Starting 2017 Off Right by Starting it Right Now

You know how annoying it is when stores skip past Halloween AND Thanksgiving and start putting up Christmas decorations in October?

Well allow me to be even MORE annoying by skipping all the way to New Year’s! Not that I’d ever actually skip Halloween, it’s by and far the best holiday #fightme

But here’s the thing: 2016 has been *kinda* rough. On a national scale we’ve dealt with what seems like an unprecedented amount of discord and tragedy, and that’s not even including the WTF-fest that’s led to the upcoming presidential election.

On a personal level, it’s been a little bit subpar. There’s been some major bright spots, like buying a house, finishing my degree, and celebrating a full year of marriage with the love of my life.

But my daily life has mostly consisted of getting really out of shape, not using my degree, and generally wondering what to do with my life.

That said, I want to change all that and make 2017 my best year yet! To do that, I’m starting now.

 

WHY NOW?

Glad you asked, imaginary internet audience! Just before the holidays might seem like the worst time to implement life changes, but honestly, things are a little more stable now than they’ve been throughout most of the year.  

I have a job with set hours and the weather’s cooling down to a more temperate swamp-like climate than the lava-inspired days of the spring and summer.  It just seems like a good time to focus on establishing a solid workout routine and trying to write more consistently.

Will I undoubtedly derail any progress I’ve made during Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Sure, I’m going to overindulge in holiday feasts and likely take a week-to-month long hiatus from blogging.  But hey, better two steps forward and one step back than just laying on the couch for the remainder of the year (although I’ll definitely be doing plenty of that as well!)

 

WHAT AM I DOING?

I mean, in a general sense, I have no idea.

But for the purpose of this self-improvement project, I have two goals.  For fitness it’s a pretty general, obtainable “work out 3x a week”.  We’ll see how that goes.

My writing goal is 27 posts before 2017, and here’s the thought process behind that:

“I should write a hundred articles before the end of the year. Then, if 10 of those are good, and one of those are GREAT, I’m off to an excellent start for 2017! Oh wait, there’s only 90 days left in the year and I’m lazy…ok, how many weeks are there? 13? Cool, we’ll go with just over two a week. 27 before 2017 it is!”

Will I meet my goals? Stay tuned to find out (spoiler alert: probably not. But that’s what makes it #relatable, right?)

 

HOW WILL THIS WORK?

Here’s the thing: I was trying to make a change, but I wasn’t really committing to anything. I’d work out here and there, freelance *occasionally*, and write when I felt like it. I’ve got a million half-started projects and even more disorganized notes and ideas that I’ve hoarded away like nuts for the winter.

But starting this week, I’m publicly committing to making these two goals my top priorities. To  make it happen, I’ve been setting systems in place to guarantee my success.

My workout schedule is easy and has built-in triggers from my day (come home from work, change clothes, do a quick tabata.)

My writing routine is a little more complex, but I’ve been building up a habit of writing daily. Is this writing any good? ABSOLUTELY NOT.  But two or three times a week I’ll be sifting through to find the least embarrassing selections and releasing them into the internet wilderness.

More importantly than setting myself up for success, I’m aggressively cutting out distractions. This is something I’m super not good at, but constantly beginning side projects, chasing shiny new tactics, and running around in circles is generally exhausting and rarely productive.

I want to focus on fewer things, and try to do them better. For the time being these things will be writing and running (in larger circles. It’s /different/, ok???)

Ok, so two things that normal people wouldn’t struggle with at all. CAN I DO IT!?!

Well…we’ll see.  But at the very least I hope to make it entertaining while I try 🙂

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Posted in mental engineering