Thursday, 8 September 2016

Cut Throat's Third Quarterly Review of 2016

The final quarter of 2016 is upon us and it is time to retrospectively assess the second half of the year. My initial resolutions for 2016 can be found here, and June's "half time" review of those resolutions can be found here. On with the show...

1. Reading, Writing and Running.

Now that I have picked up Judo and MMA again I no longer have any need for running. My exercise regime splits my week into three rest days and four days of workout; this has been the greatest success of 2016's resolutions so far. Exercise has finally been properly integrated into my lifestyle with an intensity and purpose that makes it both efficient and fun. After spending nearly two years drifting around in limbo, I am finally back in shape.

Progress with both my writing and reading has been encouraging but inconsistent. Reading wise, I have managed to stave off the temptation to buy new books, and have gotten close to clearing my home libraries gargantuan back-log; writing wise, I have begun work on a novella and am enjoying the process of writing poetry. I have begun experimenting with the integration of reading and writing into my morning ritual, this has worked well so far.

2. Get Techie.

No progress here, and little intent to improve. Back in January I thought I had a relatively stripped down set of resolutions. Bizarrely, I didn't spot the folly in wrapping up "read more, write more and run more" under one heading while also expecting to learn computer programming and progress with my cookery at the same time. I have come to my senses and abandoned this resolution in order to better pursue the other two.

3. Get Foodie.

Most of this year in the kitchen has been spent honing the elementary crafts and skills of world cuisine. In particular, mastering simple dishes and processes to the point that I can guarantee a consistent level of quality in terms of homemade curry/pizza/stir-fry/grill meals/omletes etc.

I have also, since getting back into combat sport, moved onto a more calorically restrictive diet. This is less of a stumbling block than you would imagine. The crux of good cookery is in making mediocre things taste great; learning to cook and learning how to enjoy food, that isn't drowned in butter and animal fat, work surprisingly well as a complimentary set of practices.

Lessons Learned.

The maxim "Do Less, Achieve More" was uttered at the beginning of this year: I have only recently begun to take it seriously. Accordingly, I will not pick up any skills in computer programming this year and will focus on consolidating the progress I have made in other fields.

Another life lesson is that if you want to incorporate a new activity into your life you need to properly alot a time and place for it. For example, getting and staying in shape is now fairly easy. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to a training session where I can wrestle, puff and lurch myself through endless tai-otoshis and juji-gatames and go home knowing I have had a good evenings workout. After that, all I need to do is work one more exercise session into my weekly schedule and I have met my target.

It's a shame I won't pick up any tech skills but I really should leave it until I am finished working on other areas of my life. What I really miss is the opportunity to engage in an activity with marked cognitive benefits. Meditation appeals to me for similar - but still different - reasons, and would probably be easier to fit into a daily routine. Well... there is always next year.

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