Monday, January 28, 2019

The people's choice

I’ve been thinking about a new habit to focus on for February and got it narrowed down to two. I honestly couldn’t decide, so I asked my Twitter people. And behold! The six people have spoken:

I was afraid they’d say that. Now I just need to figure out the specifics of how to free my brain from the social media haze it’s slipped into. I’m not ruling out a monthlong “detox” where I never touch the stuff but am leaning instead toward trying to establish some sort of sustainable habit of not looking at social media until I’m done working for the day, for example, or setting a time limit on my phone.

I really don’t want to, which seems like a sign that I really should.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Time to think

I got caught up on work for the first time all year on January 22—not too bad, actually. I have the sense that in 2018 I was playing catch-up straight through until the week before Christmas, but that can’t be right, because I did take at least three trips where I wasn’t working. Anyway, it’s nice to have some time to breathe, and to think, and to write about what I’m thinking.

The “CEO” word-of-the-year that I wrote about before has continued to be a helpful idea when I need an immediate decision made, but of course a real CEO does a lot more than just make that kind of call. She also sets a course for the ship and decides on the big-picture plan of action. I think I already know where I want to steer this ship: toward having my health dialed in, participating in more creative stuff, doing more good/less harm in the world, and working toward a few other farther-off personal goals. And yet I want to make sure that I don’t get so ambitious that I get sick of it all and quit.

I know from experience that diet is the absolute foundation that makes all other plans a lot easier, so I’ve been taking January to completely get rid of all sugar and grains in my life and in fact go keto again. My diet right now is vegetables, meat, healthy fats, macadamia nuts, European cheese, tea, coffee, and 100 percent dark chocolate (in the coffee). After about four weeks of this—since I actually started almost immediately after Christmas—I feel really good! So of course now I have 50 ideas about other good habits that I want to add to my life, but I’m going to try to narrow that down to just one thing to be the big focus for February—the next-most important foundational thing, if I can figure out what that is.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

A free idea

You hear a lot of talk about choosing a single word as a theme or abstract ambition for a new year, rather than making a resolution. Again, I’m trying NOT to overthink my life too much right now—which you will find pretty funny when I eventually tell you about all the things I did in the month of January—but I did get an idea for a word: CEO.

The idea is that I am the CEO/yoga instructor/life coach/boss of my own life, which is literally true in the sense that I run a one-person business and also in every other sense. But I learned when I was training for the Ironman that it’s sometimes helpful to consult this imaginary person who’s in charge of you—asking for example, “If I were my coach, what would I advise myself about this?” It turns out that the imaginary-boss you often is easier on you than the real you would be on yourself, if you’re still following me here, and usually has some sensible advice. She also does not buy whatever excuse you’re trying to sell.

I used this yesterday. It was late afternoon, which is always the witching hour for me, and I was mindlessly dinking around on the computer, feeling SO tired that I kind of wanted to lie down but with too much work on my plate to quit for the day. So I asked my inner life coach what to do. The answer came that I’d be perfectly fine once I got started (my work is only sitting and typing, after all), and that I just needed to decide exactly what to work on next, close all my browser tabs, step away from the computer for a moment to make myself a cup of (caffeinated) tea, and then come back and get right to work.

That got me going again. In fact, I got super-focused on what I was doing and forgot to even drink the tea.