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PunchTonic

Lifestyle Change

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Hello!

Last challenge, I realized that a lot of the habits I developed in college (namely not budgeting my time/energy, procrastinating, and pulling all-nighters) are not things that will fly in my new, adult work life. With that in mind, my challenge these four weeks will be to focus on ordering my daily life so that I set up healthy habits and time-management. A basic run-down of my weekday will be: 

 

5a - 7am: Wake up, exercise, get ready for work

7:30am - 4pm: Work
4:00pm-6pm: Professional development (for me, that means working on grad school applications, studying for the GRE, and working on research)

6:30 - 9pm: Cook/eat dinner; personal development (i.e. hobbies like ukulele, video games, etc)

9pm - 10pm: Get ready for bed, R&R (reading, mindful thinking, etc)

10pm - 5am: sleeeeeeep (~7hrs) 

 

I know it's not perfect, and I KNOW it's ambitious, but I sat down and really thought about a typical day in my life and balanced out what I HAVE to work on and what I WANT to work on and this is the best way I thought I could make it work. I wish I could work in more sleep time, but honestly, my commute is so long and draining that I had to work around that (i.e. working out before I go to work so I can stay late in the office to work on professional development things to avoid traffic after work). I know it's going to take some tweaking, and I won't be 100% successful everyday, but I'm trying to make a lifestyle change, so I think even moderate success will go a long way for setting up lasting habits.

 

 

My challenge metrics will be as follows:

 

1. Exercise/complete other activity before work -  X of 5        This is the activity that will kick off the day and is really the most challenging aspect of this lifestyle change, making it arguably the most important. I'm giving myself the flexibility to be able to do anything before work, or to wake up not exactly at 5, but with enough time to do whatever and not be (too) late to work.

 

 

2. Floss every day - X of 7        I did this for my VERY FIRST challenge, and I thought that I'd made it a habit...but it's not. I think this is going to make a regular appearance in my challenges for months....maybe even years. HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES UNTIL MY DENTAL HYGIENE IS FLAWLESS. 

 

 

And that's it folks! I'm getting rid of a lot of extraneous metrics, because I think if I can focus and nail these down, I'll be able to build other good habits on top of the foundation this lays. I still need to brainstorm some appropriate loot, but I'll update when I figure that out. I just wanted to get my Quests out there!


 

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That's certainly an early wake up! I struggled from moving 6:30 to 6, but maybe your one of the lucky people who can get up in the morning? :P

 

And that's a really good second goal. Take it slow and make the dentist proud! :D

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Your weekday plan looks good. I do kinda the same. Only difference: after work I need 1 or 2 hours to play video games or watch animes, before I learn languages or for my apprenticeship.

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1 hour ago, Akari said:

after work I need 1 or 2 hours to play video games or watch animes, before I learn languages or for my apprenticeship.

 

I'd LOVE to be able to "decompress" (as my mom used to call it, haha) , but as it stands, I end up eating dinner wayyyy too late (or order out because I don't feel like cooking) if I wait too late to make food. Also, I'm hoping the productive momentum from working will lend itself to working on "professional" things if I do it immediately. It's tough to get in the mindset!

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4 minutes ago, imprimis5 said:

It also reminds me that I need to get back to learning the ukulele.

 

Yessss Ukulele! I've only been playing about a year and a half, but it's something I want to get back to as well!  

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Honestly, it's because of you guys that I actually got up and ran this morning. Knowing there's people who are rooting for me, hoping I'll actually go through on my challenge.... I can't let y'all down! (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

 

 

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4 minutes ago, PunchTonic said:

Honestly, it's because of you guys that I actually got up and ran this morning. Knowing there's people who are rooting for me, hoping I'll actually go through on my challenge.... I can't let y'all down! (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

 

 

 

Way to go! It feels good, right?

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Another day, another early morning. But I did it, and I ran about a mile. Tomorrow, my running app says to run for 20 minutes, so I have to be sure to actually get out of bed when the alarm goes off?

 

By the way, what do y'all do if you wake up within a half-hour of your alarm turning on? I know if I try to go back to sleep, I'll be hitting the snooze button endlessly when it's actually time to get up (and I do it anyway!) I just don't want to let that extra bit of time go to waste...

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You know, I usually just lie in bed and fiddle with my phone. Sometimes I'll get up. But I always feel bad disturbing my boyfriend earlier than necessary, so I usually just stay quiet.

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1 minute ago, imprimis5 said:

You know, I usually just lie in bed and fiddle with my phone

 

Yeah, I think I'll do that. I'm not really ready to get up yet, (especially since I can't even look at a nice bright sky....). I do want to avoid falling back asleep, so maybe I'll try to just sit up? Idk, I'll experiment in the next few days.

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Preliminary Week 1 update:

Here's how my "stats" stacked up - 
 

1. Do an activity before work - 2/5      This may look bad, but on Monday, when I officially decided on this challenge, the morning had passed already. Tues I skipped, because even though I committed on paper, I did commit in my head. I ran wed and thurs, and friday was a "rest" day for my app, so I didn't run. This week will be the real test. I'm also trying to frame getting up earlier as an everyday thing, instead of just to exercise. 

 

2. Floss every day - 5/7        Not bad! I forgot to floss some days, but I think this is going alright. If you forgot to floss at night, but flossed the next morning, would you count that as not missing the previous day? xD


As for following my daily schedule, things are going better than expected! I'm still getting used to waking up earlier than normal, so I get hungry between meals and I really want to nap right when I get home. I'm trying to think of some good snacks to take out with me, especially for when work ends, because if I'm hungry, I'll just want to go home and eat instead of staying for "professional development."

