Hi. This year I am going to go out of my comfort zone and share my thoughts, insights and perhaps some reviews or something I have learnt. But the biggest step out of my comfort zone will be today because I will start sharing with you my journey towards one of my main 2019 goals. I was not going to set any new year resolutions, but a question from my wife got me thinking. I have been wanting to reach this particular goal but I never really got going. So why not try it again… seriously this time. While taking action on my goal today I thought “Why not share it with anyone who is interested? Turning my thoughts into words on a paper helps me, so why not turn them into words to be shared online?” They might help someone else too. But what is this goal? I will get to that soon, but I want to introduce myself first.
My name is Manrico, I am Maltese (from the island of Gozo, but living in Malta), born in 1986 (so I am 32 at the time of writing), married and have 2 wonderful children: a boy of almost 3 and a girl who is 10 months old. I am a teacher by profession but am currently on a career break to “stay at home” (this phrase on itself is a whole other story waiting to be shared) with my 2 children while trying to also take care of myself, my wife, our home and our daily needs. Thankfully, my wife helps a lot in all of these even though she works full-time to bring home the cash.
My current hobbies — those which have survived the change in life status and style — are reading and playing Football Manager. I was introduced to Enid Blyton when I was 5 or 6 years old and my favourite genres have been mysteries and adventure ever since, if it is historical fiction even better (so feel free to recommend me any such books which you have enjoyed :) ). For the last 15 years or so my passion for self-growth have led me to read more and more books from inspirational authors like Paulo Coelho and non-fiction. I now make it a point to read as much fiction as non-fiction.
The change in life status and style were not easy and my other surviving hobby (Football Manager) has helped me keep my sanity during these last couple of years, both through the game itself and the online community of fellow “FMers”. To better interact with them I have recently started a blog about the game and my experience of it (www.scoremorefm.wordpress.com).
“OK… what about your goal?”, you might be asking. After thinking about new year resolutions following my wife´s question, one thing led to another (as very often happens with me) and I thought of different resolutions I could — or should — take. I have decided to try something different though and I did 2 things:
- I broke the main goals into smaller steps to help me be more focused and motivated.
- I have assigned these different steps to different months of the year so that I could focus on one thing at a time (with more chance of staying true to the resolution). Also, many claim that once something is done regularly for an amount of time (this varies from 21 to 60 days, depending on who is saying it), it becomes a habit and therefore has more probability of continuing.
I plan on sharing this journey with you and together we will see how true or not the above statement is (at least in my case) and the different feelings and stages I will go through on my journey towards these goals. I am also thinking that sharing my journey with you will help me be a part of the 8% who stick to their new year resolutions*.
The first goal I will be focusing on is being healthier, particularly having healthy blood cholesterol levels. I used to train regularly years ago and now I know how different being healthy feels. I have been wanting to start training regularly for years, but have never managed to keep at it. The busy schedule is part of the reason — but not the only one I´m afraid. My small step for January will be doing cardiovascular training for at least 30 minutes 4 times a week. I know that this is definitely not a lot, but it would be a start — and 2 hours more per week than I currently do. I also aim to complement this with some body-weight exercises throughout the day.
As I said earlier, the idea of writing this and sharing it with you came to me while I was exercising today (2nd January 2019), and I have found this to be one of the benefits of cycling, walking or running(not on roads where you have to focus on traffic, etc. obviously). It is amazing how something like this helps the mind quieten and focus. At first many thoughts were battling it out for my mind´s attention as soon I had nothing to really think about. Then it just went quiet and after some time this thought came to mind. Once I kept it there for some time and decided to act on it later during the evening as soon as I had some quiet time (after the kids go to sleep more often than not), it just moved on, leaving space for other such thoughts to pass through. Some I immediately banished, others I entertained. But I found it to be very helpful. Is it a sort of meditation? I wouldn´t say so, but it did help.
Another benefit of these 30 minutes was that they left me feeling better, both physically and emotionally. I was feeling great physically — it must be mostly in the mind though, because 30 minutes have certainly not made such a difference to my health, but still. I was also feeling happier and more cheerful as I went back to my family. It definitely helped me remain calm when the baby- and toddler-induced “accidents” and “messes” inevitably occurred some time later.
So far so great and today´s experience left me wanting more. I definitely recommend that you exercise as often as you can, daily if possible.
Till the next one then, enjoy your day :)
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*These are 2 links about the 8% mentioned above. https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/2017-new-year-s-resolutions-most-popular-how-stick-them-n701891 and https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#289408bb596b