In part 1 of this post, I wrote about the habits I am going to modify or eliminate to free up time for more valuable activities.
With all that free time, here’s some of what I’ll be doing more of, and the benefits I expect to see (or that I’m already observing!):
- Reading Books – I used to read a LOT, but since getting an iPad with Mobile/Cellular Data a few years ago, my reading has been in rapid decline. I think my cognition has deteriorated too. Instead of reading I’ve been watching TV, gaming, catching up on the news sites or using social media. People have been giving me loads of fiction titles, but they’ve been building up unread in haphazard piles, or have been jammed awkwardly into various book shelves around the house. In the last fortnight I’ve:
- Started visiting the library during lunchtime, several times a week.
- Been reading from about 6 different non-fiction books and finished a couple. I’ve been leaving them lying around the house, and…
- …noticed the kids reading more, and spending less time using their “tech”.
- Had loads of new & interesting creative ideas! It’s getting me more excited about life.
- Checked out the 2nd hand bookshop and had a chat to the staff. I’ll be visiting more often to drop off books I’m finished with and to pick up new ones. This will really help with decluttering and minimising.
- Considered randomly leaving books in public places, with a “FREE!” label on them, or popping them in people’s letter boxes. Most people like surprises and free stuff!
- Let the mobile/cellular plan expire on the iPad, which will save up to $300 a year.
- Writing – all the new ideas and thoughts I’ve been having need somewhere to go, so I’ve been capturing the thoughts as notes, and some of them are appearing in this blog! One unexpected benefit of thinking about a topic and writing it done, is that as soon as I click “publish”, my brain is letting go of the idea. It literally feels like my brain is giving up some space, and before you know it another new idea is popping up in that space! I think writing is helping me process all of the other stuff going on in my life, so I want to keep doing it, and getting better at it. Maybe one day I’ll do a creative writing class to learn more about it!
- Housework – I’ve stepped this up a lot since my wife started working (e.g. doing dishes, vacuuming, mopping, washing, putting away clothes etc.) but I need to do more – especially ironing and making meals). And to do it consistently. I also need to ensure that the kids are proactively doing more. I think we’ll all feel the benefits. Part of my excuses for not cooking much relate to not being responsible for much of the grocery shopping so…
- Grocery Shopping – My wife works right next to a supermarket, which is 60 km closer to home that my workplace, so I expect she’ll still do the lion’s share of the grocery shopping. But I can definitely do more in this area, and we can do it together. Instead of using the car all of the time, we can easily ride our bikes and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. This will also reduce the amount of food we buy, which will be better for our health and budget. By doing more of the grocery shopping myself, I’ll know more about what food is in the house, and I can ensure we’ve got the ingredients so I can cook for the family. I’d heard that you should never go to the shops when hungry, so I’ll have to remember eat beforehand! I find it’s a great idea to bring a list when you go shopping as well – it helps me to not buy things I don’t need, like lollies and soft drinks.
- Improving My Diet & Fasting – I’ve got to lose weight, and plenty of it, for lots of reasons. It’s being steadily creeping up over the years. I’ve tried enough diets to know that (for me) sudden, radical changes don’t result in a long-lasting results. So, I’ve been making small changes over time:
- Swapping 2 coffees with milk and sugar each day, for 2 cups of green tea. I still drink one coffee as a “heart starter” in the morning, but if I cut that out as well that’s 5.5 kg of sugar and about 55L of milk gone from my diet each year.
- Fasting 2 evenings per week (from 3 pm until breakfast). I find it’s not as hard as it sounds, and if done properly I do lose weight.
- Avoid eating anything after dinner (including desserts).
- Removing “quick fix” foods from the house, such as biscuits. If you want a biscuit in our house now, you have to make it yourself! For a snack I now grab a carrot, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
- Exercising – The amount of real exercise I’ve been doing is woeful! So many excuses… After a long day at work and commuting it’s soooo easy to end up on the couch – vegging-out and snacking. Then in the morning I snooze instead of getting up early, because I went to bed too late! Watching TV is bad, mmm’kay? Whilst I’ve been walking at least 30-60 mins each weekday, this hasn’t been making a dent, so I don’t count it as true exercise. Maybe it’s the ~15 hours a day that I’m sitting down… Here’s what I’m going to do:
- Stand at my sit/stand desk at least 2 hours a day.
- Kick the TV habit and make sure the dogs gets walked each day.
- Use my bike more often – riding for fun before or after work and on weekends, and for doing the grocery shopping. I’m thinking of storing a bike in the city so that I can go for a ride at lunch time a few times each week. We’re talking about going on a family cycling holiday – this will give us a fitness goal to achieve by a specific date, which is a great idea.
There’s so much more to say, but I’ll leave it for another post. Ciao for now!