The second goal I set for this project was not foundational in itself, but a subset of the fundamental goal of purposeful and deliberate reading: To read through A History of the Medieval World by February 14. The third was to read through the entire Bible, chronologically, in a year. Unlike my bedtime goal, and the exercise goal below, both of these are amenable to getting ahead, and to catching up when behind. The latter worked well when I started the Bible-reading goal a week into the year, but generally I prefer the former. I try to stay just a little ahead of the “on track to the goal” graph, so that small distractions, such as a busy weekend, don’t put me behind. On the other hand, I don’t want to get too far ahead, either, because that would indicate that I am probably neglecting other duties.
As you can see, I’m doing well with both of these goals.
Finally, there’s exercise. It required a lot of cogitation to create a metric that accomplishes what I want it to, but I finally did, and I’m still very pleased with it. At my level, the key is simply to get moving, and I’ve done that consistently and well ever since I started keeping account. I can’t tell you the number of times I got out the door with my sneakers on for the sole reason that I couldn’t face entering a zero in the record. At some point I added another line to the graph, representing a minimal requirement higher than zero; my intention is to raise it periodically as I get in better shape.
For a long time all I did was walk, but recently I’ve added activities that tackle core and upper body issues, along with balance and flexibility. I quickly discovered that my initial “difficulty multiplier” of 10 was too high; 2 seems to be more realistic, though I may feel differently when I get to running, which I don’t expect to manage for quite a while.
This is another winner, and again I thank Porter, and others in my family, for their support. The art of encouraging without nagging is a tricky one, and you’re doing it well.
So, on the one hand, I’m feeling good about my successes. On the other hand, it’s discouraging to realize I’m already one month into the year and my “foundation” has only four stones. And despite the above-mentioned efforts not to let myself get too far ahead in the reading, focusing on these four areas has still led to neglecting important duties. (Don't ask about my inbox.) How am I possible going to fit everything in? How could I have hoped to add more to my schedule when I was already overwhelmed? My not-very-confident hope is that as the foundations are laid and become part of life, I will become more efficient.
In any case, I need to press on. Part of the problem is that I want the next goal to be in the area of healthy eating, and it’s too big a topic. I’m struggling to break it into manageable pieces, and, as I did with exercise, develop a workable metric. I’m to the point of deciding just to do something, to get started, to put up a sail, so to speak, and worry later about adjusting course.
But that’s another post.