My awesome goaly wife

I just wanted to let it be known that my wife is doing awesome at her goals.

She is exercising like a champ.

And she is doing very well on eating only 1 thing of sugar per week. I think she would have caved yesterday if we had only had eggs in the house to make some sort of decadent dessert. And tonight she is probably gorging but it’s okay because it’s her one time for the week at her book club.

But I just wanted to support her and tell her how awesome she is

Sunday Sacrament meeting

So as I mentioned in my last post, we’ve been dealing with some kid sickness. Because I have meetings and such that I have to go to church anyways, I went by myself last week. Church is definitely interesting with the no-kid factor in there.

So while I was sitting there in sacrament meeting, actually PAYING ATTENTION AND HEARING THE SPEAKERS, I had some thoughts. The big one was wondering if people that are in this (no-kid) situation appreciate it. And figuring that no, they probably don’t. So whereas I was there, really enjoying the speakers and such, I’m sure there were plenty of people who were just going through the motions or such. When you don’t get to experience certain things, I think it always makes it sweeter when you do. I know that has been my experience in life.

Anyway, one of the talks was from Tracey Blackwelder and she used a metaphor that I really enjoyed (but am just now getting around to posting about). She talked about how they (until recently I guess) had a big 15 passenger van and how she found it interesting that she as a “soccer mom” could just whip this thing around, and talked about the joys of power steering. And comparing that to God and how with His help you can make kind of “course corrections” in life. And (here’s where I’m getting hazy between the lines of what she actually said and what I just thought about as she was talking about the general concept) I found it interesting thinking about that not only in terms of like course corrections as far as sin / repentance / forgiveness goes, but also just general life changes.

Especially in this January time of goal setting, how much easier it is to change your life when you have God around to be the “power steering”. Though I guess you could abstract this out even a little more and talk about the usefulness of any kind of support group (whether it’s family and friends or Weight Watchers)

So yeah I couldn’t decide if the talks were just really good last Sunday or if I just THOUGHT they were really good because I could actually HEAR them. And I also heard how loud everyone else’s kids were and thought “Are my kids that loud” before deciding “Yeah, they probably are”. Though in our ward’s defense, when my mother-in-law (also Mormon) came to visit a few months ago she said that it was the quietest meeting she’d been to in months.

A few points to clarify

#1. I’ll post when I’m good and ready.
#2. The goals bar only gets updated when I remember
#3. Exercising isn’t even one of the goals on the goals bar anyways.
#4. I can’t believe that my “stalker” wasn’t Ray.

Oh you must, must you?

So it’s been a week or so since I posted here. And the people… they MUST have their Dan Miller. So here I am.

I know… I know… you’ve been missing me. I’m sure it won’t help when I tell you that I’ve been posting over at my secret new blog. Yup, that’s right. My secret new blog.

But I will give a little something to the masses.

My goals have been going… okay I guess. The wake up in the morning goal has been doing well. We changed the alarm from music to annoyo-alarm and it was decided that I have to go turn it off. And what do you know, ME having to turn it off versus getting to lay in bed while someone else turns it off actually increases the odds that I will get out of bed. I mean, I know, it’s revolutionary. But hey I’m telling you – it’s true!!!

I have not been doing so well on the “do 1 productive thing at night” goal. We did go down I think Friday or Saturday night and clean out all the old expired food from the General Store. It’s actually looking kind of bare, relatively speaking. We felt pretty bad about throwing away all that food, but there is a limit to how much you can eat Hamburger Helper that expired in 2005.

We threw away some of it, and I brought some of the not TOO expired stuff into work to give away and then I am selling 18 Glade Wisps with 22 refill packages on eBay. I am estimating that between the auctions (I split them up into 3 separate auctions) I will clear $40 off of them. I’ll keep you posted.

Exercising is going well. Oddly enough this morning as I was entering the Y, I saw PJ there who was just leaving. We talked for awhile and then I went in and did what they call a “brick” (2 different activities back to back). This is part of triathlon training though you’re supposed to actually do 2 of the sections that are back to back in a triathlon (like swim and then bike, or the most common one is bike and then run). I ran and then swam. I changed it up on the run – I wanted to see how fast I could sprint a mile. So I set the treadmill to 9 mph and then periodically upped it, ending up at 10.2. I got the mile done in 6:35 which was cool. Of course that’s only a 20:27 5k pace, and frankly the thought of running that fast (and actually a bit faster) for another 2 miles and change (to get a sub 20 minute 5K) is mind-boggling.

