I like setting goals. It’s fun, it’s painless and I get to dream about future greener pastures, which is something I love. The problem is in the achieving. It’s not a problem really, it’s just a lot of work. And the work is spread out over a long time. I have a lot of trouble achieving over long periods of time. Give me something due today and I’m your man.
So the hardest work of all for me is habits. With that in mind, this year I replaced some of my goals with habits. This makes them a little more concrete for me and infinitely more actionable.
My 2008 Habits
- Get up at 6AM: This is surprisingly difficult. My body pines for 10 hours of sleep. It’s like an addiction. And it’s harder to quit than alcohol or caffeine.
- Stretch: Knee problems require that I stretch my leg muscles a lot. It’s painful so I avoid it. Making it a daily habit keeps it nearer to the top of my mind.
- Take out the trash: I have fallen into total complacency regarding housework. This is my first, long overdue step back to helping my wife with the housework.
- Swim for 30 minutes: I used to sit at a computer all day. Actually I still do but at least I can get some cardio-vascular exercise by taking advantage of this large pool just meters from my office window. I’m actually starting to crave it, like I used to when I ran 7-10 miles per day. Those were the days!
- Journal: I’ve noticed my days are slipping away from me. What did I do last summer? Uh, no idea. That’s no way to lead the examined life! I journaled religiously from ages 14-22 and now I am remembering how rich that experience was. Journaling is a fantastic way to consciously live your life.
- Floss my and my son’s teeth: I hate flossing. It’s not easy. But I recently got some cavities filled. (It wasn’t fun!) Then I found out my 20-month old should have his teeth flossed daily. I thought that didn’t start until you got your permanent teeth. And how will he ever learn to floss if I don’t give him a good example? That’s a heavy burden.
- Read for an hour: I’ve stopped learning. That’s the quickest route to poverty and the old folks home. And I want my son to be an avid reader so I have to set a good example.
- Play with my son for an hour: I have a beautiful boy I dearly love so how could I not make that love real without consciously dedicating at least one hour per day playing with him. Especially since I work from home. It’s a no-brainer. Plus it gives my wife a break.
- Plan tomorrow: I got this idea via lifehacker. Great idea. I have more to do but less time. This is a way to get my brain working on things while I am relaxing.
- Reflect: Thanks to Earl Nightingale I have realized the importance of just thinking. Since I started working for myself I have spent more and more time putting out fires and managing from the seat of my pants. It’s about achieving more with less time by working smart.
- Drink Yogurt: Keeps my insides happy. :)
- No TV: I found a photo of myself zoned out in front of the TV. It’s not pretty. I used to spend 4-8 hours per day in front of the boob tube. It’s a complete waste of life. This goes for video games, too. I relax this rule on the weekends.
- No BZFlag: When I don’t feel like doing anything I play BZFlag. And when I’m done I feel even less motivated. What’s the point? This goes for all video gaming.
It’s only January 2 but so far I have done well with my habits. Let’s see if I can keep them up over the long haul. You can watch my progress via the Joe’s Goals widget in the sidebar.