October is setting out to be the month of setting goals.
I’m usually good at sticking to my goals if they can be completed in about two weeks. If these goals require me to make a longer commitment, I have a hard time completing them. But that’s only because I wasn’t sharing my goals with others, so when I stopped there was no one to hold me accountable.
This month, however, I decided to set a few goals for myself and tell the world so you can hold me accountable – Kate certainly will on one of them. I’ll explain below. The goals are not financial per se, but if I do them right they could both save me money and also make me money in the long run.
We get health insurance through our employer. Every year during the re-enrollment period they ask us to take a self-assessment and in turn they lower our premium by $10 a month. I obviously take the self-assessment because I don’t have unhealthy habits and I take any discounts I can get.
As part of the self assessment, our employer also offers a free biometric screening so you can enter your sugar level and cholesterol level on the assessment. It is not required that you enter the actual numbers, but they offer the free blood test in case you want to enter your results. Again, if it’s free it is for me.
I did the free blood test last year and found out that my triglycerides and cholesterol were a bit high. That was understandable because I used to eat a bunch of junk, but I’ve been eating a lot healthier since Kate and I moved in together. She
makes encourages me to eat a lot more vegetables.
So this year I went for the test KNOWING that I was going to “pass.” Nope, I failed!
My total cholesterol was fine, but my good cholesterol was low and my bad cholesterol was a little high. My triglycerides were also high. My sugar level and my Body Mass Index (BMI) were normal though, so I have that going for me.
I might not be the healthiest eater (remember my fried chicken and doughnuts dinner in Philly?) but I do try to eat somewhat healthy. Now I’m going to have to cut down on a lot of deliciousness and I have to work out more often than I currently do.
Many of you know that I go rock climbing every week, but lately it has only been once a week… and that’s my only work out. Rock climbing is a good workout, but once a week is not enough. My goal for this month is to workout at least three times a week.
I think three times a weeks is a good enough number because I
hate strongly dislike working out. The reason why I like rock climbing is because it doesn’t feel like a workout at all… it is just fun. Unfortunately, rock climbing is an expensive activity and doing more than twice a week could get expensive very fast. It also gets me very sore and I need a few days to recover.
I’m going to try to keep climbing at least once a week and then do two other workouts. Since I hate working out and gyms in general, my best bet is running/jogging and the Scientific 7-minute Workout.
The seven minute workout has been scientifically proven to provide results since it is a high intensity workout. You do twelve exercises for 30 seconds at a time with only a 10 second rest in between. You don’t need any equipment, all you need is a chair and a wall. And did I mention it only takes seven minutes? But don’t let that fool you, the workout is intense and you’ll see that 30 seconds don’t go nearly as fast as you would think… especially when you are doing wall squats.
Exercising and eating healthier will hopefully bring my cholesterol and my triglyceride levels down without the use of medication. This is win-win because it will keep me healthier and it will save me money.
Oktoberfest Writing Challenge
My second goal for this month is to complete a writing challenge. Bryan from Luke 1428 challenged us to join him in his Oktoberfest Writing Challenge in which we have to write at least 500 words a day every day in October.
Since I want to become a better writer and the only way to accomplish that is by practicing – practice makes perfect – I enthusiastically accepted the challenge.
Writing is a skill and like all skills, the more you do it the better you get at it. This challenge will not only help me improve this skill, but it will also help develop a habit of writing every day.
It will also help me enhance my communication skills, which are vital to get ahead at work and in life. We all have great ideas and opinions but not all of us know how to express those ideas in a intelligible manner… just look at your Facebook feed and you’ll know what I mean.
The Oktoberfest Writing Challenge started on October first and I’ve been doing pretty good so far. I’ve written at least 500 words for four straight days (I wrote the first 524 words of this post on Friday and the last 512 words on Saturday).
What I expect out of challenging myself.
Like I mentioned earlier, by exercising more often I will be healthier, which means less trips to the doctor… hopefully. I also don’t want to have to take medication for something as preventable as high cholesterol.
And working out three times a week is very doable, even for me.
As far as the writing challenge is concerned, I just want to make a habit of writing every day so I can get better. Also, if I develop this habit I could potentially become a freelance writer and/or sell some of my posts. That’s is not really my goal, but I can’t rule it out either.
Do you write everyday? How often do you work out? Which goals did you set for yourself this month? Why am I asking so many questions?
Good luck, Aldo!!! I am challenging myself too this month: to eat healthy, and to spend on necessities only. October does feel like a good month to really push ourselves out of our comfort zone, doesn’t it?
Aldo @ MDN
Thank you and good luck on your challenge as well.
