Every New Year’s Resolution: Week Two

every new years resolution

Every New Year’s Resolution is a series about changing your life through goal-setting. For 2017 I set 10 resolutions and I’m going to try to achieve them all. Read the original post explaining everything if you’re just getting started. In each post I review my daily progress. This is week two

Diary Monday January 9:

I woke up early for a 6:30 Skype call with some friends overseas, then, at 7:45, hit the gym. It was just 30 minutes on the bike, but it was good to get the day started. It felt normal. It was the basis of a productive day. In the afternoon, my Soylent Cacao and Soylent Nectar finally arrived, which became the basis of two reviews.

What I did today:

Get Fit: 30 minutes on a stationary bike.

Save Money: Still at $26.10.

Get Organized: More kitchen organization. (Boring to you readers, essential to my life.)

Learn Chinese: Flashcards at lunch.

Practice Guitar: Played after dinner, it was great and I worked on a song.

Quit Sugar: It’s getting easier. I had two bottles of Kombucha and 1 1/2 of Soylent

Sugar Tally:

9 grams- Soylent

4.5- Soylent

8-Kombucha

4-Kombucha

Total: 25.5 grams

This is the same as the sugar I had yesterday. Slightly above the NYT ideal guidelines, but still only half of the 50 gram recommendation.

Read 26 Books: Finished The Lean Startup. 1 book down, 25 to go.

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading, Soylent Cacao, Nectar, and some of Make Cronuts Great Again!

Make a Difference: 

Tuesday January 10th

Diary: I woke up and got a call from a friend. Doing the stationary bike was even easier than usual since my mind was on our conversation. I broke a sweat but didn’t feel tired. In fact, this whole time my workouts have really been more about energizing me than really pushing things to the limit. I suppose that is what makes sense–I have done challenging morning workouts in the past and end up unable to focus the rest of the day–but I do feel I should amp up the difficulty a bit eventually.

The rest of the day involved a lot of unavoidable driving and a pretty weird eating schedule. I had some good bread and Soylent Original for lunch but it wasn’t until 4 that I really had some balanced normal food again. That sort of threw things off and made me feel a bit gross. But, when I think about it, that level of gross is nothing compared to what I used to feel when I had more sugar heavy foods.

Get Fit: 30 minutes on a stationary bike.

Save Money: Still at $26.10. If I were spending more on my Amex cards the round-up rule would be working its magic more.

Get Organized: Personal finance accounting.

Learn Chinese: Flashcards during my late lunch.

Practice Guitar: Played after dinner.

Quit Sugar: I’m slightly veering upwards again…

Sugar Tally:

9 grams- Soylent

4.5- Soylent

4-Kombucha

4-Kombucha

10-Amy’s Lentil Vegetable Soup

Total: 31.5 grams

This is the most sugar I’ve had since I began my challenge. I’ve been pushed over the top by an Amy’s Lentil soup. It has no added sugar, but it has 10 grams of the stuff, which I suspect comes from the vinegar they add. The sugar diet is really having an effect on me though–I used to love those soups for their savory goodness. Now that I am way more sensitive to sugar, they aren’t as good… They aren’t sweet, but they’re closer than they were before. It’s strange, as if being more sensitive to the sugar has made the soup less savory somehow.

Read 26 Books: Began Elon Musk. 

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading. It wasn’t a productive day, really. But, I suppose given that I got this post done, worked out, practiced Chinese, guitar, and read a bit, it’s hard to call it a failure.

Make a Difference: 

Wednesday January 11th

Diary: After too much driving yesterday, I barely left the apartment today. That was good, because I stayed pretty productive. I finally finished Make Cronuts Great Again and put a 100-page dent in Elon Musk. 

Get Fit: 30 minutes on a stationary bike.

Save Money: Still at $26.10. If I were spending more on my Amex cards the round-up rule would be working its magic more.

Get Organized: Apartment cleaning, but really not the major dent I need to make in the work.

Learn Chinese: Flashcards during lunch.

Practice Guitar: Played after dinner.

Quit Sugar: I’m slightly veering upwards again…

Sugar Tally:

9 grams- Soylent

8-Kombucha

10-Amy’s Lentil Vegetable Soup

4-Kimchi

Total: 31 grams

Essentially the same amount of sugar as yesterday. I don’t feel like I’m having too much, but the numbers don’t lie–I’m slowly trending upwards.

Read 26 Books: Read approximately 100 pages of Elon Musk. 

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and Make Cronuts Great Again.

