I have goals, We all do, I’m sure, but mine are pretty lofty: become a better writer, better fitness, get the splits, run 5k in under 20min, becomes a chess master, and there’s even more than that. Every day I plug away at these goals, trying to inch closer and closer to perfection, to make these dreams a reality.
I don’t know about you, but I dream of dragons.
On the whole, this is a good thing. It’s certainly better than the alternative, where you do nothing and just let the days and weeks and months soar by. The next thing you know you look at the calendar and it’s next year. You’re a year older, a year greyer, but you haven’t moved anywhere. You’re in the same spot, none the better. That thought chills me to the bone, and I resist it as much as I can. Every day is an opportunity, and I want to use it to the best of my abilities.
That’s all well and good, but there are times when I over do it. You can’t go go go all the time without taking the time to stop and smell the roses. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m taking a break. Continue reading →
I wrote some prohpetic words yesteday. I said I’d likely sleep in, work all day, and then not write until after midnight, again. This is true. I didn’t wake up until 9am, very late for me, and I worked most of the day. Just enough to prevent me from writing during the middle of it. It is currenltly 12:30am, so technically the next day, and I’m only now getting around to writing. I couldn’t be much more bang on.
There’s one thing I didn’t envisiion, though, and that changes thing slightly. I assumed that I wouldn’t write because I wouldn’t feel like writing. That’s not true at all. I was 100% ready to write. I had a blank page open and everything, just waiting to put ideas down. I was really feeling it, actually, and I was aboutt o have a great writing session, popping me completely out of my funk. I knew it. I could taste it.
I started my writing challenge in June 2015. Since then, every single day I have written and published a new blog post. It’s been both tough and easy, depending on the day. I’ve had times when the words just flew across the page, where I was done before I had even started. I liked those days. I also had times where it was an incredible struggle, where I had to use more discipline than I knew I had to finish my day’s quota.
I’ve had good days and bad days. I’ve just never had so many bad days in a row like this session.
I try to write in the morning, to get it out of the way so to speak. I mean, that expression has a negative connotation, which doesn’t really fit here. You eat your vegetables first to get them out of the way, so you have ample room for dessert. This isn’t like that. Rather, I try to write in the morning because I know I’ll have time and energy. At night, after work, it’s far too easy to take the easy way out, to just go to sleep and leave my writing streak stranded.
Over the last five days, I haven’t written in the morning, and I’ve barely kept my streak alive. Continue reading →
A few months ago I wrote how little things add up. Doing a little bit every day is often better than doing a lot at once. If you’re going to eat an elephant, it’s a lot easier to do it bite by bite rather than one big gulp. The same is true for most things. Not everything, but most things. The bigger the goal, the better this approach works.
I now have evidence of just how much this works. Since June 2015, I’ve written a blog post every single day. They started small, but they’ve gotten better and better as I’ve gotten used to writing more. I’m also enjoying it far more, but I want to focus purely on the numbers. So far, I’ve written a little bit more each day in 2016 than I did in 2015. It’s just a little bit more each day … but that’s every day, and 2016 is more than half over. Those little bits have really added up.
Added up to over 40,000 words, to be exact.
Back on August 5th, that marked the 218th day of the year. From June 1st, 2015 until the end of the year, that worked out to be 218 days as well. In both cases, over 200 days of of writing, but one averaged an extra 200 words a day. That’s three paragraphs… and three paragraphs times 218 days equals 43,000 extra words.
Have you ever felt stuck? That’s me right now. I’ve been going nowhere slowly for the last two months, ever since I got sick, really. I had so much enthusiasm, and then … nothing.
This happens. Motivation ebbs and flows. I understand this, but this seemed to be something deeper. That is, I’d be busy all day, getting lots of little things done, doing the important things … but then I’d go to sleep that night and wonder, am I really any closer to any of my goals? Even one small step?
Today is July 1st, a very special day. Most importantly, it’s Canada Day, a national holiday. That’s always nice. Of secondary importance, it’s the beginning of the NHL free agency period, one of the busiest days in terms of player movement. There may be no better day for a Canadian hockey fan than July 1.
More than that, though, today is the beginning of July, the seventh month. The year is officially half over. Six months have gone, six months remain. It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in 2016, and now it’s half over and soon it will be done. That’s … quite sobering, really.
Most people have long since abandoned their new year’s resolutions, but not me. I’m constantly thinking about how I can improve, where I need to improve and what I need to do to get there. I set some pretty lofty goals back at the beginning of the year, and now is the perfect time to make sure I’m still trending in the right direction or if I need to change something. Continue reading →
June has been a rollercoaster, mostly in the up and down sense. It started with grim determination … and then I immediately got sick and had all my plans thrown into chaos. I spent two weeks getting back to normal, and once normal I resumed my grim determination to make myself the best person I can be … and so far it’s working.
I briefly experimented with using ‘themed days’ throughout the week, so one day devoted entirely to fitness, another entirely to chess, etc etc. This lasted for about a week before I hated it and went back to my old standard of doing a little bit of everything every day, and I’m much happier for it.
Still, it’s been strange, as I’ve spent half the month basically recovering from sickness and other half trying to go full speed ahead, which is a strange dichotomy. I don’t know if it affected me in any way, but it’s been a mental grind at times. Continue reading →
I’m a martial arts instructor. I train people; that’s what I do. I teach people how to punch, kick and block; I lead through stances, katas and forms; I distill discipline, structure and respect. All these things and more I do on a daily basis. That’s life.
Though I don’t practice on a beach near enough for my liking.
It’s fun, for the most part. I get to see people grow and change, physically and into better people. We celebrate achievements along the way, chiefly competing at tournaments and earning new belts. There’s one special event every year, though, that dominates the martial arts calendar: blackbelt. Each year, we try to grade people to the most prestigious rank.
YEE-HAW! I’ve done it! I’ve gone a complete year of writing every single day!!
I’m not sure which of these cats describes me best. Probably all of them.
On June 1st, 2015, I made a committment. I said I’d publish a new blog post every single day. I said I would do it for the summer, two months. That seemed reasonable. Two months then became four. Winter came and went and still I was writing, still I was publishing. My daily streak kept growing and growing, and now, today, I’ve done something I would have thought completely impossible one year ago.
May has been an interesting month. Really, it’s a tale of two half-months. The first two weeks I was unhappy, cranky and borderline depressed … though I don’t know why. The world just didn’t look as bright. Then a thunderstorm rolled in, seemingly blasting me out of my funk, and May has rocketed forward ever since.
For the last six weeks or so I had been mostly existing, not really progressing. I managed to put effort into my workouts and not much else. That changed halfway through this month, when I got a burst of energy and have been riding it every since. Let’s take a look.