30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Demeh » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:13 pm

Time to declutter my room!

Oh wait!

I'm not at home, such a shame :party:

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Kiith Soban (?) » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:31 pm

Isaak, I've got a question. I haven't posted anything else in this thread because I've been so busy lately it's been hard to even find enough time to post. There's also the fact that I've been rethinking my life a lot recently and my action plan is going to need some restructuring, especially in order to fit my schedule. Can I give up on the challenge for a while and come back and retry it as soon as I'm done rethinking all that stuff, or is it going to get finished as soon as it's, well, finished? Because in that case I might have to either give up on it for good or try to do everything I missed during the next few days.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:42 pm

The thread might eventually end up closed and gem mined, but that shouldn't stop anyone from doing things if they think it'll help them. :) If it helps to restart or retry, then do that, because the stuff suggested in here isn't for Isaak or the thread, it's for you. (I would say that cramming everything into just a couple of days might not be such a good idea, but if it works for you... :cheese:).

--

Hey, future gem mine reader! Are you peeking ahead at tomorrow's challenges before it's time for them? :v:

Aracat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Aracat » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:11 am

But collecting clutter is basically all I do :gonkity: I am a horrible packrat.

Not in a position to look over all my stuff right now but I did donate a bunch of old clothes last week. Ahead of the game again, kinda, woo!

Nightsong

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Nightsong » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:45 am

I stupidly left my notebook at work :modesty: So I'll be taking a couple of days off from the challenges themselves, but still trying to get my exercise / reading for the week done. Just did an hour of reading, now off for a half hour walk. I got this. :twasnothin:

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:36 am

Kiith Soban wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:31 pm
Isaak, I've got a question. I haven't posted anything else in this thread because I've been so busy lately it's been hard to even find enough time to post. There's also the fact that I've been rethinking my life a lot recently and my action plan is going to need some restructuring, especially in order to fit my schedule. Can I give up on the challenge for a while and come back and retry it as soon as I'm done rethinking all that stuff, or is it going to get finished as soon as it's, well, finished? Because in that case I might have to either give up on it for good or try to do everything I missed during the next few days.

I haven't planned anything yet, but my idea is to leave the thread open after the challenge concludes for say... a week. The challenges are timeless though and definitely something you can do long after the last day has come around. Plus this is probably not the last time something like this will happen. I have some ideas for other challenges too, and things are in motion.
You can pick and choose challenges if you feel one might help more than the other :)

Venusy wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:42 pm
(I would say that cramming everything into just a couple of days might not be such a good idea, but if it works for you... :cheese:).

I totally don't need to do that today :liarjack:

Aracat wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:11 am
But collecting clutter is basically all I do :gonkity: I am a horrible packrat.

All the more reason. Clearing things is very liberating I find, the first time I did it the feeling of knowing that all my drawers and cabinets were free of junk was amazing.

Highly recommend it!
Nightsong wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:45 am
I got this. :twasnothin:

Wicked :chillin:

--

Alright, inbox zero here I come. PRODUCTIVITY HO! :twonk: :yay: :party: :awesomedash: :vogue: :twasnothin:

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Momo (?) » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:55 am

I'd be okay with waiting to gem mine this thread, incidentally. I'd even wait until the last horse crosses the finish line, as it were.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:08 pm

- Inbox zero
- Got 20ish pieces of clothing to send to Salvation Army
- Unfollowed two dozen or so accounts on Twitter
- Cleared out my RSS reader from feeds I don't read
- Cleared drawers of random stuff
I'll continue tomorrow, but I got more done than I set out to do and I would like to spend some time doing other things :)
Momar wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:55 am
I'd be okay with waiting to gem mine this thread, incidentally. I'd even wait until the last horse crosses the finish line, as it were.

Sweet :party: We'll figure that out when the time comes!

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:33 pm

Not going to be able to post tomorrow's challenge today, but will post it first thing in the morning :)

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:39 pm

I wondered why everyone was talking about decluttering, then realized that a challenge had been posted at the bottom of the last page and the new posts feature had skipped over it. :-I

Working on decluttering my self-addressed folder, which is pretty big, as I used it as a temporary bookmarks thing when my phone was my only computer in 2011.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:38 am

Image
Unfortunately, I think it's going to take more than this challenge to get rid of my hoarding/collecting mindset. Image But at least the chaos is a bit more organized now.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:16 am

Image

Day 14: Carousel Boutique, C'est Magnifique! Create Your _______ Room

Yesterday's challenge was about decluttering. It was about organisation, cleaning & clearing not only a physical space, but also cyberspace and ultimately mental space.
What did you declutter? How many garbage bags of stuff did you end up with? How did you feel while decluttering?

Personally I'm not fully done yet, but I gotta say that my room feels a lot 'lighter' now, for want of a better word.

I'm no longer reminded of the stuff I don't ever use when I open a drawer and my wardrobe is cleared of clothes I haven't worn for months.
I didn't even know I had so much stuff.

Clutter always adds up, so make it something you do regular. When you feel that things are a mess or you can't find that one thing, maybe a good ol' decluttering session is in order.
It's not a chore, it helps you remove the unwanted and the unnecessary.

Clear away the old and allow the new in.

Having done some decluttering, let's make the most of that space!

Home is where the heart is

How do you feel when you're in your room? At ease? Happy? Refreshed? Tired? Moody? Bored?

Your room is your personal space, a place where you might work on your projects, listen to music, play games with friends, sleep, read your favourite books, multiplayer sleep, make art.
It's a space you spend a large portion of your life in. A space you can really call your own, and make your own.

This works in more ways than one. Your general emotional state at home is probably reflected by how room your room looks & feels. When you're surrounded by things you love, you'll get a positive association with the space. When you're in a creative set-up, a room with all sorts of inspiring things, you're going to end up getting more creative ideas than usual.
When your room is dirty, overloaded with stuff, paint peeling off the walls, chances are you might not feel at ease at all in your room.

I've been working on my room for several years now, constantly adding things, changing things, moving things around and it's come to a point that when I enter it I get an instant bolt of joy.

When I look at a room like Octavia's, I have no doubt he feels the same:

Image

Image

This is a room about and for music. Everything in it is geared towards making tunes and listening to them. His favourite pony is everywhere and he has his degree full on display. On his television a rainbow of colour: :ponies:.

Here's my room:

Image

When I started going to uni my dad and I converted the attic into a bedroom, raising a wall to make it L shaped, putting a floor in and painting the walls a nice airy white.

Image

My workdesk is where I make things happen. It's my window into the world, a place where I rock out while mixing, where I talk to people from all over the world.
I've been adding things to it over time. I only had the desk you see on the right, later we added the tabletop on the left, making it twice as big. I love having lots of space where I can put things and move them around.
Over time my workplace became a lot more colourful thanks to gifts I got and things I bought. Those Hot Wheels cars I bought in Toronto while visiting Dr. Dinosaur. And lots of Pinkie of course :-P .

