Back in January, I set some goals for 2017 and thought that since we’re now three months into the year (and my birthday is this weekend), I should leave a little bit of a progress update. I didn’t intend to do this until April, but like I said – my birthday is this weekend so it felt like a good time to give the year a quick assessment.
This is going pretty well, I think. At this point I’m not really worried about my level of organization – I just did a little bit of a purge of my work space at home, and my journal is updated mostly every day (weekends tend to be the exception, which I’m perfectly fine with). The fact that I’m concerned with making my journal look nice as opposed to keeping up to date with it tells me I’m fine here.
Be a positive example
This is probably going to be the toughest one to judge progress. I think I’m doing okay here. I haven’t done a lot of venting anywhere.
Lose the weight.
It’s going, and that’s about all I can say about it right now. I’ve written more about it recently though.
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Right now this is taking the form of figuring out “how to blog”, sort of. One step has been to buy a domain name.
Middle grade on this one. Technically I am writing pretty frequently on the blog, but not feeling as productive as I feel I should be. Objectively though, I’m doing great.
As overall progress goes, this is fine; however I’m still stuck on a book that I should be finished by now. I just haven’t been making much time for reading novels, but if you want to talk comic books I’m your guy!
I think I’m plodding along quite well with my goals for the year. I’ve picked some pretty tough ones to assess, which means I think I should do a formal draft of the goals + measure of success for these. I’ll do that in April, when I originally intended to do a follow-up post.
I was recently introduced to MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Intake Report as a means for tracking progress with my weight goals. I already subscribe to the notion of CICO – Calories In, Calories Out – but have had middling success implementing it in day-to-day life. I understand how it works and everything, but my weight is fluctuating up and down constantly (which is expected, since I’ve been less than disciplined with my eating habits since Christmas/New Year’s).
Looking at my weight over a 90 day period, I’ve mostly made progress that I’m happy with. It’s the up and down business of the last month and a half that I could do better with. For a solid two months from November to December, I was hitting all of my goals every week. Since then, I’ve not had the best results.
So I looked up my own Calories Consumed report. Immediately, I can see why I was set up to fail by my own habits.
The red line isn’t the most accurate – as my goal hasn’t been the same over 90 days; it’s actually gone down quite a bit, so some of the “high” days are probably closer to their target than they appear.
Still, I can clearly see where I faltered. Yes, there are some days there that are showing way under my calorie goal, but I’ll be the first to admit that there are many days where I under-reported my calories. A common theme for those days – and I know this is true – I often overate or was too lazy to figure out how many calories I ate. I have a streak of 376 days – most are legitimate log entries, but I probably shouldn’t have such a long streak going.
In fact, I was going to let that streak die today. I was sitting eating my lunch, leftover from dinner out last night, and hadn’t yet entered anything for breakfast, or my daily weight check-in. I was mentally prepared to take a “skip” day, and let the streak die. Take the weekend off. I know MFP would probably send me a notification, gently reminding me that if I don’t login before midnight, my streak will end!
I was okay with that. Ready to start a new streak, or at the very least get into a new rhythm.
But then I read that reddit thread above in /r/loseit (which is a fantastic resource, by the way!). Consciously I know that my weight fluctuates constantly, and I’m not hung up on the day-to-day number – I just keep it because I’m tracking my numbers independently of MFP, so I don’t need to pay to extract my own data. But looking at my progress this way aligns more with what I’m trying to accomplish with my weight loss efforts.
I’m trying to keep to a weekly calorie goal; this is easy in theory, but MyFitnessPal forces you to track daily. I think keeping tabs on the calorie intake report (which I can pull for 7 days), and adding a column to my chart to include how many calories I’ve had vs my goal, will help me better manage my CICO efforts.
I’m going to wait until Monday to put this practice in full force, because I want to have 7 days’ worth of uninterrupted data to match with my tracking dates. But I’m going to modify my weight loss chart as of February 27th – as I’ve already written it out until the 26th. I don’t like scrapping perfectly usable tables.
Working toward a healthier life is a complete lifestyle change, and it’s hard. It’s well worth examining what’s working and what’s not working, and constantly changing for the better. For me, what works best is to analyze things as soon as I start to hit a plateau or steadily climb the opposite direction on the scale without fluctuating up and down.
I don’t think I will ever stop monitoring what I’m doing. I hope one day I will be a little more relaxed about it, but I know that not being careful at all was what piled on the weight in the first place. It’s all a matter of finding the right balance, in the end.
I hesitate to make these kinds of posts because then it (technically) means I need to publicly follow up on them. But I recognized that I didn’t actually set any goals for myself this year, so in search of content, this seems to be a good place and time to set them.
Sometime over a year and a half ago, I started a Bullet Journal because I needed a way to become organized – something that I couldn’t figure out digitally despite all the available tools. I’ve found the Bullet Journal system to be amazingly helpful, and have molded it to be useful particularly to me. My first journal is almost complete, so the goal this year is to just keep it up. I’m not worried about adding complexities to it, but will probably change things up a bit in my new book.
Be a positive example.
Too often we are quick to complain and vent on social media. This isn’t something I do a lot, but am completely guilty of it from time to time. The reason this came to mind – last week I had a poor experience at a fast food restaurant, and considered posting about it in comparison to my experiences working in fast food. I decided not to. I want to be more willing to forgive, and be more patient, putting things in perspective. If I’m driven enough to complain, then I should go through official channels and do so (such as company surveys, etc.).
Lose the weight.
This one is simple. I lost quite a bit of weight in the past, but I’ve put it back on. The goal is to take it off, and keep it off. This will always be a struggle.
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I’d like to get more engagement from social media for both my podcast and this blog. My goal for this blog specifically is to get people reading my stuff and talking to me / asking questions.
This is the general purpose of this blog. There will be some things I’ll write that won’t see the light of day on the blog, because I write them in a notebook, but I’ll do my best to transpose anything that I don’t type to this space. Currently I am posting something at least once every day, and I’m a day ahead. That won’t last forever – there will be some days that will have either really short entries or no entries. Just trying to maintain momentum right now.
Technically speaking, I met my reading goal last year according to Goodreads. Great, but I’ve been stuck reading the same book since April of last year. Yikes. So most of the “read more” goal is more about making time to read, rather than just reading more.
Follow-up on these items will take place quarterly – next update being sometime in April. Heck, let’s mark it. April 18th, 2017. I’ll start a draft post as a reminder.
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