A while back I posted about making some necessary changes to my life and daily routine, mostly for the sake of my mental health. These past couple of weeks, I’ve taken time out to evaluate my long-term goals and try to map out the paths I can take to achieve them. One consequence of that has been a shift in the daily routine changes I’m prioritizing these days.
To recap, these were the goals I’d set for myself back in March:
- Get better sleep
- Eat better food
- Exercise more
- Read more
- Write more
- Listen to more podcasts/Watch more movies
Some quick updates on how those have been going:
Not the steadiest of sleep cycles.
- Sleep: Hit or miss, as my SleepBot charts illustrate. I’ve found that the quality of my sleep greatly affects (and is affected by) my anxiety and my eating habits, so I’m retaining this is a priority going forward.
- Eat better food: Also hit or miss, partly because of the sleep thing. Small victory: I’m not binge-eating as much (and to the ridiculous extent) as I was a few stressful months back. One good shift that I’m trying to lock down is proper motivation, and in turn, discipline; so repeat after me, Kate: You are worth the effort to take care of yourself.
- Exercise more: Surprisingly easy, given how lethargic my mental health issues leave me most of the time. After months of only intermittent jogging, I’m four weeks into the C25K program again, and I’ve been keeping up a daily yoga routine to complement that. I want to sustain some kind of regular bodyweight training too, just because keeping up muscle strength is a good idea for the future.
- Read more: Better than a few months ago, but could still use some work. I’m reading more than I used to, but it’s still not as often as I’d like.
- Write more: Eh. Fail for the most part. I’ve posted a couple of new things here, but ideally I can work my way up to a decent post every week.
- Listen to more podcasts/Watch more movies: Like books, better than when I started, but not as big an improvement as I’d hoped. I am listening to more podcasts now, and I’ve caught up on a few movies, but these have mostly been sneaked in at the end of the day when I remembered to do so.
Looking back, while those goals centered largely on my mental health, they were lacking clear metrics for tracking progress, concrete plans of action, and a link to any other long-term goal. If I’m going to dedicate big chunks of my time and effort to these goals, they might as well serve not just my mental health, but other things I want to achieve and/or sustain, too. So here are my tweaked goals, with more definite milestones/goalposts and some plans that I can use to gauge my progress as time goes on:
- Be fluent in French
Goal: Get a DELF A2 or B1-level diploma before July 2017
Action plans: 1-2 hours of study every day, consisting of:
- Duolingo for vocabulary and memory, supplemented with various course materials to clarify grammar and language theory
- The “read a random French Wiki article and summarize in your own words” trick twice a week, for practice
- Watching/Reading/Listening to French-language media as an attempt at immersion
- Sharpen coding skills
Goals: Using Python, create a data science-related program by end of 2016; finish the Free Code Camp Full Stack Development course before July 2017 (with mini month-goalposts for each course stage)
Action plan: 1 hour of coding every day except Sundays
- Sleep better
Goal: Sleep 7-8 hours at least 6 days a week.
- Electronics off by 10 PM
- No coffee after lunchtime
- Lights off by 11 PM
- Exercise more
Goals: Finish the C25K program; finish 30 Days of Yoga program; run a 5K race by end of 2016 at the latest; be able to do 3 sets of 15 diamond push-ups by end of 2016
- Continue C25K training
- Continue 30 Days of Yoga
- Bodyweight fitness routine every other day
- Eat better
Goals: Stop binge eating; Consistently eat whole foods 80-90% of the time
- Drink at least 3L of water per day
- Drink tea and/or meditate when experiencing urge to binge
- Cut down on bread and processed sugar
- Avoid snacking between meals
- Write more
Goals: Post a quality entry on this WordPress every week; submit at least two journal articles for publication by December 2016
- Write 500 words a day (2 pomodoros every morning)
- Work on academic papers at least thrice a week
- Maintain Publications Tracker to see progress
- Journal about triggers, anxious thoughts/worries, and other sources of discomfort (This one is for mental health purposes)
- Read more
Goal: Finish 1 book every two weeks
Action plan: Set aside at least 1 pomodoro each day to read a book
Weekly updates are too much (and would be an awful way to cheat the one-post-a-week goal for “Write more”), so I’ll be checking in every month instead. Points out of five, with an overall grade so I can gauge how I’m doing as time goes on.