The “Halfway There” Evaluation; Goals for What’s Ahead

I’m in the driver’s seat, speeding through my checklist of daily tasks, accomplishing more each day than the day prior.  No longer am I procrastinating on things that I have been fearful of… Taxes?… call a bookkeeper, find a CPA… Credit sucks?… repair that motherfucker.  No new leads?  Call all your friends and setup coffee dates.  All my new found habits are, now, routine… Work, exercise, meditate, journal, write… Turn the TV off.  As Gary Vaynerchuk stated in Tribe of Mentors, “squeezing the fuck out of the seconds [of my day].”  And, that’s what the goal was, but there are times when it feels kind of boring or lackluster.  When I’m not motivated.  That’s when I need to keep my eyes on the prize.  So, with that said, it is time to reevaluate my Quest, see where I am at in each vertical, and see where improvements can be made.

MENTAL HEALTH:
Depression is gone, I haven’t had it in a while now.  I stay busy, exercise, meditate and journal, and with that, my mental clarity has never been better.  I can say that this was the outcome I have been wanting out of all this.  Happiness coincides with mental health, and a positive disposition is key to my growth.

One thing I have learned over the past six months is not to hold resentment against myself for not completing one of my tasks.  If I flup up, I just look back at where I was when I started meditating and regain my footing.  It’s very easy to forget to take care of mental health when I get busy, but it’s also very easy to meditate and doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes out of my day.

GOAL:  Now that I have built somewhat of a foundation, I want to take it up another notch.  My goal for the remaining six months would be to continue with the habits I have made and use them to alter emotional responses that I have.  Those responses include: anger, anxiety, frustration, impulsivity, impatience, and others.  

My lovely girlfriend pointed out that I am picking my thumbs, again.  I had completely quit doing that for a couple months and, all of a sudden, I’m back gnawing those nubs like a squirrel gnaws a nut… Fuck.  Done.  Quit that shit and move on.  I had a short stint where I wasn’t meditating regularly, and for whatever reason, that’s when I started picking my thumbs again.  That also coincides with when I started my new career.  Whatever the root cause, this habit can be put in check, as I recently had it in check.  No more lapses.

PHYSICAL HEALTH:
I have been consistently lean and strong for a while now.  Aesthetically I look pretty good, as well.  My gym routine is solid; I get some cardio (rowing, running, hiking, skiing, etc.), have progressed in my yoga practice, lost weight, have almost rehabilitated my shoulder (I think), and eat an all around healthy diet of proteins, healthy fats and vegetables… with the occasional pizza binge. 🍕

This, simply, just needs to continue.  I’m satisfied with the results, but would like to put a couple pounds back on.  That is going to be dependent on how my shoulder and neck feel.  If they continue feeling better week after week, then I might be able to start lifting a little heavier, again, which would allow me to obtain some mass.

GOAL:  Get in climbing shape.  I want to climb some mountains and I need to train for that.  That is the last missing link in my fitness routine.  Adventure routine, more so.

Which brings me to my second goal here which is something I have been trying to do throughout this quest, and that is to complete one adventure per week.  Whether it is skiing, hiking, biking, etc., just one adventure a week and I feel better in so many ways that I would almost put this under mental health if it weren’t for the profuse amount of sweat that trickles off me.  Anyways, hiking season is now upon us, and I plan on hitting the trail regularly, which I have already started doing.  Mount Saint Helens is coming up in May. #ADVENTURING


CREATIVITY:

I write pretty regularly now.  I am working on writing a book.  I write this blog.  I write in my journal.  This area could still be worked on though.  I spend more time watching TV than writing, so it would make sense to flip those habits and write more than I stare at a big screen

GOAL:  Turn off the TV and write, paint, edit a video, etc.  My goal here is to put whatever time I put into TV & video games, instead, into my creative outlets.

Also, in the creative vertical, my goal is to finish writing a book by the time I get back from Patagonia.

CAREER & LEARNING:
I have started my new career in Real Estate.  I’m ecstatic about that, and although I started off slow in this vertical six months back, I feel like I’ve made insane progress here in the last two to three months.  I have some definite goals (which I’ll keep to myself for now) and way more room to grow here than all my other categories combined.  Watch out world, I’m getting after this one.

