Adventure Wanted

As I look back over my recent posts, I’ve noticed a disturbing theme: I’m not going on many adventures recently. Certainly not as many as I would like.

So far as I can tell, there are three main reasons for this:

  1. Lack of money
  2. Lack of time
  3. Focusing on big adventures

These are all pretty common excuses that I have fallen subject to. Let’s discuss how to beat them.

Lack of money

While my finances are organized and pretty well under control, they could be better optimized. I just finished reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi and will be following the to-do’s that are outlined. It provides an easy-to-follow system that automates your finances.
Once I have this system put together, I will be in a good position to address the problem of not enough money (and really, how many people will say that they do have enough?) According to Ramit, it’s easier to make more money than it is to save more money. My wife and I are pretty frugal already, so now it’s time to raise the income.

Lack of time

School, work, marriage, and everything else in my life. There’s not enough time for everything that I want to do. Fortunately, I have my short list of important things. It’s time to go through my life again and pare down the items that don’t directly advance my interests in the items on the short list. I want to keep my focus on the truly important things in my life.

Focusing on big adventures

I’ve fallen into the trap of only thinking about big adventures. “I want to go see the Moonbow again!” “What about our week-long road trip next month?” These are great adventures, but it’s easy to overlook the small ones that I can take here at home. Trying a new restaurant, checking out the new exhibit at the art museum, enjoying a bike ride with my wife when the weather turns unseasonably warm for a weekend.

The Good News

These are common excuses that everyone falls into. Fortunately, they can be over-come. I can figure out how to make more money (even if it just means taking on a few more hours at work), can find some activities to cut out so that I can free up time (do I really need to be keeping up with those shows on netflix?) and paying attention to the opportunities for daily adventure (time to check out some of the restaurants on my to-try list).

What are you doing to find adventure in your life?

Sometimes We Need Help

When I looked back over January to see how I’d been progressing on my goals, I felt good about having made solid progress on many of them. A few, however, weren’t quite working out as I’d planned. My fitness goal, for example, has gone exactly no-where. After two work-outs, nothing more has been done.

And so I needed help. After looking around for some time, I decided to try Thrive90 Fitness. I don’t have a lot of time to spare, so I wanted a program that my wife and I could do at home, together, without a lot of special equipment. Thrive90 was designed to meet exactly those requirements.

Thrive 90

Once I received the program, I was even more pleased with my choice. There isn’t a huge learning curve to understand the exercises, the workout routines are all simple to understand, and even the nutrition guidelines are laid out in a straightforward manner. My wife and I immediately implemented some of their advice (such as the sample recipes they give) and printed out the worksheets so that we could track our progress.

Help found

Sure, I know how to work out. I already understand the exercises that I need to do, both how to do them and what they will do for me. After a few years of sporadic reading I understand nutrition and how what I eat affects my body. All of this knowledge doesn’t make me get up a few minutes earlier each morning to complete the exercise routine that I want to do.

Having a plan laid out for me will, though. I know that if I miss one day’s workout, I’ll be behind. Even better, the creators of Thrive90 are there to motivate me. They send a weekly email to check in on you and see how you’re doing. If you respond to it with a question or comment, they reply (I just got some nutrition advice for when you’re sick). That external motivation makes a huge difference. I feel like I’m not only letting down myself, but those guys as well.

Find your help

Maybe you don’t need help working out, but you want financial advice. Or you need someone to tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat, or something else. Take the time to invest in yourself and find the information and motivation that you need.

If you do want to lose weight, feel sexier, and not waste a lot of time getting there, check out Thrive 90.

Thrive 90

Do the Impossible

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
~The Queen, Through the Looking Glass

Reading Subliminal Captivity: Why We Tell Ourselves To Give Up made me begin thinking about the things that I can’t do.

  • Did you know that you can’t ride a motorcycle year round in central Kentucky?
  • Apparently it’s really hard to return to college after a long break (like 7 years).
  • … much less be a full time student when married.
  • It’s also impossible to study abroad for a semester… with your significant other.
  • I’m sure that having two vehicles that are paid-for with cash is likewise impossible.

