Inspired by a post on stevepavlina.com, I decided to come up with a few 30-day trial goals for the month of March. After 30 days, I’ll re-evaluate whether I want to keep these as routines / habits going forward. I’ve been really trying to form good habits in my life overall lately, and so I wanted to pick goals that I could do every day and install some positive habits in my life. I decided that more than 5 would be overwhelming. I brainstormed a list of 12 and then combined, edited, and cut it down to the following 5 goals. For the next 30 days, I’ll complete each of these every single day, weekends included.
Get up at 5:30am
I love starting my day off early. My energy level is higher, my day is more productive, and I feel great. Unfortunately, 5am Ryan doesn’t understand this. 11pm Ryan wants to get up early and sets the alarms, but 5am Ryan doesn’t care and goes back to sleep. However, I’ve got a new strategy for this one. It’s a little weird, but it might just work. I’ll let you know.
Workout for at least 25 mins
On those occasions when I do rise before 6am, I love hitting the pavement for a run. I hate the idea of working out in the morning, but once I get my blood pumping, I start to feel better about it. And there’s nothing as refreshing as going through the day without the idea of a post-work workout hanging over your head. To already have the day’s exercise done and out of the way is a huge source of stress relief for me. The endorphins don’t hurt either.
Get mvelopes, email inboxes, and physical inboxes to empty
As some of you know, I’m a huge fan of mvelopes. But it does take some work. You ideally should spend about 5 mins per day assigning transactions and keeping things tidy. Doesn’t sound hard, right? I currently have 43 unassigned transactions that I need to go through, some from weeks ago. My email inboxes were bulging just a few days ago, but the stress was too much for me to bear, and they’re now empty. My physical inbox is literally overflowing and there are several stacks of paperwork and mail that have been waiting for me for months now. Ugh. The goal here is to reduce the physical and psychological clutter in my life. I’m a big fan of GTD, but it turns out that you have to actually process your inboxes for GTD to work. Who knew?
Clean up when I get home for 15 mins
My long-suffering wife probably counts my clutter as one of the top 5 things in her life that stresses her out. She has OCD and is always rearranging, organizing, etc. Clutter and disorganization actually drives me just as crazy, but I’m not as good as she is about just dealing with it. I procrastinate. So, I’ve decided to take the next 30 days and spend just 15 mins per day cleaning up when I get home. Dishes, clothes, clutter, whatever. I’m sure I’ll have at least 15 mins of stuff to do each day. Hopefully it relieves some of the wifey’s (and my) stress.
Pack lunch and prepare clothes before bed
Finally, I’ve found that I’m far more likely to throw on something that I don’t really want to wear and skip taking a lunch (leading to the inevitable dining out for lunch) if I try and take care of those things in the morning, when I’m trying to get out the door as fast as possible. In the interest of frugality and not dressing like a slob, I’m going to take 20 mins the night before and get my stuff ready to go for the next day.
So there you have it. Hopefully the month of March will be a more productive one for me. And maybe I’ll decide that a few of these should stick…