As for learning, I am learning a bounty of knowledge about real estate.  I’m, also, reading multiple books a month and applying what I learn to my life, business, etc.  It’s interesting how much reading does for your brain overall.  More or less, my vocabulary seems to be expanding, and my ability to read faster and for longer periods is strengthening, too.  A lot of my ideas start with something I read and expand from there.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BITCHES!

GOAL: I want to keep on with two books per month goal that I set for the New Year.  It’s helping me commit to a certain amount of Audible/reading.  I would prefer to spend more time actually reading, but right now, with the new career, I am going to have to commit to the hybrid approach that I’ve been doing thus far.

I don’t know where to put this one, but I think it fits best under Career, since it will likely benefit my career the most, but I need to get up earlier.  630 AM would be a good time, but that also means I need to get to bed earlier.

RELATIONSHIPS:
Oddly, or not so oddly, starting a career selling real estate has helped me reconnect with many people that I had otherwise lost touch with over the years.  Having kind of been a hermit for the last two or so, it’s nice to reemerge from my shell and be socializing again.

My girlfriend and I are on the same page now more than we have been in a while.  It probably helps that I am having some success at work — haha.  I love her and she’s pretty (she made me write that, but I do and she is).  Beyond that, I should probably spend more time with my family and go visit a handful of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

GOAL:  I cannot tell you what my goal is because my girlfriend would get mad at me.  🍑🍆 .  Hahahaha.  Just kidding…. Or, am I?  🤨  No, I totally am…. Or, am I?  I am.

IMG_2487.jpgGirlfriend and me at a show in Seattle meeting my favorite folk singer, Austin Basham.  He was a super rad dude.

In summary, I have completed so much in the last six months, but have no time to rest and way more to do.  I think that once my quest is complete, after I feel that I have maxed out my verticals, well, then, maybe next year I enter TIER TWO.  Also, there are some other verticals that are not included in my quest that I probably would include if I were to revise it…  Financials (money, investments, savings, credit, etc.), adventures (although this is somewhat prevalent), organization, productivity.  I guess you’ll just have to wait for what I conjure up six months from now.

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

PS ~ I have a ton of vids to make a great VLOG, but editing that shit takes so long that I keep putting it off… So, coming soon!

 

Upping the Output VS. Call of Duty: WW2

I admit it.  I’ve been slacking.  I’ve been slacking on a few things… One of them being that I’ve only been putting out a single blog post per week as of late and I need to start upping my output.  I’m sorry to all of you who need this blog to get through your day.  I know there are thousands of you just waiting patiently to know my thoughts on life and personal progress through this quest. 🤣

Lately I’ve been slightly distracted and have let it hinder a few of my ultimate goals; you know, that quest thing I keep writing about…  Why am I distracted?  I hate to admit it, but CALL OF DUTY: WW2.  That’s why.  At least it was last weekend.  I definitely went HAM (Hard As a Motherfucker, for my white readers) when the game came out and have been putting in way too many hours working on my Kill to Death Ratio… Yep.  I’m cool.  It’s good to have things to lose yourself in, however, it’s bad when you really lose yourself to the point that it spills over into time you should be spending working on other and more productive aspects of living.  I have started limiting my time playing and started basing whether or not I can pick up that XBOX controller on what I’ve accomplished during the day.

Another distraction has been my new roomie, Jocelyn.  Joss rocks!!!  I’m glad to have her living here and it’s nice to converse with more than just one person a day (being Brandi) like I had been prior to the new arrangement.  She’s been a good sport, keeps the place clean, and even makes dinner and breakfast on occasion!  Talk about a sweet setup.  The distraction was just getting her moved in and adjusting to living with an additional person.  Ultimately it’s been great because it’s helping both my girlfriend and I keep the house up and stay on top of things that we sometimes neglect.

IMG_1216Joss and I last summer on Naterbator’s boat.

