Saturday, May 15, 2010
As can be seen by the lack of posts I've given up on this idea. I've not stopped thinking that there are areas in my life where I need to improve myself, but I've got some new thoughts on how that might best be done etc. More on that in the first post on my upcoming blog (with a new name/website address, and will most likely contain some general ramblings and other stuff as well), I'll post about it here to let the few people who are reading this know where to find it. I've been thinking I'll use this blog address for something else, but more on that later as well.
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 12:26 AM
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
No, and yes. No, I don't intend to give up on this, but yes, I've got to realize that for the past couple of weeks I have been failing. I originally let it slip when I was having a cold and used that as a reason not to be disciplined, but the last weeks I've had no excuses. Last week I accepted that I had failed, and decided to not even try that week, but rather get some other things done (like creating a new version of and old image: http://feneur.blogspot.com/2010/03/updated-experiment-blue-elements.html , and finishing creating a theme for a website I'm working on, that's still in progress though, so wait a couple of days and you'll know more...) so I could leave them behind and start over in a better position than last time.
So, this week I'm trying to start again :P Not so successful overall, but if nothing else my apartment is actually cleaner now than it has been for the last couple of months, so it's a start. I do intend to do a couple of things in a different way this time, to start with I'm only going to write about it on this blog once a week or so (I'm thinking of letting this be my personal blog though, so other posts might appear from time to time). That way I won't be as tempted to move on just to have something to write here. Just a pile of successes, while the truth is that I had to interpret things quite liberally to be able to call it a success. That leads on to the next thing, this time I intend to be sure things are correct before moving on. If my intention is to be at bed at a certain time or to write a certain number of words one day I will have to do exactly that to call it a success, not a minute or word or whatever later/less/etc.
So, like last time, sleep is the first issue I'll have to tackle. And like last time it's going to be hard to find the discipline and self-control to actually do things right. One step at a time though, and I think it's possible. If it takes more failures, then that's what it takes. For now my goal will have to be 24:00 by the end of this week.
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 11:56 PM
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Following a cold last week, which made me postpone this project, it's taken some days to get back on track. I have started some new rules, but it's not really until today I've started to get back to all the old ones. And while that's sad, and a testament to my lacking self discipline, it also points towards one of the good things with this system: it's supposed to be a help rather than something that's supposed to let me down.
The new rules so far:
- On Monday I turned my eyes to the spiritual realm and started reading a bit in the Bible and pray a bit every day.
- On Tuesday it was house-keeping that got my attention as I mopped the floor.
- And today it was writing that got upgraded to at least 200 words per day as the goal.
And I do still have a quarter of an hour left before I'm supposed to sleep =)
EDIT: Obviously I was a bit tired or something last night since I originally posted this to my experiments blog :P Now it's here in its right place though.
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 11:57 AM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
For the first time in many months I baked my own bread today.
That's all I need to say :-) While it's but a small step, and but a part, and definitely doesn't mean that I'll be baking next week without being determined to do so, it's definitely something good. And good things should be acknowledged as such. Even small steps forward are more important than a bigger setback as they show it's possible.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
A good day today. Got up at eight, and have studied a bit and cooked food so that I'll have something to eat when I go to work soon. I've also written 468 words, so I think I've passed that rule as well :-) (Some of them old, some new, but the main thing is that I continue writing so I'll get it finished some day.) As I knew that I'd be working today I chose a fairly simple rule for today: to not eat in front of the computer. So far so good =) And I hope it won't be too hard to continue with either, it will be nice not to have to worry about my keyboard getting all messed up or something.
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 2:34 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Moving forward seems to work ok so far. Took a 30 minutes walk yesterday and today, so that part works fine so far, and I got to bed some minutes past midnight last night and up at eight this morning so that's good as well. That brings us to the "rule of the day", which today is: Write at least a hundred words per day. On it's own that doesn't seem like much, but I intend to increase it later on, and it's not just any writing. You see, I happen to be writing what I hope will be a book (or actually several, but that's a later story if I manage to get this one finished). And while it's starting to come together there's still a lot of work to do. Sometimes I've been writing relatively much for a while, but then there's been weeks, and even months, without any writing at all. Thus, some regularity can only be good. And since it's mostly editing (which at the moment consists of taking the text I have and change a few things, but keep quite a lot) getting those 100+ words a day shouldn't be too hard, though it's still important. And it can be a bit boring to edit at times, so some extra motivation to get moving can't be bad ;-)
(If anyone's interested one of the changes I do is actually quite major: changing from telling it in first person to third person. I like the result so far, but there are a whole bunch of chapters to rewrite so I have some work left to do. And I have some thoughts about adding a chapter here or there. Usually editing consists of cutting a lot, but I guess I'm kinda conservative in adding content in the first place so I can afford to add a bit. I do keep an eye out for things to remove though, don't want to leave anything boring.)
