My Year-End Summary

This just in: As I do every year, I will summarize my experiences. I don’t do this for you so much as keeping a record for myself.

Let’s start with this – I saw an online survey the other day where people were asked about bad habits that they wish they didn’t have. A huge amount of them were things like, “I shouldn’t spend so much time on my phone” or “I shouldn’t get hooked on youtube videos for hour after hour,” or “I should play fewer online games.”

I get this. At one point, earlier this year, I felt like I was wasting a lot of time reading news and such. I set out to fix this. I made a list of 20 things I wanted to accomplish on a daily basis. My goal was to actually do at least 10 out of the 20 every day. Below is my list. I actually failed to meet my goal since I only accomplished 8.8 per day on an average. Note the “points”, I keep track of this as each point is about a calorie burned. This year I got 145,000 points which represents the number of calories in about 45 pounds of fat. Note: I started the year at 207 pounds and ended at 196 pounds.

  1. Pushup (1 point for a normal pushup and 2 points per pushup using a device that makes them harder). This year I did 7,900 pushups. I started with 10 per day and my highest day was 180.
  2. Pullups (5 points per pullup) I started with 5 per day and finished the year with 7,500 pullups doing 160 on my highest day.
  3. Stationary bike (5 points per minute) I did 43 hours this year.
  4. Walking (5 points per minute) walking must be something I do extra. I don’t get points for walking the dog or walking around the house.
  5. Morning Yoga and Core exercise (200 points) I do 30 minutes of this every day before I leave the bedroom. I have done this 292 days in a row. It has saved my back which has 2.5 herniated discs.
  6. Hit golf balls or play golf.
  7. Write (15 minutes minimum)
  8. Do a random act of kindness
  9. Meditate (15 minutes minimum)
  10. Learn Chinese (15 minutes minimum)
  11. Practice Spanish (15 minutes minimum)
  12. Hang upside down (for my back)
  13. Watch an online course from TheGreatCourses.com (15 minutes minimum)
  14. Drink 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  15. Drink a glass of water
  16. Call a friend or family member
  17. Don’t eat desert
  18. Eat a salad
  19. Read a book (15 minutes minimum)
  20. Bush teeth AND Dental pick And Neti pot

That’s it for fitness. Now for a few other highlights.

I visited Canada and 13 states. I flew 140,000 miles on 105 different planes and spent 80 nights in hotels. I worked with about 15 different companies on projects of varying size.

The New Year’s resolution for 2018 was “Expansion”. This means experiencing more of life in a variety of ways.

I feel like I accomplished this to some degree.

My list was a big help. I was stuck in a routine and felt like I was wasting time that could otherwise be more productive or value added as far as life experiences go.

The list worked for me. However, we are all different and such a thing may not work for you. I do know this, I’m going to take credit for writing for 15 minutes today just because of this blog post. So…at least the list made me do that.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Git’er Done

This just in:  Back in my Navy days, we had a saying, “You can expect what you can inspect.”  In other words, to be able to effectively judge something, you must be able to objectively measure it.

If someone tells you, “I worked really hard yesterday,” you really have no way to judge that unless you have the ability to measure what a day of hard work really is.

I know this is kind of obtuse, but it gets me to where I want to be: My Daily To-Do List.

Let’s back up a bit.

Two-hundred days ago, I woke up in a hotel and thought, “Life seems to have less meaning for me than it should. I’m wasting too much of my time reading news and such on the internet; all the while, not really accomplishing much.”

So I made a list.  This list consists of 20 items, each of which would add value to my life-experience if I did it.  I next set a goal.  I would work to achieve at least 50% of the items on that list every day.

What’s on the list?  Writing a blog is one item.  Push-ups is another.  Reading a book is on there as is meditating.  Hitting golf balls is there along with pull-ups, calling a family member and having 2 tablespoons of vinegar.  It’s very diverse but each item means something to me.

I keep a record of how I do.  This way, because I can inspect, I can expect.  I can set goals and see how I’m doing.

For example:  I give myself points for various activities.  1 point is equal to approximately 1 calorie.  I have made 95,000 points since the list started 200 days ago.  There are 95,000 calories in 27 pounds of fat.   In other words, I would be a bit fatter than I am now, unless I cut back on eating…and I hate to cut back on eating.

Yesterday, I went to Costco.  My wife is out of town so I had to fend for myself.  The result was that I had a 2-foot slab of ribs with a side of roasted chicken for lunch.

Anyway…back to my list…

In 200 days, I have done 5,700 pushups and 5,100 pull-ups.  I have not missed a single day of doing my core training and yoga (30 minutes every morning) that is supposed to keep my back healthy and me out of the ER.  I have completed over 100 hours of online lessons in physics, math and philosophy.

My weight is down about 7 or 8 pounds.  Not bad considering that I’m doing a lot of exercise and eating all that I want.  Not quite true…skipping desert is on my daily list.

I’m not saying you should make a list.  I think we’re all different.  Different things work for different people.  However, I will say this…ever since I make this list 200 days ago, I’ve never felt like I’m not adding value to my life experience every single day.  And…I feel physically healthier as well (an unintended side effect).

So there is my blog today.  I’ll take credit for that on my list.  Then…I’ll go and save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Life Hack #4: Make a list

This just in:  We had a saying in the Navy…”You can expect what you can inspect.”

In other words, if you can measure something, you can evaluate it.  Failure to be able to do so means you are just going by your gut instinct.

Ask yourself, “How much exercise did I get last week?  Is that more or less than the week before?  Is that more or less than I should be getting?”

If you are not tracking your exercise, you are relying on your memory and a gut feeling.

My experience is that if I want to exercise a certain amount every day or week, I need to track it.  I write it down.  I make goals and note if I’m achieving them or not.

I’m not trying to be your motivational personal trainer.  I’m just making the point that if you really want to get something done on a regular basis, it might help to track it.  Make it measurable.

So, what am I doing?  Well, those of you that know me already know the answer.  I make a list.

I have a list that I made 62 days ago.  I know it was 62 days ago because I’m keeping track of it.

This list has 21 items.  Some of the items include posing this blog, doing pushups and pullups, doing back exercises, writing my book, meditation, eating a salad, playing my digideroo, calling a family member or friend etc.

Notice that not everything is exercise.  In fact, less than half of the list is about fitness.  There are things I want to do and I have found that tracking them greatly increases the chance of me doing that.  For example, my mom always says that I don’t stay in touch with my sisters.  I started tracking and found that in my mind, I called Mary Sue a couple of days ago.  But, in my documented list, its been about 6 weeks.  I can see this easily and take steps to fix it.

My goal is to complete at least 11 of the 21 items every day.  Because of the way I have set it up and color-coded it, I can easily see trends.  Am I improving in pullups?  What item am I regularly avoiding.

It’s day 63 and today, just like every other day since I started, I opened my list and started planning when I can do various tasks today.

This works for me.  It may not work for you but if you are feeling like you are not advancing in your life or wasting too much time daily, just remember, “If you do what you did, you will get what you got.”

Not satisfied…then change.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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