Last year was an exciting year. There were many changes, challenges, opportunities, growth, and great friends. I had some intense feelings as well, and I moved to a smaller space.
Forgive the randomness of this post; there will be a bunch of random collections of thoughts about the past year. I’m only in the infancy of this post, but it reminds me of the failed Best Man speech I gave at my middle brother’s wedding, where I tried to tie too many random thoughts together. Forgive me; this is more for me than for you.
Those who know me will see that I carry a pocket notebook with me everywhere or almost everywhere. I’ve been doing this since 2008 I first discovered Field Notes. I usually fill about four a year, but I always strive to take more notes and, hopefully, relevant thoughts worth remembering or reviewing later.
This year, I went through about four notebooks. One Sings of Spring edition, two Fifty Edition as it was my fiftith notebook and the dog started chewing on it so I started a second one, and one Surplus Green Draplin original notebook.
I also use Hobonichi Techo as a planner. In the past, I’ve used the Moleskine Day planner, but I like the size of the Techo better. I use this to jot a casual note about the day, how I feel, or what I did, so I have a record. Writing in the notebook is almost more important than the material covered.
In reviewing the notes, I’ve found nuggets from the past year. Notes about reading Atomic Habits and the aggregation of marginal gains, to a note about reviving my old podcast. Notes from last year’s cheer team that, when reading, confused me because they talked about people who were no longer on the team. Small drawings of plans. I made sticker sketches, and I still need to do many. Thoughts about my job before it ended. Notes on relationships that I experienced.
Looking forward to next year, I want to do even more sketching and drawing. I’m looking to be more okay with having a failed drawing. The search for perfection instilled in me by my family prevents me from attempting to draw something I know I won’t like. One of my goals is to overcome this fear.
Reviewing Last Year’s Goals
I was looking back at the post 2022 into 2023 for details about my goals going into this past year. I’ve failed at both goals, yet I don’t feel bad about it.
Losing 60 lbs
Not only did I not lose 30 lbs, I yo-yoed down to 270 and then went back up to 290 pounds. So technically, I gained 10 pounds. Why am I not as upset as I could be? I’ve started to understand part of why I put on the weight. Part of it is the medication I’m on for my anxiety. One of the side effects is carb craving, which turns carbs into fats if they aren’t burned. The second major factor was that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea this past year.
Sleep apnea is a condition that makes sleeping VERY challenging. To get diagnosed, you go through a sleep study where they test how many times you wake up in a night. They do this by checking when you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more (I might be wrong; it might be more or less than 10 seconds). A typical night of sleep for a person without sleep apnea may have up to 5 of these events per hour. Severe obstructive sleep apnea happens at greater than 30 events per hour. Based on the information I received from my doctor, I experienced between 66 and 73 events per hour during my sleep study. While it isn’t the highest number my doctor has ever seen, it is beyond severe.
I can describe how I was feeling in reflection how that I’ve gotten a CPAP machine and sleep much better at night before I was tired all day. I would take multiple naps throughout the day, ranging from 20 minutes to several hours. In addition, I would consume sugar ALL THE TIME. My body was hunting for energy any place it could find it.
Now that I have a CPAP machine and sleep better. I’m able to find some energy to go back to the gym. I’m able to feel full and not crave sugar ALL the time.
As I will talk about in my goals for the next year, I’ve recently started a habit of going to the gym daily and doing 425 active calories (500 total) on the elliptical each morning. It takes just about 30 minutes and reminds me of when I used to go to Planet Granite every morning. The cardio kinda sucks in the moment, but feels great afterwards.
I will carry on this goal, but one of the other things I learned last year, is that the plan is just as important. So, math wise, without having to change my diet too much, if I burn 500 calories a day, times seven days a week, that is 3500 calories a week, which is the equivalent of one pound. If I do that, I think it would about 50 puonds this year which seems more reasonable than last years goal.
Traveling 3136 Miles By Foot
This one didn’t last long. The average on this is something like 8.6 miles a day. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, time wise, this would be about 2.5 hours of walking or about 1.5 hours of jogging per day. These turned out to be too aggresive for me. Over time, the lack of being able to get to that level caused me lose interest in running or jogging at all. I gave up about a month or so into it.
Distance feels like the wrong way to motivate me for now. It’s too high a bar. Hence why I’m working on showing up to the gym almost every day. The act of showing up is more important.
This upcoming year, I am going to do something different. I’m going to have one over-arching theme goal: Clean. And while this goal is just one word, it encompasses so much more. Clean will extend to so many aspects of my life.
- Home - This past year, I downsized. Significantly. While I did store or surrender many things, I still have too much in my space and not a perfect home for all of it. I need to work on that.
- Car - I spend a lot of time traveling and working in my car. My car becomes a catch all for so many different things. I have so much clutter in my car I often don’t even know what is there. Time to resolve this.
- Fitness & Food - Sort of talked about above, but I want to get back to going to the gym daily. This was something I loved back in San Francisco. I miss having the gym time in the morning, and I always feel better after getting in a workout. Cleaning up my diet is also important.
- Coding and Projects - the number of current ongoing projects is too large. It’s time to clean that up. Finish some, or at least get them to a point where I can move them off the front of my brain.
More than just cleaning, the goal is to develop habits that allow to me to be more of a clean and organized person. Creating a habit scorecard is part of it. Since I’ve started one, I’ve only had one perfect day, but I am at least tracking what I’m doing.
The other reason I like this goal, is it is about growth without absolutes. Unlike last year with very concrete goals, this year is about improving the process. This is what I’m all about.