Image

Those wooden cars I got from my niece and nephew :3:

Image

Whiteboards are one of my loves. I work out ideas, write down to-dos, stick on post-its and its home to one of my most favourite and loved things: An Anthology 2 poster signed by Andrea Libman I got from Dr. Dino :allears:!
So many cables :v:

Image

I have a reading corner with a bean bag if I want to wind down or write things in my notebook.

Image

I also have a tree. I've been collecting lanyards ever since I got my first one. It's a cool reminder of all the conventions I've been to and all the people I met there.
I can't put into words how happy my room makes me after a long day from home. Let's make yours do the same!

Task: Create Your ______ Room

Today is really only the start of something for the long term: making your room something really special. It's not something you can do in a day, but you can get a running start!

Open to a new page in your notebook, titled "My ________ Room"

Look around your room, and think of the following questions:

1: What do I want to my room to be, what do I write down in that blank space?

2: If you work/study/create art in your room, how can you make it more conducive?

Here are some ideas to help get you started:

- Hang up your Vision Board
- Put up photos of you and your loved ones
- Put up items you hold dear
- Put up your own work, like drawings, sculptures
- Your favourite posters
- Books from your favourite authors
- A noticeboard to help you organize
- Gifts from friends

Go wild! Feel free to do whatever you like! this is your room, make it something special!

Optional: Go shopping

If you feel like your room could use that something extra, you can go shopping for new furniture or items you can put around your room.
Carpets, curtains, decorations, little trinkets, ponies. Don't feel rushed though. Like I said, this is the start of something long term. If you come across something you feel might add to your room, then get it.

Reflect on Today's Task

How does your room look now? What have you learned? Any insights gained?

Day 14 of Your Action Plan

What kind of awesome stuff do you have planned for today? Go and do them with awesomely wickedly goodness.

--

I'm feeling really under the weather today, so tomorrow's challenge might be posted tomorrow :)

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:26 am

I'm doing this one here since it's easier with photos.
Image Image Image Image

This room is focused around media collection and consumption (and yeah, I do need to tidy up the bookcase and the top of the other shelves). It works well for what it does, but there's a severe lack of a dedicated work area. Additionally, the bed is right next to the window, that window directly faces a street light, the curtain rail is a little broken, and I'm a very light sleeper. :v:

Since I can't shift the position of the wardrobe, the shelves, the window or the TV stand (that's where all the plug sockets are), the only thing I can really move is the bed. I didn't capture it in that photo, but there was some unused space at the foot of the bed, inconvenient to access due to the close proximity of the TV stand. Moving the bed into that space opens up the back of the room.

Image Image

Using my bedside table and old computer as models for now, there's enough space there for a small desk (or a larger corner desk). The back wall can accommodate a noticeboard or whiteboard. The window problem isn't completely fixed, but it's better than it was. As a bonus, I don't have to keep unplugging my laptop just to stretch out, and I can now easily plug it into the TV with my short VGA cable.

Need to get some folders to store some of that paperwork that's around everywhere. Something better suited for chilling might be useful (especially with company), but a beanbag would be no good as the dogs would destroy it pretty quickly. :ponder:

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Scuderia (?) » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:15 pm

Isaak wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:36 am


Alright, inbox zero here I come. PRODUCTIVITY HO! :twonk: :yay: :party: :awesomedash: :vogue: :twasnothin:


Oh god. We're into Inbox Zero now. :gotcha:


I'm a kind of big squeeing fangirl :awesomedash: for Merlin Mann (aka The Inbox Zero Guy, 43 folders guy, the Hipster PDA guy, etc Yes that's his name. His parents were hippies. These things happen.) the Inbox Zero site links his podcast 'Back to Work'. http://5by5.tv/b2w

I've been utter shit at being "Hey you should listen to this awesome podcast! :iamapony:" but I've been a regular listener since 2012 or so starting from episode one. It's largely Merlin and Dan rapping about the nature of work, why Inspiration is kinda bullshit, organization, and productivity porno. Merlin is also this old timey Mac Guy that does a lot of writing and I keep getting reminded of Headless on this site. :-P

Episode 5 is a good starting point.
http://5by5.tv/b2w/5 "What Can't You Ship?" :flail: is probably the biggest take-away from this.



Also for more Career Chat and Self Employment Chat I'd recommend 'Quit!' on the same podcast network '5by5'. It's a call in show. Maybe not 100% applicable to the early 20-somethings here but I like listening to others talk about their problems.
http://5by5.tv/quit

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Hi. (?) » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:58 pm

Day 13.
I actually added the delay for dramatic effect. I did all the stuff and then this update this morning. :flutterunsmith:
Image

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by ScionVyse » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:19 pm

Day 11:
My biggest frustration that I can think of is internal. I have a hard time getting up and motivated in the morning, which is very frustrating. I think it stems from just how long I haven't had anything to do in the morning, thanks to my 4 month long unemployment. It's something I'm going to have to work on throughout the coming months, but having a job to go to every morning will at least help me get into the rhythm of getting up and moving in the morning. I will probably be able to do a whole lot more with my life waking up at 6:30-7 in the morning instead of 11:30-12. :notgonnadoit:


Day Off:
I did a thing! I decided to restring my electric guitar and learn how to play a song I really freaking love! :party: I even managed to play the solo! :smug: This has been a big step for me, as a lack of confidence in my own abilities has been a big reason why I haven't been attempting to write more intricate guitar pieces. Now that I know I'm kinda good, I'm going to act like it! :milkshake:
(Here's the song because :smug: :smug: :smug: )


Day 13:
I cleaned up my room, I emptied my inboxes from my e-mail accounts, (combined 10k+ emails :bluh: ) got all my clothes sorted out and put intro drawers (instead of the floor that was just a big drawer before) and reorganized my Magic the Gathering cards. I'm sure there's a whole lot more for me to do, but that'll do for now.

StarStep

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by StarStep » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:42 am

Venusy wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:42 pm

--

Hey, future gem mine reader! Are you peeking ahead at tomorrow's challenges before it's time for them? :v:


Nope not me! :liarjack:

While I did start a few days late I've decided to jump right to uncluttering stuff. Things that I have disposed of are
Pony boxes and wrapping. Had a bunch because I liked the art and so I could read the descriptions but then I realized its all on the internet and I hardly look at them anyway.
Cut inbox down from 1000 emails to 100.
My computer box which was just filled with cd cases. I've been lugging this thing around with me place to place for years so that I could reinstall whatever program I needed and had manuals and whatnot that I never looked at. I just went through and any program I might use I put all in one cd holder, wrote down code numbers and then threw the whole box out. That was really nice. I've been babying that thing forever so I wouldnt have any of them damaged and it took up a bunch of room so it was a nice burden to get rid of. I'm contemplating getting rid of all my cases for my movie collection too but Im not sure about it yet.
Went through a couple other things tossing stuff but still have a bunch to do. I think it will be a week long process to go through and cut down on everything. I forsee a lot of craigslisting in my future. :bluh:

Aracat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Aracat » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:44 am

Day 13:

There are some areas around here that need cleaned up and I know I should be doing something about them. I guess I keep a lot of my stuff around because I end up doing things where it gets used often enough that I don't look at it as junk that needs to be thrown out. I keep my stuff pretty well organized.

