Every New Year’s Resolution: Failbruary

every new years resolution

During February I kept up with my New Year’s Resolutions–sort of. Things actually went quite well until I hit my Sweden trip. I didn’t have a plan, and a few things, like working out or playing guitar, were impossible. With those gone and without a proper plan, I slipped into laziness and distraction by the time I got back.

Those problems have extended into mid march, as I write this now. It is a major issue and calls for a total reset of the plan. I’ll be formulating a reset over the next week or so, this time with a stronger plan and more research into how to keep and maintain habits.

Despite some failure, there have been some wins too. I’ve dramatically cut down on my sugar consumption, and I lost 10 pounds of weight that I didn’t want. I think that is largely, but not totally, due to cutting down on sugar.

It is also not like I have completely stopped working out, studying Chinese, or my other goals. I’m just back into a scatterbrained, not consistent schedule. I set a very high standard and I met it, for a little over a month. Failure to maintain that standard, even though I am healthier than before, still seems like a failure. But, it’s important to remember that this is only a temporary setback on the road to even more success.

Overall, the experience so far has taught me some valuable lessons about resolutions and planning–and also revealed why having a stronger plan is important.

Current analysis:

Problem 1: A poor plan

I should have had a better plan, especially a plan for when my off time would be. Without a plan for when was off and when was on, I let things slip when I got back to the States. It would’ve been far better to give up on the plan during vacation, then commit to it full force when I got back.

Problem 2: No accountability

Also, in an effort to keep things clean, I didn’t post my February resolutions in real time. During my January resolutions log I did a new post each week. In February I decided to post it all at the end. This was a huge mistake. It removed accountability and meant that I failed to stay honest on many of my goals.

Solution 1: Develop a better plan

From now on I will let vacation days be vacation days and weekdays be weekdays. This clearly defines when my goals need to be kept and when they don’t. I’ll also do more research into how to keep and maintain goals.

Solution 2: Post on the same day, again. 

I’m moving back towards monthly posts that will be updated daily. I’ll do a single post a month, but add to it each day.

Solution 3: Be flexible with goals

I’ve been hamstrung with my resolutions as I kept to some of them but didn’t actually make much progress. For example, I played guitar every day in January, but made little progress. Ironically, in early March, I wrote several new songs.

I need to keep working and learning how to achieve these goals.

What’s worked so far: 

So far, cutting down on sugar has been my biggest achievement. It is something I assiduously logged during January, and it made a big difference. Now it’s impossible for me to stomach soda. It’s just gross. Eating dramatically less sugar is something that I continued to do, even as some of the other goals, like Chinese flashcards, fell apart.

Even though February was full of failure and half progress, it was not total. Here is a partial log of February:

Monday January 30th, 2017

Get Fit: I did a massive bike ride. Two hours up some really steep hills. It was great, but tiring. Given that I drove over an hour to get to where I was riding, most of my day was taken up by this.

Save Money: Currently at $89.64.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: I totally failed on this one. Given that the month is almost over, this is a pseudo-bad sign.

Practice Guitar: I think I played for about 30 seconds.

Quit Sugar: I had a bottle of Soylent and a Kombucha, so 17 grams.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. 

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Tuesday January 31st, 2017

Get Fit: I was so tired after the bike ride, at a really late bedtime, that I didn’t workout today. Bad way to end the month, but I suppose that the intense activity of the previous day sort of made up for it.

Save Money: Currently at $89.64.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: I skipped it again today. Sort of was in a daze. I need to get better on the reminders so I don’t slip. I know if I weren’t doing this blogging I would totally, totally have given up by now. Important to find a way to force yourself to keep it up.

Practice Guitar: I think I played for about 30 seconds.

Quit Sugar: I had a bottle of Soylent and a Kombucha, so 13 grams.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. 

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Wednesday February 1, 2017

Get Fit: I did 20 minutes on the bike in the gym. Not that impressive, to be honest I still felt meh, but at least I got something done.

Save Money: Currently at $107.28.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: I skipped it again… Things are getting unacceptable.

Practice Guitar: I played a song or two.

Quit Sugar: It was February, so I decided to try an old favorite of mine. Bubble tea. I got a soymilk tea with soy pudding from Soyful desserts. I only got 50% sweetness, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. To be honest, it didn’t taste too sweet, it just tasted… Way less fun than before I really cut down on sugar. All in all, I have no idea how much sugar I had, but I am guessing that I had 30 grams at the very most. It tasted like a lot less, but I should be conservative here.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. 

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Get Fit: I did another 20 minutes on the bike in the gym. Not that impressive, to be honest I still felt bad, but at least I got it done. I need to advance back to 30. Motivation is sapped. I think I need to switch to weights to switch things up. Stationary bike is too boring.

Save Money: Currently at $109.75.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: I did it! Back on track, or so I hope.

Practice Guitar: I played a song or two, but this was not disciplined practice. That needs to change.

Quit Sugar: I had part of a bottle of Soylent and a Kombucha, so 10 grams or so. I also had the smallest sip of Pepsi and, later, Dr. Pepper, today. They tasted so sweet and gross. I could really feel the effects of the sugar reset.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. 

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Friday February 2nd, 2017

Get Fit: Woke up too late.

Save Money: Currently at $110.58.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: I did it! Back on track, or so I hope.

Practice Guitar: I played a song or two, but this was not disciplined practice. That needs to change.

Quit Sugar: I had part of a bottle of Soylent and a Kombucha, so 10 grams or so. I also had the smallest sip of Pepsi and, later, Dr. Pepper, today. They tasted so sweet and gross. I could really feel the effects of the sugar reset.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. 

