Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hacking the routine in my life

If you found me posting lesser and lesser, it's not because I'm discouraged by the bear attack recently. In fact, I'm busy buying away and watching my defense line to see if they need supports. Rather, I'm occupied with hacking my life's routine.

On a whim, I decided to start waking up early one day. It started on a particularly slow Monday, where I felt that I was so unproductive that it pisses me off. Then I wanted to wake up on Tues at 7am and go jog - which is something I've not done for a very long time. The last recorded run I ever had was back in mid 2014, and that is unbecoming of me. I clearly know the health benefits of exercising aerobically 3 times a week, but I just didn't have the discipline to do it. And heck, I've been procrastinating for way too long, always coming up with excuses like having too much work etc etc. Work is never going to get lesser, and I'm never going to be more healthy or younger, so it's just now or nothing. What's the point of being focused on earning some much when I don't have the health to support it? Pointless, I say.

So I did wake up at around 7am for the next couple of days and I did went for a jog. Yesterday was the third time in a very long while, and I can now run continuously for about 13 mins over a distance of 1.8 km. Slow, but well, I had to take baby steps to kickstart the whole thing.

I realised that good habits stack on top of one another. One of the hardest excuse to not jog is that I have no time, so I wake up at 7am to run - excuse eliminated. Then I can't wake up early enough, so I have to sleep early at around 11 to 12 instead of 1 to 2am - excuse eliminated. Then I can't relax at night after work, so I shifted my entire schedule to fit in a running schedule, like having a light dinner really really early (like 530 or 6) to give time to digest to allow an early night sleep - excuse eliminated. My point is that as I try to improve myself, several things all change in tandem to one another. It's like I felt my life improving not just by 1 point or 2 points, it's like 30 to 50 points in one shot, because of this cascade of good habits that support each other.

In summary, to have a healthy lifestyle, here's the following I changed over the span of a year:

1. Meditation every night - helps in my sleep and relieving of stress
2. Fruits for lunch every alternate weekday - keeps me more energetic and less bloated
3. Jogging twice every week - helps my cardiovascular fitness
4. Pullup/pushup every day - helps my upper body and back muscles, also the mental strength to go on when I thought I can't go on anymore.
5. Waking up early and hence going to bed early

Everything works in tandem with each other. I shudder to think what happens if this situation is reversed, as in when one bad habit supports a lot of other bad habits and we have a vicious cycle downwards. How we do one thing is how we do everything.

Oh, one advice to people hacking their life - roll with the punches. Your system must have allowance for slack days where you totally don't feel like doing anything of the wonderful life-changing things you've set as your goals. You just want to vegetate in front of your tv eating potato chips. Go and do it. Allow for small failures but get back in the next time. Don't aim for perfection, aim for consistency and sustainability.


Unknown said...

TL:DR version - old liao

la papillion said...

Hahaha, this is considered too long? Don't tell me the standard attention span is limited to a twitter post these days lol

Unknown said...

No lah, I am helping you summarise. hurhurhur~

la papillion said...

OH. LOL, well, I think your summary is 10/10 Hahah!

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

1) Patrick,

That's a good one!

2) LP,

A decade later, you'll reach my Zen stage.

Morning wake up that will count as one sit-up for the day! I can do it!

Afternoon suddenly find myself in 禅定? Shit no. I just nod off while reading...

Should I be eating this fried kway tiao? Heck it! Can eat better eat!

After shower stand in front of mirror, rubbing my tummy, saying to man in mirror:

"You sexy thing!"


la papillion said...


So sure I'm reach your zen stage ah? Haha

I'm very happy with the general direction of where I'm heading to :) This yr so far I've been paying less attention to work and more on health and spiritual matters haha

Already FF in mind and spirit ;)

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi LP,

Great job. Keep it up. Dun follow SMOL brand of Zen la, I can attest to good healthy living keeping me sharp. All those exercises, physical and mental, perhaps also emotional do tag off one another.

Real zen is calmness under fire.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

1) LP,

I'm working towards the Chinese Maitreya Buddha look ;)

2) Sillyinvestor,

OK lor. Enjoy your "sharpness". Perhaps that's why you feel everything?

I'm prefer 醉生梦死.


Rolf Suey said...

no need to Jog, just keep doing diff push ups before n after bath.. u ll be health free...

ok, I need to start my burst exercise tmr! haha

la papillion said...

H SI and SMOL,

All in due course..Maybe when I am sick of exercising or can no longer do so, it's time to hit meditation full time. Must try first mah, if cannot then let go ;)

la papillion said...

Hi Rolf,

I like the feeling after the run, after all your limbs are worn out and you breathe 20% or 50% more than usual in that time period. It makes it easier to sleep for me. So it's not just the cardio, but the general feeling of happiness after the run. Runner's high, they say, lol

I'm still doing the push up/pull up routine besides this new addition in jogging.

Rolf Suey said...

Hi LP,

I just kidding lar about the push ups!

I love jogging and swimming too and still do it regularly.
And I also love gg to gym n doing push ups.

the feeling of sweating it out or walking into the tranquility of the park just makes u feel so good!