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February 2008 monthly report

This is my second monthly report. To review introductory comments and the purpose of these reports, please refer to the initial report made for January 2008. Text in italics is copied from the previous monthly report for reference.

Looking back: February 2008
Before being specific again, I have general goal for February. Last month, I managed to use a to-do list for the entire month, although I did not update it as frequently as I would have liked to. Next month, my goal is to continue using the list. I do not require more industrious use of it, but I shall make using it a habit.

Report: I have used the list the entire month, although to a varying degree. I still do not use it for things I do habitually, which is not always good (I managed to miss a translation exercise, for instance). I consider the task accomplished, although of course it is an ongoing project.

Physical – Generally speaking, everything has turned out according to plans. In all, I have spent 3984 minutes (66 hours) on physical activities during the last month.

Having managed the 25 chin-ups, I will now move focus towards hand-walking again. The goal is set for 100 metres, which will take time to achieve. My primary goal is to enhance strength and endurance in shoulders and forearms. The problem is that I cannot practice outdoor with the snow, ice and everything, so this is what I am going to do: while in a handstand, touch my forehead with one hand, alternating hands each repetition (aiming for 500 weekly). It is the closest equivalent to hand-walking I have yet found.

Report: This has not been a problem. I have increased balance immensely (I can now do this exercise with fingertips almost touching the wall). Task accomplished.

Maintain chin-up strength by performing the following program twice a week: (10 pronated + 10 supinated) x 3,negative repetitions allowed to avoid failure and it is supposed to be three sets, so a total of 20 repetitions in each.

Report: Not much to say. I generally managed seven or eight reps for the chin-ups in the first set, then dropping to four or five in the last set.

To enhance structure, I will do 200 ab wheel roll-outs weekly (I am talking about the variant with knees on the floor, thank you very much).

Report: No problem whatsoever. This exercise has been way too easy and I can managed 25×3 roll-outs with knees on my sofa without any problem.

Needless to say, I will continue running to all practice sessions in town, averaging no less than twenty kilometres per week.

Report: Running has progressed nicely in the previous month, arriving at 117 kilometres in all.

Creativity My primary goal for February is to take the discipline I have when it comes to physical matters, and transform it and employ it to get things written creatively. More explicitly, I intend to have a draft of the mentioned role-playing project finished by the end of the month, which will mean roughly two pages a day.

Report: I failed to achieve this goal, basically because I did not realise how busy I would be towards the end of the month. I kept a pace which would have allowed me to complete the draft in time, but too many other things appeared and demanded my attention. I have six interviews left, having written twenty-four.

What I have done, though, is invested the necessary effort in another upcoming game from Kaleidoskop, namely Nostalgi. Publication date is not specified, but the text is as good as completed.

EducationFirst and foremost, I shall do my very best to acquire the scholarship. It would be awesome to learn Chinese intimately and at the same time learn about the Republic of China (of which I know embarrassingly little). Apart from that, I intend to add some extra source of learning Chinese, exterior to the text books we are currently using. The goal for February will be to find such an exterior source which suits me and a method to use it.

Report: The application for the scholarship is still going as planned, although I have realised that I have until the end of March to send in the application. I still await a letter of recommendation, but apart from that, I am almost ready to go (I need a new photograph as well).

Concerning Chinese, I have tested a couple of different methods. Finally, I settled on learning all extra words in our text book, which gives about 50 % extra each week. I have also found free dialogue lessons at ChinesePod that will further supplement my studying.

Inspired by the scholarship, I have also decided to write my project (a part of my course about Northeat Asia) about the foreign relationships of the Republic of China. My goal for February is to have formulated a question on which to base the project. This will require me to read at least one book covering recent history of the region.

Report: This is also a failure, but a very close one. I started way too late, but stressed efforts in the last few couple of days was not enough. Even though I have only roughly fifty pages left, this failure is from laziness, not from bad planning or circumstances.

Sleep Having a lot of things to do, I will return to a strict schedule of going up at the same time every morning (7:20 AM). As I have concluded before (conclusion of experiment in Swedish), this is extremely good, but requires some self discipline which I hope I will be able to muster. I will make up for lost hours of sleep with power naps during the day. I am pondering a more radical attitude towards sleeping, but that will have to wait for a while.

Report: Success. It is truly amazing how much more I get out of my time when I stick to a strict wake-up schedule.

On account of dreaming, I want to familiarise myself with the lucid dreaming community and try to find out what research has been done in the field. I shall also spend at least five hours reading about the science of normal sleep and dreaming. This is such an important aspect of human life that I feel ashamed to be so ignorant. Five hours is not much, but my goal here is to get started.

Report: Utter failure. I have browsed a few links and gathered a few recommendations, but that is all. Again, I began way too late.

Looking ahead: March 2008
I do not think that I general change is needed yet, because it might be enough to know that certain tasks failed the previous month. Therefore, I will merely add new things and let the old, unaccomplished goals remain more or less as they are. Below can be found my goals for March.

Physical – Since last month was such a success, I have decided to increase my exercise dose a fair amount and see what happens. I have three distinct goals. Firstly, I increase the weekly running mileage to thirty kilometres (twenty last month).

Secondly, I shall change my workout on the days I do not practice diving. I and Niklas, with help from one of our instructors, have put together a fairly ambition exercise regimen (separate article coming in queue). Since I have not yet tested it, I cannot tell if I can manage it, but I shall me at least two attempts weekly and find a suitable level of exertion.

Thirdly, I shall continue practicing endurance for hand-walking, changing to a greasing-the-grove tactic (involving large amount of repetitions spread out evenly in time, as opposed to distinct sessions). I intend to start with a thousand repetitions a week, and see what happens.

Creativity – Next month will contain a lot of school work, so I believe that I will have a limited amount of time to spend on creative projects. Still, I have decided to keep the goal from last month. I intend to finish a draft of Magneter och mirakel, worthy of sending out to readers for feedback, preferably the last round before proof reading.

Also, I have decided to contribute a certain amount of creative effort to yet another Kaleidoskop project titled Haragada, a desert Sword and Sorcery setting with loads of cool ideas and a terrific atmosphere. I have half a dozen ideas and before the month is over, I shall have put my concepts into words and sent them to whomever will edit the project (hopefully not myself).

Education – Studying Chinese will require quite some effort this month. I have two exams and one project I really ought to commit myself to. My goal is to receive full grades on the two exams and to have completed the projects main body of text (everything excluding abstract, introduction, analysis and conclusion). Also, I shall of course apply for the Taiwan scholarship.

Sleep – This being such a grand failure last month and realising that I have a considerably amount of other things to do, I will keep the goals left over and expand them slightly. I intend to spend five hours researching normal sleep and another five hours on researching lucid dreaming.

Conclusion
Even though I failed several of the tasks, I at least tried hard to accomplish most of them. On average, I am satisfied with my performance, especially when it comes to physical activities. I am happy to see that I have managed to uphold a much stronger discipline when it comes to creative writing. Next month, I will make sure to start with things earlier and make sure I do not leave things lurking for too long. If I fail, I shall fail because of circumstances or bad planning, not because I am lazy.

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  1. Improve@live.se’s avatar

    A very well done and inspiring review!

    Reply