Rain check: As I have time, I will go through the places I know are problematic and throw stuff out or at least organize.

On the digital side, I'm not touching this with a 20 foot pole. A lot of my life involves computers and I don't let stuff build up that affects my ability to use them. I'm used to having stuff from forever ago neatly organized and readily available; storage is cheap and organization is only as hard as figuring out how to do it.


Day 14:

Most of my "free time" activities go on in a more or less common area. I guess it's my everything room? It's nice and I like it even if some of the walls are bland and need something on them.

A whiteboard would be nice, but I have too many places that I keep track of stuff as is.
More space to spread stuff out and specialize for various tasks would be nice but that's not gonna happen.
Ditto a bigger desk with more space, but I can never find one I like.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:18 am

Yoyoyo, check this out right here. Day 15 y'all, this be the halfway point :chillin:

Image

Day 15: Mirror, Mirror: a Day of Reflection

Yesterday you started to make your room something special. What things did you change? Did you move anything around? Got any big plans for the future? A new coat of paint maybe? Or do you have your sights set on a nice piece of furniture?
Making something truly yours can be exciting and you can make it a fun, long term process of adding things, removing things, changing stuff around.

Not only are you physically improving it but, over time, you'll be making it a space where you can feel at ease and which you can be proud of. Keep improving your room during the challenge, don't stop until you've made it into an environment which supercharges you!

If you want to move out soon, start afresh in your new home. Declutter between places and get a running start.
We've been doing quite a bit of physical stuff lately, let's sit back for today's task and do a bit of good ol' fashioned writing. :excite:

Mirror, mirror in the ground

How often do you stop and reflect on your life?
In today's world, a lot of us are so busy moving from one task to the next that we rarely take any time to reflect on our lives. We see what's on our to-do lists, check to see if there are any errands we have to run and go from appointment to appointment.

We move forward, which is a good thing if we have direction, if we have goals to follow and dreams to pursue.
So far the challenges have been about that: about getting a sense of where you're at right now, looking ahead and supercharging your future. But it's important to stop every once in a while and look back on our lives so far.
If we have no perspective on our past, we might not have a clear focus on our future. We might end up making the same mistakes again.

If you listen to a song you haven't heard in years, you'll notice new layers and depths you hadn't heard before. If you watch a film from your childhood now, new things will pop up you completely missed. If you go watch a Pony episode you haven't seen in a while, you'll pick up on little things in the background or mannerisms you didn't notice the first (or second, third) time 'round. :ponydrugs:

Your experiences listening and hearing vary. You'll notice something new, a new pattern you see in hindsight, an alternate take on the situation, a new understanding or lesson.

You'll always learn something new about it now matter how many times you rewatch/relisten it, because you're always different when experiencing it.

The same goes for your life. Your movie is the song, the film, the Pony episode you can look back at and learn new things from. Only it's playing as you read this. By reflecting on your life, you might learn about new details and gain new insights that will be critical to appreciate the present and create a better future.
Day 2's Life Wheel is a snapshot of where you're at in life, today is about your entire life. :)

Task: Reflect On Your Life

Open to a new page in your notebook, title it something appropriate, and write down the date.

Step 1: Your proudest moments

Spend a few minutes thinking about (a) how your life has been for the past period and (b) how you are doing in life today.

What are some of your biggest achievements? Write down as many as you want. If there's something you're superproud of, it should be up there!

Step 2: Your biggest lessons

What are some of the most important lessons you've learned? What experiences have shaped your thinking, what would be advice you would give other people?

Step 3: Onwards!

Moving forward, what are things you're going to do differently?
If you've identified any new goals on what you wrote for your Life Map on day 3, add them (where you can)

Reflect :iamapony: on Today's Task

How was today's task, what have you learned? What insights did you gain?

Day 15 of El Grandos Actionos Planos
(With apologies to all native Spanish speakers :-P )

What tasks do you have planned for today? Do them with wickedly awesomeness!

Nightsong

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Nightsong » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 am

Well, it turns out I didn't have it. I have real trouble motivating myself to do anything on Sundays. So I'm down an hour of exercise and two hours of reading. This week, I am going to make sure I get them done earlier in the week. I'm also marginally less busy this week, so that's good. More time for challenge stuff.

I'm not really satisfied with my life map / goals. My ideal life was very... impractical. In the real world, I can't work 4 jobs. I can't make my friends move to London. I can make new friends in London, but that's not exactly the same. Anyway, this is what I came up with.

One year
Lose 2 stone; 5 London friends; Try swing dancing; Start volunteering.

Three years
Healthy weight; 10 London friends; Rented flat/house I can decorate; Write a novel; Good wardrobe.

Five years
Have been in one good relationship; Edit a novel; All my books in one place; Go on holiday alone.

doodlesplat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by doodlesplat » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:03 pm

Isaak wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:18 am
What are some of your biggest achievements?
Encountering an existential crisis early-ish in life and coming out the other end a much much much better person. :v:
What are some of the most important lessons you've learned?
Learning how little I know. Learning what really matters and what doesn't as much.
What experiences have shaped your thinking
My ongoing discovery of what/who I am, my abilities, my limits. And also my learnings about the world.
what would be advice you would give other people?
1. It's never too early or too late to grow as a person.
2. Above all, have compassion.
:-D

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Momo (?) » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:49 pm

Just an FYI, I'm still on board with this, I'm just not sharing a whole lot because it's super heavy and personal.

But I got my tax return processed, and I'll be getting back enough to cover first and last month's rent on an apartment. There's, plus the jar of This-is-Why-You-Can't-Lose-Weight money is going to be enough for me to resurrect a long-dead passion of mine. :-I

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:00 pm

Image
This is largely a rehash of things posted here and elsewhere, but oh well. It's still bloody amazing to see how far I've come in a year - and how much of it is thanks to here. :) I suppose it's the old "surround yourself with positive people" thing in action.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Lhet (?) » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:20 pm

Haven't been posting consistenly but I've been keeping up (Well slightly behind but still). Here are summaries of the last few days.

Day 8: Little Review
Yesterday was your Day Of Action! What did you do? Did you make something cool happen? Did that thing you always wanted to do? Did you have fun?
Made some music. It was fun. I actually made progress.

Am I meeting my expectations? Exceeding them? Or do I need an extra boost?
Pretty much good.

