2013 already, huh?
A little late, but I had significant interest in my #12experiments from 2012, so I want to wrap them up here.
I’m way behind on the year, so I’ll just quickly cap off each month
June “Write a letter every day.”
I was awful at this. I thought doing this in summer would encourage me to go outside and write a letter, but it turns out I’d rather be playing around. As a result, I never got in a rhythm and that killed me. Consequently, some people who rightfully expected letters are still waiting. Total fail, but I still want to tackle this somehow in 2013.
July “Strict Email Routine.”
The idea here was to check email in the AM and then only once again later in the day. I was OK at this, not great. The point of failure was fundraising. Hard to ignore email for a whole day when investors, lawyers, et al are emailing on their own schedules. Victim? Hardly. Just an obsessed founder. That all being said, I have generally had better email habits since making myself aware of how much time I spend in my inbox daily and I’m learning to ignore crap to rifle through it faster.
August “Read for an hour every day.”
This month was supposed to be “High Mileage Month” - in which I’d bike/run 500 miles over the month - but injuries prevented me from doing it (I even skipped running what would’ve been my 9th consecutive Falmouth Road Race!). Thus, I went with reading every day. Again, I was OK at this, not great. Ended up being more like 30 minutes 5-6 days a week. Meh. Similar fail to letter writing in that I never got in a great routine.
September “Make music everyday”
This was supposed to be swear-free September, but I pushed that to November. Instead, I opted to make music. OK, not great. Played drums a bunch, and got my guitar out a bit which was cool, but never seriously to make a dent in my awfully bad self-taught habits. The lesson? Deliberate practice!
October “Shut up and listen!”
This was “Reader’s choice” but I came up with a great, and very necessary goal of being a better listener. It’s not that I don’t listen to people, it’s that I’m really bullish in conversation, and I received some feedback that it’s a bit much. So I made it a point to shut my mouth and listen more. This was the BEST experiment of the second half of the year and I learned to be a LOT better about listening. Easy to say you’re a good listener… another thing to deliberately practice it.
November “No Swear November”
I sometimes swear a lot. I tried not to. I failed 42 times in the course of the month, but that’s what I’d usually do in just a few days, so I consider it a huge improvement.
December “No Processed Foods”
While the results of this experiment were noticeably visible (I unintentionally lost weight), and overall I felt very healthy, I remember thinking to myself “this diet is so stupid” just about every time I opened the refrigerator and hoped there was something better to eat than 5 seconds ago. That being said, not eating processed foods (with some exceptions here and there) was a great exercise in exploration and appreciation of foods closer to their origin. It’s something I broke through the holidays, but am experimenting with again now.
All in all, #12experiments was great. A month is a great unit of time in which to form a good habit if you’re really committed, though I do wish I’d had a little more time to plan out and prepare for some of the experiments. While none of the habits have stuck with me 100%, many of them have become more regular habits than before. I take less inbound meetings, I eat vegetarian meals more often, I’m better with email, I’m listening better, I swear less, I’m reading again… great habits all around.
But one other experiment I accomplished which was made up on the fly was probably the best of all… to go to the beach (and jump in the ocean!) every weekend throughout the summer. I was able to do it 14 weekends in a row, June to September, and it made my summer so much better. I accomplished this one for a couple reasons. 1. The ocean is my church. It will always be that sanctuary for me. 2. I had a teammate. I may have dragged her into it in the first place, but she made every adventure fun. 3. Rockaway Tacos are da bomb!
As of now, my 2013 goals aren’t planned monthly. They’re longer goals for the year and future, but you’ll see the effects here, I promise.