Jump to content

Kestrel Drifts Towards an Easy Life


Recommended Posts

This challenge write-up may not make much sense because I am sick and confused, but I can edit later. :)  

 

Last May I changed jobs and my free time disappeared, along with my stick-to-itness for any big challenge.  Microhabits seem to be the answer - they have been slowly remodeling my life over the past couple challenges.  My goal is to get all the habits needed for me to enjoy a healthy and productive life in place, without ever having to give them a second thought.  In tiny tiny little steps so I don't self-sabotage. 

 

Nerding out on my approach to microhabits:

Spoiler

All goals are roughly divided into two categories: things I want more of in my life, and things I simply want done.  In all cases I think of the smallest possible first step.  Something that I can do no matter how tired or busy I am.  And then I chose a time and routine that I can link it to so I don't have to think about when/whether to do it.

 

For things I simply want done:  These I chose the highest priority task, the thing that will make the most difference.  The plan is to actually do less of these things overall but get better results.  Examples include taking out the cutting board and knife when I get home from work - to lower the barriers to preparing meals.  This lets me spend less time overall worrying about and preparing foods while accomplishing my goal of healthy balanced eating.  I add only one microhabit at a time with the intention of not spending more time or thought than absolutely necessary.

 

For things I want more of in my life: This actually involves two steps.  First I decide what my ideal end result would be.  Then I set up a microhabit that is just the tiniest first step and leaves room for the full end result. This part is important.  To illustrate:  I wanted to run for 30 minutes before work every weekday.  My microhabit was simply putting on my shoes and getting out the door, and I could turn around and come back in if I wanted.  But, I got up the full 30 minutes earlier so there was room to run for 30 minutes if I wanted, and I protected that time.  That way there was an easy, low-barrier entry to the habit of running and there was also no barrier at all to increasing the habit so it happened naturally.  I now run 30 minutes before work on weekdays.  If I had done this the way I do others, like cleaning tasks, I would have only gotten up 1 minute earlier and each subsequent minute would have been another barrier to overcome.

 

Alternately, if I approached cleaning tasks like running, I would have filled up the 30 minutes with cleaning whether it was an appropriate amount of time or not, simply because it was there.

 

This all makes sense in my head...

 

Each week I will add a microhabit or two to my list that will establish a more efficient routine.

  • Like 8

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

This is the training schedule that I am working towards.  Hopefully it is in place by the end of January so I have a good 2-3 months with it before going into the next level of training.

The 3K morning runs and the Sunday long run (not at 15K yet) are already happening, and there is space for the Thursday evening session.  The other training sessions do not currently have the space set aside for them.  I will have to work on streamlining all the "other" goals in my life to make room.

                 
  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun  
am rest 3k E 3k E 3k E 3k E 8K mod 15K E or progressive  
pm rest Strength   5K with hill sprints or intervals   Strength    
                 

It looks very doable, right?  First up is distributing proactive cleaning through the week so it doesn't all land on Saturday.

  • Like 2

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post
1 minute ago, Harriet said:

Excellent. I like the very thoughtful approach you've devised to get through this phase of lower stick-to-itness. 

Thanks!  Though it was really more a matter of throwing things at the wall and seeing what stuck, then reasoning out why it stuck after the fact.  It does make me look thoughtful if you don't know that. :D 

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

Microhabits reminds me of James Clear's writings on what he calls keystone habits, and habit stacking. I love the concept :)

  • Like 1

Chaotic-Neutral, Elven Bladesinger (Apprentice)

Current Stats: STR 11 || DEX 11 || CON 12 || INT 15 || WIS 16 || CHA 12

Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 14

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily; to not dare is to lose one's self". - Søren Kierkegaard

Link to post
3 hours ago, Aquarii said:

Microhabits reminds me of James Clear's writings on what he calls keystone habits, and habit stacking. I love the concept :)

One of his articles on why people who get a bigger income get bigger expenses (lifestyle inflation) also was the inspiration behind how I format my training microhabits.  He does good work.

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post
2 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

One of his articles on why people who get a bigger income get bigger expenses (lifestyle inflation) also was the inspiration behind how I format my training microhabits.  He does good work.

 

I was interested in your post, so I looked for the article. I think this might have been it.

 

https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect

 

It's well-written. And I like thinking about applying it not just to material things, but also to demands on time.

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post
1 hour ago, Xena said:

 

I was interested in your post, so I looked for the article. I think this might have been it.

 

https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect

 

It's well-written. And I like thinking about applying it not just to material things, but also to demands on time.

That's a good one too, the one I was thinking of is this one.

 

https://jamesclear.com/habit-creep

 

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post
1 hour ago, Xena said:

 

I was interested in your post, so I looked for the article. I think this might have been it.

 

https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect

 

It's well-written. And I like thinking about applying it not just to material things, but also to demands on time.

 

54 minutes ago, Kestrel Grey said:

That's a good one too, the one I was thinking of is this one.

 

https://jamesclear.com/habit-creep

 


I’m really inspired by your approach to microhabits. And I loved reading these articles about “creep.” It makes so much intuitive sense that it’s surprising it’s not more widely talked about, especially the thing he said about changing your environment to change a habit. Amazing. 
 

