PaulG Posted April 7, 2015 Report Share Posted April 7, 2015 I made it back. So, funny story. This is kinda-sorta my first challenge (I gave it a shot about a year back, but it never went anywhere). I usually hang around updating my battle log, which has been around for a while now and documents my journey through bodyweight fitness, and a few bulks and cuts. I'm happy to say I've been pretty successful with fitness. HOWEVER. I have some other habits I need to change. My main quest involves a new job and successful finances, and no amount of fitness know-how will get me that. So it's time to change some other aspects of my life. Main Quest.My ultimate goals are simple: Iâ€™m a nerd who wants to be a ninja. Okay seriously can you spit it out pleaseSo I've been involved in the Seattle parkour community for a couple years, though I had to take some time away recently to focus on other aspects of life. My main quest involves getting back into it and focusing more on tumbling and acrobatics. I would love to compete in Ninja Warrior someday. And to get there, I plan to find a new job and move to Seattle full-time (right now I live outside it), explore some career options I let fall by the wayside since I graduated college, and train my happy little self into oblivion. And somewhere before oblivion, Ninja Warrior. And living in France for a year. I'd really like to do that. But goals that involve money -- like a big move or living in a foreign country -- mean I have to treat myself as a little one-man business, and optimize. I'm not much of a businessman. So this challenge will be quite tough for me. So! I've been doing a bunch of reading on habit formation and the science thereof. Most recently, I've finished up The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which is an excellent book on how habits are formed, changed, and broken. I plan to use that know-how to get me what I want: namely, a new job, new apartment, and a better-managed income. With that in mind, here are the habits I've decided to tweak... Goals Goal 1: Change my daily post-work routine. I've had a bad habit for a while now. When I get home, I always seem to jump on the laptop and put on some Netflix to unwind. But then I never get anything done after work, and lately there have been lots of bills piling up. So instead of getting home from work and starting dinner, videogames, or Netflixâ€¦Each afternoon Iâ€™ll take my laptop and mail into my home office and spend 10 minutes opening mail and taking care of personal business from my Reminders and calendar apps. Once the clock runs out, I can finish up, cross off the things in my to-do list, and choose a 5-minute reward. After the reward, I will spend 10 minutes writing cover letters. Altogether, it should take me about a half hour total each day. I'll grade this one based on a streak method where I reward the longest continuous streak of following through on the habit. I'm thinking of making a spreadsheet to print so I can mark off the days on my bathroom mirror. That's still in the works. In the meantime... Goal 2: Read "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" & Implement Every Feasible Recommendation.Despite the hammed-up title, Iâ€™ve read this book before on the recs of several smart friends, and itâ€™s a great book on personal finance for young people. It has bite-sized actionable items for six weeksâ€™ worth of personal finance improvements. Some of them Iâ€™ve already done, but there are at least a couple things that are either ongoing or unfinished. Here are some criteria that will be complete by the time the 6 weeks is over, if Iâ€™ve met this goal:Spend a few minutes maintaining my Mint.com account every Monday$600 saved for a new apartment$800 paid on my credit card debtMy retirement account switched out of Edward Jones and into a free/low-fee IRA, with the money invested in index fundsThis is all one goal because it should all happen pretty much automatically â€“ the savings money is all marked to be auto-transferred from my paychecks, all I have to do is work on my retirement account and manage my budget briefly each week. (I've done some work on my finances already leading up to this challenge, so now my quest is to sustain my progress.) Goal 3: Fitness on autopilot: weigh every day. Most of my fitness stuff is pretty locked in at this point and I donâ€™t need to worry about it much. But I do struggle with weighing daily, and it messes with my very pretty spreadsheet I use to track my weight, bodyfat percentage, and metabolism. If I had weigh-ins for every day, I could do a lot more with that spreadsheet â€“ track my metabolism better, mainly, and have a better idea exactly how my lean mass is changing (which will be important soon, as Iâ€™m planning on beginning a bulk in the next couple weeks). So rather than set qualitative goals for gaining new skills, Iâ€™m going to keep working as planned and simply work on weighing every day. It shouldnâ€™t be hard â€“ both my place and my girlfriendâ€™s place has a bathroom scale. I just need to remember to use it. Goal 4: Exercise with my girlfriend once per week. Since late January, my girlfriend has also gotten involved in fitness. It all started when she asked my advice to cut for a few weeks... so now we want to work on some exercises together. However, this is more about spending time with her than actually trying to accomplish something specific. She has a few skills, like handstands and back bridges, she wants to learn. To count toward this, weâ€™ll spend some time together (at least 15 minutes) working on mobility and doing a little skillwork. Bonus: read a book on good communication in relationships. My girlfriend and I have both struggled with good communication in past relationships. Lately as weâ€™ve talked more seriously about long-term commitments, like moving in together, weâ€™re realized that approaching communication like any other skill, with planning and practice, will do us a lot of good down the line. Right now I donâ€™t have a specific book, but Iâ€™m on the hunt for one. Rewards This is partially just for fun, but it could come in handy. It's important to follow up new habits with rewards when you first start: it gives you an important bit of pleasure right at the end of doing that thing you've been kicking yourself for not doing. So this will be a list of rewards: each time I complete a habit, I'll treat myself to a reward picked from this list. Here we go, here are the things that give me warm fuzzies: Chocolate Ice cream Activity: light handstand practice, a walk around the neighborhood, etc. Video games Crap TV Podcasts!I may add to this list as the challenge continues. And I'll update my goals with some notes on grading for each. In the meantime, signing off -- let me know what you think of these goals, I'd love to get your feedback. 2 Quote Cowardly Assassin Training Log | Challenges: Current, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st Link to comment
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