effort 1. Control my cravings.

Level 1: Limit myself to a maximum of 2 drinks per day.

Drinks consumed: 3

 

Supporting Effort 2. Do things with my body every day.

Level 1a: Do one barbell squat with empty barbell after I get home from work.

Level 1b: Do one pushup after I get home from work.

Squats done: 0

Pushups done: 1+

 

Supporting Effort 3. Establish a daily study habit.

Level 1: Study for the CISA exam for at least 5 minutes each morning after I meditate.

Study time: 0 minutes

 

Bonus Habit 1.

Level 1: Update the budget spreadsheet for basic daily purchases every evening before bed.

Budget updated: Yes
  

Bonus Habit 2.

Level 1: Play piano for 5 minutes after doing my barbell squat.

Playing time: 0 minutes.

 

Bonus Habit 3.

Level 1: Study one Duolingo Italian lesson

Lessons studied: 1+

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Day 20

 

 The War:

Get a private pilot's license and have enough money to be able to enjoy it.

 

The Financial Campaign:

1. Build up a minimum non-retirement savings of $20,000.

 

The Physical Campaign:

2. Keep my body healthy so that I can enjoy flying as I get older.

 

Main Effort: Meditate daily.

Level 1: Meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes each morning before work.

Meditation time: 5+ minutes.

 

Supporting Effort 1. Control my cravings.

Level 1: Limit myself to a maximum of 2 drinks per day.

Drinks consumed: 4

 

Supporting Effort 2. Do things with my body every day.

Level 1a: Do one barbell squat with empty barbell after I get home from work.

Level 1b: Do one pushup after I get home from work.

Squats done: 1+

Pushups done: 0

 

Supporting Effort 3. Establish a daily study habit.

Level 1: Study for the CISA exam for at least 5 minutes each morning after I meditate.

Study time: 5+ minutes

 

Bonus Habit 1.

Level 1: Update the budget spreadsheet for basic daily purchases every evening before bed.

Budget updated: Yes
  

Bonus Habit 2.

Level 1: Play piano for 5 minutes after doing my barbell squat.

Playing time: 5+ minutes.

 

Bonus Habit 3.

Level 1: Study one Duolingo Italian lesson

Lessons studied: 1+

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Day 21

 

 The War:

Get a private pilot's license and have enough money to be able to enjoy it.

 

The Financial Campaign:

1. Build up a minimum non-retirement savings of $20,000.

 

The Physical Campaign:

2. Keep my body healthy so that I can enjoy flying as I get older.

 

Main Effort: Meditate daily.

Level 1: Meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes each morning before work.

Meditation time: 5+ minutes.

 

Supporting Effort 1. Control my cravings.

Level 1: Limit myself to a maximum of 2 drinks per day.

Drinks consumed: 0

 

Supporting Effort 2. Do things with my body every day.

Level 1a: Do one barbell squat with empty barbell after I get home from work.

Level 1b: Do one pushup after I get home from work.

Squats done: 0

Pushups done: 1+

 

Supporting Effort 3. Establish a daily study habit.

Level 1: Study for the CISA exam for at least 5 minutes each morning after I meditate.

Study time: 5+ minutes

 

Bonus Habit 1.

Level 1: Update the budget spreadsheet for basic daily purchases every evening before bed.

Budget updated: Yes
  

Bonus Habit 2.

Level 1: Play piano for 5 minutes after doing my barbell squat.

Playing time: 5+ minutes.

 

Bonus Habit 3.

Level 1: Study one Duolingo Italian lesson

Lessons studied: 1+

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Last challenge day.

 

Now is as good a time as any to do a full on retrospective. So here we go.

 

As was pointed out to me after my respawn, I was doing a little bit too much in this challenge. Sure, I did assign priorities to my "habits" to mitigate this, but the fact remains that I was spread a bit too thin and wasn't exactly focused on any one specific goal. Too many times, it felt like I was doing stuff just to do stuff.

 

Having said all that, the experience itself was incredibly valuable. Jocko Willink has been known to say "You win or you learn." I didn't win. I did learn. I learned a lot.

 

Among other things, I learned that I've been wasting way too much time playing computer games. This fact revealed itself most acutely after my respawn when I noticed how much more productive and successful I became after putting the games down for a while. In fact, I'm attributing a lot of the success that I did have to not coming straight home and spending hours with my face in a game of some kind. I've literally added hours to my life by turning the games off for a little while.

 

I've learned that cutting back my beer drinking is going to be very hard for me.

 

I've learned that my mind will drive me absolutely insane if given half a chance.

 

Most of all, I've learned that there's a lot to be said for appreciating "the journey." There's much more to life than just work work work and then party for five minutes and then it's over. Life is far more complex than suffering through the things I feel an aversion towards, grasping desperately onto the things I crave, rinse, repeat. Chopping wood while camping is work, but I love doing it. It's definitely a lot more "work-like" than clicking through spreadsheets. But when I'm camping, time just seems to stop. I don't want it to end.

 

Instead, what I need to start doing is looking closer at how this "aversion" thing is playing out in my mind. The fact is that right now, the things that I think I'm trying to avoid or "suffer through" take far too long, and the things that I think are going to give me joy and happiness are over way too fast. The problem, as has been pointed out by multiple individuals, is not in life. It's in my attitude.

 

I don't know how to begin to fix this. I'm desperately craving pleasure and relaxation and ease and an end to all my worries. It doesn't help that today is Sunday and tomorrow is a workday, so I know full well that once today is over, it's back to the daily grind.

 

But such is human nature. We want to prolong the things that make us happy and we want to rush through the things that make us struggle. I can resist these cravings, I can give in to them, I can feel guilty for having them, or I can understand how they function.

 

In the meantime, it's time to look ahead to the next challenge. Here's my revisions to my idea from a week ago:

 

1. Meditate every day for a minimum of 5 minutes.

2. Stronglifts 5X5 for 3 days per week. The object is not to lift a certain amount of weight, but to simply be consistent with the workouts).

3. Learn two new recipes per week.

 

Sure, cutting out video games is still important, as is cutting back the booze and the piano, but for now, I need to focus my efforts. So just these three things.

 

Challenge grade? B-.

 

There were a few places (and some specific elements) where I did not maintain the consistency I would have preferred. I was in a bit over my head, what with having taken on so many habits to maintain. In fact, I very nearly would have given myself a C, but, at the end of the day, I think I'm a better person for having gone through the experience, and that's ultimately the goal to begin with. So B it is.

 

I think that about covers it. In the meantime, I'm headed back to my Battle Log to regroup, and I'll see you all in the Druids guild for round 2.

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