Meanwhile, other parts of my life are changing rapidly for the better and the positive changes have exceeded my expectations.  So, let’s elaborate on the positive, yesterday I began my week with a 35 minute sauna coupled with meditation (I did about 15 minutes of meditation, followed by another ~8 minutes of meditation during the sauna session – this was not guided, which I currently find more difficult than the opposite).  While meditating and monitoring my thoughts coming and going, I realized that impatience and uneasiness were two things that I deal with internally.  My brain kept wandering and dwelling on how much longer I had left (in the sauna) while I should have been thinking about absolutely nothing but the practice.  That’s a good revelation to have and I am glad that I did, as I thought I had developed a higher level of patience than what I was exhibiting.  Taking note of that I have realized I need to find calm and acceptance of just being and to do so I am going to have to work on silencing that chatty voice in my head.  Today I, again, started off my day in the sauna where I meditated and followed it with a steam and cold shower.  I had a greater level of patience and was able to keep my thoughts mostly clear.

This past weekend I trained on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  In fact, I trained twice on Saturday by trail running six+ miles with my good friend, Adam, who came to visit me from Port Orchard, WA.  My fitness is becoming the most well-rounded it’s ever been.  Strength-wise I’m nowhere near what I was in my early and mid-twenties, but I couldn’t have run any sort of distance then and I’m certain yoga would have had me falling on my face, although, come to think of it, it still does.  So, this past week I worked out six of seven days, I took Wednesday off, one of my workouts was hot yoga and I meditated in the sauna at least 5 times for over 15 minutes.  Pretty solid week in that aspect and this week is shaping up to be just as good, if not better.

So what else?  Well, as I’ve been working out, I’ve changed my diet a bit and started practicing intermittent fasting multiple times per week.  I am starting by pushing my first meal back to about 1-3 PM and restricting the hours I eat to around eight (for starters).  I’m still experimenting with the right way to eat but have integrated a big salad into my diet at least once per day.  I’m going to do a whole blog post on nutrition and supplementation in the near future.  What I can say is that my weight has been dropping while my strength has been increasing.

And beyond that?  So, here’s the meat of the taco.  Any sign of depression that I had been dealing with is GONE.  Sometimes I may even have reasons to be depressed or, at least, incredibly stressed, but I’m not.  I feel fantastic physically and mentally, and when I compare myself now to me 60-90 days ago, I am in a whole different, very positive space.

Where I’m lacking is in the ability to manage all of these things at once.  This may be redundant, as I believe I’ve stated this previously, but to take on all these different verticals (e.g. Physical Health, Mental Health, Creativity, Career/Learning & Relationships) is challenging and takes processes to accomplish… which are, honestly, lacking.

So what am I lacking to do and where are the hangups?  I am lacking the consistency that I need to make this quest what I want to make it.  Although I can see progress in my thought processes and my overall well-being, I am not accomplishing anything monetarily or career-wise, for instance.  That may come with time, but I need to get that going sooner than later.  As for reading and journaling… I’ve been fairly consistent, but could, as I suggested earlier, up the output.  In fact, that’s really what I need to do in general: up the output.

A lot of our lives we sit around thinking things will just happen.  They don’t.  The only way things happen is if you take initiative and make them actually happen.  Who cares if it’s perfect… just put it out and keep going.  I’ve done this before and had decent results, but then get hung up on some small thing and would see the reverse outcome.  ADHD is a bitch, and if I’m not careful I find myself in a negative feedback loop beating myself up over this or that… If you take this blog as an example, I could post something and then dwell on how many followers or likes I get… That’s not productive at all.  What is productive is the output.  Getting new material out there.  Good material creates likes and followers and works on its own merit.  Micromanaging the stats does nothing but breed anxiety.  This can be applied to so many aspects of life.  Worrying about a little fat on the stomach instead of just getting after it at the gym.  Worrying about cash so you sell some things in the garage, maybe a good idea at times, but just fucking do some actual work.  So, now, I can see this is what I need to do.  So, with that said, I’m going to UP THE OUTPUT.

