nw.

Sprint 1: 30th Dec 2019 - 5th Jan 2020

Monday

Today was a shorter day at work. Over the Christmas and New Year period we have a tendency to close early. My wife and I took the opportunity to run a couple of errands and do our weekly shop which we had been putting off for a few days. The day felt really disjointed with the half day at work, but we at least managed to get the shopping done. Having already completed a year of eating a vegan diet, it’s pretty much become second nature now. I think I am going to continue on into 2020 with this vegan diet.

This evening I set up a free service called Buffer which queues up social media posts to various accounts and posts them for you. In an effort to curb my almost endless scrolling through Instagram, I am going to change things up in 2020. I am going to queue posts to Instagram with Buffer, but remove the Instagram app from my phone, or set a very small time limit on it during the week, and extend it on weekends. This way I will be making more of an effort to contribute rather than solely consume.

Additionally I set up a writing goal on Ulysses (my writing app of choice) of 100 words per day. This way I’ll hopefully have a minimum of 700 word long posts every week at the end of each sprint.

One more day left of 2019. I’ll be closing off a few final errands for the year, then sitting in my comfy clothes (joggers and a t-shirt) with a glass of red wine, and a movie with my wife. Either this or I’ll be in bed asleep by 10pm.

Tuesday

I accidentally set my alarm for 0530 this morning. When it went off I quickly cancelled it, but then couldn’t properly get back to sleep as I just kept thinking I had missed the alarm and was getting up late. Come 0630 my wife’s alarm went off and was all good, time to get up. Tried a new meditation this morning, one for focus. Up to now I have been using the Oak app and the mindfulness meditation but today I figured I would change it up and go for a focus based one. Little bit odd with the inclusion of feeling the energy of the universe, but then I am not a spiritual kind of person or anything. It was a welcome change but I’ll keep searching for another.

After finishing work at 1230 my wife and I came home and continued to tidy through a few bits. We recently bought some storage boxes for our hallway cupboard so I transferred all the cables I have previously put into big storage tubs, into the new ones. We also put up an old LED light strip in our wardrobe to give us some extra light. We’re just running it off an old USB power brick so should last a fairly long time.

Now we’re off out for a meal ahead of the new year. We had booked a restaurant in the local shopping centre but they had to cancel as the centre is closing early. Instead we opted for pizza at another local(ish) place.

Pizza was amazing. I had a vegan pizza with hazelnuts, mushrooms and green beans on top. The vegan mozzarella was so creamy and really brought the pizza together. The meal overall didn’t feel like just a normal meal out with my wife. It felt special, it really felt like we were sending off 2019 and the 2010 decade, and toasting to the next stage of our lives. When we got home we found pictures of us from 10 years ago, and while we may not have changed much in our features, we have certainly grown as people and we feel great for it.

Wednesday

As the clock struck midnight, we stood at the window of our new home we just bought together, watching fireworks in the distance. Beautiful way to bring in the new year and new decade. Alarm is off, I’ll wake up naturally in the morning.

Woke up and got up about 0830. Spent a little time on YouTube first thing, before getting ready to go out for a walk with my wife. We walked around the new development where we live, and then walked to the local village for some lunch. It was really nice to get out in the fresh air and walk rather than just rely on the car as we usually do.

For dinner I made vegan pasta bolognese (used a soya based mince instead of meat), and watched a couple of episodes of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel on Amazon. Initially I thought it was a kids show, something like Mary Poppins, but turns out it definitely isn’t! Pretty good show to chip away at.

Today is the first day of my attempt at forming some new healthy habits. I’m going to read for an hour before bed to wind down. I want to try to stick to this at least through the week. My hope is this will go hand in hand with getting more sleep, giving me a clear shut off time, and forcing me to go to sleep rather than stay up until midnight-0100 when I need to get up for work at 0530.

Earlier on I opened Instagram to have a quick browse and noticed someone I follow had posted a story. They have decided they are going to offer their services for free to BAME and LGBT+ clients once per month, as their way of helping to level the playing field (so to speak, and for lack of a better term), and give these minority groups an opportunity to thrive. Straight away I had to repost their story and message them with my support. It is incredible to see gestures like this, especially with the amount of negativity there is in our country (UK) these days with talks of Brexit and friendships being divided purely based on political affiliations.