What's helping me achieve my goal? What's working & why?
Making the goals, and accepting that my primary plan for the night is to accomplish those goals.

What's not helping? Why? What can I learn from this to become better at what I do?
I would say slow internet is detrimental, but perhaps it's also preventing distractions.

Consider whether you want to change your goals. Do you want to drop one? Add one? Adjust one?
I think I'm good, but I suppose I could adjust it a little by getting an exemption for days when I am out all day and don't touch a computer at all.

Day 9: To-Do List
Step 1: List all of your to-dos for today
-Do work stuff (test the build, not sure on what else will be needed) 80%
-Keep up with email - 80%
-Send emails - 80%
-30 day Challenge - 20%
-Light shopping - 80%
-Work on making music - 20%
-Read forums - 80%
-Talk on Skype - 80%
-Eat - 80%
-Brush Teeth - 80%

Step 2: Classify them as 20% Lamer or... err wait... 20% tasks or 80% tasks
(see above).

Day 10: Habits/Routines
Step 1: Identify 6 habits & routines in your life
Going to Work -1/0
-It's draining, but makes money
Getting morning latte 0/-0.5
-Often costs a bit, but it gives me calcium.
Brushing Teeth morning/night 2/1
-Yeah, this is pretty important
Getting dressed 0/0
-I mean...
Having a glass of tea at meetings. 0/0
-I guess it gives me something to drink so I don't get thirsty.
Reading Wednesday Manga 0/0
-I've been following them forever, not stopping now. It's entertaining and doesn't take much time.

Now that you've assessed part of your system, what do you want to do with it?

Assess each routine:
First number after each habit above
Plot out your next move for each habit/routine
Second number after each habit

Are there any new habits & routines you can identify and add to your system? Pick at least one, but you can also pick 3, or 5
The new habit is the 30 minutes thing!

What did you think of today's task? Did you gain any new insights?
I suppose I kinda defeated the purpose with mundane routines.

Day 11: Frustrations (Haven't done this one yet, need to think about it)

Day 12: Day off
Day off!

Day 13: Declutter
(I just responded to all of the ideas mentioned)
Browser cleanup: any bookmarks you keep but don't visit? Any toolbars you got installed but never really use?
-I'm pretty good here, I just tend to not use many bookmarks.

Email: How clean is your inbox?
-I'm actually really good about this, just about all the emails I get in my main inbox are meaningful. I have tons of filters set up to automatically redirect any newsletters/automated things to folders where I can just briefly skim over them for important things, then and mark all as read.

Computer: Delete, organize, uninstall, defrag your computer.
-I'm actually pretty clean here, as I organize things into folders from time to time. I don't delete things really, because I can afford to shove documents into backup and forget about them. Also SSDs don't need to be defragged. Might take the opportunity to backup tonight if I get a chance.

Online accounts: Social media thingies do you have? Do you follow any people on Twitter you could clear? Any updates on your Facebook you can hide forever?
-Again, pretty good with this too. I set Facebook up to only send email notifications I care about a long time ago (20 emails a day telling me to play mafia wars got old very fast). I frequently clear my RSS feed of things I don't plan on reading.

Mobile phone: uninstall apps you don't use. Get rid of any audio files or images you don't use. Tidy up bookmarks, organize your pictures, groom its hair... Wait.
-I'm also pretty good here. I've got a couple useless apps, but most of those came installed on the phone and I can't uninstall them, only hide them.

Wardrobe: Are there any clothes you no longer wear? Any that don't fit any more? Donate them to the Salvation Army!
-Hmm. I did this like a year ago, so I'm not too bad. I suppose get rid of those dress shirts that don't fit me though, now that I have some ones that do fit and haven't needed wear them everyday for years.

Desk/Car/Room:
I'm pretty bad here so all goals for tonight will be here:
Car:
-Remove all actual trash from my car.
-Remove the keyboards
-Remove any paper I want to keep/don't want to throw away (notebooks, documents). Two notebooks (one small, one bigger) can stay for actual notetaking if needed.
-Remove games

Room:
-Again, remove all actual trash
-All paper things that I'm keeping will go in a single location, box in the closet or something, books go on the bookshelf unless I'm reading them.
-Stacks of cards/sleeves will all be put away
-Clear the floor + vacuum (Tomorrow if needed)

Other goals:
-30 minutes of creativity

Ponder

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Ponder » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:58 pm

So, I'm still in the process of reflecting. I'll post that tomorrow. For tonight, I'ma post my Days 13 and 14.

For me, Day 14 was kind of a continuation of Day 13. I don't do much in my bedroom besides sleeping and dressing. The room I spend most of my time in is the living room, which I cleaned up and re-arranged a little bit. Mostly around the desk area, but I un-cluttered and organized stuff I was kind of letting pile up in the corners.

Image

Now for the tour.

The room as seen from the kitchen, right inside the door.
Image

The corner in which I paint. I've moved most of my art stuff into that corner, mostly so it's all in one spot.
Painting is blocked out since it was too clear this close up, and that would ruin the game.
Image

Computer corner. What was once a terrible mess now resembles a place where things can actually get done. I should have taken a "before" image. Oh well.
Image

Bonus. Next to my computer area, I put up a drawing I did in college. I went out and bought pushpins just so I could. Seeing what I was once capable of is kind of a motivator. It makes me want to art more.
Image


Feels good, man. I feel a lot better than I did at the beginning of this challenge. There's still a bunch of stuff I need to work on, granted, but things don't feel as impossible as they used to. :sheepish:
Last edited by Ponder on Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aracat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Aracat » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:41 am

Day 15

I'm less happy than I was several years ago, but that's the trade off for growing up, entering the real world and taking control for yourself. There's so much more to keep track of and care about, but the freedom it grants is like nothing else. Also, ponies.

I had trouble coming up with a list of achievements. Eventually I realized that I consider achievements to be a normal part of life and don't dwell on them for very long - the big stuff fades in to the past and the little stuff, no matter how small, drowns them out.
When I think about it now, there are a lot of larger achievements and things that I am/was proud of in the past. A lot of them just don't have tangible, physical results to remind me of that fact - such is the curse of the digital age.

Lessons:
  • Getting mad just breaks stuff; patience
  • Stepping back and considering problems in context can often show you the "why", which is useful for finding solutions or realizing that you're solving the wrong problem.
  • Life advice from people older than you is generally worth considering. Depressingly often for me at least, it's been correct.


I generally don't pay a lot of attention to the past, and I should probably do so more often. I scheduled reflection time on day 3 or something so I'm already set.

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:24 am

Excuse today's lateness, this took longer to write than I thought :)

Image

Day 16: A Day of Gratitude

Yesterday's challenge was about looking back, recognizing what you're proud of and what lessons you've learned along the way.
You might've stumbled upon things you weren't aware of and used your newfound knowledge to make your future clearer.

