december, december, we’re making it through

I read it in Naval’s text, “Impatience with actions, patience with results.” Life has a natural lag in results. You may not see the consequences of your decisions until much after you have made your choices. This has been incredibly frustrating for me, as I have struggled to maintain simple habits such as flossing every night, running consistently and building up mileage with time, and even writing in this blog. When your habits are not sharp, these small things can seem like insurmountable obstacles. Simply getting up to go floss after a long day of working, running around, and completing errands, can seem like a chore.

There is another quote that I have learned from reading books like these. “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our preparation.” That one was by David Goggins. Again, our preparation, more than anything, will dictate our results. Our expectations are hopes and dreams, but our preparation is the daily rituals. Whether this is packing the clothes for work the night before, or ensuring you have a sound nighttime routine, these small things are as important to meeting your fitness goals as actually running that extra mile or adding an extra plate to the bar.

Today, I witnessed results, both good and bad. All of my studying and review efforts allowed me to pass my written examination for a Special Qualification for work, but all of my sleep deprivation led me to crash as soon as I returned home. This made it harder for me to complete my other habits because my sleep schedule was thrown off. But it’s all a process, and the good often comes paired with the bad. The key to this will be to make the proper adjustments and keep adding good things to my routines while subtracting/eliminating harmful things.

Onto books, and reading. I keep saying that I was an avid reader before. But perhaps I still am. I think that identifying to a past result can be detrimental to current goals. The people who say, “I used to run 3-4 miles per day.” Are focused on a past version of themselves and implicitly stating that they cannot meet those requirements anymore. Instead, I am an avid reader slightly out of practice. My arrows are sharp, but my accuracy has been off a bit.

Nevertheless, I will continue to read. Perhaps I will drop to 5 pages per day. 15 seems too much. Once I get some momentum with this habit, I will surely go up.

And here is an update on my December progress:

In December, I plan to move toward:

  • Finishing reading The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. (Complete)
  • Finishing reading Jay Shetty’s How To Think Like A Monk. (25% Complete)
  • Complete listening to David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me Audiobook. (Complete)
  • Finish listening to the Exhalations Audiobook. (Not started. Currently listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear)
  • Writing a blog entry daily, whether its a poem, my thoughts, or some intentions such as these. (9/13 – I missed 4 days of blogging.)
  • Writing daily in my journal, a sort of meditation, but when done consistently it is very valuable for my wellbeing. (9/13 days completed.)
  • 150 squats 5 days a week. (6/13 days completed. More like 3 days a week at this point.
  • Run at least 10 km weekly. No more than 5 days of running. (Completed.)
  • Wash the dishes every night. (Good so far!)
  • Brush and floss every night. (5/13 days. Needs Improvement.)
  • Make my bed in the mornings. (13/13 days!)

In December, I plan to move away from:

  • Going to bed past midnight. (This is getting worse)
  • Skipping work outs. (I have missed 2 work outs)
  • Spending over 5 hours per day on my phone screen time. (This is improving)
  • Netflix – for the most. (improving)
  • NBA Games and Stats tracking. (way better)
  • So much Nintendo Switch. (way better)
  • Having a defeatist attitude. I can do all of these things that I am setting out to do. (so much better)
  • Putting off reading. (still a thing – dropping down to 5 pages per day)
  • Not folding laundry immediately after washing. (so much better)

Here is to continued positivity, and a strong conclusion to the year. Usually, these lists are so much more condensed. But I have a lot of bad habits that need changing, and it helps to lay them all out.

i/e and the games we play

Internal games I play

  • Am I pursuing something which sparks curiosity?
  • Am I learning at work, am I present, and do I have a good attitude?
  • Am I living within my means and choosing a minimalist lifestyle that still supports my interests?
  • Am I able to keep a clean and professional appearance?

External games I play (“should” programming)

  • Do people know that I’m pursuing something which sparks curiosity? The Social Media Curse (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Strava)
  • Do I need to please people to get a higher Rank/Title in the Navy? What requirements must be satisfied so that I can earn medals/ribbons?
  • Net Worth Race – How much is in my retirement accounts? What percentage of my net earnings am I able to save? When do I get paid – actually matters? 
  • What brand of clothes do I wear? What kind of haircut do I have? What car will I drive? 

The internal games make me happy, but they’re more challenging to sustain. The external games make me stressed, but it’s what everyone else notices.