With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals.
I detailed my 2018 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing.
2018 Theme: First Principles Lifestyle
Similar to my update from last quarter – I feel like this theme remains very relevant to our effort for the year, even if I haven’t made much progress on the specific named items below. Having decided on where to live, and now evaluating how we want our family to earn an income, has brought us back again and again to first principles.
2018 Challenge: Profile 12 Families (w/ Kids) Living Intentionally Different
I feel bad about this but it just hasn’t ever been the most important thing on my list during a working block, nor has it seemed fun during a free block. Something to think about in creating future challenges. I think my physical challenges worked so well because they inherently were fun and also got me away from my computer, which I already spend enough time in front of to earn an income.
2018 Habit: Daily Devotions
For Q2 my bar raised from 3 days a week to 4. Because of that I regressed to only hitting 7 of the 13 weeks, as opposed to 9 in Q1. But, because the bar was higher, I actually hit 37 days in the quarter which is more than the 33 from Q1. So while I didn’t keep pace with the increase in my goal, I did objectively increase.
Of note, on no week did I complete more than the goal of 4, meaning, once again, things will get more difficult this upcoming quarter when the goal increases to 5 per week.
One thing I noticed this quarter was that on 3 of my 6 missed weeks, it was apparent before Saturday that I would miss the week, there simply weren’t enough days left to get to 4. In those weeks I still could have gotten one or two more days in, but I did not. This is one of the negative aspects of the weekly goal format, but I still think I like it better than the yearly average approach I took to this type of habit previously.
I am concerned that as the number of the goal increases to five and eventually six, it is going to become apparent even earlier in the week, in some cases, that I will miss. In order to counteract this, I am also going to look at the raw quarterly total, so that I have some incentive to keep up the habit at the end of the week on weeks that won’t be able to hit the goal.
On the qualitative side, I started tracking whether I had my devotion time in the morning or evening each day. On 70%+ of the days I was able to do it in the morning – thanks largely to my youngest waking up early. I got in the habit of spending that time before the older children wake up this way which goes well with a note I shared in my last quarter update that I find the morning a much more effective time than the evening to have this devotion time.
2018 Exemplar: John Muir
Very little progress here. I started reading a biography on Muir, ran a race that crossed through a state park named after him and took advantage of camping, with my boys, in a National Park that his efforts helped create.
I had to return biography to the library on account of hitting the maximum renewal limit of ‘how is it taking you this long to read this book – weeks’. I’m next on the list to get it again though, hopefully I’m a bit faster this time.