May 22nd, 2011 by Alex  |  Published in Goals, Habits  |  Write Comment

Today at church we had a discussion about Dallin H. Oaks’ talk from last General Conference, Desire. What drives our actions?

He says “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.”

So it looks a little something like this:

Desires -> Priorities -> Choices -> Actions

Is there a disconnect in our supposed desires (our goals) and the things we actually end up doing? If so, it’s time to fix that disconnect.

A Starting Point

November 12th, 2010 by Alex  |  Published in Goals  |  1 Comment

There’s something about turning 30 that seems different from all the other numbers before it. 20 isn’t the same. I didn’t feel like I was a “real” adult at 20; I had so many “adult” things ahead of me. But here comes 30. It’s just months away now. I have a little over thirty weeks to go before my birthday next July, so it’s probably time to start on my goals. I figure 30 weeks is significant enough time to get through a really big goal: I want to lose 30 pounds in the 30 weeks before my 30th birthday.30 pounds isn’t just a number – it’s more of a lifestyle change. It’s a course correction. My four-year-old daughter likes to play tag, which she calls “bad guy”. I can play for about ten minutes, running around in our basement, until I’m kind of done. I want to be able to play until she’s the one that has to stop, not me. I want to be able to enjoy my favorite things more: playing with my kids, softball, basketball… the list goes on. The reasons for doing this are all around me. I don’t look how I want to in pictures any more. I recently started needing size 40 jeans. If I stay on this course too much longer, I’ll need much more than a course correction. I could say more about why I’m starting, but I want to keep this short and focused. I can add more later.

The goal: 30 pounds in 30 weeks. I already know a few things that work for me: measurement and accountability. It’s often said “where performance is measured, performance improves”. That’s why the blog. I also like using a “weighted average” seen in The Hacker’s Diet and at physicsdiet.com. The weighted average helps me see through the daily ups and downs on the scale. I’ve done physicsdiet.com before. I’m adding something new this time: more measurement and more accountability. I’m going to say what I eat and how much of it I eat and my extra accountability is to you. I want to set my goal weight at 230, because that’s a much prettier-sounding goal. I’ll give myself 33 weeks, which is July 1st, 2011, another nice round number. That gives me time to look good for the pictures. Once I get to 230, I don’t want my weighted average to go above 230 again.

Today’s weight: 262.4
Weeks to go: 33
Pounds to go: 32.4
Goal Date: Friday July 1, 2011

Posted via email from 30in30’s posterous

Where do I find the time?

February 6th, 2009 by Alex  |  Published in Goals, Habits, Mormonism, Spirituality  |  1 Comment

Life is busy. The to-do list is growing. Where do I find the time to do the things that I know are important, but just don’t fit into a day? Often it’s about compromises, but I’m trying to learn to make routines that combine the things that are important to me. For example, if I want to go on a walk, I can take along my MP3 player loaded with a book on tape or the scriptures. Since I just finished listening to an audiobook in the car, I need something new. I think I’ve finally graduated from the radio, because I get annoyed by the fact that even the stations I listened to in high school play more music I don’t like than music I do like. These are just two situations where I can incorporate something spiritual to that list, such as listening to Jesus the Christ or the Book of Mormon, both of which are free at audio.lds.org. Take a look at that site, because it’s full of great things to listen to that you can download for free. Adding little spiritual activities into a routine is a great way to promote those important goals off the to-do list and into habits.

Focusing on Fitness

June 18th, 2008 by Alex  |  Published in Goals  |  1 Comment

Physical Fitness didn’t used to be an area in which I really had to put extra effort. I played team sports from early elementary school and into high school, and even in college there were always people looking to play a pick-up basketball game or to throw a baseball around. After I started dating more (and especially after getting married) it seems that I must take more initiative for myself to stay physically fit. This is no fault of my wife’s – she’s actually been quite an inspiration for me in terms of wanting to get into better shape. I’ve even lost significant weight since our first child was born, but my weight seems to have reached a plateau that gradually increases or decreases depending on how long it has been since we last went on vacation.

What does this mean? I’ve got to kick it up a notch and take ownership of my own level of fitness. Although I don’t use them every day, sites like fitday.com have helped me recognize how many calories I burn and how many I take in. This resolve makes it easier to say no to myself when I want an extra slice of pizza, or when choosing between soda and water with my meal (especially when it’s pizza).

Next, I’ve started to work exercising into my routine. It’s not firmly established yet, but today I ran for twenty minutes on our elliptical trainer before work and began a program called One Hundred Pushups that I found through the blog Get Fit Slowly. The one hundred pushups routine is simple, free, and challenging. I’m just starting out so I can’t comment on long-term results, but I definitely feel a burn in my chest and shoulders already. It’s humbling to try to do pushups these days considering how many I could do ten years ago, but I’m committed to do many more than I started out with.

Finally, I’ve decided to seek out support. I’ve informed others that I want to eat healthier and make better food decisions, and I’ve found support in the community at Get Fit Slowly in the form of reminders and the knowledge that I’m not alone in my goals. I’m even telling you so that I can publicly commit myself to these goals.

President David O. McKay stated: “The healthy man, who takes care of his physical being, has strength and vitality; his temple is a fit place for his spirit to reside. … It is necessary, therefore, to care for our physical bodies, and to observe the laws of physical health and happiness” (“The ‘Whole’ Man,” Improvement Era, Apr. 1952, 221).

“Lesson 24: Keeping Physically Healthy,” Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part A, 177

Pruning Our Goals

June 11th, 2008 by Alex  |  Published in Goals, Habits  |  Write Comment

We just got back from two weeks away from home, which means that a lot of the things we usually do haven’t been done. There is grass to mow, groceries to buy, clothes to wash, and plenty more items like that on our to-do list. Does this mean we’re stressed about all that we have to do? Not really. We’re excited to get back into the swing of things and we’re looking at today as sort of a fresh beginning. Looking at our back lawn (which is really more weeds than grass, but we’re working on that), I think of these few days of “back to normal” before a routine sets in as an opportunity to prune back the things that have crept up on us and kept us overly busy.

It’s been almost two months since my last blog post? No problem! This post as an opportunity to redefine my goals for this blog. I’m not going to commit myself to posting here every day- a few times a month sounds more like it. I’m planning on taking the same strategy to fix the other things that are left undone.

Some things that went undone over the last few weeks will definitely stay that way, getting pruned off and out of our lives in the process. For me, that list includes a few TV shows I recorded to our DVR but were really more of a time-waster than entertainment, RSS feeds that I didn’t really read anymore, and other similar goals. Now the only trick is to make sure that other time-wasters don’t creep in to fill the void- there are plenty of other worthy goals worth tackling.