Then I went and swam. I went for 17 laps, which is approximately how far I’ll have to swim in my upcoming triathlon. With the annoying yards to meters action, 17 laps is 425 yards which is 388.62 meters – so a little shorter. But I got it in about 12 minutes (compared to last year’s time of 13:50). And that even was with some significant breakage time. I managed to go 3 laps and then break, all the way till the end when I was feeling okay after lap 15, so I kept going till the end. And of course 17 laps put me on the wrong end of the pool so I did another lap for fun and then 2 more laps to cool down.

Why is it so hard to exercise?

I’m not sure why it’s so dang hard to exercise. Or why it’s so dang hard to get up in the morning. This is something that I’ve had issues with for quite awhile. Being at a job that doesn’t require a “strict” arrival time, there’s not a whole lot of incentive for me to get “up and at ‘em” at any specific time. Except maybe the dirty looks given by my wife as I lay in bed while she gets all the kids ready for the morning? :-)

But even having said that, I do want to do better. I have set the goal to wake up with the alarm. And I have a goal of exercising 4 total days this year. But for some reason those are not motivating me. When I came to the great awakening last October that to hit my goal of exercising 1000 miles I needed to do 62 miles a week, that was very motivating to me. I would go to the Y most mornings, and would go sometimes in the evenings, including one evening when I rode the exercise bike for nearly 39 miles.

But 2008 has not been great for me. I started out okay, but then I horked my back, and couldn’t really do anything, and got out of the habit and boom – here I am.

I do have those above-mentioned goals. I am also planning on repeating my adventure in the Miami triathlon. But maybe I need more immediate “harder” goals.

Thoughts anyone? For the record, as you can see over to the right in my handy exercise log widget, I did exercise this morning – I went 25 minutes and did 2.79 miles.

A 10 point day baby

Yup it’s a 10 point day today. I figure if I’m going to get publicly hounded for publicly announcing my goals and then publicly not doing them, I can at least publicly get rewarded for publicly doing them. (Publicly)

Today I woke up with the alarm and then this evening my productive thing was fixing the DVD player. It has not been working for the past few days and “ate” one of the library DVDs. I was a little reticent to tackle this because the last time I tried to “fix” a DVD player, I umm “fixed” it. And of course by fix I mean completely destroyed to the point that I gave it up for free on Craigslist. Anyway this one was much easier. I unscrewed it and it turns out umm cough cough someone put 2 DVDs in there at once. I jiggled it, they came out, and I am done with my productive thing at 8:19 p.m.

Some resolutions

I am just Captain Blog Poster lately!

It was kind of a throw-away line in my basement cleaning post, but one of the goals that I have for the upcoming year is to do at least one productive thing in the evening. We got rid of our TV almost a year ago, primarily because we found that to be a major evening time waster. And for awhile, we were pretty productive in the evenings. We finally finished remodeling our kitchen as well as other various redeemable tasks.

But lately we have gone down a slide of laziness and unproductiveness. Not really the TV – even though that’s back, it hasn’t been used that much. I do watch some shows (mostly sports related) and we do play some Play Station (again, sports as well as DDR), and the kids do watch some movies, but overall, I feel that the TV is in its proper place in the house. Something nice to have and occasionally do, but not a “god”.

It’s been other things. Ranging from playing video games, or surfing the Internet, or watching shows online, or even “good” things like doing a puzzle or reading a book or whatever. I’m not some sort of Luddite and I do think that there is probably a place for all these things, but I find that I don’t feel good about myself if I realize that I’ve spent my entire evening just doing nothing. It usually feels good WHILE I’m doing it, but afterwards I feel like I’ve wasted my time. I’m sure I’m not alone in this kind of dichotomy.

Anyways, I’ve finally decided to do something about it And, as I like to point out, a goal that is not written down is just wishful thinking. So I am resolving that I will do (at least) 1 productive thing in the evening.

What defines a “productive thing”? There is no set definition – it can ebb and flow from whatever. This past week, we’ve been basement cleaning. I’d also count working on my business stuff or other home improvement projects or exercising. Tonight I’m going to play basketball and so I’m counting that (exercise baby!).

My other goal is that I will wake up with the alarm when it goes off. None of this snoozing and laying around in bed for hours. It is not any more restful, and it prevents me from doing other things I’d rather do – like spend a bit of time with the fam before I leave, and/or have enough time to hit the Y before work and that kind of stuff.

I have put some thoughts into some of these, and decided on these 2 to start with. I have avoided putting anything else on my “goal” list because I have heard that you shouldn’t try to do too many new goals at once because it becomes overwhelming.

