Happy New Year. 2017 did a real number on me. Many positive things happened like the birth of my son, Ethan James. At the same time, I lost sight of my personal goals due to stress and the changes that occurred in my life. I started to become someone whose values didn't align with the best version of myself. It happens, but it ends now.
As far as where I am starting, I have a long journey to go. I will document my journey on this blog and update it month by month. There will be three categories that I will focus on improving.
These goals will adjust month by month depending on what life throws at me. The goals will be clearly defined so that there will be a clear line of success and a clear line of failure. I would prefer not to fail.
January Health Goal
Daily physical activity. Cut sugar to 10g a day
A year ago I released a book called "The Fat Loss Arsonist" I got some good response to it and some friends of mine made some positive changes to their health. This year I will remove the email opt-in. I won't know who downloads the book so if you were hesitant to get it last time because you didn't want me to know, worry not, you're safe.
I do encourage you to read it. I need to take my own advice. I am firmly on the sugar train after the holiday season and I need to get off quick. Cutting sugar alone should facilitate the broad goal of one pound of fat loss a week fairly easily with no other huge changes. I will track my sugar intake with the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone.
I was doing well with my running routine until I started getting a nagging ache in my right foot. Despite an initial drive to run the 2018 LA Marathon I opted out so as not to aggravate any potential injuries. Maybe I will participate next year. My foot is already feeling much better and I will add running to my weekly routine.
I have two kettlebells, two olympic rings and some floor space in the garage. This is plenty of material for a decent routine to get back into shape. I recommend The Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko WIllink as a resource for workouts and the shot of adrenaline needed to get started.
January Career Goal
30 minutes of piano and 30 minutes of bass practice a day
I make most of my money on piano lessons although I am not classically trained. I am decent but I have yet to maximize my potential. I will offer Skype lessons and start releasing piano music theory videos in 2018. To do that I need to improve my piano abilities.
I started my bass video series on "Standing In The Shadows of Motown" in 2017 but put it on hold due to a pinched nerve in my neck which numbed my right hand. I had to stop playing for a while but now I am recovered despite some nagging tingling. I will complete the video series and make sure I am reaching my fullest potential as a bassist this year.
January Mindfulness Goal
Social Media Cleanse and Daily Meditation Practice
This is a big one. Social media has highjacked my dopaminergic system. The gratification of the next "like" or comment to a funny post is subverting actually accomplishing worthy goals.
I manage a few Facebook pages for my career so I can't cut the cord completely. I will limit social media usage to 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. 5 minutes max. Twitter is getting deleted this month. Facebook and Instagram will be relegated to posts that give me some comic relief or enlighten my spirit, but I can't get into the rabbit hole of other peoples business. I have only so much attention to give and I can't spend it on things that don't matter.
At night, it's writing/blogging or reading a book. The phone is off after 10 PM. Enough is enough.
I work best with some meditation in my life. 10 minutes on The Calm app a day, preferably in the morning to cleanse the mental palette.
Rethinking New Years Resolutions
Sort Yourself Out
Become The Strongest Version of Yourself
Realize Your Full Potential
I'm starting to think that it all means the same thing. You don't need to go to a seminar or buy the latest self-help book to get the overall message. I think that the idea was best expressed by the idea of individuation.
If you are unhappy with the way you look, congratulations. You are in good company. Most people don't like the way they look. Most people are unhappy with their current situation. Most people realize that things could be better.
If you happen to think that you are doing really well, then ask how you could do even better? How could you really maximize your potential? For it is a rare person who is whole, complete and psychologically aligned to the highest good.
If this sounds like it's a tremendous burden that requires more out of you than you may be willing to give, then that's because it is.
At the very least, there are at least a dozen stupid things you are doing right now that if you stopped, your life would improve significantly. So start there.
That's why if you set out to lose twenty pounds, chances are you won't make it. If you do, you will probably gain it all back. If your goal doesn't involve your development as an individual, then the goal is too shallow. Dig deeper, set out for more than just pounds lost. Lose the excess psychological baggage as well.
By my estimation, the road is narrow, fraught with pitfalls and the potential for failure is quite high. You must be better than you were last year to walk the path successfully.
Let's find out what happens when we walk this path