Yet I do (or have done) all of these things. Instead of listening to others when they told me “you can’t do that” I figured out how to make it work. It’s easy to make excuses, but if you want to do it, you can.

Go check out Subliminal Captivity and see what impossible things you can do.

Cutting the Digital Cord

I spend way too much time on my computer. (Which I’ve mentioned before, more than once.) And I’m getting tired of it.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I have to “entertain” myself with my computer. Bored? I waste time playing a game. Supposed to be doing homework? I put it off reading blogs. Working on my business? I’m “researching” what others have done.

Basically, when I’m home I have the computer in front of me.

I have other things to do

Cutting Back

And so, it’s time to cut back. I don’t need to check my email more than once a day. The internet will not clog up if I don’t read every post in my feed reader. Nothing bad will happen if I don’t keep up with everything that happens on FaceBook.

I will still be on my computer quite a bit. With a web-design class, I face a requirement of being online at least sometimes. However, I can do most of this while at school, and for the homework I don’t need to be online. Likewise, part of my French homework is online, so I won’t be neglecting it.

The Plan

Part of my morning routine includes my online world. I get up, read through some online comics, check the weather, catch up on my blog feeds, and see what some friends have to say.

To start with, I am going to stick with this routine (because it seems to work). However, that will be my computer time for the day, unless I have specific tasks to complete: ie, homework, specific email to send, or specific research to undertake.

Of course, I will have computer access more than just this once a day. My web design class consists of two 3-hour sessions in a computer lab. There I will be able to “catch up” with online things. Or I will just focus on the projects a bit more.

Similarly, at work I sit in front of a computer. Of course, I can easily carry a book to read or take the time to get ahead on homework (I literally sit in front of a computer, but I don’t actually have to do anything on it). This time can be spent doing stuff online, such as working on Adventure-Some!

And so, that’s the plan. I’m cutting back. Less computer time. More real life. Fortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t have to pause for a bit while I do other stuff. I can unplug and take a breather without causing any sort of hiccup in the space/time continuum.

Why don’t you join me? Spend less time with your gadgets.

Do Something Just Because

It’s easy to get caught up in your daily routine. Today, you should take a moment to do something that you enjoy, just for the sake of it.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this, or even complete whatever you are working on. Just spend enough time that it makes you smile.

Some examples:

  • Spend some time working on that art/craft project you’ve been wanting to work on.
  • Read a chapter from a favorite book (or one you’ve been wanting to try).
  • Take a bath and relax. Don’t be afraid to add bubbles.
  • Take a stroll through a nearby park.
  • Sit and watch the sunset.

Go ahead, enjoy yourself! There’s nothing adventurous about a life spent stuck in routine.

I don’t have time!

If you’re thinking this to yourself, then that’s fine, and to be expected. However, it’s also well worth taking a few minutes for yourself. If you can’t do it today, go ahead and plan on it for tomorrow.

No! I really don’t have any time!

You can always find time for yourself, snatched here and there. Read just one page from that book; perhaps while you’re standing in line at the store. Carry a notepad around with you and sketch while you’re waiting for a meeting.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take time for yourself! You’re worth it! Do something for yourself today.

Are Your Goals Progressing?

January is now over. Traditionally, most people’s resolutions have been forgotten (or will be in the next two weeks). Fortunately, we didn’t make resolutions. We made an Action Plan!

How are you doing?

If you took the time to create an action plan, and set up a system that would enable you to automatically work toward your goals, you should already be seeing some progress.

