Archive | January, 2011

Less is more

15 Jan

Today, we had a power cut. This cut off the internet (hence, if your reading this, then we finally got power back !) But it also meant I took an enforced break from some coding work I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. More on that later.
In this time I managed to get some work done on my CV (laptops have batteries, after all) and some wedding questions I’d left hanging around. So I felt pretty good – after all wedding planning and job hunting are probably my big two goals right now. But I’ve been focusing most of my energy on writing code for a gaming platform (called Fantasy Grounds) which both enables me to keep gaming online, and more effectively, but also has commercial potential to make me a small chunk of pocket change. Suspect this will never become big career money (or even small career money) but in doing so I achieve flow – that rare state of mindful working where you are constantly in the zone working on something, getting massive productivity and happiness from “losing yourself” in the task.
Of course, then I also get a little guilt that I’ve lost myself in coding when I perhaps should be applying myself to wedding planning or job hunting, but losing yourself is clearly more tempting !
So anyway, this afternoon (power still off and down to my backup laptop !) I set about reading again “The power of less” – a good little book by Leo Barbauta about doing less to achieve more. It’s basically the “if you really want to suceed at new resolutions, this is probably the best way to do it” book. It recommends small changes, one change at a time, and regular habit as the cornerstone of setting new resolutions. It also reminds you to align these things with life goals and values, as the way it’s going to work is your changing your life for something (very slightly) better, so you need to foucs on the better to get there ! Anyway, he explains it a lot better in the book and on his website (Zen Habits) so enough of the theroy.

One of the ideas from the book to achieve this small change is the “30-day” challenge (sounds like a youghut commerical, but stay with me). The idea is to pick one and only one habit at a time, choose an easy, measureable goal, be consistent and report daily on it for 30 days. Oh yeah, and to keep positive about it ! The easy part is important – so many resolutions start high, and after 1-2 months crash, as the habit is not there. And the daily reporting thing is important too – it adds accountabilty (we are all only human, after all) and hopefully encouragement, commitment and inspritation. Depending on the quality of your friends *hint*

So with that in mind, I intend (once the power is back) to post this, and a facebook status update linking to it decalring my new 30 day challenge ! Starting today, 14th January, I intend to do FIFTEEN minutes of exercise (running or brisk walking) a day, every day. Yes, it’s easy (but I’m doing less than that, so…) and fifteen minutes walking probably won’t burn much (but then again a run every day could be a bad idea at my fitness level) but the whole point it is will be a start. And hopefully, like a dam building up water, the pressure will eventually burst with me desperate to do more, rather than it being a chore that I can’t wait to end. Positive thinking and all that.
So why make such a declaration to myself, and then start blogging instead ?!?! Well, I’ll need to wait for the suncream to soak in 🙂 it may be raining over here (or flooding in some places !) but right now the suns out again and it looks HOT. Not too hot, I hope. Again, if your reading this, the assumption is that it wasn’t too hot, and DAY 1 has been done ! Keep an eye on facebook, call me out if you don’t see an update, and did I mention encouragement was helpful ? You could make encouraging me daily your 30-day challenge if you like 😉
EDIT : And the first day result is in – 22 minutes of running (well, maybe a couple of walking minutes on the home stretch, but they still count, and cooldowns are important). Currently rooting for the electricity board guys who are fixing up all our blown fuses now – especially as I’ve just remembered the shower has an electric motor 😦

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