Day 1519

Day 1519 Record Keeping
Day 1490 Fixed Meditation (10 min, single pointed)
Day 1365 Writing (3 25 min Pomodoros)
Day 904 Rowing (1 hour 20
 min walk)
Day 645 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, foot work
)

Great sleep. Missed recording yesterday despite doing most of my habits. Oh well, I'm surprised I haven't missed more lately. Back to single pointed meditation. Practiced getting into and out of jhana for 10 minutes, which was incredibly difficult. I find that the exercises that I really need to do in any area - like working on the hardest part of a song in music - is kind've like nails on a chalkboard. It's not that the practice is difficult, it's forcing yourself to do it. But once you do, I feel that advancement occurs quicker. At least that's how I felt doing single pointed meditation with a stop watch. You progress quite quickly once you get used to doing the difficult work.

Day 1516 - Moved Back to the States

Day 1516 Record Keeping
Day 1487 Fixed Meditation (10 min, vipassana)
Day 1362 Writing (7 13 min Pomodoros)
Day 901 Rowing (
35 min walk)
Day 642 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO
)
Day 292 Social Media (STOPPED)XX

Ok sleep. 

Moved back to the States.

It's been less than 2 weeks. I've surprised myself being pretty consistent with meditating and writing a lot, despite not recording it. Since I had to sell my rower in Spain (along with everything else), rowing has to officially change. Right now I'm just trying to get up to walking, biking, and maybe some kayaking. It's been hard - we missed one of our flights back and were "only 15 hours late arriving" (as my mother said). This resulted in some pretty massive jet lag. I also got sick for what seemed like the 10th time this year. 

This is a huge transition for me, the end of a full decade of living abroad as an expat.  What with all the change, I haven't had time to really think what I want my workout regiment to be. I'm seriously considering GMB Fitness, an excellent bodyweight program Lydia does with progressions. The more I hear about it the more impressed I am. 

I'm still contemplating reinstating my social media habit. I've put it on hold after reading Cal Newport's book on Deep Work. I definitely want to hold off on it until I get my proposal in. My procrastination protocol is still working like a charm even in this, the hardest writing assignment I've ever had.

One of the biggest reasons we came back was hitting a wall with mastering eating. Eating is a real lynchpin habit to me - it governs energy, aesthetics, health, and is a stepping off point for a lot of other skills I'd like to master.  But in Spain, it hit a wall - there wasn't enough space to store premade meals. Our meal prep was contingent on going to 3 or 4 stores to get ingredients. And that didn't even count for all lunches or any dinners. One of our main schemes with coming back to the States was the knowledge that it would be easier here.

And it has. The last week we went to the store, and bought all ingredients for a week. Easily. Hand chopping salads? Why bother, when they come in bags! You don't even need to zoodle your own veggie, they come pre zoodled! Making lunches has been utterly effortless, exactly what I want self change to be. And Lydia is going further with it. She wants to cook through paleo cookbooks and have a randomized list for dinners, so even the act of making a menu doesn't even come up at all!

I'm beginning to think that moving back was a really good decision strategically. Sure it's definitely easy to lose it with all the easy access to delicious food. But it's also really easy to make changes. I'll miss Spain but right now I think it's already paying off. 

Day 1490 & Back From Italy

Day 1490 Record Keeping
Day 1461 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 1336 Writing (8 13 min Pomodoros)
Day 875 Rowing (
DID NOT DO)
Day 616 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO
)
Day 266 Social Media (STOPPED)

Great sleep. Back from Italy. Got back a bit sooner on the horse in terms of recording and doing habits. I think it might be beneficial to start adding my routine bit by bit when starting back up again. This trip took a lot out of me, so I was surprised to be back at it in any capacity after only one day off. This day had me doing a lot of work. I think I have really nailed down my failure to start and approaching difficult writing. It may have solved a lot of my procrastination issues totally.

I really didn't want to work today, but just did my ego-depletion protocol and after only getting halfway through, felt energetic enough to do a lot of work. These next two weeks will be really weird, as I will be moving out of Spain. This will mean that my rowing may well take a hit since I intend on getting rid of my rower. I also want to focus on getting my proposal out, so I'll be focusing on that, as well as all the sundry cleaning and purging that will be necessary to leave.

I've decided to hold off on social media for now. All the Cal Newport I've read on focusing on the important tasks like getting better at writing, plus my solution to procrastination has me really wanting to focus on that now. It may be something I add in later, but we'll see.

Day 1478

Day 1478 Record Keeping
Day 1449 Fixed Meditation (10 min, samatha)
Day 1324 Writing (4 13 min Pomodoros)
Day 863 Rowing (
15 min/2500 m)
Day 604 Mobility/Stretching (
10 min hip stretch & back smash)
Day 254 Social Media (PAUSED)

Ok sleep. Physically exhausted, took it easy on the rowing.

