A bunch has happened since my last post – namely, I’m trying out a new attitude, trying out the Twelve Week Year system, and finished reading my first book of the year! Here’s to becoming a better me in 2018!
Part 1 \\ A New Attitude
Just over a week ago I broke my Netflix fast and decided to watch something before heading to bed. I ended up watching The Secret, and a bunch of things just *clicked* for me. I realized that I needed to let go of the fear of what I don’t want in life, and actively embrace that which I desire. I think I’d always been too afraid to dream or to hope for things, because I’d been disappointed so much in the past. After watching the film, I realized that I had been so focused on mentally preparing for the worst, that the best never stood a chance.
As a result of these realizations, I decided to incorporate a daily visualization affirmation minute into my day. During this time, typically in the morning, I would say a small word of thanks to something in my life that I really shouldn’t take for granted. Then, I would visualize how the day would turn out well, and also visualize success in the other areas of my life that I am working on (ex. social, health, etc.).
I have only been practicing these small steps of the Secret for a week now, so only time would tell. I can say, however, that these brief moments of gratitude and visualization are making every day just a bit easier. They’re providing for me just an extra bit of joy even on days that are a struggle to get through.
Part 2 \\ My First Twelve Week Year
In my last post, I jotted down a few notes about the things I’d like to change or make better in 2018. After that post, I sat down and wrote down a list of the things I would like to get accomplished this year. This list included:
- Get to 115 lbs
- Stop watching Netflix
- Read a book every 3 weeks
- Spend with my budget
- Stop buying shit
- Drink more water
- Learn something new (brainstorm what to learn)
- Travel somewhere new (added challenge: with miles and points!) for at least 7 days
- Learn to invest my savings
- Learn to swim better
- Purge the excesses in my life and live more simply
- Learn to use Excel better
- Get LASIK
- Go to Coachella
- Learn to read more Chinese
- … and a few more
What a list! And I don’t think I’m done brainstorming it yet. Anyway, I knew that changing all of these things about me would be impossible without some sort of structure or regimented way. I also realized that I had read a shittonne of self-improvement books in 2017. The solution? Use the things I learned last year to achieve the goals I want to achieve this year!
As a result of these two factors, I’ve decided to embrace my first Twelve Week Year challenge. In the first 12 weeks of this year, beginning Jan 8, I have set to accomplish two goals using this method. They are:
- Get to 115 lbs
- Read 4 books
I decided to go with these two goals because they seem to be the easiest goals to accomplish in my giant list of goals, and they’re also great stepping stones for the rest of my goals (i.e. I can read books that set me up to learn to invest, and a healthier body would help with my brain health).
Recap: Weeks 1 and 2
It’s been two weeks since I started this first challenge, and here is my report card for those two weeks:
During my first two weeks of the challenge, I definitely see myself maintaining some while slipping on other tactics. I have gotten more consistent at drinking water and eating leafy greens since the first week, while I’ve fallen off the bandwagon on the exercise, reading, and Netflix.
I was in New York (i.e. at home) during the first week of the challenge, while I traveled to Texas for the second week for work. I definitely noticed that while in Texas, I let more unhealthy food habits slip into my diet – habits like dairy and excess sugar. I was also too tired after work to get myself to the hotel gym. As a result, here are a few things I’d like to try for the next 7 days to help improve this scorecard:
- Hit the gym before work
- Eat healthy snacks throughout the day / drink more water to help with cravings
On a more positive note, I finished my first book of the year! Well, I kinda cheated – I started the book on Dec 22, 2017 (yes, I note when I start all my books), so I had a head start. Nonetheless, success!
Part 3 \\ Captivate, by Vanessa Van Edwards
I started following Vanessa’s work after seeing a short video of hers on my Facebook Newsfeed. I also identify as a self-proclaimed “people researcher,” having been fascinated by human behaviors since I was young, so I immediately gravitated towards Vanessa’s approach to breaking down interpersonal interactions. In this book, Vanessa explains to her readers how they can become more successful in their everyday social interactions. After each chapter, with topics ranging from microexpressions to personality matrices, Vanessa gives her readers a few challenges to try as well as a quick summary of the chapter.
My biggest takeaways from the book are:
- The personality-appreciation-value matrix. In her book, Vanessa explains how she mentally “hacks” a person’s personality by filling out their personality-appreciation-value matrix using some very simple rules. I haven’t tried this out with others, yet, but I think it’s a great little framework that could potentially be very insightful. (Mental note to self: try this out!)
- It’s not their fault for not remembering you; it’s your fault for not being memorable. This is a paraphrase of a story Vanessa shared in her book about a model who was upset that she was forgotten by one of Vanessa’s friends. This little story resonated with me, because I noticed that something like this had happened to me too. When an acquaintance forgot me and introduced him/herself again, it definitely felt pretty crappy. I’d always thought it was their fault for not paying more attention the last time around, but now I’m thinking about it from the other side – maybe I should just make myself more memorable!
Overall, this was a very easy read. I wasn’t mind-blown by the work, since a lot of the content I already picked up from other books of similar genre. It can be a handy guide, though, to “hack” everyday encounters because of the way this book was organized.
And one more thing…
I’m bringing back the “what I’m listening to” portion of my posts from wayyyy back when. Here’s the first! Lane 8’s newest album, Little by Little. Beautiful work – I look forward to seeing him live on February 24 in Brooklyn!