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

 

Saturday February 4th, 2017

Get Fit: Off

Save Money: Currently at $110.58.

Get Organized: Still clean, no massive progress.

Learn Chinese: Off.

Practice Guitar: Played for a while, it was nice–but not disciplined.

Quit Sugar: Well, a month is up, so I got off the no sugar train, but only a little bit. Went for dim sum and had some red bean bun. Too fried, too sweet. Had a bubble tea with aloe vera but ordered it with 0% extra sugar and had them cut down the flavoring, which has sugar as well, to 1 oz. Not sure how much sugar that really was but the guy behind the register didn’t think it was much. I had it and it was refreshingly sweet but mild. A good combination and reminder that cutting down has had real benefits and makes overly sweet things much less acceptable.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. Getting closer, and I’m sort of liking the book less.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Sunday February 5th, 2017

Get Fit: Off

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: Off but I did it anyway.

Practice Guitar: Didn’t play

Quit Sugar: Had some Kombucha and Soylent for 13 grams.

Read 26 Books: Read The Three Body Problem. Almost done. Not that amazing.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Monday February 6th, 2017

Get Fit: Woke up early to head into SF. No gym. Lots of longboarding around town, though.

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: Did It before bed.

Practice Guitar: Played briefly.

Quit Sugar: Had a soylent and a Kombucha and a little bit of Sriracha and some of a reduced sugar bubble tea and some of a soy pudding Chinese desert. No idea what my true sugar levels were, but they must have been over 25. Maybe we estimate 50?

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Tuesday February 7th, 2017

Get Fit: Back in the game, did 30 minutes on the bike. Wasn’t that hard.

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: Did it before bed.

Practice Guitar: Played for a while… A great song called “sealed with a kiss.”

Quit Sugar: Had some Soylent and Kombucha. 17 grams.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Wednesday February 8th, 2017

Felt bad most of the day. Working out helped but didn’t solve it. Stress of the trip to come and feeling like leaving and other things just compounded, I guess. I felt a lot better after talking to my parents for over an hour, although we were just talking about the future and not the specific things I felt at that time.

Get Fit: Slept in and was lazy, but made up for it by doing 35 minutes at lunch. It was a mental barrier, and a I felt a lot better after doing it.

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: The apartment is still clean. Not quite IKEA level but things are looking good.

Learn Chinese: Did it before bed.

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had a soylent and a kombucha. 17 grams.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for a freelance project.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Thursday February 9th, 2017

Got on the flight to Iceland at 11:20. In the morning I forgot to have my soylent, but I had a croissant and a tea. Took a melatonin realively early on the flight, didn’t sleep for too long, though the perhaps 3-4 hours I got was a lot considering I had just woken up.

Get Fit: Was traveling

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Was traveling

Learn Chinese: Did it on the flight

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had a piece of gum a fellow traveler offered me on the flight… Trident. I could really taste the sugar.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Friday February 9th, 2017

Lunch and dinner at indian places. Mango lassi dinner. In between we played the videogame. I was at the café after lunch.

Get Fit: Was traveling

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Was traveling

Learn Chinese: Did it on the flight

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had a piece of gum a fellow traveler offered me on the flight… Trident. I could really taste the sugar.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Saturday February 9th, 2017

Two café visits. Buffet veg. Evening out, sweet drink. Back late.

Get Fit: Was traveling

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Was traveling

Learn Chinese: Did it on the flight

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had mango lassi. I was tired. It was a little sweet. I was like meh. Had some of a pastry in the morning but wasn’t good enough to continue eating.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Sunday February 9th, 2017 hjhjh

Woke up and went to a café. It was really good, had a bit of a Swedish desert.

Get Fit: Was traveling

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Was traveling

Learn Chinese: Did it on the flight

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had a piece of gum a fellow traveler offered me on the flight… Trident. I could really taste the sugar.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Monday February 10th, 2017 hjhjh

Woke up and went to a café. It was really good, had a bit of a Swedish desert.

Get Fit: Was traveling

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Was traveling

Learn Chinese: Did it on the flight

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had some Swedish desert. Sugar going crazy

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

 

 

 

Monday February 20th, 2017 hjhjh

My girlfriend came back this evening.

Get Fit: Did 20 minutes of bicycle and a small amount of weightlifting

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: 

Cleaned the apartment before my girlfriend came back.

Learn Chinese: Missed it.

Practice Guitar: Played a little.

Quit Sugar: Had some kombucha and Soylent. Perhaps 13 grams.

Read 26 Books: Read some of Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

Tuesday February 21st, 2017

Woke up late and went to starbucks near my girlfriend’s work. Didn’t work out but got things done.

Get Fit: Skipped

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Some apartment clean up.

Learn Chinese: Skipped

Practice Guitar: Played a little bit.

Quit Sugar: Had indian food for lunch, alomg with a mango lassi. The lassi probably pushed me over the sugar edge, but the rest of the day I had very little. Some kombucha.

Read 26 Books: Finished Dark Territory.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

  

Wednesday February 22nd, 2017

Get Fit: Did 20 minutes of weightlifting in the morning

Save Money: Currently at $130.58.

Get Organized: Organized the apartment and bought new flowers.

Learn Chinese: Skipped

Practice Guitar: Did not play.

Quit Sugar: Had some of a Tiramisu dessert and a Ginger Kombucha. Thai curry as well. Total sugar count is unknowable but definitely over 25 grams.

Read 26 Books: Nearly finished the Three Body Problem.

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

Write Every Day: I did the post you’re reading and other work for TRBH.

Make a Difference: Ugh. I feel like a phony with this one.

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