Your most significant moments might've been negative. It might've shocked you, shaked up your beliefs. A defining moment like that is often emotionally jarring and makes you stop and consider where exactly you're at in life.
But those moments are the ones we can learn the most from, more I'd argue than the moments where everything went right and as expected. It's up to us to decide what we do with our experiences. Do we put ourselves in a box, closed off from the world around us, ashamed of our mistakes and fearful to make another? Or do we try to turn it around and draw something positive from the experience; learn from it?

Experiencing fear, anxiety, shame, sadness, guilt are all part of the extremely wide spectrum of human emotions and perfectly natural and okay. But too much of anything will have a negative influence on us, and by proxy the people around us.

Reflecting on our past allows us to figure out why we make certain choices today, and change them around if they come from a negative place. Do we want to remain who we are, possibly stuck in a pattern we didn't choose, or do we turn things around and end up taking the reigns in our own hands?

A full life, I think, is one of both great triumphs and great failures. What matters is how we handle them, how we process them. That's where we can shape who we are and who we want to be.
Some of the greatest musicians, actors, political leaders, athletes, artists and so on and so forth have had really bad experiences: rough childhoods, life threatening accidents, abuse. But they learned to draw from these experiences, became stronger and found meaning.

You might've gone back and tweaked a few of your life's goals, or your habits. These are ongoing things to review, so it's good that you did.
Today's task is a natural progression from yesterday's, it's a task about appreciation and gratitude.

The Element of Gratitude

We take things for granted, we often forget some that which is most important in our lives, just because they just happen every day.
This is why gratitude is important because it makes you aware of the things that are making your day right now. The things which allow you to be the person you are today, the people who made your life a possibility. Without all of that you wouldn't be complete.

The clothes you're wearing, the computer you're reading this on, the coffee or tea you might be drinking, the fact that you're able to read this at all. You might have music playing right now to which you tap your foot. Or chatting with people on Skype or PMs back and forth. This might all seem mundane, but is it really?

With gratitude we become more aware of the world around us and our place in it.

Task: A Day of Gratitude

Open to a new page in your notebook, give it a name.

Step 1: Write down what you're grateful for

Write down everything you're grateful for, and include why you're grateful. It doesn't matter how small or silly you might think it is, it's worth appreciating.

Look at you wrote for yesterday's reflection. What shaped you, who had a large influence on your life? Who or what would you like to thank?

What are you grateful for today? Friends, family, colleagues? Each play a part in your life and add something unique.

Any things you're grateful for? What are you happy to use daily? What has added something to your life?

What kind of experiences did you have? What makes them worth giving thanks to?

If you were to swap with a random person on the street, what would you miss? What would you want to have back?
If something were not part of your life, how would you feel?

--

Here's a simple list:

Parents: For raising you and being the first to teach you about the world. You wouldn't be here without them.

Your friends: for laughing with you, playing with you, sharing stories.

Sense of hearing: for allowing you to hear the most amazing music, raindrops ticking on your window, the voices of the people you love.

The person at the counter of the supermarket you go to: for always having a smile on their face, even after a long day of work.

Your soulmate: For being the one who understands you completely.

Your mistakes: For making you view the world and yourself in a different light.

Heartbreaks: For helping you mature and learn.

Games: for challenging you non stop and giving you an endless supply of awesome experiences.

Science: for making new and exciting things possible.

Your pets: for always being there and giving you cuddles.

Friendship is Magic: for being a great show and doing something no one expected.

Life's challenges: for helping you grow and become a better person.

Step 2: Express your gratitude to the people on your list

Your list will probably include a few people. Make a selection and make them feel appreciated today :)

Mail them, message them, talk to them face-to-face, whichever way you like.
If you're out of touch with the person, see if you're able to track them down. Facebook, Linkedin have made it supereasy to find old friends and colleagues.

Image

Step 3: Make your day about gratitude

During the rest of the day, stop and think about what you come across and what made it possible. Don't take it for granted, but try and realize the story behind it.

Reflect on Today's task

What did you think of today's task? What did you learn?

Your Action Plan

Anything cool you got planned for today? Go and do them with awesome!

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Hi. (?) » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:30 pm

Day 14:

Heck yeah. An excuse to post pictures of my awesome apartment. I'm a bit behind, but 15 is a pretty big one, so I'm gonna do that either late tonight or tomorrow, as I'll be recovering from a root canal this afternoon, and I'm not sure how positive my introspection is going to be.
:-/

Image

The poster strips will be here for the end of the week, and the same with the whiteboard. It's going up just beside my desk, where I can see it. I haven't decided on the posters yet, we'll see! Maybe I'll buy something pony.

My Desk!
Image
My Kitchen!
Image

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:30 pm

I borked up my schedule :v: Tomorrow's challenge will be posted tomorrow.

Taking the opportunity to make some replies I've been meaning to make:

Venusy wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:38 am
Unfortunately, I think it's going to take more than this challenge to get rid of my hoarding/collecting mindset. Image But at least the chaos is a bit more organized now.

The challenge is to get you started. If you have more clutter, get rid of it at a later time!
Scuderia Ferrarity wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:15 pm
Oh god. We're into Inbox Zero now. :gotcha:

It's actually kind of scary. I'm like "wait, I'm supposed to get like 20 emails today, and nothing's happening", so I end up checking my Archive and labels and whatnot :-I

I'm a kind of big squeeing fangirl :awesomedash: for Merlin Mann (aka The Inbox Zero Guy, 43 folders guy, the Hipster PDA guy, etc Yes that's his name. His parents were hippies. These things happen.) the Inbox Zero site links his podcast 'Back to Work'. http://5by5.tv/b2w

I've been utter shit at being "Hey you should listen to this awesome podcast! :iamapony:" but I've been a regular listener since 2012 or so starting from episode one. It's largely Merlin and Dan rapping about the nature of work, why Inspiration is kinda bullshit, organization, and productivity porno. Merlin is also this old timey Mac Guy that does a lot of writing and I keep getting reminded of Headless on this site. :-P

Episode 5 is a good starting point.
http://5by5.tv/b2w/5 "What Can't You Ship?" :flail: is probably the biggest take-away from this.


Also for more Career Chat and Self Employment Chat I'd recommend 'Quit!' on the same podcast network '5by5'. It's a call in show. Maybe not 100% applicable to the early 20-somethings here but I like listening to others talk about their problems.
http://5by5.tv/quit

Nice! I'll make a big "stuff to help you along" list for later.
ScionVyse wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:19 pm
Day 11:
My biggest frustration that I can think of is internal. I have a hard time getting up and motivated in the morning, which is very frustrating. I think it stems from just how long I haven't had anything to do in the morning, thanks to my 4 month long unemployment. It's something I'm going to have to work on throughout the coming months, but having a job to go to every morning will at least help me get into the rhythm of getting up and moving in the morning. I will probably be able to do a whole lot more with my life waking up at 6:30-7 in the morning instead of 11:30-12. :notgonnadoit:

This will take unlearning a few habits you picked up along the way. I was much the same way, until I realized that wasn't who I was at all. I sometimes fall back in that cycle, but I'm becoming better and better at getting back on track :) Keep at it, don't stop!

