- Begin exercising 3 days per week (1a)
- Begin counting all calories consumed daily (1b)
- Begin biking over 50 miles per week (1c) *
- Practice bike handling skills over 1 hour per week (1d) **
- Continue posting on Instagram twice weekly (2a)
- Begin publishing two blog posts weekly (2b)
*Since not all biking miles are equally strenuous, I decided to track the hours ridden each week.
**This will be counted in minutes since the goal is one hour per week.
And with those goals in mind, I AMPED UP THE AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT WORKING ON MY EPIC ESCAPADE!
In fact, I worked on this project and on these goals in some capacity EVERY DAMN DAY! On most days, I would put in a couple hours in the morning right after I woke up. And then again in the evening before going to bed. It felt good to be making progress. I tracked all my health in fitness activity in several apps: MyFitnessPal for calorie counting, Strava for biking, FitnessBuilder for exercise. And of course, the blog and social media posts are self documenting. I was so busy that I didn’t bother totaling and reviewing my progress until yesterday.
And the results tell the real story.
I blew it. I didn’t come close to meeting the goals I set!
And I’m not even sure how I missed them so badly. But the numbers don’t lie.
AUGUST 2018 RESULTS
I’m fighting the urge to mentally beat myself up. I know it won’t help. It’s part of the negative thinking cycle that I’m working to change. Still, I’m disappointed at the results of this first progress report.
So what happened?
I allowed myself to believe that I was making better progress than I actually was. And it makes perfect sense in hindsight. I was taking action each and every day when previously I had not been. Of course it felt like I was crushing it.
Mistaking Action for Progress
This is the real problem. And this really kills me! Why? Because for years I’ve been coaching others to “make sure we’re not mistaking activity for progress” and here I did it my damn self!
Focusing on action alone is what allows all of us to be busy each day without actually advancing our lives in the direction of our dreams.
As our old friend HDT pointed out so long ago,
It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau
The gap between what I was doing and what needed to be done would have been obvious had I actually bothered to hold a daily and weekly review.
Lesson learned! I’m starting TODAY. I’ll be using the Trello app to help me do so. If you know of any other tools that can help, please mention them in a comment below.
Recap and Lessons Learned
So was the last month a complete failure? Of course it wasn’t! But when you commit mentally and emotionally to goals and then don’t see the progress that you know you are capable of making…it can sure feel like it.
The fact is, I did advance the fitness and writing goals that are the critical foundations of this quest! And the biggest win of all? By defining those first goals and then measuring my progress against them, I now understand the importance of frequent status reviews.
I also realize that I need to get way more deliberate in my planning. I need to devote a portion of each weekend planning the next week of activities. I didn’t do that consistently (actually at all). When you start to add up the time needed for each goal, you begin to see the problem more clearly.
5.25 hrs – Exercise (1 hr each sessions + 30-45 minute prep and changing)
7 hrs – Biking (3 rides of 1-2 hrs with 1 hr prep and cleanup time per ride)
1 hrs – Bike skill building
12 hrs – Writing
4 hrs – Working on blog and social media.
Total: 29.25 hours per week
I was spending between 1.5 and 2.5 hours a day on this project. And while that is significantly more than I’d ever spent before, a rough estimate clearly shows that was half of what I needed! Compounding that error…I then spread those too few hours across too many different efforts. Overall, I moved the needle. But no single goal was completed.
As the saying goes, If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
Looks like it’s time to get serious about TIME!