Day 1476

Day 1476 Record Keeping
Day 1447 Fixed Meditation (10 min, tantra)
Day 1322 Writing (4 13 min, 1 20 min Pomodoros)
Day 861 Rowing (
15 min/2600 m)
Day 602 Mobility/Stretching (
10 min hip stretch & back smash)
Day 252 Social Media (PAUSED)

Great sleep. Excellent work. Several instances of meditation since I woke up depressed, angry, and frustrated. More output on writing. Really pushed on rowing.

Day 1475

Day 1475 Record Keeping
Day 1446 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 1321 Writing (2 13 min, 1 20 min Pomodoros)
Day 860 Rowing (DID NOT DO)
Day 601 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO)

Day 251 Social Media (PAUSED)

Ok sleep. Late night out, super tired today, hence the skipped habits.

Day 1469 & Testing Cal Newport's Advice

Day 1469 Record Keeping
Day 1440 Fixed Meditation (10 min, vipassana)
Day 1315 Writing (2 13 min Pomodoro)
Day 854 Rowing (15 min/2600 m)
Day 595 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, hip stretch & back smash)

Day 245 Social Media (PAUSED)

Good sleep. Had a bunch of errands that took all day yesterday, hence the lack of recording.

Testing Cal Newport's Advice

I'm starting to test out some of the protocols Cal Newport advises in his book Deep Work, and today it was really good. The two things I focused on were removing distractions and writing down a detailed to-do list. 

Today I tried this by blocking Reddit and Facebook for the duration of work. I also used his method of making a plan right before starting. It's amazing what a difference these small things make. 

His writing really underscores the severe problems I have with focusing and working, and what I need to change. I often feel like I don't have enough hours in the day, even though I've been working the entire time. His point is that we often get into this fractured mental state where we just aimlessly check email in front of a computer, and this takes up most of our day. 

Rigorously finding where to cut these distractions is the key to work that actually matters. I think he's really on the money.

Day 1467 & Working Depletion With My Depletion Protocol

Day 1467 Record Keeping
Day 1438 Fixed Meditation (10 min, metta/gratitude)
Day 1313 Writing (1 13 min Pomodoro)
Day 852 Rowing (15 min/2400 m)
Day 593 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, calf stretch & squat work)

Day 243 Social Media (PAUSED)
Day 88 Weekly Meal Prep SRHI = 58


Ok sleep. Continuing to take the SRHI to see just how long my meal prep takes to get back to a habit.

Working Depletion With My Depletion Protocol
I was horribly tired before I got through the entirety of my routine. And I could tell because I kept cycling through procrastination mechanisms: cycling through email, facebook, and reddit. 

I had enough wherewithal to check my old article - Towards an Ego Depletion Protocol - and go through the checklist and countermeasures. I'll go through them here:

  1. Stop, drop and eat!  Did not do.
  2. Write down observations of what I'm feeling and what's happening. I was feeling tired and my task switching time was increasing a lot with every switch. I felt a fuzziness in concentration. And I was cycling through unproductive internet site in order to procrastinate.
  3. Write down reasons why I could be depleted. I did not sleep much at all last night. I was quite down and had a very protracted emotional discussion yesterday where I had to confront a lot of my own weaknesses. I also exerted more by increasing my rowing by 5 minutes in the morning. I also knew I had to do more today what with my meal prep.
  4. Watch a Youtube clip of a comedy or stand up comic. Watched 3 Key and Peele Youtube videos.
  5. Drop all habits to a smaller daily minimum. My remaining habits were already at minimums.
  6. Reverse my routine. I only had two more things to do.
  7. Get out into the sun. Did not do this.
  8. Read a list of my accomplishments. Did this.
  9. Read a list of affirmations. Did this.
  10. Meditate. Did not do this.

I went through this utterly exhausted and depleted and just went through this mechanically, doing the things that were the easiest. I did not write down anything, just did #2 in my mind. I did not do anything active like get out into the sun or meditate. And it worked.

The thing that helped was being prepared. I already had a list of affirmations and accomplishments written down, so all I had to do was read it.

I think in the future more preparation is important. Having a guided meditation audio track or simply a text would be helpful as a crutch in such an instance. As would having a snack on hand specifically for moments like this. 

Perhaps the most important thing that's needed is some sort of method for calling it. That is, it would be nice to have some way to trigger myself into realizing that I'm just wasting time. 

But all in all I think it was a successful test of the protocol. I think the next thing I have to get into is how to mitigate willpower loss in task switching, something that will only get worse as I add more habits and skills into the day. But that's for another day...

Day 1461 - 4 Years of Daily Recording!

Day 1461 Record Keeping
Day 1432 Fixed Meditation (10 min, tantra/vipassana)
Day 1307 Writing (1 13 min Pomodoro)
Day 846 Rowing (10 min/1700 m
)
Day 587 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, hip stretch & back smash)

Day 237 Social Media (DID NOT DO)

Horrible sleep. Today marks 4 years of daily recording! Admittedly, this year has had a lot of holes, but still, it's important to keep going. Larger post to come!