Nightsong wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 am
Well, it turns out I didn't have it. I have real trouble motivating myself to do anything on Sundays. So I'm down an hour of exercise and two hours of reading. This week, I am going to make sure I get them done earlier in the week. I'm also marginally less busy this week, so that's good. More time for challenge stuff.

I'm not really satisfied with my life map / goals. My ideal life was very... impractical. In the real world, I can't work 4 jobs. I can't make my friends move to London. I can make new friends in London, but that's not exactly the same. Anyway, this is what I came up with.

One year
Lose 2 stone; 5 London friends; Try swing dancing; Start volunteering.

Three years
Healthy weight; 10 London friends; Rented flat/house I can decorate; Write a novel; Good wardrobe.

Five years
Have been in one good relationship; Edit a novel; All my books in one place; Go on holiday alone.

Nice :allears: I've been to London once and it was a city to be reckoned with. There's something big and ancient about it. Every nook and cranny has a rich history.
Shame the weather isn't all that :modesty:

PonderSketch wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:58 pm
Now for the tour.

The room as seen from the kitchen, right inside the door.
Image

The corner in which I paint. I've moved most of my art stuff into that corner, mostly so it's all in one spot.
Painting is blocked out since it was too clear this close up, and that would ruin the game.
Image

Computer corner. What was once a terrible mess now resembles a place where things can actually get done. I should have taken a "before" image. Oh well.
Image

Bonus. Next to my computer area, I put up a drawing I did in college. I went out and bought pushpins just so I could. Seeing what I was once capable of is kind of a motivator. It makes me want to art more.
Image

I love your notebook, it's always so colourful and reminds me I should use markers instead of my trusty but boring pen.
Feels good, man. I feel a lot better than I did at the beginning of this challenge. There's still a bunch of stuff I need to work on, granted, but things don't feel as impossible as they used to. :sheepish:

Yay! :party:
Aracat wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:41 am
Day 15

I'm less happy than I was several years ago, but that's the trade off for growing up, entering the real world and taking control for yourself. There's so much more to keep track of and care about, but the freedom it grants is like nothing else. Also, ponies.

I had trouble coming up with a list of achievements. Eventually I realized that I consider achievements to be a normal part of life and don't dwell on them for very long - the big stuff fades in to the past and the little stuff, no matter how small, drowns them out.
When I think about it now, there are a lot of larger achievements and things that I am/was proud of in the past. A lot of them just don't have tangible, physical results to remind me of that fact - such is the curse of the digital age.

Lessons:
  • Getting mad just breaks stuff; patience
  • Stepping back and considering problems in context can often show you the "why", which is useful for finding solutions or realizing that you're solving the wrong problem.
  • Life advice from people older than you is generally worth considering. Depressingly often for me at least, it's been correct.


I generally don't pay a lot of attention to the past, and I should probably do so more often. I scheduled reflection time on day 3 or something so I'm already set.

You've learned some important lessons I think, not that there's any unimportant lesson :-P . That last one is for me especially hard, since I'm always like "I need to figure this out for myself" and I end up learning the exact same thing more experienced people advised me on :v:

Hi! wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:30 pm
Day 14:

Heck yeah. An excuse to post pictures of my awesome apartment. I'm a bit behind, but 15 is a pretty big one, so I'm gonna do that either late tonight or tomorrow, as I'll be recovering from a root canal this afternoon, and I'm not sure how positive my introspection is going to be.
:-/

Same... :modesty: well, except for the root canal. Good luck with that Hi!!

The next challenge is going to be a fairly big one, and I'm kind of behind. Like I did the last two challenges today, but only partially. Regular schedule will resume tomorrow!

Aracat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Aracat » Wed May 01, 2013 12:52 am

Hi! wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:30 pm
Day 14:
Pictures


Your room/space looks cooler than mine. Want it need it really like the view. GIMMIE.

Day 16:
This was really hard until I took a step back and realized that I shouldn't be thinking about the things I've earned (these normally being labeled achievements), but the things that allowed me to do so. A short list, justification sometimes omitted:
Parents, friends (getting me on/off the Internet and doing stuff), family, people at work (wealth of opportunities), people the world over (coming up with amusing things). Isaak is definitely on the list because these challenges are revealing some areas that I'm hilariously bad at, as much as it might annoy me.

A lot of the big things on my list I've already given my thanks for, except for perhaps to my friends. I'm not so sure about that though, since the best way I know of to show my appreciation is to be a friend right back at them. :party:


I'm ahead of schedule today, so I will start paying off that declutter rain check.

Ponder

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Ponder » Wed May 01, 2013 1:38 am

Isaak wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:30 pm
I love your notebook, it's always so colourful and reminds me I should use markers instead of my trusty but boring pen.

Glad you like it. Writing in crayon can get to be a pain sometimes (I cheated a couple times and switched to pen or pencil), but making it eye-catching makes it easier for me to go back and re-read (which I should really be doing more often). Being reminded of why I'm doing this will should help keep me on track.

Days 15 and 16:

Image

Image

Image


The next challenge is going to be a fairly big one, and I'm kind of behind. Like I did the last two challenges today, but only partially. Regular schedule will resume tomorrow!

Man, and I thought these challenges were big already. These last two days have each taken me a couple hours. Welp, gotta keep on top of it. :pinkietoot:

Hi! wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:30 pm
Day 14:
Pictures

Aracat wrote: ↑
Wed May 01, 2013 12:52 am
Your room/space looks cooler than mine. Want it need it really like the view. GIMMIE.

No kidding. DAT VIEW :chillin:
Only, I'd be worried about privacy. I keep my blinds closed all the time and it's mostly trees outside my apartment anyway. :tinfoil:

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Wed May 01, 2013 4:57 am

Image
Image

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Wed May 01, 2013 6:26 am

Day Isaak Needs to Get His Act Together

Image

:v:

I need to take a step back and regroup, take one thing at a time and not let things fade into one another.
Today's challenge will be tomorrow's challenge :)

Take a break, make your room awesome, declutter some things or refer to your action plan :party: !

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Venusy (?) » Wed May 01, 2013 8:43 am

I just ordered myself a whiteboard, and should be getting a nice desk soon. :pinkietoot:

Also completed one-and-a-bit chapters of the CompTIA A+ course earlier (after completing one-minus-a-bit yesterday :v: ), gonna see if I can make that two-and-a-bit to get more in front.

