14 October 2008

Thirdly review 2008, Part 3

Yet again, I've been putting off my Thirdly review. This review will cover mid-May through end of August.

Summer is usually when I go on vacation, but I didn't do much this year. I was tired of how hectic pace of the spring and just wanted to stay home. However, I did go to Washington DC to visit my second cousin and her family. I thought it was just going to be my cousin, her husband, and the kids, but then her mom and her sister's family (including an infant and newborn) showed up. So the trip wasn't really relaxing since there were so many people around. With so many kids, the parents seemed incredibly stressed and that rubbed off on me.

I played hockey in the co-ed summer league for the fourth year-in-a-row. I don't really have much to say about it, but our team did advance to the championship game, which was nice. I also dabbled in learning Chinese during July. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep it up due to time constraints. I hope I can pick it up again sometime.

I tried to improve my work ethic by setting up routines and rituals. I started a five-day-a-week gym habit on June 17th. I think my initial lifting routines contained too many exercises, which made my workouts both inefficient and overly time-consuming. Gradually over time, I figured out which exercises to keep and which to throw out. I really liked doing the habit five days a week (on weekdays) because I couldn't skip any days. In late August, I studied Rippetoe & Kilgore's Starting Strength book and that helped me understand how to train properly. I finally knew how to do the major lifts with proper technique and that gave me the confidence to go up in weight. I doubled my squat and deadlift numbers in a month. Overall, the gym experiment was very successful. It made me feel better physically and mentally and conferred discipline. If I wake up and go to the gym before 9 am, it's probably going to be a good day.

I've also been trying to establish good habits for my bedtime and rise time. Ideally, I'd like to wakeup at 5:30 am and go to bed at 9:30 pm. I had a nice week in August where I actually accomplished my wakeup time. I haven't been able to do consistently ever since. I have found a good way to encourage me to go to bed by 9:30 pm. It works as follows. I try to finish up everything (email, logging, news) by 9 pm. I watch a 20-minute episode of Scrubs and hop into bed. This works pretty well.

I notice that I have problems with unplanned disruptions. During early August, I got hooked to following the Olympics. In late August, I received the Starting Strength book in the mail and started studying it. I thought I could learn it in one day but it took over four days. That meant my work being stalled for a week. Two weeks ago, I had to work out some issues with a friend of mine. Once I get disrupted, I takes me a long time to get back on track. I hope that when I finish establishing good sleeping and working habits, I won't have so many problems.

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