Getting back on track

So I’ve let my writing lapse over this past year.  It’s been something that I know I ‘should do’ but always put off for a ‘later time’.  Needless to say that never happens as proven by the tardiness in my post.  So I am in the process of making some lunch for tomorrow and starting a loaf of bread in the bread machine and I think to myself I should start a post RIGHT NOW.  I have time while I wait for this to start and possible finish a post.

Over the past couple of months I’ve started a new job.  That’s been a little stressful as I have far more responsibility than previously.  Mind you I’m not complaining.  I enjoy the work and I like the additional responsibility.  I feel like my contributions are valued and I have a voice at the table.  That makes the new job better than any prior job.

Kamut grainSo one of the things I’ve also neglected is my diet.  I’ve been eating more carbs in all their forms.  That’s lead to be gaining some weight.  So tonight I am working on simplifying my diet and lunch for tomorrow.  I have some chicken sausages, roasted brussel sprouts and Kamut (a traditional grain of Egypt).  The Kamut takes an hour to cook so it’s a hearty grain.  From the nutritional information I see it has 7 grams of protein per every 1/4 cup.

I also have a bread machine which has a loaf of wheat bread brewing.  That of course takes 4 hours so that will finish sometime after 1 AM.  Fresh bread is so amazing in SO MANY ways.  I like baking though just because it makes me feel good.  Of course those people that I share it with enjoy my baking as well.  I have a loaf of cranberry and pumpkin bread that I’m going to take to work tomorrow.  I’m sure they will be pleased.

I also made my daily FitBit goal today. I’ve not been good about that either for 3 of 4 months.  By the time I leave work I’m just wanting to be a vegetable.  So exercise is the last thing on my mind.  I’ve not been to the gym in about a month.  I HAVE started to walk from my house a little.  Both need to happen far more.  Some may say walking isn’t any big deal but if I walk from my house DOWN the hill to the Castro and then BACK UP the hill that’s about 2 miles with an elevation change of about 700 feet.

So today I can say that I’m back on track in some of my life goals.  I will continue to work forward on these goals.  I will not give up and I will not give in.  These goals are important and are help my mental and physical health.  Both of which are critical and extremely important to a healthy life.

Happy belated Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for this year?

I’m thankful for my friends, job, boyfriend and life in San Francisco.  I am indeed lucky and thankful for what I have in my life.

Looking to the future

So what does my future look like?  Most of the time I try to focus on being in the present.  Now I want to think about my future.  This is a difficult task.  I think about the future in big grand terms or general terms.  The focus on details is crucial and important.

Just like a business you can’t grow unless you have goals.  A business will have short and long-term goals.  Like a business you need personal short and long-term goals.  You need be forward-looking in life with direction to set these goals.  I saw this phrase on Facebook recently and it really resonated with me.

The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”

This is something I’ve heard many times in life.  I’ve heard various people say this and I’ve seen the results of it time after time.  The thing that it indicates normally is that the person/group/company doesn’t think outside the box.  They don’t thinking in what I would call solution based.  I’ve always been a big picture kind of guy myself.  Why or how did I get this way?  It sure wasn’t taught at home during my childhood.  Unless you count the times where as a family we had to make ends meet when we didn’t have much.  I guess that’s one way I learned it.

So what are some of the things I want?

Well there are the basics that everyone wants.

  1. Love
  2. Respect
  3. Money
  4. Home
  5. Retirement (sooner please rather than later)

I need to focus on how I get there.  Each person has a different idea of what this looks like. Now I’m trying to define this for myself.  The question is what do these things mean to me?  Respect is really vague.  So what does it mean?  That’s more about how you’re treated.  You have to ask for and demand it at times.  You don’t have to be rich, glamorous, tall, thin, have great hair or the whitest teeth to be respected.

I’m going to build a page to start putting down what I want.  I think this will help me quantifying or qualify what I want in the future.  I’ll be able to start with something generic and through refinement get to a more specific detail.  I can also use of some images to define what I want in life.

I keep telling myself it shouldn’t be that difficult. I feel like some of my items are superficial but I imagine if I had it then there would be something else.  Does that mean there are stages of desire?  I imagine that concept is pretty true.  There’s always stages in your life, right?

Leave a suggestion in the comments below.  What kind of tools do you think will help? How can I figure out what I truly want in the future?  Tell me about my bad grammar or just leave a polite supporting message.  It’s all good in the grand scheme of life.

I’m grateful for …

  1. I’m grateful for Susan letting me use her car so I can get to work and then later get to Orchestra rehearsal.
  2. I’m grateful that I got to go on a whale watching cruise this past weekend.
  3. I’m grateful that the weather is warming up.

I’m curious about …

  1. I’m curious about how to create passive income for future success.
  2. I’m curious about the effects of the drought here in California.
  3. I’m curious about what my future holds.

I’m surprised by …

  1. I’m surprised by how much I really want a car.
  2. I’m surprised by how close whales will get to the shore
  3. I’m surprised by how much my mind wonders.

How can I keep focus?

So in life we have so many distractions every day it seems.  If you’re someone like me I sometimes go find distractions to keep myself busy.  I find that I’m sometimes my own worst enemy when it comes to this lack of focus.  So now I’m asking myself more and more about why I’m doing this to myself and how to break out of the cycle.

Lets tear apart my day to see how I’m spending my time.