Nightsong

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Nightsong » Wed May 01, 2013 10:10 am

Does anyone else struggle with changing your goals a few days after you made them? I'm only on day five and already I'm looking back at the action plan I made on day one and I feel largely apathetic about all of the goals. This is something that happens to me frequently. I try to set goals and work towards them, but I lose interest in those goals, set new ones, then lose interest in those. It's something I've been struggling with for months and I'm not sure if I should just pick one goal and stick with it until I've done it to see if that triggers some kind of positive reinforcement, or if the problem is that I'm apathetic about every goal I've set so far.

doodlesplat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by doodlesplat » Wed May 01, 2013 11:27 am

When you set a goal, try to also capture the feelings and reasons you had when setting them. If later on you feel apathetic, review what you wrote to see if it is because your feelings or reasons have changed or if you're just feeling unmotivated that day. If the former, then perhaps re-setting your goals is appropriate; if the latter, then just find some motivation or simply trust your earlier self and stick with it.
Image

Ponder

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Ponder » Wed May 01, 2013 11:44 am

Nightsong wrote: ↑
Wed May 01, 2013 10:10 am
Does anyone else struggle with changing your goals a few days after you made them? I'm only on day five and already I'm looking back at the action plan I made on day one and I feel largely apathetic about all of the goals. This is something that happens to me frequently. I try to set goals and work towards them, but I lose interest in those goals, set new ones, then lose interest in those. It's something I've been struggling with for months and I'm not sure if I should just pick one goal and stick with it until I've done it to see if that triggers some kind of positive reinforcement, or if the problem is that I'm apathetic about every goal I've set so far.
That's a toughie. The easier of the options looks to me like trying to meet a goal and seeing if it brings positive feelings. For the sake of the experiment, I'd suggest setting something relatively simple, maybe a goal that you can accomplish in a week.

The apathy towards the goals you set in your action plan isn't too uncommon, I would think. On Day One, I don't think a lot of us knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish with this exercise. I filled my calendar with a bunch of daily tasks that I sometimes have trouble caring about now. They're all steps toward something I was pretty sure I wanted at the beginning, so I try to keep up with them, but some days I don't get around to what I'd set myself up to do. I don't feel as bad for it as I thought I might, since during the day I typically do something else related to this challenge and I still feel like I'm progressing towards something.

For example, I want to be able to get out more, and start talking to people. To that end, some of the days on my calendar simply read, "coffee shop". I'd planned on taking a book and going to sit in a cafe somewhere for a few hours, people watching and possibly attempting to strike up a few conversations. The other day was a "coffee shop" day that I didn't get around to. Instead, I spent a chunk of time making progress on my painting. I wouldn't say I no longer care about the end-goal I was trying to achieve, but I found myself not caring about that particular daily activity.

The best insight I can offer is that while you might find yourself less-than-enthusiastic about completing specific steps toward your end goal, that doesn't necessarily mean you no longer care about the goal. If you find yourself ignoring every step toward that goal, it would be a good idea to ask yourself why. Is the problem one of motivation? Do you still want to achieve that end goal? If not, ask yourself why you set it as a goal in the first place. Why did you want to achieve it then, but don't anymore? What would you want to accomplish instead?

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Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by !saak (?) » Wed May 01, 2013 6:27 pm

Woooooooosssshhh!!! :twonk:

Image

Day 17: Your Elements of Harmony, what do you stand for?

Yesterday was about gratitude. What were you thankful for? Who did you express gratitude to? What did they say?

You're probably not so consciously grateful all the time. I'm not. And it was a reminder that I've come to gloss over some important things. Things which give me a great deal of joy.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the person reading this. You're making this something more than worthwhile, you're turning it into something special.

Whenever someone offers a hand, whenever you learn something, whenever you're asked for advice or feedback, whenever someone gives a smile, be grateful for it. It's something special :allears:
Practice a bit of gratitude daily, appreciate the things that come you're way and the gifts you're given.

Let's have a look at ourselves today:

Elements of Harmony

Do you know what your values are? What you stand for?

Values are qualities we deem important to us. Responsibility, integrity, compassion are values and so are diligence, perseverance, success, excellence, kindness, honesty, generosity, loyalty, laughter...
Your values are qualities you want to personally uphold and embody; qualities you stand for to become the best person you can be. If your values include honesty it means you strive to be fully honest to yourself and others. If you highly value compassion you do your best to help those less fortunate. If you stand for perseverance you keep going no matter what obstacles you stumble across.

We all have a set of values we've learned along the way from our parents, our education, our culture. While we're not always aware of them they do affect how we behave. One way to find out what values you find important is to think about the person you want to be. What values does this person embody? Integrity? Trustworthiness? Friendliness? Courage?

What do you want to represent, what do you want to convey just by being?

All kinds of habits, behaviours and values may spring to mind right now, but there's a certain, personal hierarchy to them. One person might value honesty more than the other, but that's because the other person values courage more and honesty represents "not being afraid of the truth".

You can group them under big, core values. So when you live according to your values, your subvalues will be fulfilled too!

Here's a little something I made:

Image

This pyramid is a model first formulated by anthropologist Gregory Bateson et al and it's useful for anyone from big companies to individuals. Now as a note: this is a model, one way of looking at things and not a theory to end all theories. On top of that it's my interpretation of the model... But it's still useful for the purposes of this challenge.
Basically this model goes from your innermost self at the top to your outward behaviour at the bottom. The top, how you view the world and your self, always has an effect on everything under it. By finding out who you are and what you stand for you decide what you want to do and what kind of influence you want to have where.

What's at the bottom, might not have an effect on everything above it. You might find yourself in a different country for a period of time, but what you experience there is less likely to completely alter the core of your being.

You might start to wonder and try to pick the model apart, and in my experience that leads to some really interesting discussions about the nature of self and what makes a person. But let's for now just leave it at this.
Back to values! This isn't the first time I've done this challenge. The first time I did I identified these as my core values:

Passion:
Live life to the fullest, fully enjoy all it has to offer, live with intensity, with fervor. Passion also covers love, love for my work, myself, my family, future relationships.

Courage:
Take every opportunity, every chance I get. Not be afraid to take my own path, to make mistakes, to learn and grow.

Creativity:
To approach every challenge, every obstacle with a creative edge. I want to see new ideas and applications everywhere, design quirky, fun, evocative things, make the world a better place.

Truth:
I want to stay true to myself and my beliefs. I am who I am and I express the way I am.

Perseverance:
β€œNever letting go, never giving up, never say no. Just go, go and never stop, never think and do the right thing.” (quote from Run Lola Run, one of my favouritest movies of all time)

Along the way I made some changes. I for instance recognized that Play covers creativity, courage and even truth partially.

Today we're going to identify our core values and then integrate them into our lives.

Task: Find Your Core Values

Turn to a new page of your notebook, title it.

