Tracking 2013 – Important Data and Patterns

This year I have decided to set forth on a journey that is a little different then almost every year for the past 14 years. I have become accustom to setting goals for the upcoming year on January 1st, or soon after. This year I have decided to make a little bit of change in that pattern, primarily because I wanted to start tracking something different – but also because the past two years have not been exceptionally successful for me on a personal level.

They say that stupidity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting to get different results. Therefore rather than setting big goals (like Ironman, sub 3 hour marathon, being debt free) and creating a plan to meet those goals, I’ve decided to take a daily commitment approach.

What does this mean?

I am going to track my daily commitment to the behaviors that I believe are the key to a successful year. The thought being that commitment to the these behaviors are going to propel me towards the things I’d like to accomplish. I’ve discussed this idea previously over at Endurance Base Camp, talking about “process goals” versus “outcome goals”.

I (and our culture) am often committed to outcomes. I want to be a successful runner; which I’ve defined as getting my marathon time under 3 hours. I want to be an individual that lives with financial freedom; which I’ve defined as having zero debt. I want to ….

The point is that it is easy to commit to the outcomes we want to have, but it’s a completely different level of commitment to live into the daily patterns that are necessary to make those outcomes become a reality.

What am I committing to?

As I work out what I want my “future self” to be, I’ve come up with a few behaviors I am confident will help that desire become a reality:

  • 30min of Aerobic Exercise – this is a minimum acceptable duration, 4 days a week for Q1 2013
  • Strength Training – the specifics are not as valuable as getting it done twice a week for Q1 2013
  • Yoga, Animal Flow & Daily Steps – supplemental physical parameters that I believe will help
  • 9 Servings of Fruits & Veges, eating breakfast (60min of waking), protein with breakfast
  • Alcohol, water, diet soda and soda – it’s clear that what I drink is bigger need for change than what I eat
  • Bed by 10:30pm and 7.5 hours of sleep – it become incredibly obvious in 2012 that my poor sleep derailed my ability manage stress and train the way I wanted.
  • Meditation & Scripture Reading – two behaviors that are consistently present when I am happy

Those are the behaviors that I have identified for the first quarter of 2013. Some other things that I have identified that are not necessarily daily behaviors, yet I have decided to look at adding them to my 2013 schedule of behaviors:

  1. 4 backpacking, hiking and camping trips — primitive camping always makes me happy
  2. Quarterly long weekends — taking a little bit of a lead from Brad Feld, I’m scheduling a 4 day weekend each quarter.
  3. 1 personal get-a-way — no idea what this means yet, maybe a long camping trip by myself, possibly getting away for a week long bike touring trip (solo of course), who knows?

There are some other things that I’ll look at adding in the second quarter of 2013, depending on how this goes.  I need to add intellectual habits, such as reading books and taking online courses.  I also need to add some financial behaviors, but just don’t want to overload myself right now.

I created a page to share the graphs from my spreadsheet that I’m using to track this data, you can find it here:  Gary’s Behavior Tracking Dashboard

PS, I just noticed that it is 10:33pm EST.  This means that I’m not meeting that behavior for today.  It’s a process.

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