Here’s what I’ve done

  • Started working on my business
    • Created website and initial content
    • Wrote first ebook, that will be given away for free
  • Had friends over for pizza and games
  • Kept in touch with family and friends via phone or email
  • Purchased a backrest and luggage rack for Ms. Peeps (a requirement for the spring break and summer trips)
  • Read 5 books, with two more in progress and a third waiting for me at the library. Plus that book I’m reading for my class at school.
  • Successfully avoided sodas, excluding the occasional IBC root beer, from the bottle.
  • Continued sketching
  • Scheduled participation in an art show in a gallery
  • Built an easel and set up a work station so that I always have a work in progress ready to go.
  • Planned out 12 dates, went on one, and scheduled February’s.
  • Turned in the paperwork for my Business Minor.
  • Turned in the paperwork for my Art History minor.

Wow! No wonder I’m tired. But I’m making progress, and it’s a wonderful feeling to look back and see how far I’ve come already, one step at a time.

What about you?

How are your goals progressing? If you’re not quite where you want to be, don’t forget that you can change your plans! After all, they’re your plans. Maybe that means just starting over at the beginning again. Perhaps you need to spread things out a bit further. Sometimes you just need to let some things drop. Whatever the case may be, don’t give up just because you’re not exactly where you want to be yet. You can get there!

Let us know how you’re doing, either through comments or email. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

It’s All About the Attitude

Attitude changes everything. I’m sure you’ve seen the motivational posters that say “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Well, it’s true.

The adventurous commute

How do you feel about your commute? Is it a dreadful pain to be endured twice a day? It doesn’t have to be.

My commute is an adventure. I love it (even if I don’t quite like the destination). My day starts off with an exciting trip, and going home is even better because I love the trip. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I enjoy the traffic, getting caught at lights, or am thrilled with the people who cut me off. However, because I approach the commute as an adventure, I do find it to be enjoyable.

I know that others don’t see it the same way I do. They look through their windshield wipers at me on my motorcycle, in the 30-something degree weather, and you can see the bewilderment on their faces.

A different approach

All that you need to do to change your attitude is decide to take a different approach than normal. Instead of dreading your commute, look at it as an adventure. Don’t like your job? Look at it like a challenge instead of a chore. Having a hard time finding a job? Make it a game.

We get out of life what we put into it. You know what they say about lemons, you can either be sour or make lemonade.

Need some inspiration? Check out one of the recommended books:
Sticky-Note Love
Working for Yourself
Food Rules
Art of Non-Conformity
Power of Less

You Can Change Your Plans

Over the last two weeks I’ve been going through my annual review and
planning for 2011. I love this process: reviewing results, making lists of things I want to do in the upcoming year, and outlining the steps I need to take to get there.

Because of this enthusiasm, I actually finished my 2011 Action Plan nearly a week ago. Except that I keep thinking about it and tweaked one of my goals the day after I “finished”. Then a few days later, I changed two more of my goals, adding a new one and combining three others. Just yesterday I tweaked another of the goals after discussing it a bit more with my wife.

Change is part of life

As you’re well aware, change happens. Even though I was happy with my action plan, I am glad that I kept thinking about it and made the changes that I have. These changes will make the goals easier to reach (because they better align with my strengths and interests), not interfere with each other (fixing something I struggled with in 2010), and provide a fuller life in 2011 (because some of the goals are just for fun).

Sometimes change is not a good thing

While I’m happy with the changes that I made, I’m glad to have them out of the way. Even though it’s perfectly fine to make changes to my Action Plan throughout the year (it is mine, after all), I much prefer to keep it the way that it is, as long as it is working. So I will be working through my plan three months at a time. Each of my goals naturally has a good stopping point scheduled for those time periods.

In order to help me stay the course, I will be utilizing quarterly reviews. Every three months I have a day scheduled to review my progress for the quarter, and over the year as a whole. These are the times when I will be checking my progress and seeing if my goals need to be tweaked or changed.

Other than these review periods, however, I will be sticking to my plan. It’s too easy to stop because something is hard or stressful. By building in pause points and knowing that I have a break coming up, it will be easier for me to focus on the goal and completing it.

I’m excited!

Out of the three years I’ve been doing annual reviews and action plans, this is the one that I’m most excited about so far. I have some great goals set for 2011, a detailed map for how to achieve them, and reasonable time-frames for work on them in.

How is 2011 shaping up for you?