Starting September the ZenHabits Way

Beginning July 1, I engaged in the Zen Habits monthly challenges forum, a technique for putting some useful activity into practice.  The desired activity becomes, through steady and faithful repetition, a habit. 

One habit I have definitely established is daily reporting of my promises for each day along with progress and completion posts each day.  I’m ready to continue in September, but there is no September Challenge folder yet.   So I’m looking for another place to manage the existence of my challenges.  This seems like a likely temporary spot.

My September Challenges

I need to continue my August Challenges because they continue to need reinforcement.  These are in three areas:

#1 Fitness.  Daily exercises that continue to improve my flexibility and my level of fitness.  I alternate, from day-to-day, between a Yoga practice and a rowing-machine workout. 

#2 Get out.  This is about getting away from my desk for at least 45 minutes a day, usually out doors and ideally around other people.  I have been using this to provide consistent yard work and, on rainy days, household maintenance of one kind or another.

#3 Organization.  Started in August, I got my in box and my unread RSS feeds down to 0 daily, then branching out to other Getting Things Done organization tasks.  I am working on reducing clutter gradually.


My September 6 Promises [2007-09-06-09:35]

I’m starting today with {5 of 5 for September}.

#1 Fitness: Row 300 strokes, push on oars 3 minutes, alternate-arm pushing on oars 3 minutes, do 8 leg lifts at hanging bar in stairway.

#2 Get out: Take my son to the airport for the continuation of his trip to Friday Harbor.

#3 Organization: 60 minutes reducing the stack of papers on my desk.  Also keep my e-mail in box and unread blog posts to 0 (ongoing).

September 6 Completion [2007-09-06-18:26]

#1, #2, and #3 are complete.  I built up an RSS backlog of 45 articles to do something with though, in part because an update to the MSDN Forum site corrected a feed error and I now have a large number of correct re-feeds that I want to take action over.

The Zen Habits Forum now has a September Challenge section opened up and I will continue this activity there.

I am now at {6 of 6 for September, 2007}.


My September 5 Promises [2007-0904-18:08]

I’m starting today with {4 of 4 for September}.

#1 Fitness: Perform the Yoga for Inflexible People Hip-Opening Basics practice.

#2 Get out: Meet my son’s train and take the bus to the house, doing some photo-walking and small errands.

#3 Organization: 60 minutes reducing the stack of papers on my desk.  Also keep my e-mail in box and unread blog posts to 0.

 

September 5 Progress [2007-09-05-12:41]

#1 is complete.  I had one of those yoga sessions where I made some sort of small progress jump in the ease of the poses and flexibility.  I’m considering going to another level of Hip Opening poses when this next comes up in the rotation I make between three yoga practices.

There is still no September challenge over on Zen Habits, and some participants have been discussing it.  I will persevere here for now.

September 5 Completion [2007-09-06-09:32]

#2 and #3 are also complete.  I am now {5 of 5 in September}.  I didn’t get my unread blogs to 0, so I will continue on that for 09-06.  Some participants in the Zen Habits August Challenge have started their own thread for September reporting as an interim measure awaiting the host’s creation of an official place for the September Challenge.  I will continue here until the official place shows up.


My September 4 Promises [2007-09-03 21:53]

I’m starting today with {3 of 3 for September}.

#1 Fitness: Row 300 strokes, push on oars 3 minutes, alternate-arm pushing on oars 3 minutes, do 8 leg lifts at hanging bar in stairway.

#2 Get out: 45 minutes weeding the parking strip on the North side of the lot and also more weeding in the rockery.  If it rains (likely), replace the failed fluorescent fixture at the door between my office and the garage.

#3 Organization: 60 minutes updating accounts, getting my unread RSS feeds back to 0 and reducing the stack of papers on the corner of my desk.

