Four months ago, I wrote a list of promises to myself for this year in an attempt to lead a more balanced life. While it is hard to believe that over a third of the year is behind us, this is a good time to evaluate those promises.
Keeping promise #1 was generally very easy for me since eating healthy comes to me naturally. I’ve also found that I automatically and unconsciously adjust my food intake based on my level of activity.
Promise #2 was a challenge while working long hours in an office setting. Now that I’m free from that environment and the weather is improving, I plan to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, whether that involves yoga, cardio (skipping and rowing being my favourites) or weights.
Reading and learning were the main objectives of promise #3, and while I have been reading and learning daily, I think it is now time to be more systematic in focussing on certain areas of learning. For the next five years, I will focus my reading on applied mathematics, software design, and entrepreneurship. I also intend to read a few short stories with the goal of learning to write good stories of my own.
As is evident from the four-month gap between the previous article and this one, promise #4 has been difficult to keep and is certainly an area where I should improve. I am now expanding the definition of ‘writing’ to include programming (writing code) but would still like to engage in creative writing and reflection at least twice a week.
Promise #5 was deliberately broad in order to accommodate any art form within my daily schedule. While I have been practicing the guitar, I could certainly be spending more time painting. Perhaps painting most rooms of the house in March/April left me with less time and motivation for the more artistic kind of painting.
Socialization, the goal of promise #6, has not been difficult over the past few months, and in fact, I have been able to meet many new people who are working toward similar goals as I. Even then, it may be a good idea to set aside a little time each week for deliberate and positive socialization, which will be particularly helpful once I head back to school and need to take a break from coursework.
The final promise to myself, promise #7, was to meditate and relax regularly to manage stress. I have been able to relax quite a bit thus far in the year, so this promise has largely been kept. Going forward I plan to combine meditation with yoga.
All in all, I have made a good effort at keeping promises made to myself, but there is still much room for improvement and creativity. My strategy going forward is to take baby steps toward my goals everyday. I plan to track progress on a weekly basis to give myself a better idea of which goals are being achieved and where more work is needed.