In a previous post, circa late January, I wrote about a few goals I had set for myself to make good use of this wealth of free time that I have while I wait for my year in Japan to begin. It seems appropriate to post an update on my progress.
Approximately 2 months down the road, I am pleased to say that I have not abandoned any of my goals completely! That said, I have not kept up with the “daily” aspect of them. Not at all.
One of my plans was to exercise 3 or 4 times per week. This goal was somewhat of an afterthought before, and I’m happy to say that it has now moved to the top of the priority list. I have succeeded in bumping up my workouts to 4 or 5 days per week, and I’m incorporating some strength training now. 3 weeks in, I like to think I am seeing at least minor progress in my dual quests to tone up my “teradactyl arms” and shave off my saddlebags. I stumbled upon a great workout website which I have been using fairly religiously since mid-March, called BodyRock.tv. It is run by an adorable Czech girl with a perrrrrfect body. Her workouts are killer, but they are generally showcased in videos that you will assume are pornography based on the still image, until you actually watch them. (at which point you are either disappointed…or very relieved). I’ve seen prostitutes wearing more clothing than this woman, but at the same time, she looks so fabulous that it motivates you to workout. Her prescribed workouts are super short (usually 12 minutes, broken up into intervals of 30 seconds or so), ultra high-intensity, and most use only your own bodyweight as resistance. There are tons and tons of these workouts on her site, in addition to diet tips and general fitness advice, and incredibly they are all free – a cup of coffee is the suggested donation price for a post that you enjoy.
The writing is going almost as well as the exercise.
After taking a few weeks off in Feb/early March when I went to LA, I eventually resumed doing this nearly every day. I even took a great step in the progress of my short story by allowing a friend to read it. It took me a little time to get back into the writing at first. I came back from my trip, and each day I would put the writing off until the very last moments of the day – the last thing before I went to sleep, if I even had time then. I finally snapped out of it. I realized that the only way you ever accomplish anything important that you hope to do is by committing to it and working at it. You do not build a business, or develop a skill, or write a novel by putting it off all day while you read the newspaper or play Fruit Ninja on your phone. If you see yourself with an established vocation a few years down the road, you have to lay the groundwork now, and you have to treat it as being as important now — while there is no income, and no office, and no opening and closing hours — as you know you will when it’s a true brick-and-mortar store, or otherwise tangible existence in your world. Nothing is going to exist in your future if you don’t start it in your present.
That said, I am still “night writing,” but I am at least managing to fit some writing in every single day. I still need to work harder for sure if I want this to develop into anything like a profession. I still refuse to show my blog to much of anyone…it’s not good yet, I say. It’s not really about anything until I actually leave on my trip, I tell them.
Re: my other two goals –
My Japanese studies are…..ok.
This is one area where daily review was really helping, and I’ve let that fall completely by the wayside. I was kicking butt on learning the Hiragana back in Feb, but I haven’t progressed much since I got back to town, and I have about 5 weeks to wrap it up and get through the next syllabary – the Katakana.
The drawing is…coming along.
I’m barely managing a drawing a week now, but I’m happy with how those drawings look and with my grasp of the concepts in the book I’m learning from – “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” I’ve made it to chapter 5 now, and still highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn to draw.