So I’ve spent some time browsing around my blogosphere and social media world to ferret out my friends’ most common New Year’s resolutions.
And they are: Exercise more, read more, write more, be more organized.
Hmm. Eerily familiar.
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What’s the common denominator in these?
Exercising more, reading more, writing more, decluttering more will all take MORE time.
But our time remains stuck and unbudging at 168 hours a week.
So for all these excellent habits to come in—exercising, reading, writing, being organized—something has to go.
Every I Will Do resolution must include a I Won’t Do or I Don’t Do resolution or it will be doomed to failure. For every hour we plan to spend reading, writing or exercising, we must subtract an hour from ?? TV, the black hole of the internet? Repetitive home-tidying?
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My biggest time black hole is my internet usage. In December, I spent 11 hours 15 minutes a week on Facebook and Twitter, including reading blogs; and 5 hours 21 minutes a week reading newspapers, magazines and blogs, according to Rescue Time.
16.5 hours a week!! I did a kind of Triple Dog Lock this week and managed to reduce Facebook and Twitter usage to 3 hour and 15 minutes for the week—a level I am comfortable with. (I enjoy reading people’s blogs on FB, and peeking at what my friends are up to).
Turns out Internet Addiction is the easiest addiction to break.
If you’d like to cut back on social media and online reading to read or write more, try these: AntiSocial to cut off every distracting site you specify for when you write or pray or read or study your Bible. I turn off all my distracting sites for 4 hours at time to allow me to relax and think (and to be open to God) without the flood of trivial distractions, which is the internet.
I use RescueTime concurrently. It turns off every site it deems distracting. Can’t visit blogs of stray friends you think of to see what they are up. Can’t “research” on stray newspapers or your favourite sites.
And then the most effective: StayFocusd. Decide how much time a day you want to “waste” on your most distracting sites. Tell StayFocusd the sites and how much time you want to waste. When your time’s up, it’s up. You will not be able to visit the sites again that day. I gave myself a budget of 35 minutes a day for Twitter and Facebook, and so I had a great writing week of 17+ hours.
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Okay then, here’s my progress on New Year’s Goals.
1 Writing and Blogging
Not a bad week, despite 2 sick days. I completed Bible reading notes on Jeremiah for the Scripture Union (a paid project).
I worked a little bit on a couple of book length projects (and oh, how good does that feel!!) and blogged
and mused a bit on my Blog Through the Bible Project.
|Dec. avg.||Goal: Jan 14||Ach’d||Goal: Jan 21||Ach’d||Goal – year end|
|Writing||7h 10 min||16 hours||17 hours 32 mins||18 hours||40h|
|Social media||11h 17 min||8 hours||3 hours 15 mins||3hours 30 mins||3h 30min|
|News, Blogs, Mags||5h 21 min||4 hours||5 hours 58 mins||3 hours 30 mins||3 hours|
2 Anita’s Get Very Fit Project
I am going on a walking pilgrimage through Tuscany in September walking 10-14 miles a day in hilly country. And so I am getting fit, steadily increasing my distance and speed with Runkeeper and my very accurate Omron pedometer. We will be hill-walking at 2.75 miles an hour, which means training at 4 miles an hour. Challenging for me!
The great blizzard of 2013 hit, and the fields around my house are carpeted in snow and ice, and I got sick for two days, and so sadly walked less than last week–when I wasn’t training. I am nervous about walking fast on icy roads, and nervous about walking after dark on icy roads. (Yeah, I just need a grandbaby to complete this picture, instead of my teenagers).
Anyway, here’s my chart, and my next week’s goals. The ice is unlikely to melt, but let’s be optimistic.
|Walking statistics by week|
|Week of Jan 7, walked||29.6 km|
|Week of Jan 14, goal||33.6 km|
|Week of Jan 14, actual||13.6 km|
|Week of Jan 21, goal||14.96 km|
|Week of Jan 21, actual|
Lost 2.4 lb this week, mainly through a couple of new determinations: Not to eat if I am not physically hungry (but am stressed, bored, angry, sad, frustrated), but to pray for a filling of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter instead. Novel dieting strategy, huh?
And secondly, not to spend money on anything which is not a blessing to my body. So I have not bought, or asked Roy to buy chocolate, or anything with sugar or white flour, icecream, desserts etc. since. (Sadly, I can’t and don’t want to control what the girls, who are skinny, buy, so I have sampled their Haagen-Dazs and chocolate—but not much.)
|Weight (lb)||Cum. Loss|
|Jan 27th goal||228.7–227.2|
3 Waking early
Sadly, have built up a backlog of tiredness and have been sick, and so will be sleeping in until I am well-rested again, and then will be return to waking early.
4 Domestic Order (or “God is not a God of Disorder but of Peace” 1 Cor. 14:33 Project)
Worked on three cluttered bookshelves this month, and here’s the fourth.
New resolution—to make a note of the books I want to buy/read, and only buy them when they are the very next thing I am going to read. I doubt I will keep this resolution perfectly, but there will be progress.
I realized I had seven books on the go, lingering on coffee tables in the bedroom, conservatory, my study, in the car etc.
So I have abandoned 3 for now, and just have four on the go, and am enjoying zipping through them.
Simplicity is efficiency.
They are Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.
Louis de Bernieres Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
And Tim Ferriss The Four Hour Week.
And on audio
Saul Bellow The Adventures of Augie March.
I am enjoying reading far more with few books on the go.
New Habit—Unprocrastination. Very successful and I loved it. I set aside 10 minutes to do a procrastinated task. So I am working through a nagging list which was in my mind. Once on paper, I am surprised by how long it is. This week I have: Mended a coat pocket so that my coat has two pockets. Filled up some boring forms. Updated my calendar with all my activities which came in emails or in the mail. Ordered some sorely needed jeans and exercise clothes. Done some blog maintenance. All tiny things, but scoring them off makes me feel happier.