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June 2008 monthly report

This is my sixth 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: June 2008
The upcoming month will be a good indication of how well my method works, because having nothing or little I really have to do, there should be much mental space for various projects. Sure, working will hopefully occupy a lot of my time, but it does not claim mental energy in the same way as studying does. Sure, studying on my own will also drain energy, but it is only one project among many and pursued for fun. Let June be a month in which I can prove that I have the capability of doing things I want to do, rather than just procrastinate and wonder what happened afterwards. June is a month of opportunity, but also a month of challenges. The goals I have set up are much more ambitious than previous months and require a great deal of discipline. Still, I have more time and energy at my disposal, so I am optimistic.

Report: Working required more energy than I thought, but still I have managed to get a lot of things done. Not as much as I would have wanted, but that is mainly because some of the task required much, much more time than I thought. Unfortunately, I cannot yet assess how my system works, because I have had very few, although demanding, tasks.

Physical – Having a record of somewhat above fifty meters for hand walking simply will not do, so I intend to change method from greasing the groove (performing very many repetitions, but evenly spread out with much rest) to a more traditional method. In June, I intend to do 2500 hand-stand forehead touches, with at least 125 each set. This will be hard, because my previous record was below 140. Also, I shall walk a total of 2500 meters on my hands, regardless of distance walked per attempt.

Report: Halfway through, I realised that this would not be enough; I needed more long-term planning. Thus, I created a workout schedule for the rest of the summer, which I intend to do my very best to keep (more on this later). Following the new schedule, I walked 1600 metres and did 2750 repetitions. I am satisfied with this result.

Running will be circumstantial next month, so I will not define a very ambitious goal. The idea is to keep up endurance and cardiac output, not to run another Marathon. A modest goal of 50 kilometres will do.

Report: Yeah, right. Volleyball eats time! I have not run a single kilometre, but on the other hand 2750 minutes playing volleyball, which ought to count for something. Setting goals for running is simply not practical if I practice something else this much.

It is time to start with the exercise regimen again. Last moth, I can honestly ascribe my failure to lack of time and motivation, but I hope things will be different this month. If not, I shall have to reconsider something fundamental about my physical activities. I intend to do at least five sessions.

Report: This is the end of the exercise regimen. See below for what will replace it.

Education – I have two things I need to learn before going to Taiwan: traditional characters and the Zhuyin Chinese phonetic system widely used in Taiwan. This month, I will focus on learning traditional characters. Hopefully, this will not prove to be to difficult, since the simplifications I have learnt up until now follow certain rules. I intend to have a 95 % score, testing all characters from last year, using traditional characters.

Report: This is the first failure I really count as a failure. I have had little or no motivation to study Chinese, which is understandable. I ought to have understood that I needed some rest after the somewhat hectic end of last semester. Perhaps I need even more rest, but I will have to start studying again in August to get back into shape before going to Taiwan.

Professional – Put briefly, I aim to work at least 125 hours in June. I do not know how much more I can expect, but June seems guaranteed. If the opportunity to keep working in July presents itself, so much the better, but I cannot count on that.

Report: It seems like I can work as much as I want during the summer, so maximising hours is not very important. Still, I was close to the goal, working 115 hours during June. However, I have realised that my time is precious and that I ought to work less next month.

Creativity – I will have several creative projects running during the summer. Firstly, my novel really ought to be started I if shall stand a chance of finishing a draft before next year. My goal for this month will still be moderate, though. I intend to have written and discussed a synopsis with at least two people (same goal as last month). Also, I shall write at least 1000 words of actual text, just to make sure I get started.

Report: Success. I have discussed the synopsis with two people on various occasion. I have reviewed it a couple of times and feel that I have something that is writable. It will be difficult, but I think it is possible. I have also written 1000 words of actual text.

Secondly, I aim to finish a draft of Magneter och mirakel (in Swedish). This will mean listening to feedback and changing the game accordingly (a draft was sent out roughly two months ago and I expect feedback shortly).

Report: Two things happened. First, I only had all the feedback I wanted when two weeks of June had already passed. Second, mostly positive feedback has convinced me that I should expand the game in some ways. This was not possible in two weeks time.

Thirdly, I want to continue drawing. Still, as I have decided to do many other things, ten hours of drawing will suffice.

Report: Well, I did one hour. Failure!

Sleep – Concerning my lucid dreaming project, since it proved a bit too time-consuming to write down every dream, I do not intend to continue with that. Instead, I will try to record every dream in some way (the recording function on my mp3-player works fine) . The idea is to keep focusing on dreams and make them important. I also intend to find and make a habit of at least two reality-checks.

Report: Not quite. I have spent some time focusing on dreams, but nearly enough. I have made half-hearted attempts to make habits of the reality checks, but nothing serious enough. This goal is a grand failure.

101-in-1001 list – There are way too many things left on the list to make me comfortable. Most of them are either things I want to do or things I think would be good for me in some way. I intend to clear at least 20 tasks on the list this month. This seems like much, but I have realised that what I need in Taiwan is not a looming list of things I feel I ought to do.

Report: I lost momentum somewhere on the way. I did finish more than five items on the list, and some of them were fairly time-consuming (reading four novels plus finishing the Bible). So, failure, but having started, I know next month will be better. I also have a lot of tasks started, but not finished yet.

Conclusion
June was better than May, much better. I spent a lot of time and energy on creative stuff (my novel, mostly). However, I had difficulties keeping so many balls in the air. There are understandable explanations for this. For instance. volleyball and work required a lot of time. However, I also think there is a problem with focus, since I seem to forget what I have written here.

Looking ahead: July 2008

Physical – For the hand walking, I have a schedule I want to stick to. It involves a gradual increase which will make me able to walk a hundred metres in September. This is extremely hard and ambitious, but I will at least stick to the schedule every week. If I fail, I will fail either because the task is too hard or because the schedule is faulty. I will not fail because of bad discipline.

As I mentioned above, the exercise regimen does not work. I cannot find motivation, time or energy to complete more than a few times. As a substitute, I will focus on three physical skills each month. For July, I have selected: hand walking (sticking to the schedule), vertical jump training (three times each week) and ab wheel exercise (aiming for standing roll-outs).

I also aim to exercise physically at least 4000 minutes.

Creativity – The novel will have to rest this month. I will discuss it with friends, add a few odd ideas and think about it passively, but I will not set a concrete goal. Instead, I shall focus on finishing a draft for Magneter och mirakel. It does not have to be a final or polished draft, but I want all the text to be there.

Same as last month, I intend to draw for ten hours.

Sleep – I think focusing on sleep and making sleep important are very important means to achieve my goals. For the lucid dreaming project, I intend to record all dreams in some way, just to put dreams back into focus. For now, I will not do anything more with them.

I will stick to a regular sleeping schedule again, because I function so much better than otherwise if sleeping is under control. I will go up at 08:00 every morning. Exceptions can be made, but only when I have an explanation I feel I can support.

101-in-1001 list – My progress with the list is too slow and I was far from finishing twenty goals. I intend to clear at least 20 tasks on the list this month. Having prepared somewhat last month, I think this ambitious, but possible.

Conclusion
This month was a mixed bag, really. I failed with some goals, but achieved others. I failed many deliberately because I did other things instead. This is alright. Having had a few weeks of vacation (meaning no studies), I feel more energised than last month. Furthermore, I have thought about the essence of keeping goals in focus, something I found difficult last month. I will try to alleviate this problem by making a daily habit of reviewing whatever projects I have running. Printing this post and putting it on my door at home will hopefully help.

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