Shaping Discipline

So here I am starting my 2nd 30 day challenge for 2024.

After a lot of thought, I decided I need to continue building habits I wish I had developed – years – ago. So I’m adding in some small time blocks – 10 minutes seems to be doable while still being slightly uncomfortable for me.

I have a ton of books I’ve never read, but would like to. I also wish I had a higher martial skill level – I’ve always known I simply need to practice more. But I’ve sucked at consistency/made goals waaaayyy too big for maintainability. A 10 minute block format everyday seems doable.

The activities I decided on for the next 30 days are:

  • Out of bed by 4:45am – not going to give myself credit unless I’m out of bed by 4:45am
  • Hydrate – same as last round – drink a shot of pickle juice and a glass of water. I’ve also ended up taking my vitamins and post antibiotics I’m taking some pro-biotics to help my gut
  • Light Exposure for 30 minutes – trying to deal with this seasonal affective disorder
  • Read for 10 minutes – same as last round, just nice to read something inspiring
  • Mobility work for 10 minutes – same as last round, it’s helping my general mobility and getting rid of nagging pains
  • Meditate for 10 minutes – same as last round, but going to focus on breathing and simply observing my thoughts
  • Journal for 30 minutes – this is bigger as I’m going to use the VOMIT method to help prompt me for things to journal about – I want to dive deep and use my journals to help me develop and heal
  • Shower and shave – same as last time, going to keep up with the lukewarm water
  • Cold water exposure – same as last time, this is probably the single best thing I started doing
  • Martial practice for 10 minutes – I’ve got so many things I should be doing but I’ve been a really shitty student that way (for 20 years). I’ve given myself three options here:
    • Practice forms
    • Work with a reflex ball
    • Work pistol draws
  • Professional reading for a set number of pages – the number of pages depends on the book. I give myself 30 days to read it, so x number of pages over 30 days equals y number of pages minimum per day
  • Visualization for 3 minutes – going to visualize myself doing things that will make me good at my job – I have a feeling this will change – I was crazy enough to think 10 minutes was doable, but after trying it this morning. 3 minutes seems like a good starting point.
  • Late caffeine intake – this is good for establishing denial as well I can’t argue with the sleep benefits that seem to have resulted

Day 1

So how did Day 1 go? I woke up well before my alarm and then let myself continue to lay in bed – waiting for the alarm to go off. Of course when it did, then I felt the desire to stay in bed – a conditioned response it seems.

I got out of bed immediately and headed in for a shower. I’m still feeling congested and a little sick, so I let myself enjoy some hot water for the first part of my shower – steamed myself a bit to break up some mucus. Then I blasted myself with cold water.

I got dressed, hydrated with two glasses of water and took my vitamins. Yesterday I felt tired all day for some reason I couldn’t nail down – I let myself take an hour and half nap and I was still tired. I figured out later that I hadn’t had any water aside from the first glass that morning. I slammed a couple glasses and almost immediately felt better. So yeah two glasses first thing in the morning now and I need to make sure I’m drinking more throughout the day.

Reading was good, I’m 2/3 of the way through Way of the Peaceful Warrior – yeah there’s part of me that wishes I spent more time reading, but I’ve got other stuff I need to get done – like more reading for professional development. Which I did get done – it was surprisingly more difficult to get through 7 pages than I was expecting. This is on a subject matter that interests me too… Probably the mental block that it’s something I need to do rather than want to do.

Journaling for 30 minutes was good, I blitzed for the first 15 minutes and then I started to dig into some deeper stuff – I’ve decided I’ll use the VOMIT stuff when I’m having trouble writing. Otherwise, I’ll just let my mind go and I’ll reflect on what’s coming out.

For my martial practice, I worked on my pistol draws with my EDC. Yeah this will be really good for me, see if I can get my draw to 1.5 seconds – but I’m focusing on process and form instead of speed. I did a few speed draws and they were horrible – poor grip and thus poor control. So yeah slowed down and focused on getting my hand on the grip properly before the draw – they went much more smoothly.

Mobility is going well, I’m starting to feel a bit more balanced across both legs and getting some blood pumping first thing in the morning is nice. Mediation went pretty good, just working on letting thoughts pass as I focus my breathing. Trying to visualize myself working for 10 minutes was way too much. Three minutes seems pretty good to start with – I could probably add in some other visualizations later.

By the time I had all this done, my son woke up and it was late enough that I could start a pot of coffee. So here we are.


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