Cheers 🤙,

~Dane

a Kick Ass Weekend; This Coming Week

This weekend was pretty productive and well-rounded.  Friday night I spent the evening with my lovely girlfriendi at the movies.  Blade Runner 2049 was incredibly well done and kept me locked in through the entire movie.  I don’t say this about many movies, but I will definitely have to re-watch that one.  After getting home, I wrote in my journal until about 2 AM; I was pretty wired from having a coffee later than usual and wanted to get some thoughts onto paper.  I think I will publish what I wrote on here later this week.  I was letting the pen just run and found myself  touching on some ideas that came to me about humanity and the environment while I was watching Blade Runner.  Maybe I’ll add a little more to it first.

I started off Saturday with some writing followed by a solid upper-back workout at Gold’s Gym.  Soooo many pullups!  My overall strength seems to be climbing and I’m starting to up the intensity of my workouts.  I then followed some advice from Dr. Rhonda Patrick (if you don’t know her, Google her and check out www.FoundMyFitness.com) and made sure to sit in the sauna for 15 minutes afterwards.  I try to do this after every workout, barring the ones when I run to the gym because that seems really out of order and too damn sweaty.

I got cleaned up after I got home, did some chores and headed to my friend’s, Erik and Story’s, apartment where I spent the night having some awesome conversation while watching both WSU and UW smash their opponents on the football field.  Honestly, I’m not that into sports anymore so I was only half watching, but I had a blast yukking it up with my dude and dudette.  It was really fun to see them since I don’t get to very often.  Erik received a huge promotion at work and is now the Executive Vice President of his company.  I’m super proud of what he’s accomplished.  He also had some solid advice for this blog and my quest this year that I am pretty positive I will be implementing.  I’m going to think more about this and elaborate later as I make some further changes.

Today my friend Lauren and I went for a 15+ mile bike ride out to Woodinville, WA (from Redmond, WA) and back.  It was a pretty great ride except for the parade of children who were participating in a biking event and nearly got themselves killed multiple times by randomly coming into oncoming traffic.  Oncoming traffic being me on a bike.  I don’t know the math but I think 5 year old kid on bike meeting a 200 pound man on a bike going 30 miles per hour equals SPLAT.  It was less than ideal, but, to find the silver lining, it made the ride harder going from full speed to a near stop and back to full speed every quarter mile or so.  My quads will thank those lil’ rascals later…

Next week I have some things I need to get done in all of the five areas of my quest.  To help overcome areas where I am falling short, I have set five easy goals to help me get there:

1.) Time block 5 hours at least once this week for doing some sort of creative project or brainstorming session.  I did get some brainstorming done through journaling and conversation this weekend, and writing and doing this blog gets some points in that column, but actually getting into a 100% flow state is something I need to achieve and aim for.  Also, something I need to time block for as it’s not as easy to just get wrapped up in hours alone these days.  I think Friday afternoon could be a good time for this.  Monday evenings also, since it could set a creative mind state for the week.  Thought: Experiment with this.  I’ll start with Friday this week as I have a lot on my plate and will move it to Monday next week.

2.) Take care of loose ends and issues that I’ve been procrastinating on because they give me anxiety.  Face those fears and check the items off the list.  Taking care of some personal issues will definitely help with my overall mental health.

3.) Meditate daily, no exceptions.

4.) Yoga AT LEAST once per week.  This is the missing link in my physical health routine so far.  Diet could improve as well, but I’m doing moderately well there.

5.) Study.

Two more items I need to get to this week are rearranging the five key areas of my quest and giving this blog some structure.  The five key areas were well intentioned but they’re just not quite right to me yet and need to be further adjusted.  This journal style blogging is also not exactly what I want to do here, or maybe it is and I just haven’t quite found the right voice yet.  Either way, I am going to spend some time thinking about what I want to write as I go forward.

One thing I am looking very forward to this week is day hiking the Enchantments.  I did this last year and it may have been one of the hardest things I have physically done in my life.  With the craggy peaks and the neon yellow larches… It’s seriously like walking through the Lord of the Rings.

I would like to write more but I got tied up making dinner for the lady tonight and almost put this off entirely.  I’m getting quite tired now and want to get up early tomorrow to get a start on the week.  Goodnight world, I’ll catch ya soon enough.

🤙 ,

~Dane