April 2008 monthly report

This is my fourth 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: April 2008
On a general note, I think that I am moving forwards. I am especially satisfied with my creative output, which has been fairly disciplined and coordinated. I have not stumbled into any major flaws, except that I tend to overrate my capacity a bit. Therefore, next month’s goals will be a little bit more humble, but not by much. I have no intention of growing soft.

Report: Creative output has almost stopped during the previous month, but for understandable reasons. A more thorough analysis will follow for each separate goal. In general, I am satisfied with the goal I accomplished during April, but not the method by means of which it happened.

Physical – I need to keep a fairly high mileage weekly if I aim for a Marathon during the summer. Last month’s goal seems reasonable to keep, provided that nothing out of the ordinary happens. Instead of counting per week, I will aim for a total of 120 kilometres during April.

Report: Depending on how one chooses to regard this goal, I have either failed or succeeded beyond all expectations. I only ran 70 kilometres in April, but 45 of them was in one go. In other words, I completed the task that was the reason for having running as a goal in the first place. It was not planned, but I still managed to pull off a spontaneous marathon, something I am very proud of.

As for the workout regimen, I intend to keep the goal from last month, but I change this one as well to a total number of sessions instead of a weekly number. I aim for eight sessions during April.

Report: Horrible failure, I did not ever complete one single session! Partly, this is due to the fact that I sprained my finger, which did not hinder me from most of the exercises, but managed to kill my motivation outright. For some reason, it was not fun just to do some of the exercises. Still, it is a good regimen, so the problem resides with me, not with the program itself.

I have realised (again, at another level this time) that walking a hundred metres on my hands is extremely demanding. I shall have to increase the number of repetitions drastically if I hope to achieve this goal. I aim for a total of 10000 repetitions during April, preferably in sets consisting of 100 repetitions.

Report: Success, at least if one disregards the last criterion of only using 100-repetition sets. This kind of exercise is extremely demanding, but also very rewarding. I feel much, much stronger when walking on my hands than I did the month before. I am convinced that this exercise is excellent for improving hand walking in general.

Creativity – I need to keep the snowball rolling, because with this momentum I feel that I can achieve almost anything. Education-related things will absorb time, but I still feel I want to keep this high output of creative material. I will switch focus to my novel. My goal is to have written at least one page of running text, as well as having discussed a complete synopsis of the novel with at least two friends.

Report: This project has been postponed. Even though I have thought about it for quite some time and planned a little bit (mainly clearing away some problems with the plot), I have not consulted anyone and I do not have a synopsis ready. I have decided whom to talk with, though, and I will be able to focus on this much better this month.

Sleep – Sadly, the following is a quote from last month: 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.

Report: Success, at last! Apart from browsing the Internet, I have read Kelly Bulkeley’s An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming, a very neat introduction indeed. I have also spent several hours reading about lucid dreaming, mainly on Dream Views and LD4all. Apart from some New Age tendencies on the latter website, I feel that I have learnt a lot, or at least enough to remain interested and to know enough to continue with the next step.

101-in-1001 list – I intend to finish the task concerning attending a first-aid course (two dates booked for April). I also intend clear at least one of the religions from the ones whose representatives I would like to meet face to face. I also intend to write at least one scholastic aptitude test to enable to me assess the difficulty involved in scoring 2.0. See the list for more information.

Report: A mixed bag. I managed to attend a six-hour first-aid course, but the two other tasks have been given little thought or consideration during the previous month.

Additional note – My application for the Taiwan Scholarship was successful, so if nothing unpredictable happens before August, it looks like I will spend a year abroad.

Looking ahead: May 2008
For the first time since I began with these reports, I am not satisfied with my progress. Or rather, I am not satisfied with how I have gone about completing the tasks I have set up; too much is left undone or simply forgotten. Introducing a new organisational system will hopefully help.

Physical – My highest priority now is to keep developing shoulder, upper back and triceps endurance for hand walking. The 10000 repetitions last month was almost too much, so an increase would simply not be possible. Thus, I will formulate the goal a little bit different: I will do 5000 repetitions during May, but no fewer than 100 in each set. I will also try to walk as far as I possibly can at least three times.

As for the workout regimen, I intend to keep the goal from last month, which means that I aim for eight sessions during May. This goal might be too ambitious, but since the program is so good and twice a week is not that much, I will do my best.

Since I have now finished my goal concerning running, I am not interested in increasing mileage or anything. Instead, I will only try to uphold some healthy cardiac output and to feel good about my running. My goal is to run 75 kilometres during May.

Education – Even though I have things scheduled for next month, May is when it all comes together. I have three exams and one project, all to be finished during May. This will require a lot of time and discipline, but I am confident that I will continue to produce good results. I will set no particular goal for these exams, since I have not yet assessed how important they are, but I intend to be at least moderately prepared for all of them and hand in the project on time.

In order to go to Taiwan, I will need accomplish certain tasks. Firstly, I intend to have sent in whatever papers are required for the visa application and university applications. I must also vaccinate myself and submit myself to a health examination (as it happens, this is also an item on my 101-in-1001 list; other tasks on it will have to wait).

Creativity – Since I have much else to do this month (see above), I do not think that there will be much time left for creative writing. Still, there is roughly a week at the end, after the exams. My intention is to keep the goal from last month, in other words to write a synopsis for the novel and discuss it with at least two friends.

Last month, I started drawing. It felt good at first, but then other things intruded on my time and focus, making me put away the pencil and paper again. During next month, I will try to draw at least ten hours, so as to keep the project alive.

Sleep – Having introduced myself to sleep and dreaming in general, and to lucid dreaming in particular, I intend to continue down this road. Firstly, I intend to spend another five hours researching normal sleep (not dreaming). Secondly, I will start trying to learn lucid dreaming. The first step is to remember one’s dreams, so during May, I will keep a dream journal and record whatever dreams I can recall.

Conclusion
Considering what I have accomplished this month (especially the marathon), it is easy to think that I would be satisfied. I am not, but not because I do not think these achievements counts. Instead, I feel that I lost control of my time management, and I know that I would have been able to accomplish much more if I had been more conscious of my goals. I have pondered a new system of organisation which hopefully will help me next month and alleviate this problem. If it proves successful, I will of course share it with you.

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