Now of course comes the question of how to track it. Knowing me, of course it must be tracked, and in some “cool” way of course. Probably almost a year ago, I came across the website Joe’s Goals. What that does is allow you to put in any number of goals, and assign “points” to each goal. So then each day you mark whether you did the goal or not (and you can also have “negative” goals that cost you points), and then each day gets a “score”.

I did some things with the site back when I found them, but kind of lost focus with it. I re-discovered it recently and have spent some time over the past few days / weeks trying to figure out how to best organize things. Obviously there are a lot of different ways that you can set things up as far as goals go. One sticking point I had was how to best handle weekly and monthly goals. I didn’t want to “skew” things by getting a huge boost on one day because that just happened to be the day I went to the temple, or did my home teaching, or did a weekly planning session. I also toyed with setting a goal like “Did HT last month”, so that way if I did my HT in January, I would get to check off that goal for every day in February. I liked being able to set a bar as a “perfect” day, and then comparing each day to that ideal. I felt like having sporadic (weekly or monthly) goals didn’t accomplish that

In the end, I just decided to ignore that problem and just stick with 2 goals to start (both daily). I decided that satisfied the desire to start small, as well as allow me to measure the “perfect” day. I decided that at least for now, the “perfect” day is 10 points. So I get 5 points for waking up when the alarm goes off, and 5 points if I did one thing productive thing in the evening. My plan is that later on, once I’ve mastered these goals, that I can then add another one. So maybe I drop those 2 goals to being worth 2 points, and add a goal that if I eat less than 2000 calories in a day, I get 6 points. Again, 10 points is a perfect day. One housekeeping note – I also added a 3rd negative “adjustment” goal, with the idea that I could use that to fine-tune goals. For instance this morning, I did wake up and turn off the alarm. But then I lounged around for awhile. So I decided although I technically met the goal, I didn’t feel right about taking the full 5 points. So I gave myself 2 negative points, meaning I’ll get an 8 today (assuming I do something productive today).

And another cool thing about this site is that it also has a widget! So, just like my exercise widget, I have added my Joe’s Goals widget to the blog over there on the right, so you can all track how I’m doing. 2 slightly annoying things – it only has the 4 days of data (since I started on Sunday), and because one of my goals is done in the morning and one isn’t done until the evening, for most of the day, the graph shows a downturn (for instance now it goes from 10 to 3, because I haven’t done my 5 point productive basketball playing yet today)

The 1000 mile man

Ah…. the 1000 mile man… Sounds much better than a One Minute Man

So, as was first outlined here and then further commented upon here, here, here, here and
here, I had a goal for 2007 of 1000 miles of exercise.

Thanks mostly to the Tour de Madeira, I entered today (“the last day” as indicated by my children) at a very respectable 985.2 miles.

I headed off to the YMCA where I got in a nice 14.48 miles in 45 minutes. 14.48 miles, you might ask? But Dan, that would only put you at 999.68 miles for the year? Surely you’re not going to skate by on mere roundage?

Fear not, gentle reader. I had been dared (by Carey as opposed to Kerry) to do my final exercising for the year backwards. So for my final 8/10 of a mile, I ran backwards around the block. Well, ran and walked backwards. I don’t know if any of you have ever attempted to run backwards but it is HARD! I did manage to avoid being hit, hitting anything, or falling down, though there were some close calls. Mostly with me narrowly missing parked cars. I’m not sure if the hardest part is balancing / looking where you’re going, or the fact that it exercises completely different muscles (the front of your thighs mostly is what burned for me). It took me 11:27 to do that 8/10 of a mile, and if anyone wants to try suggesting that those 8/10 of a mile should count negative, you can first run 8/10 of a mile backwards yourself, and then BIIIIIIIIIITE ME :-P

So the final totals for the year were 1,000.5 miles, in 75 hours, 6 minutes and 8 seconds (just above 3 days).

I have decided for various reasons to set my 2008 goal as a time-based one. The main reason is that a distance-based goal lends itself to the selection of such exercises that have high distance / time coefficients (i.e. biking). And while biking is fun, I would like to do other things (run / swim mostly) while this will also allow me to do weight training and/or re-join Carolyn at step aerobics, should the mood strike. I guess I could even count Dance Dance Revolution if I’m feelin frisky :-)

I set the 2008 goal at 4 days. As I’ve told this to various folks, some have said that it is too high, and some have said that it’s not enough. That’s how I know it’s perfect! The other nice thing about 4 days is that it divides itself up nicely. 1 day a quarter, or 8 hours a month. That would be 4 days at 30 minutes a day, though I may go for more. We shall see.