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For February, I set the following goals. Most were a slight increase in difficulty from January (January review):
- Running: Run at least 1 mile every day.
- Push-ups: Every other day, 3 sets of 5 chest dips.
- Plank: Every other day, a 40s plank.
- Pull-ups: Every other day, 2 pull-ups.
- Squats: Every other day, 1 set of dumbbell squats. 8 reps at 45 lbs.
- Guitar: Every day, 30 minutes of guitar practice.
I’ll probably keep this but amend it to 1 chapter every 2 days for February.
- Crafting interpreters: Well, that failed spectacularly. This was a goal I completely gave up on mentally. I didn’t even complete 2 chapters (compared to ~9 in January). Not sure I’m really learning much ploughing through this book. When I feel a goal isn’t really serving a good purpose it becomes really hard to continue pursuing it. Will have to reconsider how I plan to work on this in March.
For many of these, I could easily do more than the goals demanded, but I mostly left the goal unchanged on paper even if I pushed myself on some days. I feel the streak built from completing each goal consistently creates another incentive to keep pursuing the goals, while a single negative (missed goal) can remove that motivation, and make it more ‘okay’ to miss goals.
I also baked in flossing & brushing my teeth at night after my work-out, which should reduce late night snacking and improve dental hygiene, as an added bonus.
Running: A few weekdays I ran light, but this worked well with longer runs on the weekends. Longer runs was something I was hoping to do anyway, so this worked out well overall. Newer shoes on the longer runs likely helped with shin splints and ankle pain as well.
Plank: Have to drop this goal once I hit 1 minute.
Guitar: Every day, 30 minutes of guitar practice. I didn’t want to define practice too strictly as the intent was to keep playing the guitar. Even if I wasn’t challenging myself heavily on some days, I was still playing around with different aspects of playing the guitar. For one, I was thinking about dynamics for probably the first time in my life, and reworked my room set-up to make it easier to play. Even if I started the day’s session with no intention to challenge myself, by the end of the session I was either playing a harder piece or playing longer than planned. Neither of those would have happened if I didn’t start playing for the day, so the light structure may be beneficial.
Can’t really complain about my goal setting this month
Running: Excellent. The low goal (1 mile a day) meant that I could “rest” when needed by not running significantly more than a mile. I ran almost 60 miles over the month, which I think is more than I would have expected at the start.
Push-ups: Excellent. Chest dips were the perfect progression, and I can do around 3 sets of 7 now.
Plank: Excellent. Was a challenge, but not unachievable.
Pull-ups: Excellent. Could have likely set it slightly higher, but the low bar meant I could push myself without worrying I’d be sore for the goal next time. By the end of the month, I could do around 2 sets of 4 pull-ups.
Squats: Excellent. Could have done more, but that would have increased risk of injury with the daily running goal.
Guitar: Good. Very similar to January, just got more hours in. Learned a few new songs, and added some abstract long-term targets as well.
Crafting interpreters: Bad. Could have re-planned mid-month when it was clear things were not going well. Will try to rectify this in March.
On to March!