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 11:28 PM
Monday, February 8, 2010
Again, not whether or not to do this at all ;-) I have however reconsidered the times. And decided to let 24:00 and 8:00 be the times for now. It's far better than the weeks leading up to this experiment, and since I don't have to be up at a certain time to get to work or so (the classes I take are done over the internet so I can do them anytime) why waste a lot of time now to try and get up earlier than I feel like? I do believe it's worth a lot to get some routines though (why would I try to do something like this in the first place otherwise?), so I will not want to let the hours slip more than that.
Now I'll have to stop writing or today's rule will be a failure... Today I've decided to take on exercise and go for a walk for about 30 mins. Which means I need to leave now if I want to be back at 24:00.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
To clarify the title means that today's post is short and sweet, not that yesterdays success wasn't followed by one today =) I've vacuumed today and got to bed at a decent hour yesterday (though not as early as I'd hoped for at least not too late) and got up at my desired time this morning. I do have some longer thoughts about cleaning and limiting what I do or not, but those will have to wait for tomorrow as I'm going to work now. And I won't be home until 21:50, and then I really shouldn't do much else than brush my teeth and go to bed :)
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 1:02 PM
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Unless I start some unnecessary project or something it seems like I'll be going to bed at the time I'm wishing for today, and I did get up at roughly the time I wanted this morning. So all in all it's been a good day. I'm starting to wonder whether I should continue on until I reach my goal of getting up at 6:30 or if I should add in something else in-between. Everything at once has the downside of being more difficult, but doing something else and then continue can prove hard as well. After all, getting a good nights sleep is a good basis for many other things. I should decide now though, because tomorrow when trying to get up it'll be highly unlikely that I'll choose to get up earlier than I need =) When thinking a bit more about it I think I'll try to get up at 8:00 tomorrow as well, and have vacuuming as my goal tomorrow. (I do vacuum every now and then, but needless to say it's not as often as I would like, or need for that matter as I'm allergic to dust. Due to the latter fact my end goal is to clean my apartment twice a week. I have yet to decide whether that's vacuuming once and mop the floors once or if it's vacuuming twice and mop the floors one of those times, but two in any case =) )
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I failed both yesterday and the day before yesterday, and I'm still calling it a success? Well, maybe not a success. Or even ok, but all-in-all things are moving forward. I got up at roughly 8:30 this morning and that's got to account for something, right :-) Many days the last few weeks/months I haven't been up until 11:00-12:00 some time, so compared to that it's great. According to my original plan I ought to "redo" a rule until I've succeeded, but since getting up in the morning and going to bed in the evening are so closely related I thought it would be better to let the failure of 22:00 remain until I've gotten my mornings sorted. Seeing as I'm still up and it's 22:30 it looks like I'll have to fight this battle a while longer :-P Getting up in a decent time in the mornings should get me tired enough to actually get to bed that early eventually though, so I hope it will work out automatically. Otherwise it's a rule I'll see again.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Today I've changed the rules... Nothing too major though, just realized that it'd probably be a good idea to allow myself to be up a bit longer on Fridays and Saturdays, so the plan now is 22:30 on Fridays and Saturdays and 22:00 on Sundays-Thursdays.
Posted by Erik aka feneur at 10:19 PM
Thursday, January 28, 2010
It's strange how the body reacts to changes. While I didn't expect to see too much change in just a few days, I did get change that I hadn't expected. Some of it is not so good, I've been waking up at 3-4 AM having trouble going back to sleep. I guess that'll go away once the body gets used to going to bed at 22:00, so it's more that I'm a bit disappointed that I'm not as awake and alert as I'd hoped for than a real issue. Some of it is strange, but highly amusing. I've been dreaming some of the strangest dreams in my life these last few nights. Last night I had a dream that started like one of those musical movies, Grease or something. I haven't seen any of those so I don't know which one it most closely resembled, but the beginning of my dream had something to do with learning to dance and group rivalry and stuff. After that it took some turn by huge sewer monsters (looking something like lobsters/scorpions, but with a sceleton, and about as big as a car) and ended up in a huge, ancient mythology style, end-of-the-world battle between good and evil. I don't remember everything about it, but among other things there was an interesting fox-like creature, just bigger and with a longer body than a fox. I do seem to remember dreaming it twice, perhaps with some difference the last time. Oh, there were the monkeys as well... Don't remember that part very well though, but perhaps that's a good thing or I wouldn't dare sleeping tonight ;-)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Something I'll probably get back to later as it's a big problem for me is to focus. I've realized it before, and even more now. Sometimes I wonder why I have this problem, it would be far easier to do one thing at a time and get things done. As it is now I'm more likely to try and do far too many things at one time and not get much done at all. In any case it is an issue I need to be aware of and try to address it. The main reason I've failed to get some kind of routines/habits is probably that I've tried to change everything at once. Again with little result, but with some disappointment on the other hand. Thus focusing on one area a day (and sometimes week when it's a bigger issue) I believe it will be easier. And as you might have noticed from the word "focus" I'll be forced to focus on something as well, another useful experience.