Following along for all your microhabit mega-wins!

  • Like 1

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

it's an interesting perspective, and the ways you are thinking about it make sense. As written, lifestyle creep is portrayed and negative and habit creep is portrayed as potentially positive. I feel like I'm experiencing habit creep that is more similar to lifestyle creep in some ways. Adding in habits that you might not really need without appropriate thought to prioritization. I should think about how I spend my time at least as hard as how I spend my money. I like the idea of making it effortless and automatic, but that only works if you have strong sense of goals or priorities.

 

(not saying this to lecture you...thinking through it for myself)

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post
22 hours ago, Xena said:

it's an interesting perspective, and the ways you are thinking about it make sense. As written, lifestyle creep is portrayed and negative and habit creep is portrayed as potentially positive. I feel like I'm experiencing habit creep that is more similar to lifestyle creep in some ways. Adding in habits that you might not really need without appropriate thought to prioritization. I should think about how I spend my time at least as hard as how I spend my money. I like the idea of making it effortless and automatic, but that only works if you have strong sense of goals or priorities.

 

(not saying this to lecture you...thinking through it for myself)

I appreciate the insight.  Right now I am forced to think about priorities because my time is tighter than usual but I definitely have had negative habit creep. At least, I have added tasks just for the fun of checking them off my list and feeling like I've accomplished something, or allowed a task with low priority to eat up more of my day than it deserved.  Is that what you are thinking of?

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

Zero Week Update

 

Unfortunately not much to say. I'm still in bed with the flu.  I did get the flu shot because I work in health care, so I am only slightly miserable instead of dying, but it still puts a damper on things.  My Good Friday shopping included a new pair of training shoes that are still in the box. :(

 

My microhabit for Week One has been decided.  When I get up to go for break/lunch at work, I will pick up my mug.  Drinking more water (and less overpriced lattes) is important to keep me healthy and wealthy, and if I bring my mug I will fill it with water.

 

The past three days have been spent in bed so there's been lots of time to think about my goals for the next little while. My top four are written out - I'll try to have all my microhabits work towards them in some form.  Right now I'm typing on my phone because the laptop is too far to reach but I will share once I have a proper keyboard. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post
19 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

I appreciate the insight.  Right now I am forced to think about priorities because my time is tighter than usual but I definitely have had negative habit creep. At least, I have added tasks just for the fun of checking them off my list and feeling like I've accomplished something, or allowed a task with low priority to eat up more of my day than it deserved.  Is that what you are thinking of?

 

Yeah, that's a lot of it.

Also, I guess that I pick up new responsibilities/routines/activities and tend to have a hard time shedding old ones. Sort of a separate thing, but leaves my time feeling more cluttered than deliberate.

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post

It's time for the Big Sexy Goals post!  Complete with detailed analysis because that's how I roll.

 

The original list of 23 goals was whittled down to 4.  The criteria for the surviving goals are

  • stand-alone quests I can work toward (not sub-goals)
  • where the process and outcome would benefit me and
  • where I feel it is worth putting in the work to overcome envisioned obstacles.

 

Kestrel's Goal List for 2020 (in no particular order)

 

1. Earn glowing recommendations from my peers, supervisors, and most of my subordinates (is that an acceptable term? I haven't been a supervisor for long, not sure that is PC) by the end of my work term April 2020.

This would help me to keep my supervisor role when my temporary position ends, or to get the next permanent posting.  It is an enriching job with interesting projects and I would feel good about knowing I was doing it well.  It also has more hours and better pay so I wouldn't need to stress about finances.

Obstacle 1 - Some of my senior peers are temperamental and hard to read, so it would be easy to annoy them.

Obstacle 2 - Staying organized under the mountain of information, projects, and emails across multiple sites.

Obstacle 3 - Gaining trust from my underlings (even less PC but more fun to say), most of whom have years more experience than I.

 

2. Finish the Golden Ultra 60K race in September 2020, under the cutoff and grinning.

The whole process of getting here will mean wrapping my life in the outdoors, adventure, and getting fitter/faster/stronger.  It will show me that I am not doomed to only go downhill from here.  And it will be an epic story shared with people who love the same things.

Obstacle 1 - Time. For both training and travel, but mostly lots and lots of training.

Obstacle 2 - Avoiding injury and burnout.

Obstacle 3 - Costs associated with travel, race fees, and gear.

Obstacle 4 - Guilt at prioritizing a pursuit that no one I care about is interested in/benefits by.

 

3. Save enough for an overseas vacation in August 2020.

This will show that our current work/life balance is sustainable and relieve stress on both myself and my husband.  Going on great vacations together is one of our greatest joys.

Obstacle 1 - My current income may not continue.

Obstacle 2 - Reducing everyday costs.

Obstacle 3 - Unforeseen and costly emergencies happen.

 

4. Get back to under 25% bodyfat before May 2020.

At this weight, running and body weight strength will be noticeably easier.  I'll be lighter, faster, and closer to the elusive pull-up.  All my jeans would fit me well again so I would have options in the morning. And I'd feel sexier. ;) 

Obstacle 1 - Eating for weight loss can interfere with training.

