Monday, September 1, 2014

August 2014 Review

August went as expected and was a solid end to my goal year.

1. Deepen My Yoga Practice - Studio practice happened an average of 2-3x per week. I took home practice most other days, with pranayama once a week. I tried yoga without a mat, but did not like it. I participated in a photo shoot for the local yoga studio, appearing on the website and a festival banner.

No seminars, they are off the table for awhile. I resumed working through the anatomy trains book.

I will continue this goal for the next year, with minor variation - Pain Free Daily Yoga. I need yoga to become a grounding life habit, similar to showering or brushing my teeth, rather than a series of achievements. To support this, I've committed to an unlimited membership at the premium yoga studio my area. It means no money for multi-day seminars, but I'll have teachers that peer with the seminar leaders.

2. Class IV Strength - My strength is still down. Lifting remains focused on balancing my shoulder girdle and resting my elbow. I joined the local gym to add variety. An adjustment in down dog alignment has helped reduce elbow pain. Walks remain most days, though are getting shorter. I tried wearing the weight vest every walk, but that makes my back cramp. I expect frequency to reduce in September. I will not to return to 5/3/1 (or low rep sets) until lifting and yoga are pain free.

Calories have crept back towards maintenance, ending the month at 2400 per day. September will focus on stabilizing my weight at 155lbs, while nudging calories as high as possible. I am walking around at 16-18% body fat. In theory, that means I could comfortably walk around at 145lbs, but I am too tired to continue dropping weight. It's possible over the next 3-6 months I can re-compose at my current weight, but I am expecting another push down next Summer.

Supplementation went well. I've resumed taking creatine every day. I re-introduced vitamin D and DHA, since I already have the supplements. Once they're used up, I don't know if I'll refill them. Towards the end of the month, I added two protein shakes a day. Now that my calories are up, they are easier to include. I'll keep these patterns through September.

Next year I'll chase a revision of this goal - Lift 1 2 3 at 145. I want to lift that many 45lb plates per side, on the press, squat and deadlift - at a waking weight of 145lbs. I didn't appreciate how ambitious my goal was last year, or how poorly the bench press suited my body.

This goal may be more attainable. It represents lifetime PRs of a mere 12lbs on the press and 25lbs on the squat and dead. However, doing it at 145 may be harder than I realize - I was 25lbs heavier for my current PRs. Time will tell. Having a gym to lift at, around people stronger than me, may help.

3. Advance my Profession - Work remains focused on my first time hiring. I read the book that defines my company's standard interview process, tried it once, defined my hiring process, created skills tests, worked with a recruiter and completed screening interviews. If all goes well, I'll have a good hire by the end of September. The entire experience has been constructive professionally.

Outside of the specific tasks, educating myself lead to a few professional organizations, conferences, blogs and podcasts that are well aligned with my goal. The remainder of my time was spent testing, with little focus on new technology.

I will continue this goal for the next year, with no change - Advance my Profession. I am very happy with the direction my career is going.

4. Connect - Meeting my objective metric went poorly. Work interfered, again. It's a real problem, and I've put major steps in progress to address it.

Time with family, friends and co-workers remained similar. Making time for the yoga studio pictures was difficult, but sent a positive ripple through my relationships. I did not expect that, and was actually very close to declining. I know my strong introversion incorrectly biases me towards saying no. This was a great demonstration of why I must discount that feeling.

I will continue with this goal for the next year, with no change - Connect. It's a hard problem, I made substantial progress this year, but fell short of my vision. With the 3 major changes leading into the upcoming goal year, I think momentum is now on my side.

Overall, my last goal year went well, despite failure to meet any objective metrics. The complementary approach to goal setting was very positive, making life easier, even as my days grew fuller. Across the board, I made the fundamental mistake of severely over-estimating my starting point and ability to change. Fortunately, that didn't preclude significant growth or enjoying life. I find my difficulty with forming an accurate self image fascinating. Know thyself, I suppose.

September starts the new goal year.