So I don't forget it: I did succed yesterday and went to bed at around 23:30. It's looking positive today as well. :-)
As a small side note I can add that I've personalized the look of the blog a bit. I guess I could have spent the time doing something more useful, but hopefully it will give me some extra motivation to keep updating this blog. Which in turn will help me abide by these rules. Writing those words made me think about whether or not rule is the best word. But it seems like the best I can find, "law" would just seem harsh, and probably with some nasty punishment if I failed, and something like "idea" or "aim" lacks the sense of consequence altogether. And consequences I'll face whether or not I have these rules or not. It's just that if I follow these rules I can hope for a lot more positive consequences than if I don't.
Someone might wonder why I haven't posted a list of the upcoming rules. One reason is that I haven't finished deciding on all of them, another reason is that some things might come automatically from getting the basic routines together. An example is that I haven't been shaving on a regular basis (my beard grows relatively fast so I'd better ;-) ), but if I just get up in the same time each morning it might be natural to do it. If not I'll have to add it to the rules to make sure I get it into my schedule.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
As you might guess from the title (and the fact that I wrote yesterday that it was some minutes past 24:00) I'm not calling yesterday a huge success. However, I did go to bed before 24:30, so all in all it was not a huge failure either. Either way I've decided that it was good enough not to have to do yesterdays rule again today, but not good enough for me to get my reward... More on that later. That means I'm moving on to 23:30 today, and won't have to disturb my schedule altogether. That's one of the benefits of making your own rules though, not having to cheat to get around small obstacles like this. There's a reason I called them rules though, so too big deviations aren't going to be accepted. Then it's better to try again the next day. Especially since piling up a lot of things in one day isn't likely to improve things and I want to continue with this, perhaps I wasn't a complete failure before, but I want to accomplish more than what I've accomplished so far (I don't believe anyone is a complete failure, as long as we're alive we have an opportunity to improve. Some people have hardships to struggle with, I have myself and my dislike of routines ;-) ).
I mentioned "the reward", what I mean by this is that I think that punishment isn't likely to help me get more habits but rather just make me feel bad and give up (which would be a stupid thing since getting some solid habits is why I do this in the first place). Some kind of effect is probably helpful though, so I've decided that every day I get rewarded if I manage to follow the rule of the day before. And since I like chocolate and have the body for it my reward is a piece of chocolate. (What I mean by "having the body for it" is that I'm fairly skinny, I wouldn't recommend someone who's in the risk zone of getting/being overweight to eat too much chocolate.)
I would like to follow the rule today, so I'll soon stop writing, but I wrote yesterday that I'd explain why baking my own bread was among the things I'd like to get into the habit of doing so I'll do that first. The main reason is that I'm allergic to gluten, milk protein and soy protein (oh, and peanuts, but that's not too relevant when it comes to baking) and while there is bread to buy not all of it is very tasty, and it's not too much to choose from in any case. Thus it's nice to bake some on my own so I get some variation, and it's also nice to know what's in your bread and it's hopefully cheaper as well. A lot of benefits, but still I haven't gotten around to it in months. Now you know, I guess I'll write some more when I get to that day, and perhaps share some favorite recipe or tip or something. Or perhaps you know some?
Monday, January 25, 2010
Without being too dramatic I can't say my life is a tremendous success right now. I'm sure we all feel like this every now and then, but these last few months have been extreme. My apartment looks like a mess, my sleeping pattern is a Rorschach test, and it was months since I baked my own bread. Not all is wrong of course, but things can't continue like this and it takes some dedication to get out of all these bad habits. I've had "good intentions" to do so for months, if not years, but merely intentions haven't lead anywhere. The times I've actually tried to do something about it I've tried to change everything in one moment, and, of course, fell back into the old habits soon again.
Now I've found a way that I hope will get me some real results: to make the change One Rule A Day. I'll explain in more detail over the coming days, but in short I intend to take the areas I want to change and improve one small step each day. (To make this more likely to work and to have some buffer I only intend to introduce a new "rule" on weekdays, though the on-going rules will of course be true on weekends as well.) Some things will just get one day, and some will get more days. As an example I'll take my first goal of attack: my sleeping patterns. Since it's an important part, and crucial to the others it's what I'll start with, and I'll give it two weeks. I start this week with getting to bed in a good time and next week I'll move on to getting up. There might be other ways to do it, but this is what I have in mind: Today I'll go to bed at 24:00 hours (I'll have to add that I don't intend my goals to be too precise, I want to succeed and not waste energy worrying about minutes or seconds. If nothing else I'd have to call this first day a loss since it's already some minutes past 24:00.) and then I'll go to bed 30 minutes earlier until I get to my aim of 22:00 on Friday.
The reason I'm posting this blog is to get myself more motivated. To have others read about my process, my success and my failures, will help me going the days it feels like I'd better just give up.
Good night, and welcome back tomorrow for more info on my plans. As well as the scoop on whether or not I managed to resist the lures of the Internet and other temptations and got to bed. Plus you'll get the story on why baking my own bread is such a big issue...