Obstacle 2 - Time and planning for meal planning, prepping, groceries.

Obstacle 3 - Minimizing non-nutrition food such as comfort food or social eating.

 

If you were paying attention you'll see I have not posted any solutions, only problems.  My challenges over the following months will be about solving these problems in situ.  Realistically, all four are doable individually but by no means guaranteed.  The stars would have to align for me to accomplish all four concurrently.  But just doing my best towards these goals will have a pretty good effect on my life.

  • Like 3

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

This week was frustrating.  I achieved my weekly microhabit goal of bringing my mug with me for breaks, and yes I drank a little more water.  But I did almost none of my previously established microhabits.  I guess they weren't as established as I thought - that week of being ill broke the habit and they just didn't naturally come back.  It looks like I will have to make a focused effort to regain them.  Ugh.

 

For my reference, previous microhabits are:

Spoiler
  • Take out two pieces of recycling on my first time out the door every day.
  • Walk up the first two flights of stairs anytime I want to go up and have at least one free hand to open the doors.
  • Put a piece of fruit or veggie in my lunch bag when I am getting ready for bed.
  • Do the first movement in the Sun Salutation when I get up, immediately after leaving the washroom.
  • Take a vitamin with my breakfast.
  • Practice guitar for 5 minutes a day, immediately after taking Delboy out in the afternoon/evening.
  • 60 seconds of physio when I get home after the morning run.
  • Switch off the internet on my phone at 8 pm.
  • Use the electric toothbrush when I get out of the shower/bath.
  • Clear one item off the living room table when I get up from dinner.
  • Do two (knee) push-ups, two (negative) pull-ups, and 10 second plank every time I change clothes.

If this is your first time following my challenges, I only added one or two of these a week and made sure it was automatic before adding a new habit.

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

I love that habit list. Very cue-habit-reward-based, and added slowly.

 

I think most habits probably need some periodic reinforcement.

  • Like 1

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

Link to post
5 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I love that habit list. Very cue-habit-reward-based, and added slowly.

 

I think most habits probably need some periodic reinforcement.

Thanks.  I sense someone who has done her habit homework.  😉 It started off with just the habits but I kept forgetting. It was much easier once I added precise cues.  Go figure, the experts really do know what they are talking about!

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

Great goals and habit list!

 

19 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

I guess they weren't as established as I thought - that week of being ill broke the habit and they just didn't naturally come back.  It looks like I will have to make a focused effort to regain them.  Ugh.

 

I hate it when that happens. Something different happens and it throws everything out of whack. You'll get back into the swing of things. :) 

 

Image result for you can do it gifs

  • Like 1
Link to post
16 hours ago, Defining said:

That is a lot of different kinds of habits! Is there an overarching 'goal' that you can attach them to, to help with remembering? Or maybe a daily checklist?

I have tried checklists before. The problem is I have to have the checklist in my hand at that moment or it gets forgotten. This method actually works exceptionally well for me.  With only one new habit a week, seven days of saying "I'm going up, better take the stairs!" is enough that I remember to do it as soon as I think "I'm going up..."

For the past week I just didn't feel like doing any of them. 😋 After a week of being sick and doing nothing, doing anything feels hard.

 

The habits are probably still there so I'll try retriggering them this week. A couple a day to focus on and I should be back up and running quickly.

  • Like 2

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

Holiday Challenge - Week 2

Related image

 

The microhabit for this week is:

  • when I turn off my internet on my phone at 8 pm, I will also uninstall any game apps that were loaded that day.

I wish I could simply say "I will not touch my phone after 8pm" but that doesn't work for me.  If I have a bad habit I cannot simply stop - I either need to replace it with something or add habits that make the unwanted habit unattractive.  Since I would like to be doing nothing when I should be sleeping, making my phone unattractive is the best option I can think of.

 

There will also be a subgoal for this week in order to reinforce all my old good habits (should be easy once I get going).

Spoiler

Sunday

  • Put a piece of fruit or veggie in my lunch bag when I am getting ready for bed.
  • Switch off the internet on my phone at 8 pm.
  • Remove any game apps from my phone when I switch off the internet. (new)

Monday

  • Take out two pieces of recycling on my first time out the door every day.
  • Walk up the first two flights of stairs anytime I want to go up and have at least one free hand to open the doors.
  • Pick up my mug whenever I stand up from my desk to go on break.

Tuesday

  • (Restart my 5 am runs)
  • 60 seconds of physio when I get home after the morning run.
  • Take out one item for food prep as soon as I get home and take my shoes off.

Wednesday

  • Do two (knee) push-ups, two (negative) pull-ups, and 10 second plank every time I change clothes.
  • Clear one item off the living room table when I get up from dinner.

Thursday

  • (Restart strength sessions)
  • Do the first movement in the Sun Salutation when I get up, immediately after leaving the washroom.

Friday

  • Take a vitamin with my breakfast.
  • Use the electric toothbrush when I get out of the shower/bath.

Saturday

  • Practice guitar for 5 minutes a day, immediately after taking Delboy out in the afternoon/evening.

 

  • Like 1

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines