An April recap, or drowning the small things with the big ones
It's now the end of April. We're a third of the way through 2016 already. What have I learned so far?
I've learned that morning workouts work more effectively than anything else I've tried. In the month of April, I came back to a dedicated 5:30AM wake-up call combined with an early trip to the gym. I was immediately successful in what I wanted to accomplish: heavier lifts in the four majors (bench press, deadlift, back squat, and shoulder press). I believe this works for me because it allows me to focus on my workouts before anything else that day in addition to letting me hit the gym when my energy levels are highest.
I've learned that coffee isn't necessary. This realization has reflected on all aspects of my life, extending far beyond the physical release from caffeine addiction. My mind is clearer now. I am aware of the moments when it is drugged and when it is not. When I learned to detect a state of mind that was hyperactive on caffeine, I learned how to detect one that was overemotional or stressed or out of control in some other way. As I have learned how to detect these different states, I have learned how to respond accordingly.
I've learned that discipline has to be applied through all areas of my life or it won't be applied at all. I start my weekdays off the same way with breakfast, the gym, and a walk to the office from the gym. By starting my day off this way, I set the tone for the entire rest of the day. The value of this cannot be overstated when trying to get big things done at work and after hours.
I've learned that when you tackle big things, they often shout down some of the smaller ones. I tackled two massive tasks this month: I moved into a new house, and I went through the interview process for a new job that I'll be starting in May (I'll write about that later). The mental focus dedicated to both of those tasks distracted me from some of the reading and writing I intended to do, but that was all for the best. I needed to be focused on those two primary objectives this month. In future months, I intend to anticipate those primary objectives before the month heats up and focus my activities accordingly.
In listicle form, here's what I accomplished in the month of April:
- Read 5 books
- Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb
- 14 by Peter Clines
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
- Walked more than 320,000 steps
- Moved in to a new home with fantastic roommates in an amazing neighborhood
- Interviewed for and accepted a new job
- Visited my brother in Dallas
- Wrote three blog posts, one on Python modules' frequency of use, one on mental toughness and one on Prince
- Played three softball games
My attention in May is focused on starting off this new job with a bang. I will be writing more; there's a lot flying around my head right now that I'm fired up to share here. I will also be paying Chicago a visit for Memorial Day weekend as my dad, brother and I go find all of their steak and trouble.
How is your year shaping up? Let me know! @josephmosby