Saturday, December 31, 2016

Free Trial Subscription - Life Upgrades Part 2

If you've completed Part 1 of the Free Trial Subscription - Life Upgrades, it's now time to start getting organized for the month, or even the year, ahead.

It's time to start putting your tasks into your calendar. If you have a planner or calendar program already, I suggest having it close by so you can see whether any events you already have scheduled will conflict or derail particular tasks, and schedule around those. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed with these Task Trials. Now you can start the process of upgrading your life!

Step 3 - How to Organize the Year Ahead, plus Baseline Tasks

Looking over your list, choose one task from each category to do in the coming month: Physical Well-Being, Mental Well-Being, Inner World and Outer World. I plan to choose these just a month in advance, and re-evaluate as needed for the following month based on my Weekly Reflections and interests. If you want to do six months or the whole year, go for it, but in my experience, Future Me is not as stoked about all the things I'm scheduling for her to do, so you may, at some point, have to revisit both your tasks and your reasons for doing them.

For January, my weekly challenges are as follows.

Week One (P) - Run One Mile Per Day
Week Two (I) - Pomodoro Technique
Week Three (M) - Daily Affirmations
Week Four (O) - Be Complaint Free (read my previous post on this here)

These are in no particular order. I realize I have some extra time off because of the holidays so running will be easier the first week of January, and thus, easier to stick to in the beginning, so you may want to look at your calendar to see when each task will be easiest to manage for your month.

My next recommendation is to use technology to help with Task Management and Scheduling. I've created a recurring task on Saturday mornings for Reflections on the Week (Learn more in Part 3) and to prepare for the next week's task. This may include picking up a book, purchasing particular food, scheduling time for a particular task, booking a meeting, etc. For my Daily Affirmations, I'll need to figure out what those will be so I'm ready to go on Sunday morning. If I'm scheduling a certain time for a task, I'll set an alarm in my phone as a daily reminder.

If you prefer, you can buy or print out a calendar with the weekly tasks written on whichever day starts your week, or if you think your tasks may change, use Sticky-notes in different colors for each category to map out the year, with the option of swapping weekly tasks around as needed. (I've provided a link to a Google Doc with a 2017 Calendar you can Make A Copy of and use for this challenge.)

Bonus - Baseline Tasks

Baseline tasks are activities that I am going to do daily regardless of the weekly task. The two that spring to mind are in part because I created a habit of them in the past and found they have added to my life in a way that means I don't want to skip over them while committing to other "Life Upgrades." You may have a few similar tasks that you can re-commit to as part of this process. They will anchor your efforts and should support the other goals and your quality of life.

10 minutes of movement/exercise per day - The first Baseline Task is doing at least 10 minutes of movement/exercise per day. This might not seem like a lot, but I find by just setting a goal of 10 minutes, I usually end up doing more, and the quality of life benefits are too valuable to pass up. Since only one week each month is fully dedicated to "Physical Well Being" this Baseline Task is a given. Back to Scott Adams' insight, he recommends doing a level of exercise that insures you don't feel discouraged from wanting to workout again the next day due to exhaustion or soreness, which can derail your willpower to workout. Additionally, sometimes just setting a timer to get moving, knowing you can stop when it goes off creates enough momentum to lead to a bit more movement, a few more sets. This will help increase your endurance and you'll get used to including exercise in your schedule, making the whole process easier.

Going offline at 9 pm - The second Baseline Task is turning off my phone and laptop at 9 pm. The science behind disconnecting is huge (improved sleep, better posture, more focus) but I haven't completely separated myself from gadgetland yet, and I hope to use the coming year's tasks to thrive more offline. For now, I have an alarm on my phone that goes off at 9 pm, after which I put my phone in Airplane Mode and start to wind down for the night. This provides time to meditate, read, tidy my home, take care of my skin and teeth, journal, lay out clothes, write down tasks for the next day, have some tea, or just be disconnected for a bit.

I hope you'll consider signing up for this Free Trial Subscription of Life Upgrades. You can renew every week for all of time with no cost or obligation, and everything you receive is yours to keep.


Part 3 will include How to do Weekly Reflections and A/B Testing, plus Rewards/Motivators (Posting on 1/1)

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