Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January habit forming challenges

I've actually been pursuing multiple challenges this month, which is generally not a good idea.  Splitting your attention too many ways and trying to institute too many lifestyle changes at once dramatically lowers your chances of successfully implementing lasting change.  I've justified the multi-goal approach by keeping my goals in separates spheres of my life (and also because some of my goals are inter-related so I necessarily have to pursue more than one at a time).  So, my habit forming goals for this month are/were:

1. Spend more quality time with Gen, and making sure to spend at least 10 minutes of mindful together time at the end of the day. (goal for my personal/home life)

2. Getting in at least 5 minutes of daily martial arts practice. (training goal)

3. Improving my handstand form and static hold time. (strength/conditioning goal)

So far, I've only been lagging on the handstand goal.  My handstand has definitely improved, but I'm not up to a 10s static hold yet or stable kick up into position.  My other goals (and other strength training) has cut into my handstand practice time.

Accidently, I added in a daily 5+ minute meditation goal for this month, but that seems to tie directly into my first two goals.  Gen and I have started a habit of a daily 10 minute meditation together at the end of the day as part of our time spent together.  And then mindfulness practice is a core part of my I-Liq Chuan training.  It was natural to just add that goal in, even if it wasn't initially on the list for this month.

Also, I appear to have already started on my goal of getting to bed earlier.  Gen needs to go to bed earlier these days now that she's teaching again.  If I want to keep up my habit of spending quality time with her at the end of the day, that means I also have to wind down my day earlier.  This earlier bedtime is (I believe) helping my training.  I wake up earlier and can thus get in some extra training time, and I'm getting more rest which is helping my body recover from my workouts faster.  I'm making faster progress on my weighted dips, dragon flags, and front levers than I expected.

It's funny how some of my goals are affecting each other.  It's complicating my 30-day challenge goal setting plans, but it's also fun seeing my goals approach completion faster.

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