Here’s the October analysis.
I’m definitely finding these mini-reviews helpful to objectively assess my behaviours over the previous month.
When you write honestly about your actions, there’s no hiding.
So if you’re not seeing your desired results, try documenting your process and course-correcting where necessary.
I’ve maintained my running consistency, which is great. The foot problem remains present but manageable.
I’ve taken to golf ball massage, which is eye-wateringly painful but hopefully beneficial.
Popped into the gym the other day and although it’s reopened, a maximum 25 people are admitted at one time and pre-booking is required (update at the end; lockdown with likely force another closure).
For now, I’ve just continued basic strength training at home.
I do need more discipline with my daily stretches, however, especially with the increased running mileage.
This month has mostly been about banishing the inner critic and trying to write more.
From a sheer output perspective, this has been a success, having published 21 articles on the site.
My method is as follows…
I simply Google a topic I’m interested enough to write in and if it resonates, add it to Evernote.
Ideally, before I go to bed, I review this master list and see which titles stand out.
It’s a subconscious feeling rather than a cognitive process.
I don’t choose what to write there and then, but simply let ideas percolate through the night.
Upon waking, I check my gut feeling, and start writing, stream of consciousness style.
I do this first draft on my phone. Why? Because it reduces the self-imposed pressure of perfectionism.
Writing on a phone feels like dashing off a quick text to a friend; easy and informal.
Any choking performance anxiety is relieved, revealing words, ideas and connections that spill forth freely.
Only when I’ve written for at least an hour and/or created the majority of the first draft do I stop and do another activity, like going for a morning run.
Later that day, I’ll fire up Evernote on the computer for final revisions and editing, before posting on the site.
While I’m sure the articles can be improved, the objective is currently quantity over quality.
I know that over time, I’ll write faster, produce better ideas and improve my craft.
I’m as busy as ever with client projects.
The startup I’m working for continues to grow month-on-month and we’ve just hired a new team member.
The product is proving extremely popular, and we have big plans to create a more engaging platform for our community, which could entail a busy year-end.
It feels great to be working on something I feel passionate about.
Sometimes marketing can feel slightly subversive as you encourage prospects to take action by pushing their psychological buttons.
However, with a genuinely positive and socially beneficial mission, the smoke and mirrors fall away.
As opposed to a zero-sum game, your offer is more sincere, the transparency of your intentions evident. Overall, it’s a net positive effect.
- I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
- The Green Hills of Earth – Robert Heinlein
- Methuselah’s Children – Robert Heinlein
- Revolt in 2100 – Robert Heinlein
- The Door into Summer – Robert Heinlein
I’ve been reading voraciously this month, but it’s been all fiction and no fact.
Previously, I read non-fiction books for the summaries on this site, but found that I was becoming slightly obsessed.
Rather than a form of release, it was work disguised as play.
So I switched back to sci-fi, my enduring passion.
One of my favourite authors is Robert Heinlein, the granddaddy of the genre.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed delving into some of his earlier work, which stands the test of time incredibly well, remaining prescient even today.
However, having been written in the 1950’s, it’s also a product of its time, nostalgic and innocent in equal measure.
While much modern sci-fi tries to be too clever, Heinlein focuses on the basics; creating character-driven romps which seem coincidentally set in alternate realities.
Sci-fi-aside, they’re fantastic stories in their own right and I highly recommend giving them a go.
Try Stranger in a Strange Land first, a great read.
After a lacklustre few months, I’ve really tried to re-establish the meditation habit, which has gone pretty well, with 20 days completed during October.
Mostly I’ve used Insight Timer rather than guided sessions, doing one half-hour session per day.
While this formal sitting session is great, I feel it’s real benefit is to encourage mini meditative moments during the day, which seems to work well as a psychological reset for overthinking and anxiety.
Perhaps you’ve also noticed that I’ve posted more mindfulness-related articles on the site recently, as I feel more inspired to document my experiences.
For the last couple of months, we had shower issues, but since it’s been fixed I’ve re-started the contrast therapy habit.
Returning from a morning run, I’ll have a hot shower, followed by 3-5 minutes of icy pain.
Horrible at the time, but amazing afterwards.
I usually follow this up with meditation as part of my morning routine.
Having only missed 6 days this month, I feel I’m back in the groove and enjoying the feeling of facing down discomfort first thing in the morning.
Over the weekend another UK lockdown was announced, adding further disruption to an already disastrous year for many.
Apart from the social withdrawal and urge to return to exercise classes, I’ve been incredibly fortunate, being able as I am, to work from home.
Personally, I’m trying to practice Stoic wisdom and rather than obsessing over the news, narrow my attention to that which I control; my daily routine.
If I can enjoy each day and make it productive in some small way, I will.
Anyway, I do hope you’re OK in these trying times.