Covid Rhythms

Right about the time that lockdown started I was finishing up a book from James Clear called Atomic Habits. It was really good timing. I had been wanting to read it since I had heard about it on Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast. It was a quick read and was one of those books that took a lot of stuff that I might have already known, and put it together in a way that helped me to apply it better. I had not been happy with some of the basic things in my life and wanted to develop new disciplines and rhythms around them. Then comes Covid-19, the perfect storm to really build on the lessons that I had learned from the book.

The book says to start with little things and do them a very minimal amount of time like two minutes and eliminate as much as possible that will hinder you from doing that one thing. I’m not going to get into the reasons why, you need to read the book for that, but let’s just say it has worked. If you are not in the habit of cleaning your teeth at night, don’t start by trying to floss, brush, and rinse, just start with the rinse. I know this sounds silly who doesn’t clean their teeth at night, right? After you master the rinse for a while add on the brushing or flossing. It’s all about keeping it simple, one thing at a time. Don’t try to change everything at once.

One thing that I wanted to get back to doing was working out. I was a runner for a few years and while I hated it for a while I learned to love it and have missed it since I stopped. It’s a long story as to why I stopped running and I could spit out a long list of excuses, but the real reason would be that I let myself stop. It’s as plain and simple as that. I had even convinced myself that I was never going to be able do it again and like I said, I have missed running.

On Sunday on March 23rd, I decided it was finally time for me to stop feeling sorry for myself. I have always been of the mindset that I can do anything that I put my mind to and why I let myself forget that I will never know. On that Sunday I did my first work out in almost 4 months. I was in no shape on that day to just start running. I was in no shape to do much of anything. So I applied what I learned from Atomic Habits and I started slow. I did a seven minute core workout that I think burned 44 calories. Not much to write home about but it was something; then I did it the next day and the next.

As of Saturday (May 23th) I have worked out consistently for two months, only missing one day. I feel so much better. Mentally I’m much better. I have more energy. Why have I not been doing this all the time? In the past I would try to do too much. If I couldn’t get 30 minutes in I would just not do it which led to inconsistency and eventually doing nothing. This has all been fairly easy to maintain during lock down. In the next few weeks, I will be heading into a "more normal" schedule and it is going to be challenge to keep this up. I just have to remind myself that something is better than nothing.

I don’t plan to fall back into my old ways. Am I running? No, but I can feel that I’m getting stronger and should be working up to that soon. Right now I’m alternating every other day, doing a core workout one day and at least a 30 minute walk the next. I’m talking it slow, but doing it at a pace to make sure that I can sustain the new rhythm. Check back soon and I will give an update when I am back to running.

Insight from Lifecycle

These days I’m drawn to applications and things that can help me build good habits. Good habits that lead to peace, growth and balance were a focus of mine in 2019 and I plan on building on that this year. Apple Books added daily reading goals and tracks the amount of consecutive days I’ve read. Day One is what I use for Journaling and they have also added encouragement in the form a steaks. Even the built in Screentime feature of iOS has prompted me to make some changes as to how I use Social Media by helping me see that I was spending too much time looking at everyones perfect lives 😏.

It is a new year and with that it is always fun to look at my Life Cycle donut for the year. Notice in the attached image, I worked 20 hours more a month in 2019 than I did the previous year. First of all, I would have never had any idea that I had worked more if I had not been using an application like Life Cycle. If you know Life Cycle then you know that it is based on tracking the time that you are at specific locations. This is in no way perfect, but I don’t think that it needs it to be. For me, it is close enough to give me a rough idea of how I have been using my time. When I first saw 20 extra hours in a month, I was bothered by that. When you break it down that is basically like working an extra hour each work day last year. Doesn’t sound that bad, but that also is 240 hours in a year. Wow, that equals 6 man weeks of extra work last year. Based on a quick web search, we work an average of 21.68 days in a month. That would be 173.44 hours per month and I was closer to that target in 2018.

Looking back, now I can see how I ended up with more hours but it never felt like that much while it was happening. I helped Seacoast open a 2500 seat worship center that added many hours to the first half of the year and this summer, I transitioned into a new job and spent extra time getting up to speed. Both of those were things that I chose to be a part of and there is nothing wrong with that. Each of us has to decide how much work is appropriate for us in the season we are in. It is interesting that I did take a few weeks off during the year and Life Cycle doesn’t track the amount of time I spend working at home because I’m not logging that and just basing it off of the location data. All of that info needs to be weighed as I’m looking at how to find balance this year. All of that to say, it is great to have enough data to be able to review and not just continuing on with my head in the sand. Let me know if you have an application or process that has helped you.

Team day

Today we made some time as a communications team to get out and have some fun.  We were also saying good by to Richard and John as well.  Even though it was hot it was good to hang out with good people.  

I want to say thanks to John for his service and wish him the best in Alabama.  I’m also pretty sure that he will really miss the Digico. 😉