Image Source: AskMen
A recurring theme on my yearly lists is to lose weight. Save for a big push in 2012/13 when I went from just under 100 kg to 82 kg, performance has been topsy-turvy. Things are decidedly far form ideal at the moment, seeing as I currently come in just under 94 kg at the moment. This all feeds the one small thing I want to focus on over the next few weeks, adding one push up a day to my morning routine. If all goes well, by the end of the year I should be up to 39 push ups each morning.
For the prompt for Day 3 of the 31 Day Journaling Challenge at The Art of Manliness
Alongside a regular practice, building a regular practice of prayer and bible study has been one of the things I have struggled most with over the years and which has come up again in this latest iteration of beginning again.
As for actual steps this time, I have bought a copy of 90 Days in Judges, Galatians and Ephesians by Tim Keller and Richard Coekin, a notebook and a pack of hibiscus tea, the intent being to make that part of a new morning routine in which I brew a cup of tea and settle in to read the assigned reading of the day and write notes in my mew black book. Two days in already, I hope I can make it to the 90 and then beyond.
Over-priced perhaps but this is very quickly becoming my Happy Place where I pause briefly before heading into the bedlam of work…
What has quickly become apparent – as this year of living earnestly evolves – is that far from being the wild, giddy, excited life I half expected when my thoughts began to initially crystallise, it is one that is lived in increments; steady habits being the under-girding behaviours which hold everything together. That sense – of slow, steady if ponderous, progress – is one that has been consistently underlined and reinforced all year; by the book I am currently reading (Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life), the ongoing series at Passion City on Habits and various conversations, the last of which occurred over the weekend with the older guy friend/ mentor O. The general gist of the book and the series is that change is only possible if there is an overarching vision of the future that frames the daily actions that we take, providing an incentive that keeps us plugging away at them.
Discipline without direction equals drudgery, Whitney says; Giglio’s line is that who we become is all about the habits that we create and the habits that we curate.
I made steady progress in January but fell off the wagon massively in February, distracted by pressures at work and all. March though is an opportunity to get back on track, repeat the February habit as well as the March one and take it from there. Roll on the steady habits, shall we say?
Currently Listening to: When the Rain Comes – Third Day (from the 2003 Grammy Award winning album Come Together)
A fascinating talk by Judson Brewer on habits and how we form them. Apt, given I am looking to embed 12 key ones this year. The key to tweaking our trigger-behaviour-reward cycle is being mindful and curious, focusing on what is really happening to us in the moment of behaving, apparently.