And December Begins…

So, at the end of October I attempted a 4-Day-Vlog thing, to get a bunch of stuff done during those final days (I thought the added pressure of showing anyone how much or little I would be doing would spur me on). Following on from that I have still been trying my hand (or face) at vlogging, but seem to only get as far as routinely recording myself waffling to camera, with the intention to edit something together later, and later never comes. I’ve ended up doing that throughout November, and have a bunch of video files to show for it… or rather, I would if things had progressed that far. I’m not sure how to combat this.

On top of all of that I borrowed a stack of books from my local library which I intend to complete, along with a few others, before the end of the year – I might even get them read before their due-date. These books might prove to be useful in my quest however; one is The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin. I hope this one will assist me in organising, well, my mind, so I’m less scatter-brained, more focussed, and thus in a better position to get shit stuff done. Next on the pile, not that I’m going in any particular order here (oh the irony), is one on Ikigai, which is something I’ve blogged about before. I’m actually part the way through this one already and it’s providing some tit-bits of information, and tips, that will hopefully be helping me on my way. The one I’ve finished already though, and I’ve gleaned a fair bit more of than I would have thought of is Boosting Self-Esteem For Dummies.

I’d never really considered or thought myself particularly low of self-esteem and only borrowed this title because I considered, upon seeing it on the shelf, that there might be some relationship between self-esteem and motivation; something I have thought a fair bit about, and indeed written about before. I was reluctant to borrow such a book though, because there seems to me to be something… I don’t know, cheap, or naff, about Dummies guides in general. I think I flicked through one some years back and it didn’t really gel with me. This one however, whist being quite repetitive in nature, as I guess they all are (and I suspected it would be), has been pretty good and while I’ve not been reading it word for word, I’ve made a lot of notes and found a lot to think about, relate to, and work on.

I came to admit, whilst reading this Dummies book, that there surely must be some areas of my life, and situations for sure, where I lack self-esteem. Perhaps this is something that has hampered me with increasing effect for the past few years, although with self-help books (again something I’ve written about before) I notice a tendency with such things, to take on that ailment, trait, or issue that they describe. Therefore I try not to read too much into things, but still deploy certain prescribed tactics where I see fit in order to develop myself, and ultimately get more stuff done.

I have noticed how I inflict a fair amount of anxiety upon myself from the way I go about trying to get stuff done; procrastinating being a key trait, or feeling like I lack motivation or energy. I leave projects for too long with them playing around in my head the whole time, rather than just getting on with them. My Drafts folder of started blog posts being a prime example, but this month’s worth of recorded vlog videos (and cycling ones) being others.

So, just like the end of October, I want to use the end of 2019, ie the month of December, to get stuff done and achieve certain goals – I’ve been using the last few days of November as a spring-board for this effort (“start as you mean to go on” and all that shizazzle).

  • Read all of those books
  • Clear out that Drafts folder and blog more regularly (I feel like things have slipped here a little)
  • Complete 6,000 miles cycled by the end of the year, because this is the total I reached last year and I’m not that far off – it’s achievable by riding 20 miles a day (I’ve done more than that before for a whole month).
  • Jog each day / reach 300 miles total run/walked by the end of the year. I’ve been trying this Jog Each Day thing for a long while but always failed to stick to the routine; I changed from running less miles in one go whilst running more frequently, to running more mile in one go, but “needing to” run less often, to switching back to the former with the idea that I could indeed run more miles in one month that way. Now with only one month left I’m behind on the 300 miles I ran last year, so I need to run more in December than I have before in order to make up the miles; not is the time to achieve my “Running each day” thing. I’m not convinced I’ll manage every day, since sometimes I’m cycling too many miles for work, but already this week I ran in the morning and then went and cycled 40 miles.
  • Get on top of those vlogs and ultimately get things done rather than starting other things first
  • The model railway. There is no particular target for the end of the month/year, only to learn to schedule time for it and build a routine for this and everything else – having a regular progress report, no less than monthly, would be best.
  • As always, I want to practice guitar playing more consistently and record something again.

My worry, as has increasingly been a focus, is that I end up too worn out the day after; or rather my energy levels are low, I feel fatigued, or the motivation just isn’t there. I seem to have tried to combat this by doing less, or taking a more relaxed approach and either this has had the opposite effect or I’m ready to push forward now. The Dummies book has made me consider if self-esteem (or one of its cousins such as motivation, depression or procrastination) is the culprit, in that maybe it’s more a psychological thing I’m inflicting on myself rather than a physical inability as a downward mood tends to lead me to believe. If I can boost my self-esteem and better focus on making improvements, and not actually over-doing anything, then I hope I can achieve what I want to achieve. Believing in this, and myself, is the key.

I need to not worry, or even care, what other people might think; I’m not a perfectionist and I don’t intend to be – I just want to get done what I want to get done.

It’s not all get-up-and-go though; I have these books I want to read, so again I can achieve reading a certain number of books by the end of the year (25). It’s not about finding the time, because I don’t accept I don’t have enough time, more that it’s about managing my time better and not wasting it on things that aren’t a help in my overall aims. Self-esteem helps here too in that I feel like I can turn myself away from bad habits and routines that need changing and anything and anyone that eats up my time when I’m not happy about that.

In considering my routines I can already appreciate what I have been gradually achieving throughout my life, certainly throughout this year up to this point:

  • going to bed at a consistent time
  • getting up early followed by a set routine for those early hours (I’ve built my vlogging into this and also my morning runs, and I’m trying to build on this)
  • avoiding coffee and tea in the evenings; if I can avoid such stimulants in the afternoon this helps too
  • not eating too late; this helps with the getting to bed on time and not feeling restless
  • healthy diet
  • cycling everywhere

Scheduling things outside of work has been my weak-point ever since I finished high school and was left more to my own-devices.


  1. Maybe it’s just me, but I wonder if by setting up such expectations, you’re planning for failure. Set the bar _low_ and barely exceed it. Or, set the bar HIGH, fail and feel like shit…

    • Indeed, perhaps I like beating myself up! But I feel like I know what I’m capable of and feel myself lazy if I’m not meeting those expectations.

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