 

Speaking of professional development: My last challenge - for those who were following - a large part of my problem with following through on my research/studying goals was that I didn't have any motivation. Part of the motivation hump was also "getting in the mindset." To overcome this, my plan this week (and perhaps in the future) is to work on GRE exercises during the week because they're quick and don't require as much brain power to get into, and work on research over the weekend when I can spend more time on it. We'll see how it goes! 

 



 

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Whoa it's been a while, huh? I was traveling this weekend, so things got kinda crazy there. Here's my update! 
 

1. Do an activity before work - 2/5         I still haven't done this one 100% (and seeing as I "slept in" today, it still won't be 100% this week). I'm not sure what to say, this one is just a matter of mental toughness, so I'm still working at it.

 

2. Floss every day - 4/7        Again, the results are sliiiightly worse than last week. Again, mental toughness! 

 

This week will continue on as last. I'm going to try to be better though! I also had a revelation: even though I'm not waking up every day to run, I'm still generally sticking to my daily plan. Sometimes I go home right away to run if I didn't run in the morning, but on other days, I go to the library to study or do research. I've been doing a lot better about that this challenge than last time, so something must be sticking. 

I think in my next challenge, whatever my focus is, I'll try adding bonus points for generally sticking to my daily schedule (working out regularly, studying, electronics bedtime, avoiding carbs, etc.) 
 

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Maybe I missed it, but is there a particular reason you're wanting to do an activity before work? It seems like waking up earlier itself might be a challenge for you. Have you thought about splitting them up into two separate things? Not trying to discourage you. Just trying to help with small changes and iterations.

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2 minutes ago, imprimis5 said:

Maybe I missed it, but is there a particular reason you're wanting to do an activity before work? It seems like waking up earlier itself might be a challenge for you. Have you thought about splitting them up into two separate things? Not trying to discourage you. Just trying to help with small changes and iterations.

 

Basically, there are 2 items on my daily "to-do" list that are interchangeable on when I do them: exercising and what I call "professional development" which happen either immediately before or after I got to work. I made it vague so that either way I do it, I'm being productive. The major habit I want to build is being able to get up early and making that time productive. 

Through the challenge, I'm realizing that waking up early SPECIFICALLY to exercise is really a better use of my time. The only challenge with that is I have rest days where I "sleep in" and lose momentum on the whole getting up early thing.

 

That's my reasoning, but I'm always learning. haha 

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I gotcha. What about iterating a little differently, then? Like, rather than "I'm going to wake up an hour early and do a full workout!' maybe try "I'm going to wake up 10 minutes early and do 20 bodyweight squats." Then ramp that up graduallay.

 

Also, I apologise if this is stuff you've thought through already.

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16 hours ago, imprimis5 said:

I gotcha. What about iterating a little differently, then? Like, rather than "I'm going to wake up an hour early and do a full workout!' maybe try "I'm going to wake up 10 minutes early and do 20 bodyweight squats." Then ramp that up graduallay.

 

Also, I apologise if this is stuff you've thought through already.

 

No worries! It's always good to re-visit ideas to make sure you've hit it from all angles. That's essentially what it turned into: I'm training for a 10k (probably) at the end of October, so my workouts have been running pretty much exclusively. Because the plan I'm going through, most of my runs during the week are only 10-20 minutes. So I can get away with getting up only about 30min earlier that I do if I'm just getting ready for the day like normal. 

Part of the struggle is making sure I eat in the morning.... instead of just running out the door (no pun intended)! 
 

13 hours ago, Butternut said:

 I love how you broke down your day in hours!  I used to do that when u babysat my niece. And I was always amazed on how much I got done by doing that. 

 

 

Thanks! Yeah, I definitely feel like I've been more productive than in the past. xD Sticking to the plan is a lot tougher than making it though!

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I've been thinking about what @imprimis5 has said about the waking up vs. working out thing. On the one hand, I had my reasons for waking up early and combining that with exercising for motivation....but there are days that I don't get up early but I still work out. 

I'm wondering if I should just work on getting up incrementally earlier and making that a habit, before I focus on getting up and actually doing anything. Because I've been tying the motivation to run in the morning with the motivation to get up earlier, sometimes neither happen. Though, would I wake up earlier if that motivation was tied to studying or something equally difficult? Going on my 3rd day this week sleeping in, clearly something isn't working out with this system. 

 

What do you guys think? Do you think I'd be better served if I change my challenge going on to just focus on getting up earlier without necessarily exercising in that time (and I want to make it clear - I DO exercise. It just ends up being after work instead)?

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On 10/13/2016 at 5:01 PM, PunchTonic said:

What do you guys think? Do you think I'd be better served if I change my challenge going on to just focus on getting up earlier without necessarily exercising in that time (and I want to make it clear - I DO exercise. It just ends up being after work instead)?

 

I think you should experiment. (You might have already.) Based on my experience, it is really hard to get up early when you don't actually have to, so I always make a task for the morning (yoga, strength training, clean the flat for 20 min, etc.) to make sure I get up on non-running days. So making a goal for every day that is appealing enough might help, and if running is not it, I think you should try out other goals.

Let us know how it is working out for you. 

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Thanks @imprimis5 and @NY153 for the feedback! 

Here's how Week 3 went: 

Do an activity before work - BIG FAT GOOSE EGG.         I've already articulated my thoughts about this above. Going forward, I'm going to attempt to wake up early and separate that act from working out. I'm still having trouble motivating myself, but I think it'll just be a matter of getting my butt out of bed. I'm going to try the tricks like moving my alarm across the room from my bed, turning on the light, or drinking a glass of water. Any other suggestions? xD 

Floss - 6/7     At least something's going right :D

 

 

 

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