Time

Task

Duration

6:30 AM Get up, get shower, get dressed 30 minutes
7:00 AM Pack up lunch and get ready to leave 15 minutes
7:15: AM Get on bus to head to work 1.5 hours
8:50 AM Work 8 hours
5:00 PM Head to gym (walk, train, walk, change) 45 minutes
6:00 PM Work out 1.5 hours
7:15 PM Commute home 1 hour
8:30 – 9:00 PM The time I get home

That is how my schedule looks on the days I go to the gym or exercise.  So that would be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Tonight I’m also going to an orchestra rehearsal which run till 9:30.  After that I’ll drive home which should get me in around 10:30 PM.

OK so that leaves between 9 and 11 PM on the weeknights that I go to the gym.  Friday’s I’ve been working from home and my evenings aren’t structured.  When I say my evenings aren’t structured what I’m really saying is that it’s free time and I go out.  Saturday and Sunday are free and I schedule them as I find things to do.  So I really only have 2 days that I don’t have about 11 to 12 hours of the day committed.

So I find myself getting emotional over this because I feel like life somewhat out of control.  I have to remember it’s not out of control.  I’m doing more than most people.  I’ve had people say ‘You’re always on the move doing something.’  Of course they say that based on what they see on my Facebook account.  Looking at the schedule above though I am pretty busy.

So I think the lesson I need to take away after writing this down is I need to treat myself with as much positive encouragement and praise for the work I am doing.  So I’m doing a good job.  Next something I should do is work on posting my accomplishments to my blog.  Writing blog post about what I’m accomplishing and doing helps make all the things I do more tangible.  I think we can all agree that having tangible accomplishments is a good thing.  While writing my blog post I need to narrow down some what of what I’m looking to do in the future.  There are so many great ideas and things I want to do.  Now I need to go through that list and narrow it down.  Prioritize the list and see if there are any multiples.

Let’s review my next steps:

  1. Praise and encourage myself!
  2. Write my blog post!
  3. List out these things that I want to do.
  4. Prioritize my list

It may seem silly but I feel better already.  This reminds me of two things.  First is the Kiss principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).  Don’t let it overwhelm me.  Write it down and really see what you’re dealing with before jumping to conclusions.  Second is to set up SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely).  So if I keep it simple and great SMART goals for myself then I’ll be successful.

What’s my next step?

First I’m going to write my next post.  I find it amazing and fulfilling to write these post.  I’m able to process so many feelings and thoughts.  It’s not import if anyone else reads it.  Most import is that it’s helping me get my own feelings and thoughts together and allow me to move forward.

Second I am going to make a list of the things I am telling myself I want to do.  I am guessing that there will be some very common themes.  From that I think I can categorize them and then start to put a priority to them.  This isn’t about the future.  It is about today.  What can I do today.  What would have the biggest impact today.  I need to focus on the present day and what I can do or what is important to me.

Third is something I almost forget to acknowledge.  I need to continue my focus on the positive by stating the things I’m grateful for in my life.  Seeing the positive people and events in my life are extremely important.

I’m grateful for:

  1. My friends who are there to support me.
  2. My workout partner who keeps me focused on exercising.
  3. Music and the fact that I am able to play my tuba.

I’m curious about:

  1. How difficult would it be to moving to a foreign country?
  2. Why haven’t I felts like I have roots in a city?
  3. What is my friend Bob up to?

I’m surprised by:

  1. People’s instability, never fails to surprise me.
  2. How involved people are in soccer.
  3. How busy I am on weekdays.

What do I want in life?

So one of the things I’m trying to sort out now is what’s next?  Sometimes in life that’s not a difficult question.  A lot of the time you’re either happy or unhappy and that drives the choice.  At this point in life I’m kind of complacent and that’s not a happy feeling for me.  I like a forward motion in my life.

Currently I have a contract job till October.  That’s good because I have time to search for my next job.  I need A job so that’s not really a question.  So I’m asking myself do I search exclusively for another contract job or a full-time position that will have benefits and a stable paycheck.  There’s part of me that is a realist and says I may not have this luxury.  I may need to take what I can get.  The nice thing is, knowing when the end is coming I am able to start looking now.

So, I don’t think that really answers the bigger question.  What do I want in life.  It’s a question that puzzles me in some regards.  I am normally trying to advance in some way.  At this point I don’t feel that I need to advance.  It also feels like there are some smaller more attainable goals that need to put in place.  These goals are potentially what is missing from my life.  The problem I am now faced with is are these goals what I want?  Wait, we’re right back to the question “what do I want in life?”

So that’s where I stand today.  I need to start a running list of goals or maybe I should call them desires. Oh lord maybe I just came up with another list that I need to start with first.  Then, from that list write a list of goals.  What else goes with goals but priorities. So desires, goals and then priorities.  Well that sounds like a good place to start.

Oh so my first goal is to write a post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I’ll try to collect my accomplishments and add them into my post.   Some of my updates will get posted on Facebook.  So check back and see where I am with my list and goals.  Please leave your comments or questions.  I want to hear from you.  I don’t believe I know everything and I may need help staying focused.  So a little helpful advice from time to time is great.

What am I grateful for today?

  1. I’m grateful for great friends (Scott, Susan and Sarah to name a few) that make me smile at the mere mention of their name.
  2. I’m grateful to know my friend Kimberly who’s worlds different but could be a better friend.
  3. I’m grateful for eye sight because there are so many beautiful things to see in the world not the least of which is a blue sky.
  4. I’m grateful that I get to meet amazing people (Beth) at work and weave them into the fabric of my daily activities.
  5. I’m grateful for the ability to write this and know that my friends and other will support me.