Lifestyle Update – September 16, 2008


Photo by Melissa Webb (See more images at her flickr stream)

The past week seemed to have zipped by in a flash. Even though I’m not expected to show up at an office each day, I feel busier than ever.

Evaluate Goals from Last Week

My goals for last week were:

  • Read – Spend a minimum of two hours reading everyday
  • Exercise – Go jogging three times a week. Preferably, every other day. Do Yoga on off days.
  • Renew Spirit – Meditate in silence for 15 minutes twice daily.
  • Reduce Email Consumption – Spend no more than one hour on email a day, broken down into two 30 minute sessions.
  • Productivity - Set 3 achievable and bite sized goals every morning, commit to completing them first, before doing any other random tasks.

How did I do? Here are the ones I’ve succeeded in:

  • Exercise – I went jogging every other day. YAY!  I would force myself to go out regardless of how late in the day it was: whether it was noon or 3pm (This used to be an excuse I used to avoid running). I’m learning that the more I do it, the less resistance I feel towards getting outside, and the further I can go without needing to stop. Pretty cool to observe how responsive our body is at adapting to change.  I have been doing 1.4 mile walk-runs. I would jog half way and speed-walk the other half back.  The goal next week is to jog all the way, both ways.
  • Reduce Email Consumption – I’ve gotten my email time down to about an hour a day during the week and rarely checking email on the weekend.  This feels really liberating, as I now have more time for other things I’ve been wanting to do.  It has, however, been difficult to peel myself away from the computer after an hour, knowing that I have more email that needs replying.  I think with time, I will get better at not beating myself up too much for not replying to email immediately.
  • Productivity - The biggest challenge with setting 3 bite sized goals every morning, is the impulse to set more than 3 goals. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up with a list of 9 must do items (becoming a wish list rather than the top three priorities).  So what I do now is list out top items I want to get done, even if there are more than three, and put the numbers 1, 2, and 3 beside the tasks with the highest priority. Everything else is an optional item, and I can only work on them if 1,2 and 3 are done. This is pretty challenging, as I feel a pull towards other items on the optional list and end up doing those instead.   Again, I’m getting better the more I practice it, both at evaluating what is realistic and shifting my focus to the priority items first.

Goals that still need some work:

  • Read – I read about an hour a day for 3 days out of the week. After completing my tasks each day, it would be late, and this goal tended to be the item that fell off my plate.
  • Renew Spirit – I meditated for 15 minutes once the entire week. I think I’m gonna put this goal on hold until I can focus on it solely.

I’m learning that I tend to underestimate how long things will take and I need to take into consideration unexpected events when planning my week.   For example, the article on vegetarian diet last week took 20 hours to write – unexpected meetings, errands and other admin tasks took up the other 20 hours.

I’m also learning (once again) the importance of focusing on as few major goals as possible.  For the next week I will be focused solely on my exercise, email and daily productivity goals. I will get back to meditation, reading and rising early once I’ve habituated the other goals.

All in all, the exercise alone has shifted my state towards a positive one.  I feel renewed and excited for the future.

What’s New?

I bought a ticket to Beijing a month ago, and last week, I bought a ticket from Beijing to Ürümqi, and then from Ürümqi to Kashgar. I leave this Friday (3 days). It’ll be an adventurous trip in a remote part of China. I’ll post more about this, later this week.

I’ll be updating Simply Tina with pictures and words during my travels in China.

Eeeeeee!!!! I’m so excited!

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8 Responses (7 Comments, 1 Trackbacks ):


  1. 1

    Wow, an hour a day emailing: I am impressed. Limiting is email I often do, since you’re right – it can eat up the whole day. It seems that every few months though I have some major project that requires coordination, and I tell myself “just this week, it’s all over email and I have to be responsive and in touch.” And then I have to break the cycle all over again!

    Enjoy your trip to Beijing! Maybe next month if you want another excuse to travel, you can come out to Hawaii for our first ever Wordcamp/Podcamp. It’s October 24-25th in Honolulu.

  2. 2

    Awesome, enjoy your trip and let us know how it goes! Must be nice to make free-will decisions like that ;)

  3. 3

    Ooh you leave Friday, that’s awesome! I’m leaving for China October 7th. I’m so excited too! I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. We’ll all be looking forward to seeing some great photos when you get back. ;)

    As for your weekly goals, I would say you did good! :)

  4. Lewis Howes



    Glad to see you are jogging ;) Hint: make jogging one of your bite sized goals in the morning and you won’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.

    Have a great rest of the week!

  5. 5

    I need to get myself jogging again. Haha.

    Keep it going there!

  6. 6

    I have done the same thing lately. I have added 3 days of Yoga/Pilates – I am a die hard “pavement pounder” and have committed to a more rounded routine. I also added affirmations and 1.5 hours or reading a day. I leave the email after 6pm and take weekends off. Life is good that way :) Thanks, my I repost?

  7. 7

    Great post, Tina! Exercise (running), yoga and reading are some of the stuff I do regularly. I love photography too.

    I think it’s going to be wonderful if you would post reviews of the books you read recently. Just a thought. :D

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