Step 1: Brainstorm as many values as possible

Come up with a list of values you find important. Write down as many as you can.

Here are some helpers:

What are the highest possible qualities you want to uphold as a person?

Moments of annoyance: When you're annoyed, angry with something/someone or completely pissed off it means something is ticking off something you find important. What was violated to make you feel that way?

Moments of happiness. When were you extremely happy/excited/proud of yourself? What made you feel this way?

Here's a slew of values to help you get started:
Acceptance
Altruism
Appreciation
Awareness
Authenticity
Beauty
Boldness
Bravery
Candor
Caring
Charisma
Confidence
Compassion
Creativity
Dedication
Diligence
Discipline
Drive
Elegance
Efficiency
Empathy
Exuberance
Fearlessness
Fairness
Forgiveness
Freedom
Fun
Generosity
Gratitude
Growth
Idealism
Independence
Inspiration
Integrity
Introspection
Joy
Justice
Honesty
Humility
Hardworking
Humour
Kindness
Kinship
Knowledge
Liveliness
Love
Loyalty
Mastery
Magic
Meaning
Mindfulness
Minimalism
Modesty
Openness
Optimism
Opportunism
Originality
Passion
Peace
Perceptiveness
Perfectionism
Perseverance
Play
Reliability
Respect
Reverence
Selflessness
Serenity
Sincerity
Strength
Tender
Thoughtfulness
Tolerance
Truth
Uniqueness
Unity
Visionary
Wealth
Willingness
Wisdom
Zeal
Zest


Step 2: Make a selection and make a hierarchy where applicable

Ooh, this is a tough one :excite:

Once you're done, highlight the ones you find most important. Some values might be similar to others. If so, group them together and pick the one that best represents the bunch.
Select the ones you find most important. I selected five the first time around, so start with that. If you find you have to include one extra, or can let one go. Then that's totally fine!
Now that you've made your selection, which do you find the most important? Organize them where applicable.

Step 3: Define your core values

Define each of your core values based on what it means to you, what it represents to you.
Write it down.

Step 4: Assess your values

How are you doing with each value? If you were to score them from 1-10, what score would you give them currently? Why?
How can you fully embody these values?

Step 5: Live your life aligned to your values

Now that you've defined what you want to represent, how can you represent them and keep representing them?

Find a way to remember your values. Your values are you and what you stand for, but like everything you've learned it might slip, even though it's very important. Add your values to your vision board, or write them down on your whiteboard. Keep a note with them on it in your pocket.

Use them as a compass. If you find yourself in a certain situation, use your values as a guide. Now that you're aware of what you find most important, how does that affect your decisions? What matches what you stand for?

Review your values regularly. Your values might change over time, mine did. Be aware of this and check every so often whether your compass isn't broken.

Reflect on Today's Task

How was today's task? What did you learn?

Your Actiony Plan!

What kind of awesome things do you want to do today? Do them with awesomeness!

--

*crashes into bed* :-I

doodlesplat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by doodlesplat » Wed May 01, 2013 9:29 pm

Here's a modified approach to today's task that I want to put out there for anyone interested. It's not necessarily better, just different--and considerably more involved.

Step 1. Same (Brainstorm). Ask yourself what things you always strive for and why, as well as things you always avoid and why. If you're using sample lists, select all that apply, even ones you identify with just a little. If you actively avoid some of them, then its negation is a value you identify with. That sample list is very long, but it isn't complete, so feel free to add or modify to suit you.

Step 2. (We're skipping the selection of just a handful of the 'most important'.)

Organize them hierarchically by relationship/dependency as best as you can. For example, if you identify with Wealth because it brings you Joy, draw an arrow from Wealth to Joy. If you identify with Friendship because it brings you Fun and also because you find it important to Love everyone, draw two arrows out of Friendship to Fun and Love, respectively. If you want to check if your arrows are going the right way, suppose you have X --> Y; then, the statement "I strive for X because it brings/fulfills Y" should accurately reflect your feelings.

When you do this with all of the ones from the previous step, you'll be left with a small set of values that point to nothing else. If these aren't your core values, they'll certainly lead you to them. The question to ask yourself at this point is: Is X what I ultimately aim for, or is it something even more fundamental? Do I live purely for X itself or is it that X gives me something else which is the thing that I really live for?

Your core values should be those and only those for which satisfying them would fulfill every desire you have in life. If there is something you can potentially live without and not regret, it isn't your core value (though it may still be very important to you).

The reason for arranging by relationship instead of by importance is that as we live life, the importance of various things to us will undoubtedly change. The relationships between them give you deeper insight into how things feed into each other in your mind and those pathways may grow or shrink or get more refined, but in general they don't change how they connect up.

This step is probably not going to be finished in one sitting because it requires a lot of searching both within and without. You'll have to introspect deeply to discover what really drives you. You'll also have to look around and read about things to learn of values you always had but never knew the name of. You may be doing something else some time later and suddenly realize a detail about your values you didn't realize earlier. To continue with the prior example, you may realize Wealth doesn't bring Joy per se, but rather, it brings you Fun, which brings you Joy.

Not finding all your core values today is not a bad thing. You've still found many lower-down values which will help you discover your higher-up values some day. A clear- and fully-mapped hierarchy of your values is very very useful. The basic use is to let you know what areas of pursuit will fulfill you and also why. It'll also let you know whether something is so-so fulfilling because it doesn't really fulfill your core values or rather because it fulfills some of them a lot while also going against some others. And it can handily resolve conflicts almost by sheer virtue of existence, simply by letting you know that the source of a disagreement is because of a differing arrangement of values between you and someone else.
:vogue:

Steps 3 and 4 are unchanged.

Step 5, substep 2. I think care needs to be taken when using your mapped values as a guide. This is because a map is ultimately just a (likely not perfectly accurate) representation of the real thing, you. If your map and your heart disagree, follow your heart and update your map. Use your map only as a first approximation in answering a question, rather than as an official authority. Don't try to be what's on the paper if that isn't who you are--that would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

Image

Aracat

Re: 30 Days of Life Improvement Challenge

Post by Aracat » Thu May 02, 2013 2:04 am

Day 17

This is easily the hardest thing so far because I have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the concept of values. I ended up doing this twice and I'll doubtlessly end up doing it more times because I'm not happy with the results of either try; I don't think I'm doing it right or being honest with myself. The same could probably be said of a lot of the challenges because I'm so bad at introspection.

The one thing I did manage to get between the two rounds:
Integrity - not being a scumbag and screwing people over or going behind their backs for one's own benefit. I give myself an 7/10 because I don't intentionally do this but sometimes it happens by accident and I'm not really sure how.

I'll have to try doodlesplat's method and see what that gets me.


Meanwhile I'm going through my stuff and finding all kinds of useless crap to throw out. Vintage 1999 Netgear router? Yeah, definitely gonna need that.

Locked