So, I’m looking at my life right now and part of my life is going pretty damned good. However, it’s a narrowly focused portion of my life. I’m achieving my physical goals (workouts, strength increases for the Highland Games, etc.) with… well, I’m not going to call it ease, but I’m going to say it’s been easier in many respects than I expected it to be.
I’ve already talked about my workouts at length on here – probably 7 or 8 posts about them in five weeks (I might be slightly obsessed 😉 ) And, at first, it’s going to sound like another post about my workouts, but it’s not. So, hang on a minute while I review a bit…
I’ve been working out for the last 5 weeks with the goal of competing in the Wichita Highland Games. I’ve done it before, and it was fun. This time I’m old enough I’m going to end up in the “Masters Division”, I think (the breakover point is 40 years old – I’m past that. But, I have only competed in a Highland Games once, so I may still be an amateur.) I’ve been, in my opinion, incredibly successful with my workouts – I’ve broken personal records for reps, weight, and personal size (17″ arms), etc. I’ve managed to do it all with enough balance between “bigger, faster, stronger” and “don’t hurt myself and bring training to an end” that I haven’t had to stop and recover except for one extra day in 5 weeks. I haven’t reached the goal yet – that’s still another 10 weeks away.
I’ve approached it with a combination of discussion (with friends who out weight me, muscle wise), online research (some articles, then dig down and find the actual science behind things like VO MAX workouts, rebuild cycles, supplements, etc.), quantifying my workouts (with pictures, and analyzing the changes in the amount of weight I push, etc.) and personal feedback (watching what I’m doing, taking weekly pictures, keeping a ‘diary’ of my workout experiences, etc.) For a meathead activity, it’s been a very methodical process – but, I’ve also taken the time to experiment (ranging from adding HIIT running to changing from strictly pushing as heavy as I could to ultra-high repetition exercises, doing 50-40-30-20-10-20-30-40-50 repetitions at lower weight), and gain feedback from it along the way – that which seems to speed the process stays, that which doesn’t goes after two workouts.
While what time during the day I do a workout isn’t perfectly nailed down, the amount of time I use is pretty locked in (right now, upper body is 2 1/2 hours, and is slowly creeping towards three hours of workout at a time.) I make time for it, and it happens.
Looking at that success level makes me look at my financial situation, and ask the question: is there anything that crosses over? My financial situation is a complete shambles – I’m just barely making it, and I’m not even back out on my own yet! This is just paying the minimum bills. I’m not achieving my goals, either.
So, what is it that makes my workouts so much more successful than my work? Some of it is independence – with my workouts, I’m not at anyone’s whims or will. It’s all on me – and I’ve been able to depend on me pretty well for workouts. And, to make matters worse – there’s been a lot of jobs that I’ve done as a favor, or ones that I’ve intentionally marked down just so I get the gig so I can pay the bills (better cash in pocket and get under paid, rather than loose the gig, right?) With workouts, there’s no compromises – this is what I’m gonna do, and there’s no short-changing myself on it. With my work, everything ends up being compromises, with people’s short term gigs tearing at the time I need to accomplish my own stuff.
It’s broken down into bite-sized chunks every day. Work is a long grind all day. Workouts are sprints every day, comparatively. Work is long enough that my ADHD kicks in, because the novelty of what I’m doing wears off. Workouts are only a couple two (or three, soon) hours – short enough I don’t get bored.
And, of course, I WANT to workout. I don’t really want to do websites. I only really have two projects I want to work on – game development, and one of the startups I deal with, CloudPages. Everything else is just filler. That’s not to say I won’t do it, just that I don’t want to.
So, I’m thinking: next week, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to TRY to quit doing the compromise thing, where I’m eating away at my medium and long term prospects in exchange for short term security – or, at least when I do, don’t undercut myself.
I’m going to change how my schedule works. I already have one gig where I’m shooting for “one bug / feature per week” so that I can fit everything else in. Why not chunk up my day the same way I do with workouts? Instead of dedicating a couple days to this, and a couple days to that, why not move it forward at in shorter sprints – two or three hours of work on this project per day, two or three on that project, etc. That way, I can be moving my agendas forward at the same time that I move other people’s agendas forward.
I’m reforming my physical self. It’s time to find a way of reforming my financial self, and soon. I’m going to institute those couple of things for the next week or two, then start re-evaluating as I go, treating my work more like I treat my workouts. And hopefully, I can push myself to the max as close to every day as possible 😉