I do what I can to eliminate all excuses. My biggest flaw (own opinion) is my ability to find excuses for almost anything. I spent 4 years arguing my cases and convincing other people my stories was, if not the truth, at least the most likely cause of events. Before that I was skipping school because I was bored and not a soccer boy, usually lying to my parents about being sick. When I was 18 I was kicked out of college due to a low attendance record. I worked at a store and got fired for being too slow at filling the shelves. My days went with playing games and not doing anything productive. My parents would hear about a job opening and push/arranged for me to start.
I thought my career would also fall in my lap. My life would make sense once that lightning would strike me with an epiphany. That didn’t happen and I didn’t become a famous musician or invent a cure for cancer by playing computer and drinking with my friends. I wanted to get a job that made sense and gave me something more than a paycheck. I got it by involving friends and family and repeatedly contacting the employer. I wanted to get in shape, found a schedule and got results. I started to see a pattern and a reason to make plans and follow through.
I’m pretty tired when I get home from work and my time with the youngest while she’s awake is only 2 hours on weekdays. That’s why afternoon workouts were often down prioritized. My thought process was then what is needed to make this happen. Later in the evening our oldest is put to bed, but my bedtime is also closing in. I’ve always been a morning person either waking up early or jumping out of bed when the alarm goes off. That’s the way.
But our oldest wakes up at 6 AM like clockwork. Do it earlier.
But the gym opens at 6 AM. Ask them if their non-staffed gym with a RFID-access control could open an hour earlier.
My alarm goes off at 4:53 AM, 7 minutes before the gym opens. 7 minutes to fill a bottle of water, put on my gym clothes, grab my bag and walk to the gym. We didn’t buy our house to make sure I go to the gym, but that was a positive feature. I get home just in time to greet the oldest with a sweaty-good-morning-dad-hug.
Learning something new
My weekday sparetime is from 8 PM to 10 PM, and that time is also used with my better half. However since she also wants to better herself and studies at night, we align our needs.
I like reading but somehow find that more demanding than going down the Youtube rabbit hole. I could read the entire book but also watch the 4 minute recap with witty drawings. YouTube, reddit, imgur and the likes are my procrastinating enemies so I put a limit on my daily use of them using StayFocusd for Chrome.
I know I could just use the tablet or my phone, but I’ve grown enough to know I’m not cheating anyone besides myself. And I don’t want that.
Duolingo has the pushy owl to remind me to keep re-learning french. I want to be able to handle all conversations I could encounter when vacationing in France next summer.
5 minute rule
I can’t remember where I read it but someone mentioned a 5 minute rule. If a task in sight takes less than 5 minutes, do it now. The dishwasher is finished, that’s manageable. My car is getting cluttered, lets clean up. That rule has helped me to get our house up to snuff and remind me that cleaning as I go is more overseeable than weekly or monthly cleaning.