Make a Difference: 

Thursday January 12th

Diary: Today was not super productive. I basically achieved all my goals, but I didn’t do anything spectacular.

Get Fit: 30 minutes on a stationary bike.

Save Money: Still at $26.10. If I were spending more on my Amex cards the round-up rule would be working its magic more. Which is sort of ironic. Since I’m not spending that much I’m stuck here.

Get Organized: Again, just basic things, but I am gearing up for a more major purge this weekend.

Learn Chinese: Flashcards during lunch.

Practice Guitar: Played after dinner.

Quit Sugar: I went back down again, which is good.

Sugar Tally:

9 grams- Soylent

4-Kombucha

 

13 grams of sugar, which is pretty low.

Read 26 Books: Read another approximately 100 pages of Elon Musk. 

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading, sent some interview questions to another creative, and yeah. That was that.

Make a Difference: 

Friday January 13th

Diary: I put a bit of a dent into my work today, but I still feel that I need to do more.

Get Fit: Woke up late and instead of working out I went to a coffeeshop near where my girlfriend works. Then, I spent an hour and a half walking home, doing 3-4 miles of walking. This was not strenuous work, but I am hoping it counts for something. To be honest not doing some exercise first thing was a mistake. You can feel the comparative sluggishness.

Save Money: Still at $26.10…

Get Organized: Went through a stack of papers and finally fixed a financial document I had to check out.

Learn Chinese: Flashcards during dinner… Is this slippage a problem?

Practice Guitar: Played after lunch… A switcheroo with Chinese.

Quit Sugar: Very little sugar today.

Sugar Tally:

9 grams Soylent

4.5 Soylent

13.5  grams of sugar, which is still pretty low.

Read 26 Books: Read maybe 50 pages of Elon Musk. 

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading, and worked on a book I’m writing.

Make a Difference: 

Saturday January 13th

Get Fit: Off day, but almost went anyway.

Save Money: Still at $26.10…

Get Organized: Put a dent in some financial reorganization.

Learn Chinese: Off.

Practice Guitar: Played a bit for fun.

Quit Sugar: Very little sugar today.

Sugar Tally:

9 grams Soylent

4 Kombucha

13  grams of sugar, which is still pretty low.

Read 26 Books: Finished Elon Musk.

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading, and wrote the Elon Musk review.

Make a Difference: 

Sunday January 13th

Get Fit: Off day.

Save Money: At $46.27 after a weekly $20 infusion and a small amount of rounding.

Get Organized: Some clothing reorganization.

Learn Chinese: Off.

Practice Guitar: Small playing, for fun.

Quit Sugar: Very little sugar today.

Sugar Tally:

4 Kombucha

5 grams (this is a guess) in a plain croissant. The seller said it had some added sugar, but it didn’t taste sweet at all, so I’m really not sure.

9(?)  grams of sugar, which is low.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Hitchen’s Mortality. 

Minimize Social Media: Same as yesterday, I checked Facebook a couple times to reply to messages. No feed-scrolling.

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading.

Make a Difference: 

This week is over, check week three for more. 

 

Week in review:

Overall I’m happy with what I accomplished. On Monday I finished The Lean Startup and by Saturday I finished Elon Musk. That’s a pretty rapid clip for reading, given that I’m doing other things as well. I’ve also mostly been successful in keeping my sugar consumption down. This doesn’t feel terrible, although when I was watching the Simpsons I felt a sudden urge to have a brownie after Homer mentioned eating one. I genuinely would like to have some ice cream, although the thought of having soda seems pretty gross. I had some lentil soup once or twice during the week and damn, I have to say I don’t like it anymore. The taste is off, it’s just not savory anymore. It almost tastes sweet now, which I suppose makes sense given it has 10 grams of sugar. #dissapointed. The workouts have been going okay although that Friday situation was nearly cheating, although I suppose walking for 90 minutes is not exactly sedentary. I’ve largely been off social media except for brief gasps and I can’t say I miss it too much.

What I can do to improve for next week is segment my time writing, meaning that everyday I spend 30 minutes on project X, everyday I spend 30 minutes on project y, etc etc. This way I will be making progress on things I easily forget or overlook. I also want and need to get onto a weight lifting program, although part of me is feeling like starting that in February. I’m uncertain. In any event, I can say two weeks in that while I have not been perfect I have been notably more productive than in 2016, and I’ve actually been consistently eating healthier, studying Chinese, reading more, and I don’t feel like my time is being wasted. Ironically, I actually feel like I have more time since I have the satisfaction of getting things done combined with the fact that I have a clear idea of what to do, which makes it all easier.

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