90 Day Transition: Week 8 Report

90_Day_Transition(Read the overview for the basics of this 90 day push.)

Changing Paradigms

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled reportage on the day-to-day of tracking this 90-day goal set to discuss an important benefit that results from paying close attention to your life. Having formal goals isn’t just about the goals, it’s about noticing what in your life supports or hinders succeeding at your goals.

We all follow patterns (or ruts depending on how long we stick to it), and periodically it’s good to change a pattern, just to see what happens.

I was formally introduced to the concept of “Paradigm Shift” (a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions) in business,  and its obvious application to all human endeavor didn’t escape me. Not that I jumped at the opportunity to change my life, it just sort of lodged in my melon for later use.

The idea that the same thing that caused you to succeed yesterday could be the thing that destroys your business today blew my mind. It was my real-life introduction to the fact that avoiding change is futile, and managing change is vital. Part of that skill is to artificially introduce change into your life, so that when organic change happens you’re ready.

This was the frame of mind I was in when I wondered why I had lost weight training from my routine. Everything is about time with me: I have a full-time career, my ambition is to be a full-time creator (i.e. two full-time jobs), I make time to support the relationships that are important to me, I make time to give back to the universe, and I exercise to stave off decrepitude. As I looked at my time, there simply wasn’t time to do both aerobic and anaerobic (lifting) training – so I was choosing aerobic training. My mornings looked like this:

Write > Go to Gym > Aerobics > Go Home > Shower > Commute to Work via Subway.

With this as my paradigm, my only choice was to double gym time, and get back from the office around 6:00 giving me roughly a 1.5 hour evening which I’m not a fan of.

Then I asked the simple question “Why don’t I ride the bike to work?” It would give me a less intense aerobic workout but I’d be able to lift hard, and get a more balanced overall hit.

Write > Shower > Ride to Gym > Lift > Ride to Office

It took me about thirty minutes to figure out the logistics – I’d need to get shirts, shoes, ties, jackets, unmentionables to the office on the weekends – but that was about it.

I’ve been riding to the office for four days now, and beyond simply being a better approach to my mornings (the way I feel getting off the bike vs. the way I feel getting off a subway is WAY better) it’s a great reminder to continuously look for ways to change life for the better. The only reason I haven’t biked to work to date was not thinking about it, and that’s a lesson all in itself.

As for my “90-Day Transition” this may or may not improve my weight loss goal, if it does that’ll be gravy, for me remembering to change things up is the success here. And I throw the challenge out to you, what change – large or small – would you make if you changed a paradigm?

The 90 Day Goals

Black Nouveau Edits – Success
I’m having zero fun editing “Hard Knox” – keeps making me want to quit my job so I can spend eight hours at a time digging into the challenge. Alas, it’ll be a few months before I can take that option seriously, so just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other!  Start page: 35 End page: 70

Weight Loss – Success
Lose a minimum of 1 pound per week. Week start: 281.0 Week end: 280.0
(Stickk goal: 280)

Blog posts – Success
Write and post a minimum of 3 posts per week.

Noodling: Politically Correct
Psych-Hack: Solving Difficult People
90 Day Transition: Week 7 Report

Key Learnings:

  1. Change, whether you need to or not: Focusing on my new commute has reinvigorated my thinking in other areas, always a good thing.

Things to watch:

  1. Keep pushing: It’s interesting how over a period of weeks, we tend to accelerate and decelerate without much notice, I’ve taken my foot off the gas a little in my writing and I need to up my enthusiasm.
  2. Daily deadlines: As I’ve said in the past, I have a bad habit of pushing things off when I know I can still meet my targets. Making a full commitment to daily targets will help me move past this bad habit.

In summary, change is always good, whether we like it or not. Periodically introducing paradigm shifts, little ones like my commute, or big ones like moving from a fear of death to accepting it as a simple inevitability, keeps us mindful and vital.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl