While I’ve mostly been absent from writing to the blog, and my fitness routine has only been slightly less absent than that, I have been able to maintain one thing completely dialed in over all this time: fitness tracking (as usual). With all of that data together I decided to create my first annual review post. I’d say compared to the average American I had a very normal year. Unfortunately I don’t want to have the fitness level and longevity of the average American, so while I’m not going to say things were bad they weren’t where I want them to be either.
At the end of June, part of the way through this year’s 7th goal accountability phase I decided to finally get my shit together. I carried that momentum into the 8th phase. I haven’t done too many summaries this year, since I’ve mostly been sucking wind, but I have been keeping up my daily grading. Now that I’m dialed in from the goal perspective, so too will I be dialed in on reporting it. I am happy to report straight A’s across all my goals, finally!
Since I started dialing my fitness regiment in three weeks ago I’ve been striving to get a perfect 4.0 grade across all five of my daily goals for an entire week. I was getting really close, but each week had one or two hiccups/slip ups that kept me off the perfect mark. No longer. I finally got a 4.0 across all my categories for an entire week for the first time since I started trying to do this whole daily grading thing (even back to my Nutritarian Experiment of 2016). First, I’ll congratulate myself for a job well done. Now, a word of warning. When I nail something like this I often have an impulse to try to extend it longer and longer. Inevitably I stumble, just like anyone else does with anything like this. That stumble then usually leads to a crash. That crash then leads to a period of rationalization of how I was doing well so deserve a little “reward” for it, whatever that means, and that I’ll get back to it tomorrow. String a bunch of tomorrows together and I get years of getting back to it “tomorrow”.
This week may be a perfect week again, or it may not not. Instead of focusing on these longer term trends like I usually do I’m going to take my “being in the present” mindset that has been working these past three weeks forward. I’ll concentrate on nailing my goals today, and only today. I’m not going to worry about what I screwed up yesterday, or if I’ll screw up tomorrow. I’ll still track and trend all of these things as an observational and historical thing, but I’m not going to expend mental energy on it beyond just working it out today.
In a world where “life” didn’t get in the way of me doing my exercise/fitness things I’m sure I’d still find a way to avoid them. Part of the reason for doing the daily metrics and grading is to make how lax I am getting in those areas apparent. In the past three weeks I’ve had it dialed in really well though. My 10K steps goal is one that my fitness watch tracks for me. As the consecutive day counter goes up every day it seems like an even bigger shame to break my record. Yesterday work really got in the way of me getting to over 10K steps. It wasn’t that abnormal of a day compared to my normal schedule, but it was the first time since I decided to dial everything in that it happened. If it was three weeks ago I would have just said to myself, “Screw it! So I get a low grade on that that goal for the day!” Yesterday was different though. The low grade may not be enough to move my hand but the idea that I’d break my streak was enough. I hadn’t had time to squeeze in a morning walk (or run) before work, it wasn’t until mid-day that I realized I wouldn’t be home in time to do it before dark, I didn’t have exercise clothes, and it was 100 degrees outside. I even had “other things” I could have done to kill some time waiting for traffic to die down to make my way home. But I didn’t. Not this time. This time I just started walking and more walking for an hour, until the counter clicked just over 10K steps. The streak continues for another day and I registered another 4.0 day. It’s a minor victory to be sure, but string enough minor victories together and you get real progress.
After a year of false starts, many written about here ad nauseum, but with maintaining my tracking of nutrition and fitness goals every day, I can say that this time around I’ve started off on the right foot on dialing in my fitness/lifestyle goals and getting myself back on track.
While using the Goal Accountability Project as a means of keeping myself honest on where I am with my health it occurred to me that a graphical punch is as important as a daily check in. It’s one thing to look at a table of numbers and see that I haven’t been hitting the marks I want. However it is of far greater impact when you see a picture of it. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Phase 1 of 2017’s Goal Accountability project was a disaster, as I chronicled here. Phase 1 ended weak, really non-existent adherence, which rolled into Phase 2 beginning equally weak; but I got my butt in gear one week in and finished it strong!
When I wrote about kicking off 2017 (link) with a new push for goal accountability I specifically stated that it wasn’t a new years resolution and that those don’t work for me anyway. If my performance in the first phase isn’t a pointed tail of that I don’t know what is. Continue reading 2017 Phase 1 Goal Accountability: A Dud