Good for you for taking advantage of your employer’s free incentives! I need to start working out more. This once in a while crap isn’t going to cut it 😉
Aldo @ MDN
I love freebies! Yes, working out once in a while is really nothing. I have to make this more of a habit… for the next forever years.
Congratulations on pushing your boundaries and setting longer goals. I’d like to check out that 7 minute workout. I’m definitely not a gym person, but I’ve been thinking I should start working out…
Aldo @ MDN
The 7 minute workout is pretty good. It might not be enough for those who like to workout and that are in shape, but for an out-of-shape person like myself, it is a good start.
Awesome, I love goals! Good luck! I’m going to give the 7 minute workout a try just to see how it goes. I know it will be harder than it looks.
As far as writing, I write for an hour everyday. I only really started to stick to this for the last month or two and it has been life-changing for my writing. Both in improving it and creating a lot of content!
Aldo @ MDN
One hour every day is pretty good. I first want to develop the habit of writing every day and then take it from there. I can see what you mean about content because I’ve only been writing for five days and I already have enough posts for this week and some of next week.
Natalie @ Financegirl
I really like your comparison between working out and goals. Personally, I create weekly action plans that have 3 goals for the week, in addition to making sure they’re in line with my larger yearly / life goals. Setting goals and having visions keeps me moving toward the life I want for myself. It’s why I blog and do everything that I do.
Aldo @ MDN
I’m not really a goal oriented person, but I definitely see the advantage of it. I’m going to start with these few goals and see how I like it.
Tonya@Budget and the Beach
Good luck with your challenge! And I’m not sure why you ask so many questions. 🙂 I work out six days a week, but I could always use a little extra work with eating. I eat healthy, but some of my choices are still high calorie, even though they are healthy, like hummus, avocado, and nuts. I don’t write every day, but pretty close!
Aldo @ MDN
Wow, six days a week? I wish i was as dedicated as you, but who knows, maybe after I get used to three days, I’ll move on to four days and then five… only time will tell.
I’m also participating in the same writing challenge as you. I re-committed to my 3 times a week minimum work-outs in the past few weeks and I feel the difference mentally and physically. I wish for you to have a very successful month of October with the challenges you’re taking on Aldo.
Good luck with your challenges. I usually workout at least twice a week and eat pretty healthy. We recently tried the Whole30 program and felt it did wonder to our overall healthy. That might be something you might want to take a look.
Aldo @ MDN
I’ll definitely check out the Whole30 program. Thanks for the suggestion.
Ray @ Squirrelers
I totally get the goal-oriented approach. I have my own health goals as well, related to both exercise as well as eating healthy food. As in, less refined/processed carbs.
In general, I work best by setting goals. Long-term as a “vision” sort of thing, and then monthly.
Aldo @ MDN
I also have long term goals, I just don’t really have short term goals. Well, maybe saving X amount of money every month is a short term goal, but I really didn’t have any fitness goals or writing goals. Hopefully I’ll still like doing it at the end of the month.
It’s always good to challenge yourself for short periods of time. I do write every day, although most of it is for other people. Good luck getting your cholesterol under control!
Aldo @ MDN
Thank you, Lauren. I guess I want to develop the habit of writing everyday so I can get into freelancing, because right now I really don’t think I have time to write for other people… but that’s because I don’t really dedicate time for writing everyday. Hopefully at the end of them month I’ll have enough material to give it a shot.
I do not write everyday – writing every day for a month would be an awesome challenge, but I’d have to pick a month when the weather sucked. All I want to do is be outside as much as possible right now. We take pretty good walks every day, but I haven’t been running. So we’ll go with 0 days a week. This seems to be a month of goals though, because Mr. BB and I are both trying to get rid of one item a day to either donate or sale AND I’m trying not to eat out at all for the rest of the month. Why am I giving you so many answers???
I actually love to work out and do at least 6, usually 7 days a week, but my triglycerides were also high a couple of years ago. I realized I was putting in the time, but not the effort, so I’ve really pumped up the cardio and make sure I sweat every day. I also changed some of my eating habits. There is also a supplement called Cholestoff that I swear by. It’s kind of spendy, but my triglycerides when down over 100 points in a year. I’d rather spend money on a supplement and better food than cholesterol medicine and higher insurance premiums. Best of luck with your goals.
These are great goals! I have been running 3 times a week, but lately I’ve been trying to walk on the days I don’t run. Looking forward to hearing about your progress!
Good luck on the writing challenge. I think it sounds like a great challenge. I don’t write everyday.. usually after work I am just too drained. I’m lucky if I can get in three posts a week!
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