Tuesday, January 15, 2008

5 Little Things

I am bad at keeping New Year's Resolutions. Really bad. By the second week I am usually skipping the gym, eating cheese steaks and onion rings for dinner every night, spending money frivolously, and generally wasting what could be productive time.

I believe the problem is I try to make huge lifestyle changes to achieve grandiose goals. Things like going to the gym every single day for an hour, eating according to a super-restrictive diet, or planning out every minute of every day look good on paper, but are just too much to jump right into, especially when they just don't fit with my lifestyle. I hate the gym (it's expensive and boring), I can't stand crash diets (because I usually crash into a pile of cheese steaks and onion rings), and trying to get a tight, iron-bound grip on finances and time management is impossible (for me, anyway).

So this year I'm going at it a little differently. Instead of making ridiculously huge lifestyle changes, I'm going to follow a few little rules and guidelines I'm setting up for myself. I think a few small changes and tactical maneuvers will fit easier into my life, and therefor meet with greater success.

1. Try to be in bed by 11 or 11:30 every night (during the week). There really is no reason for me to be up later than this every night anyway - nothing else is on TV, the video game or book I'm working on will be there tomorrow, and if I'm at a bar this late during the week, I've got bigger problems. 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night supposedly does wonders for your health, metabolism, and productivity (you're less of an ADHD kid without a PSP).
Benefits: Health, Productivity, Mood
Stumbling Blocks: Video Games

2. Get up a half an hour earlier every day. This gives me enough time for a quick "wake up" work out and a decent healthy breakfast. I'm also not scrambling around in the morning like a nut to get ready, which can put me in a REALLY bad mood. Plus, if I stick to rule 1, I'm still getting a full night sleep.
Benefits: Productivity, Health, Mood
Stumbling Blocks: Snooze Button, General Laziness.

3. Ride the bike to work every possible day. I recently moved to Northern Liberties, I work in Center City, and it's like three miles. It's cheap, it wakes me up int he morning, and like the guy who always rides his ten-speed says: "It's a good workout." Seriously, parking passes in Center City are a small fortune. Septa is ok when it rains, but I like coming and going on my own schedule and not having to buy monthly passes for that, either. It's kinda cool too, finding different routes and seeing all of the city. No, Tacy, I will not become a bike messenger.
Benefits: Health, Financial
Stumbling Blocks: Weather, Laziness

4. Cook for myself and pack a lunch. Going out to lunch or dinner or even just picking up take-out every day is neither economical nor healthy (if you get good take out). Shopping and cooking for yourself allows you to chose your ingredients and control (control better, anyways) what you put into your body. Also, I'm not half bad in the kitchen, and this gives me more room to experiment.
Benefits: Financial, Health
Stumbling Blocks: Living near the Foodery and Honey's.

5. Fold and iron laundry when it's done. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous. But this will save me massive amounts of time and trouble. When I let ironing go until the morning (when I am groggy and uncoordinated) it takes me at least 20 minutes to iron a shirt and pants for work as I fumble around. It completely bombs my little morning routine which then throws off the rest of the day for some unknown reason. When everything is all ready to go and easy to find, it just makes everything else go so smoothly.
Benefits: Productivity, Mood
Stumbling Blocks: Laziness

So far I've generally been able to keep up with all of them pretty easily, and things are going well. Better mood, generally healthier, more energy, etc...


At January 15, 2008 at 2:21 PM , Blogger robustyoungsoul said...

That's a good looking list. May I suggest making #2 your top priority, because #1 will sort of naturally fall into place behind it. Stay up until you are tired, but as long as you are out of bed early at the same time no matter what, your body will quickly fall into line.

At January 15, 2008 at 3:27 PM , Blogger Andy said...

Yeah, that seems to be the way it's working out. I had to break the "stay up all night playing video games" habit a while back, and now the two flow pretty easily. Look how sleepy we all were Saturday night!!!

At January 16, 2008 at 10:01 AM , Anonymous Karen said...

I think I am the main contributor to your laziness problem.

At January 16, 2008 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Andy said...

No, you are an enabler for buying me a video game like Half-Life Orange Box...


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