We’re finally in the fourth quarter of 2010. The year has certainly flown by, but I’m not certain if its from fun or the years passing faster as I get older. In a bit less than three months I’ll be at the one year mark for a personal contract, a plan, I made. Intended as a blue-print for the year I sat down and went through four areas I wanted to see improvement. So, in order…
Get my finances in the best shape of their life.
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was a big help here, and my credit cards are paid off. That being said I’ve not progressed far beyond that point – by nature I am not what Dave would call gazelle intense. Quite the opposite. So, at the moment I have not pursued a second job as originally planned, and paying off my car at triple speed has taken a back seat to other things.
When I get my emergency fund back to full (recently had to pay for some car work) I will get back on to track with the more aggressive payoff plan. If nothing else I think I can say I’m doing well in this area.
Get my body in the best shape of my life.
My plan here was a three-pronged approach to my overall health. First was getting my weight down, second was improving my sleep habits, and third was exercise.
Weight was a back-and-forth item for me. Indeed, I weight a little more now than I did then, not achieving the 2.5lbs per month weight loss I was hoping for. At the same time, I certainly did not go back to my old ChangeOne ways. That being said, I have started with Weight Watchers and am seeing improvement. As importantly, I managed to get my bad cholesterol down to normal levels and my blood sugar has been improving as well compared to last year. As such, while I’ve not reached my target weight I’ve certainly started seeing benefits from dietary change.
Sleep has been a pretty good success for me. I set the goal of being in bed by 10 p.m. at night, and most nights I do reach that goal. I think its made a difference in my energy levels to be certain, but the thing to keep in mind is that it also ties in with my weight. I’ve heard of studies where sleep deprivation can contribute to keeping unwanted pounds, but if nothing else the lousier my sleep the more I crave fatty foods at breakfast. Certainly, Jack in the Box and McDonalds has seen less of me since this year.
Exercise has been more miss than hit. I have gone and purchased a lighter kettlebell for myself, as well as joined up with a friend to exercise once a week (pending sanity in our schedules). Still falling short of the 150 minutes a week prescribed by the doctor, at any rate.
Get my brain in the best shape of its life.
The majority of the things I planned to do haven’t happened. Book a month? Nope. Project a month? No. Take a class? Well, still got three months left.
Good grief, what have I been doing?
For the first time in quite some time I’ve actually been dreaming a bit. I’ve started looking and poking at different things, entertaining ideas, looking for leads and starting points. Am I ready to act on any of them? Not quite yet. Certainly things are stewing right now, and I’ve go to say I’ve thought of more things I could do in the past year than I have the past five
Additionally, the reading I have been doing recently has been more of the, for lack of a better term, soul food variety. My brother loaned me some audio CDs to listen to in the car, I’m reading John Maxwell and listening to Zig Ziglar, and have subscribed to three different weekly newsletters on success and motivation.
Am I any smarter than last year? Eh, hard to say. But I think I can truthfully say my world feels brighter and larger than it has in quite a while.
Present myself better than I ever have before.
This has actually been a surprisingly successful area for me. As planned, I donated a lot of my old clothes, got new glasses, and with the help of my friend Lorrie added a lot of new items to my wardrobe. My day to day dressing is considerably improved over last year, and when I go in to work I look more professional and age-appropriate compared to my “bought in my 20’s” clothes.
We’ll see. I’ve still got three more months before I’m staring down 2011, and that’s three more months to work on these areas. I’m already pondering what might make a worth set of goals for next year, but I still need to review more of this year as well.
What I am very happy about, though, is that even when I did not make the progress I had wanted, I was still moving forward. Certainly in the past it was easy to look at what I didn’t do and beat myself up over it, but I’d like to think that looking at things a bit more objectively is a sign of maturity! So, until then…