Odds and Ends

Self Improvement 150The votes are in, and it looks like I’ll be working on a Sleepwalkers story for February’s Friday Fiction posts. Thanks to everyone who voted! There’s a lot I still feel the need to wrap my head around with these guys before I’m really comfortable telling the story that I want to tell, and this is a very good excuse to play in that sandbox for a while.

There are so many things that I’d like to do that it’s making my head spin, and I’m coming dangerously close to being paralyzed by choice. This is a great thing and an exciting time: I could learn how to drive a car, devote a lot more time to writing (within that choice is a dizzying array of subchoices — do I work on Pathfinder? Creative non-fiction? Sleepwalkers? Chimerical World? Unstable Future? Some other setting?), devote time to learning French, exercise, cooking, reading, community building, Buddhism, the list is endless.

That’s one of the reasons I’m becoming more enamored with the idea of project management — taking a high level view of all the things that I’d like to do, breaking them up into milestones, breaking up those milestones into manageable chunks and then doing them. At the beginning of every month, you take a look at your goals for the last month, whether or not you achieved them, what could help you make things easier for next month, then set your goals. Every week, you take a look at your monthly goals, figure out which manageable chunks you can fit into your schedule where, and work from there. By devoting time to taking a high-level view at how you’re doing, you can spend much more time with your nose to the grindstone confident in the fact that you’re going where you want.

So I’ll be trying out a system for that this month, though I’m already a bit behind with my goal-setting for February. I’ll try to sit down a little bit today to figure out what it is I want to do, and how I want to direct my focus. Then I’ll start work.

One of the things I’ll definitely be doing is paying more attention to my diet and trying to ramp up my exercise. I’d like to get in the habit of running at least three times a week and doing “maintenance” weight-training for two. I’d like to cook in a lot more, take breakfast and lunch to work, save as much money as I can. I’ve spent so much time being in the habit of buying food and not thinking much of it, but bringing my own is at least healthier, if not cheaper than eating out all of the time.

That’s what’s on my mind these days, pretty much. How can I be more productive? What can I do to be a better writer, husband, person? How can I exercise more and eat less terrible things? I want to build good habits so that I don’t have to think about them as much; you never want to be that guy that traps someone in the corner of a party to talk about their diet. That’s what blogs on the Internet are for!

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