About a year ago, a very cool guy named Wil Wheaton made a very motivating project: A life reboot . What impressed me about his journey was not the start: it’s quite easy to have good intentions, especially for the new year, but rather the intermediate points of such a journey, and, ultimately, the ending .
I really like the idea of taking a good look at yourself and assess how you are doing.
Basically every time you thought “i’m going to start X… tomorrow”, you were not really into X. You just added “tomorrow” to lie to yourself because you wanted to be into doing X, which is a completely different thing.
I believe the only way to become a better person is to think who we want to be, and work towards that slowly but surely, and be honest with ourselves at all times.
My life upgrade
I’ve been feeling, to paraphrase Wil, not the boss of me and it’s time to act on that.
Each month (maybe each week), I’ll take a good honest look at myself and assess how i’m doing in each of these categories. The following 6 goals can be a bit of a stretch, especially since 4 of them require free time which is (sadly) finite.
I’m not sure I can achieve all of them separately, but even if I don’t have the time to make it to the goal but I feel that I’ve done my best towards it, I’m going to score myself appropriately.
Also, the goals might change in the future, obviously. Since there are no extrinsic motivations to what I’m doing, if I don’t feel like doing something on this list but something else, I can only take notice of that.
Drink less (and drink better)
This is a very common one. But I included it anyway because in the last weeks of 2016, I had to stop drinking because of a medicine I was taking.. and it was pretty good.
I don’t think I have an alcohol problem (3-4 beers in a week), but I still feel I’m drinking too much for my liver (I had some problems in the past) and, in general, just socially pressured for it. I know it’s stupid but when you go out you just drink, without necessarily thinking about it. For example, going out, it’s normal to take a couple of beers whereas I could probably just do with one, or an alcohol-free version, or none at all. Especially since alcohol makes me very sleepy (and sleep terribly, obviously).
In the last few weeks I’ve been a lot with a friend who was pregnant and therefore I wasn’t the only one not drinking, which it made it a whole lot easier, psychologically.
I don’t want to stop drinking altogether, because I like (good) beer or a glass of (nice) wine, especially with food, but I definitely want it to be “special” every time and for sure not indulge with it.
Goal: Drink less, drink higher quality stuff. Never get tipsy (and sleepy).
This is also a no-brainer. I think I’m doing pretty good with this at the start, and I want to just maintain the motivation, possibly improving it even a little bit. For the cardio part I don’t think I’ll have problems keeping momentum and possibly upping it a bit, but I also want to do more bodyweight exercise. My goal is to not suck when I do the next obstacle run.
I’ve fancied the idea of going back (after 20+ years) to swimming, but I always approached it like my “sport”, i.e. the thing that I will be doing exclusively. This, combined with the opening times of the swimming pools in Amsterdam made it a not so alluring idea. But then I realised that I don’t have to be exclusive and just go whenever I feel like. There are a bunch of pools in Amsterdam, with different opening times and I can just go “a la carte” in each of them and see if I like it or not.
Goal: Run at least 2x per week (3x ideal) and at the gym 1x, otherwise at least 2x at home some bodyweight exercise. Swimming can be replaced to any of these activities.
Read more books / Watch more movies
I realised that I’m spending an awful lot of time getting distracted online. And by that I meant the droning on Facebook, Hacker News (and mostly reddit).
I feel need to recharge my brain and my imagination with some good quality stuff. Reading more is the first thing that comes to mind, but in the last weeks of 2016 I happened to tag along my partner more to the cinema. It could be a possibility to diverge from what I usually watch.
In general, I need to get out of the filter bubble around me.
Goal: Read a bit every week. Watch more movies, more diverse.
For most of my adult life, I always had a side-project: an app that we used for a couple of years to manage our personal finances, an Arduino Weather Station, building a 3D printer, making a game. Sadly, not many of those were even finished or released. The more time passed, the more I became a perfectionist and decided to not make an effort at all, because the end result would have been imperfect anyway.
I need to work on this and do more side-projects, with easy to achieve goals. Maybe a hackathon-like “what can I do in a week?”, or something like that. I like the idea of the 1PPM-Challenge. I’m not sure I can keep up with once per month, so I’ll set my goal pretty low and take it from there.
Goal: Have always a side project going on, make some progress toward it every week.
I’ve never been a very creative person, but I always kept doing something. I’ve had a blog for most of my active internet life and I always enjoyed writing stuff. Over the years it all became more chore-y and I’ve slowly stopped doing it altogether. The problem is that it was fuelling a sense of vanity: writing to be read, rather than funnel my creativity.
Creativity is fundamental, in all aspect of life. It’s one of the main differences between us and machines and it is worth to develop it as much as possible.
Goal: Do more creative things. In any way: writing, cooking, drawing, making music, …
Feeling less routine-y
At times, I feel my daily life to be a bit of a routine. Wake up, work, lunch, work, run, play, dinner, Netflix, bed. More or less.
I’ve already done things to spice it up (like secret dates with my girlfriend) and I want to do it even more.
Goal: Live a life that feels more spontaneous and less of a routine.