Friday, July 4, 2008

Self-Improvement Project 2008-2009

As I was huffing and puffing along on the treadmill this morning (the first time I've been on it in a couple of weeks now), I had an inspiration: instead of pulling the plug on the blog because it's not making me happy right now, I should use it as a self-motivation tool. There are so many ways that I think about improving myself, but I never follow through on any of them. I need to create a concrete plan, a schedule. I could be healthier. I could be a better husband. I could be a better father. I could be a better friend. Of course, I actually stopped exercising in order to write this post, so I'm not off to a good start there. But here are my thoughts. Let me know what you think.

I'm going to post some weekly goals for myself, then I'm going to post weekly about whether or not I met those goals.

Goal #1:
Exercise for 45 minutes per day, three days or more per week.

I've talked about my weight here before, and that's a major goal that I never seem to meet. The best weight loss I've ever achieved was when I participated in weight loss contests at work. I perform best when I'm competing against someone else, but I think it wasn't just the competition, it was also knowing that my results would be public knowledge. So if I make my results public knowledge here, maybe I'll fare better. I'll post my weight and weight loss too, just to add that little dash of motivation by humiliation.

Goal #2:
Drink two days per week or less.

I drink too much. I don't talk about it much. It's a dirty little secret. I use it as stress relief, unwind time. But it clearly contributes to my weight and health issues, and I think it contributes to my negativity. I'm not a kid anymore. I should cut that shit out.

Goal #3:
Watch TV for two hours or less per day.

I watch too much TV. I see Thumper staring at it, and I worry about his future in the electronic media age. It's mind-numbing. It wastes time that could be put to better use. I'm not a kid anymore. I should cut that shit out.

Goal #4:
Finish one book every two weeks.

This one will go hand-in-hand with #3. And we're talking actual paper books here. Audiobooks are great, especially for driving, but there's no substitute for a real paper book. I know some speed readers, but I ain't one of them. I think this is an achievable goal. Maybe I'll step it up to one per week eventually.

Goal #5:
Stop being snarky about other people.

Even when they're not around to hear it. I don't want to be so negative anymore. This one will be hard for me, but it's important.

I think 5 is good to start with. I could add at least one more about diet, but I think I'll start with this and build on it as I succeed. Two other minor goals will be:

Respond to comments more often. It's good for relationships, as long as you keep Goal #5 in mind.

Instead of dumping Twitter, use it to borrow One Good Thing's concept of writing about one good thing per day. Every day I'll Twitter one thing I'm happy with myself about and one I'm not.

I've never been good at following schedules, etc., but since becoming a SAHD, I've kept a calendar of all of my babysittin' and usherin' days. That calendar has become very important to me. I think I'll try to schedule out my goals and incorporate them into the calendar, since I've already become accustomed to consulting it. Maybe I'll even become one of those Seven Habits dayplanner types...

Nah, let's not get carried away.


Aerie (aka Mrs. Rodius) said...

You know you have my support. The reason why I'm having more success on WW is not because of the discussions in the weekly meetings. After weighing in, I spend the rest of the time checking the clock every 5 minutes to see if it's time to leave yet. "My name is Aerie and I'm overweight." "Hi, Aerie!" It's because knowing I have to weigh in with someone (other than myself) every week is keeping me from screwing up too often and it does help me keep better track of things. I'll do whatever I can to help you, but it will be an icy day in hell before I post my weight on the internet.

anne said...

These are all admirable goals, and I look forward to reading about your progress (even in tiny increments) each week. Good luck!

I, Rodius said...

Thanks, anne. Tiny increments is probably right.

anniemcq said...

This is a great plan. I look forward to cheering on your success (and your bravery: I'm with the Mrs. I don't think I could post my weight on the 'net.) As far as negativity - I've really not noticed that with you. You always seem to be subjective but kind.

As always, Rodius, I enjoy your posts. I don't get over here as often as I'd like to anymore, my blog reading is dwindling with the summer heat, but you are one of the few that I regularly visit, and always, always take away something to think about. Thanks for that.

I, Rodius said...

Thank you very much, ms. mcq. I have only moderate success to cheer so far, but what the hell, I'm a flawed work in progress.

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