The New Year has past, and it's time again for some resolutions. I was actually pretty successful with my resolutions last year. I smoked the goals of jumping rope for 10 continuous minutes and dropping 1% body fat. I can now jump easily jump rope for over 20 straight minutes at a reasonable 120 turns per minute pace, though I'm usually skipping the rope at a much faster pace. I'm also pretty sure I dropped more than just 1% body fat since I dropped 10+ pounds and my abs started showing up. My bodyfat has been slightly creeping up again since I took a job that seriously ate into my free time, thus making regular exercise and a carefully planned diet much more difficult. However, I'm dropping that job since the job was sucking my will to live out of me, and that's never a good sign. I'll be starting this year with a really clean slate.
So what are my goals for 2009? I have quite a few goals for the new year, but the primary ones are:
1. Having more free time and me time
First and foremost, this year I want more time. My latest job required so many hours that I almost never interacted with my dear wife, my family, and essentially had no opportunities to develop a community of friends after moving to Lancaster. I also had almost no time to take care of myself (eating properly, exercising regularly, and just having down time to recuperate). It's no surprise I was miserable. Research shows that your happiness is closely tied to the quality of your interpersonal relationships and your health. My job was not providing me either of those things, gave me no fulfillment, and actively denied me the things I cared about. I quickly determined that the job simply wasn't worth pursuing any longer.
With more free time, I intend to re-incorporate all the little things that bring me fulfillment: checking in with my family and friends, spending quality time with Gen, my martial arts and fitness training, and stimulating my mind with things like learning Chinese. I know it can sometimes be hard to juggle the personal and working life, but I think I'll have a better handle on it this year. First off, the toxic job is gone. Next, I'm planning on instituting some new lifestyle design elements into my daily life. I've been motivated by reading The Four Hour Work Week, which has gotten me thinking about how I can rearrange my life to have both a successful working life and full personal life.
It'll be an ongoing experiment throughout the year redesigning my daily habits to fit my desired lifestyle. I've already tried a few things that I think will become permanent. I've dropped my random surfing. I now try to use the internet with more purpose and save the online leisurely pondering to for a select few blogs/sites/forums. That also means I'm viciously deleting feeds from my RSS feeder, because that is also a non-trivial time suck which gives me limited information given the amount of time I spend reading. I'll need to restrict the feeds I read to ones that give a lot of interesting/relevant information per post or friends' blogs. The other noise has to be filtered out. I've also decided to try restricting how often I check my e-mail. So far, I haven't really gone through any internet deprivation symptoms, and I've found that I can focus better on tasks I'm trying to accomplish.
2. Get back to consistent training
Having both moved and taken a new job at the same time, my martial arts and minfulness training has taken a big hit. I feel that my progress has seriously stagnated as a result. I really want to get back into daily personal training. Eventually, I'd like to up to at least 30 minutes each of martial arts and meditation training a day. I'm starting off with 5 minutes each daily and gradually working my way up.
3. Fitness Goals
I have a new set of fitness goals this year: 1. Iron Cross on the rings; 2. Weighted pull ups and dips at bodyweight; and 3. Double bodyweight deadlift. I still have to complete a few more goals from last year's goals, most notably my goals of holding a solid front lever and dragon flag. I'm not too far off from those goals, and I'm guessing that the time suck and energy suck from my last job prevented me from completing those goals. This year's goals should be more challenging than last year's, but I think they're completely do-able. I think the iron cross will probably be the most challenging of this year's fitness goals since it requires both a lot of upper body strength as well as elbow conditioning. I'm nearly halfway to my weighted pull up and dip goal (I can do 70lbs on each pretty consistently), and I think deadlifts should come quickly if I train smart (low rep 5x5 type strength workouts) and eat right.