Thursday

Last night I started reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I have previous watched a number of videos where he explains the concepts, and the book has been sat on my ‘to read’ shelf for a good long time. Managed to get through the intro and about halfway through the first chapter, and realised this isn't going to be a simple read before bed kinda deal. I'm definitely feeling the need to take some notes on this!

Anyway, got up this morning at 0630 to get ready for work. As it's a bank holiday week we start a little later, so I have pretty much just pushed my day and everything to start one hour later. I'm weighing myself each day to see how what I'm eating affects my weight. Once I've captured enough data I can hopefully make some more informed decisions about what may work for me.

Work took up most of the day

On my plans for this evening I had one thing: code for one hour. What I actually ended up doing was troubleshooting for about 2.5 hours trying to get my Mac Pro to actually develop my Gatsby site. Eventually I decided to call it a day and just straight up created a new Gatsby site, then copied all my previous code over. Worked first time. No idea what was going on with the old site but the code seems to run fine now, despite not actually changing anything.

I have some ideas in my head now. I need to get them on paper! Going to skip the one hour of reading in favour of one hour of journalling/planning.

Friday

It’s Friday! Got a few things to get done today, but the prep I put in yesterday has set me up nicely. I’m looking forward to the weekend, as I’m going to plan out the next 11 sprints in terms of what I’ll be working on, and each day’s timeline. This first half length week after the new year is planning time and getting myself set up for a successful year, and decade.

Tried a new meditation this morning which was aimed at focus and setting yourself up for the day. I found this one to be a bit more palatable than the other focus centred one I tried earlier in the week.

For lunch at work today I tried the new ham and cheeze toastier from Costa. Pretty good! Not quite spot on, but definitely close and a welcome addition to their lineup.

This evening we went to a local vegan restaurant for their weekly Friday pizza evening. We were joined by our friend and her beautifully cute miniature dachshund Luna. It’s always lovely to catch up with them both and have puppy cuddles. Since meeting Luna I have definitely been veering more towards getting a dog than a cat. I have always been a cat person, but Luna is just so cute and adorable … and give great puppy cuddles. Our friend showed us a really cool shop on Etsy which creates beautiful pieces of art from found animal bones. None of the pieces are creepy or disgusting, but really beautifully done.

Tomorrow is a life admin day.

Saturday

Got up at a reasonable time today around 8am. Straight onto the admin, listing out all my tasks for the day.

10am - Day tasks listed and a couple of small ones half completed (need to send a few bits but can’t do so until we go out). Today already seems productive, and will just get better.

Today’s task list had 21 items (including a few which were rapid logged throughout the day), and I managed to complete 11. Main highlights were putting away the laundry (where we’ve just moved house we’ve been blitzing the laundry and have still been trying to find homes for all our clothing), set up some insurance, sent off 3 separate sets of documents, tried the new vegan burger at KFC (yes, this was actually on my list), wrote up and sent the longest email I think I ever have, reached out to someone to ask some advice, tidied the inside of my car, set up a rack unit for some equipment at the side of my desk and installed the equipment, and completed cleaned my desk and set it up to be as productive for me as possible. There’s a few bits which have been migrated to tomorrow such as planning out my focus for each sprint/month/quarter of the year, checking the price of sending an item which I REALLY need to send, clearing out my inbox and sorting my emails ready for the first full week of the year, ordering a card, and having a shave (my beard is starting to get a little out of control). Overall, really productive day.

Sunday

My mum is visiting us today and we are going out for some lunch. Before she arrives I’m going to get any quick little admin pieces done, then once she has left I’ll be completing the rest of my tasks.

We popped into Ikea earlier and had a look for some shelves for our books, but none really worked for us size-wise. We’ll keep an eye out. Same issue with the coat racks we were looking at. They were all just a little too big.

Overall this first sprint has been one of planning, preparation, admin, and errands. Successfulness: 7/10