All posts tagged: habits

How I invested 8760 hours in 2017

Inspired by Kunal Gupta’s How I Invested 2504 Hours post, I decided to perform my own audit for 2017. My goal was to compare how I actually invested my time to the ideal 24 hours I imagined back in 2016. This way, I could decide if I wanted to change my time allocation for 2018 and implement habits to help me do so. Back in 2016, here’s what I outlined for a typical day: Sleep and restorative (sleep and naps) – 7 hrs / 30% Creative and productive (content creation, workshops, culture) – 7 hrs / 30% Eating and social (meals, coffee, drinks) – 5 hrs / 20% Active and physical (exercise, walking, sex) – 3 hrs / 12% Quiet and reflective (meditation, reading, bath) – 2 hrs / 8%   The results. All in, I was able to account for about 80% of my time in 2017. Of that time, a third was scheduled, a third was unscheduled estimates and a third was sleep. While the math is obvious, it was still surprising to internalise that …

Standing the test of time

It’s been over 9 months since I adopted 3 ‘networked’ habits to test if I could make them more resilient than stacked habits in the face of change. This is one of the four intentions that I set for myself during my 2016 yearly review. Since then I have: Transitioned from being single to having a partner Moved from East London to North London Managed a new commercial partnership Traveled a total of 8 weeks In the past, any one of those situations would have thrown me off the wagon. Changes to workload, routine and certainly life stage have historically had a big impact on my foundation habits. However, this time I’m thrilled to report that I am still consistently eating healthy (38 AmazonFresh orders placed in 2017), walking (at least 1:30 hour ~4x/week), and meditating (~4x/week). The walking is either to commute, attend meetings or even as a meeting itself). Of course, I’m still linking the new activity to another one that was already deeply embedded. The difference is that I’m not layering other new …

Eight weeks of ‘networked’ habits

Gotta celebrate the little wins! At the end of last year I completed another year in review and identified 3 areas that I wanted to focus on for 2017. One of areas of focus is intensity, where I’ve asked the question: How can I make my foundation habits more resilient to changes in my life’s intensity and rhythm? Limitations of habit stacking. I’ve had the ongoing issue of stacking habits only to watch them fall like a house of cards in the face of change. When I fall off the wagon, it can take me months to get back on again. The only foundation habit I consistently maintained in 2016 was sleeping 8 hours a night. In Q1 I kept an incredibly aggressive physical training schedule. In Q2 I ate healthy and cooked consistently. Most of Q4 I meditated regularly. There was no stretch of time when I managed to consistently incorporate all 4 into my life together. Enter networked habits. Yeah, I know, if your tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. However, I do find that my most resilient habits are connected …

24 hours

Inspired by Benjamin Hardy’s recent blog post, I decided to picture my ideal day so that I can use it as a consistent, visual reminder of my priorities. A few of his probing questions caught my attention: If you repeated today every day for the next year, realistically, where would you end up? One of the best ways to consciously design your ideal life is to start with your ideal day. What does that actually look like? How often do you live your ideal day? With those ideas in mind, taking into consideration basic constraints around work, this is the current design for my ideal day: Activity type. While the activity types in the diagram don’t directly correlate to the dimensions I use in my  annual reflection, there are parallels. All of the active, reflective, and restorative habits fall within the “inward” category, while creative & productive are part of “outward”. Eating & social straddle the two categories because it’s an efficient way to achieve both within 24 hours and they’re such a natural pairing. Often I pair exercise & social time. Also, I gravitate towards …

Identifying motivations and setting goals to match

88 Days, 248+ kilometers, and 1 ger later I have a second ultra marathon under my belt. Actually, I fell off the wagon somewhere between 88 and 60 days before the race, so all of those kilometers were clocked within the last 8 weeks. While I initially hoped to compete in the 100km category, I didn’t log enough distance during my training to have confidence that I could walk away injury-free. As a result, I stuck with the 60km category, where I managed to place 3rd overall among women and 1st in my age group with a time of 7:36. I have to admit, I’m proud of my results and the fact that I was able to “maintain” my fitness level despite returning to a full time job in January. If you’re curious what falling off the wagon looks like, Nike+ does a great job of visualizing that information: The first thing people ask you when you complete a event like this is, “what’s next?” The pressure to up the stakes and seek out an even tougher endurance race is strong. While there …

Falling off the wagon

These days, “falling of the wagon” means something different to each individual. For me, it represents a departure from the eating, exercise, meditation, and sleep foundation habits that I’ve worked hard to build into my life. Usually, it’s instigated by a change in routine that is either planned or unplanned. Routine changes can be as simple as a business trip or vacation, which send me off course in part because I use triggers and habit stacking to stay on track. A new environment or schedule sometimes doesn’t provide the prompts I’ve come to rely on to reinforce those healthy habits. Most of the time I can pick them back up upon my return, buy not always. Unanticipated life events can also disrupt the routine, particularly when they are emotionally charged. Both good and bad news have a tendency to throw a wrench in my plans because they encourage me to deviate from my regular schedule and set off a roller coaster of emotions. The impact of a single significant event is easier to identify, but often it’s the sum of several smaller events within a …

88 Days and counting

It’s an auspicious day to start planning for my 2nd ultra marathon. It’s also worthwhile to look back and share lessons learned from my first multi-day race last fall, in the hopes that it will motivate me to do it all over again. Last November I competed in Action Asia’s Nepal 3 Day Ultra Marathon in the 60k category. When I signed up, I never expected to actually place. I wrote it down as a stretch goal in my training diary and quickly forgot. It wasn’t until 15 km into the first race day that the goal truly felt within reach. Race staff told me that the female front runner was only 100 meters ahead and openly laughed at my shock. While I never managed to catch her, I am extremely proud of my sub-12 hour time. The course and scenery were magnificent, with views of the Annapurna range and trails along terraced rice paddies. I’ve never been to Mongolia and can’t wait to run through it’s rugged landscape in June. This time I set myself a new stretch goal …