We had a hurricane blow up part of a week of productivity around here, but I still limped along with some middling progress on the year’s goals. I’m behind the targets this year late in the game, but I’m still happy with the results. I can still close the gap on the running target, at least.
I’ve been thinking about an idea Patrick O’Shaughnessy wrote about recently on “growth without goals” — setting up systems to be able to pursue and achieve personal growth without having hard numbers on a scoreboard. Using...
These updates during the quarantine are weird. In some ways time feels like it’s standing still, in others it feels like it’s flying by. Every day feels mostly the same. Even though some has opened up in our area, we’re still basically in isolation from friends.
Just a quick update this month. With the pandemic still going, lockdown in a state of unknown non-committal from any authority, and the madness going on around the nation the past week, all of this seems kinda trivial. I’m sure we’ll power through past it, but I’m just doing my best to keep the habits going. I’m still fortunate to get to plow forward mostly unimpacted by it all.
April was the first full calendar month of COVID lockdown. In the beginning of the month I started getting comfortable with the working-from-home setup. I have a decent desk setup and a large master bedroom-slash-office space, which until early March I’d barely used since we moved in. It’s gotten a workout now for 2 months of all-day work. I’ve got one of these adjustable desks that’s nice and wide, with plenty of light in the room, so aside from the zero separation between work and life zones, it’s not too bad.
A quick update for February. No big revelations or movements on goals, just slight progress.
I’ve struggled with building longer meditation sessions into my routine. I think the only way it’s going to happen is if I can get a pattern of sitting down in the morning before the kids are up. At night...
The first month of 2020 is already in the books. 31 days blew by already?
It’s been a rollercoaster of a first few weeks, with some vacation at New Years, shot out of a cannon with a reinvigorated team at work, a trip to Miami, and a trip to Jacksonville.
I already fell behind on the targets with all that’s been going on. Once I can fall into a better rhythm with some normalcy in the schedule (which should be happening over the next couple weeks), I think I’ll be fine to catch up.
First up on the year in review is the meditation practice. I started out doing short meditation sessions sort of randomly late last year. I’d only remember to do it occasionally, maybe a couple times a week. While that’s better than zero, it never became a habit or a thing that I would think about consistently. Not to mention that meditation itself is a skill you need to hone over time with experience to get the benefits out of it. Committed practice is the only way it feels useful. This year I set a target to do some meditation each...
This was a busy one. Between the All Hands earlier in the month and the week off for the holidays, those are brutal to maintaining the routine (though great to get a break and spend time with both workmates and family, respectively).
Some top-notch baseball geekery, with Jason Snell comparing the graphics overlays from Fox, MLB Network, and ESPN’s telecasts. I’ve thought about this, too, but have to give it to the ESPN one, with Fox right up there.
In September the training push continued for the half marathon. I did a personal record 88 miles in the 30 days, for an average of just about 3 miles per day the whole month. Somehow I’m not dead yet, but the aches and pains were there to prove it.
I had surprisingly good results on goals this July given how much was going on all month.
On the exercise front, I was able to get the same quantity of runs in even though we started out with the holiday weekend, which always makes sticking to patterns and habits challenging for me. Plus all...
So that’s a wrap on the month of June. This was my best month so far in terms of a consistent plan and feeling more productive with staying on target. Even with an out-of-town trip to visit the Cape and Jacksonville for a few days, which threw a brief wrench into the running plan, I was still able to climb enough above the target line get to my highest mark so far.
For the second half of the month I got into a good rhythm with every-other-day running. I was even able to push almost 5 miles beyond the pace target to end the month. I started running with the kids again in the jogging stroller, which I haven’t done really at all since Elyse was little (2015-16). It’s good because it gets them out of the house, adds some cargo to push for additional workout, and gives Colette a nice break if I take them when I get home at the end of the day.
As I’ve been pushing onward with daily meditation practice on Headspace, the “streak” number has been climbing higher and higher. I have mixed feelings about this in terms of driving motivation. Is the desire to increase a number a healthy way to motivate positive mental health? Is it pushing the right buttons for the right reasons?
Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe recently wrote on exactly this topic:
Some people love this feature, viewing it as a source of motivation, a record of accountability, and a...
We just crossed month number two of the year, so here’s another pulse check on how I’m tracking against some personal goals for 2019. I’m tracking on all fronts, slightly better positioned against the pace marks than I was at the end of January.
This is the first year I set some goals on a few things. I’ve never been strongly goal-oriented, so I thought I’d put some stuff down to hold myself accountable and see if it helps build some healthy habits into my routine. Also, I thought it might be fun, as long as the goals were aggressive but attainable.
For the month of January, here’s how things stack up with each area. We’ve got my progress in the first column, the pace mark I should be at to keep on target, the total goal, and “plus-minus” is where...
As I’ve been trying to bootstrap into a meditation practice, most of my learnings have been from various podcast episode discussions and a couple of books on the topic. My approach thus far hasn’t been to try and dig in way deep, but largely to kickstart a regular routine to form a healthy habit.
Since I already listen to Sam Harris’s podcast, I’d heard good things about his book Waking Up as a nice primer on meditation from a secular perspective — a neuroscientist’s view on the subject as a true contributor to...
Since late last year I’ve been keeping up with practicing every day. Mostly 10 minute sessions, but recently I’ve been upping that to 15.
One important thing I need to work in is how to fit it more consistently into the schedule. I don’t have a set time when I practice; sometimes its before work in the morning, but sometimes also late at night (when falling asleep is a hard competitor). Comfort level is rising with each session. Mindfulness doesn’t feel natural, so the repetition at least makes that part go away...
I’ve listened to a few of Peter Attia’s The Drive podcast episodes. This one was a stand-out conversation between him and Dr. Zubin Damania. It’s a wide-ranging discussion about the health care system, diet, creativity, and meditation (among other things).
I’ve spent a lot of time right in the thick of the health care system the last couple of years (thankfully with a good experience). Insightful thoughts on what’s wrong inside that ecosystem that ring true from first-hand exposure.
The nearly 2000 year old Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is likely the first ever entry in the “self help” publishing genre. During his last days as Roman Emperor, reigning from 161-180 AD, he wrote the 12 “books” that comprise the Meditations. It’s a personal journal he wrote to himself, never intended for publication, with thoughts, ruminations, reminders, and short stories from his life, all with the objective of serving his future self as a reminder of how to live and act.
There’s not much of a thematic arc from book to book — each numbered paragraph entry largely...
The vast majority of features won’t bend the curve. These metrics are terrible, and the Next Feature Fallacy strikes because it’s easy to build new features that don’t target the important parts.
This certainly rings true for me from experience over the years. It turns out that a single feature itself is far from the main problem halting people part way into on-boarding with a product. This falls into the category of focusing on what we know how to do already, rather than what’s important to do. What’s...
This is a 92 minute 4K video taken from the International Space Station as it orbits Earth, in real-time:
If you’ve got an Apple TV and used their “Aerial” screensavers, this’ll look familiar. Most of those ones are drone footage or other things close to the ground, but recently they’ve got a couple done from space. This one is even better, though. It’s mesmerizing to see how small everything looks from this perspective, with no borders or “human” landscapes. Just the Earth and its...