September 3 Completion [2007-09-04-18:03]

#1, #2, and #3 are complete.  I got to spend some time listening to Pandora while rowing and counting strokes while pushing against the oars (because the rowing-machine doesn’t count when the seat doesn’t move on the rails).  It rained dramatically and the replacement fixture makes that end of my office so light that I’m not quite accustomed to it yet.  This should make webcamming nicer though.  The unread posts section of my RSS aggregator is at 0 as is my in box.  Now I have writer’s block on something else!


My September 3 Promises [2007-09-03-09:53]

I’m starting today with {2 of 2 for September}.

#1 Fitness: Yoga Zone beginner practice 2

#2 Get out: 45 minutes Go back to trimming and clearing the front corner sidewalk and the parking strip on the North side of the property.  Also, cut up the last box from the new window coverings and put it in the recycle container.

#3 Organization: 60 minutes updating accounts, getting my unread RSS feeds back to 0 and reducing the stack of papers on the corner of my desk.

There is still no September challenge up on Zen Habits, and I notice that being consistent with these activities is harder without that community listening to report into.  Doing it here is more like writing on a chalk board that nobody else has a concern in. 

September 3 Completion [2007-09-03-21:50]

#1, #2, and #3 are complete.  I spent more than 60 minutes on #3, which was satisfying, but my backlog is now at 32 articles after I just did an All-Feeds refresh and made a quick pass through to eliminate all but those I want to do something with.  More tomorrow when I am rested.  Also, I have many pent-up blog posts that I must start kicking loose. 

I’m now at {3 of 3 for September}.


My September 2 Promises [2007-09-02-08:48]

I’m starting today with {1 of 1 in September}.

#1 Fitness: Row 300 strokes, push on oars 3 minutes, alternate-arm pushing on oars 3 minutes, do 8 leg lifts at hanging bar in stairway.

#2 Get out:  Mow the lawn.  Weed the rockery where the brambles are returning.  If weather doesn’t cooperate, do some inside household work.

#3 Organization:  1 hour organizing accounts, writing bills, and reducing the stack of papers on corner of my desk.

[I decided to keep updating this post rather than tag this promise onto other posts.  When the September Challenge shows up on the Zen Habits Forum, I will move over there.]

September 2 Completion [2007-09-03-09:50]

#1, #2, and #2 are complete.  I did mow the lawn.  That and cutting up cardboard boxes for the recycle pick-up consumed that time.  The organization work devolved into working on my RSS Feed backlog, the ones I had marked for active follow-up (rather than, remember to look at this one in the future).   Reducing those often means I need to write something, and I did that too.

I ended September 2 with {2 of 2 for September}.


My September 1 Promises

I am starting out at {0 of 0 in September}.

#1 Fitness: Do the Yoga Zone beginner practice 1

#2 Get out: Today that involves putting up new vertical blinds in the living room, replacing the draperies I took down yesterday.

#3 Organization: 60 minutes getting previous months and follow-up items out of my day-timer binder and dispensed with, with any remainder spent reducing the stack of papers on the corner of my desk.

September 1: Progress

#1 is complete.  I noticed some places where I do have more flexibility after putting in every-other-day yoga since July 1.  I get deeper into some of the poses and I also am slowly, very slowly, loosening my hamstrings.

I am not sure about cluttering up this blog with this every day, so I hope the September challenge starts soon and I can continue on that forum.  Meanwhile, my thinking is that if I do this daily, I will do it on the tag end of some other blog post (leading to daily posts on other topics) sort of like what some people do to share the music they are listening to or the book they are reading.  Actually, this means a post at the end of the day where I create my promises for the next day and then update it until that day is completed.  I have to see how that is going to make sense as I get into it.

September 1: Completion [2007-09-01-19:02]

#2 and #3 are now complete. My day-timer binder is now much thinner and I can put in the pages for the remainder of 2007.  The new blinds look great and we are very pleased.  We need to do something about valences and other touches to have them not seem so severe, but the quality of the light and the way they work is very pleasing.

Now, if a September Challenge folio doesn’t show up soon on the Zen Habits Forum, I will need to start some sort of post that also carries my promise for September 2.  Hmm…

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