Seven Dials, London

Just back from a trip to London and York, and still sorting through photos and experiences. This is a quick sketch I made over coffee on Sunday morning in Seven Dials, Covent Garden.

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Seven Dials, London

Back to writing, training and running

After two weeks of not writing and three weeks of not training or running (due to illness), it is hard to get back in the saddle. What was once a breeze is now a pain — staring at that blank page or lacing up is now a terrifying ordeal. The easiest thing to do is cut myself some slack and not write, not train, not run… and feel like a failure.

So I put a timer on for my writing, and forced myself to just work on it for 15 minutes. Timers are a godsend for this. They always help me get over the hardest part of writing, which is starting.

As for the training, it helped that Streaks was nagging me about it, but that wouldn’t have been enough of a motivator at this point, since it was so long since I’d trained and I was still not 100% well. So I selected a beginner’s workout in NTC, and told myself that I could take as many breaks as I needed, skip a few of the exercises, and stop if it was too physically punishing. It took a lot of the pressure and guilt off, and I ended up surprising myself by completing almost all of the workout (NTC’s 46min Start Training, I did everything but the burpees, for those interested). It felt great, and gave me the confidence to go out for a 20 minute run today.

Was it my best run? Far from it. It was slow and hard and I had to stop and catch my breath halfway through. But I finished it, and I now know where my new baseline is. There’s only room for improvement from here.

Back to writing, training and running

Three Good Things

After reading the great “How to Be Miserable” I decided to start keeping a “three good things” journal at my bedside and write in it every night, right before I go to bed.

The idea is to write three good things that happened to you today, and if possible attribute them. It breaks off the habit of always remembering the bad, upsetting or embarrassing parts of your day, and I also found that it helps me (together with regular journaling) clear my mind and fall asleep sooner.

The good things don’t have to be large, sometimes they’re just a nice meal that I shared with someone, or something good that I read or watched, or just a friendly exchange with a friend or someone at work. The thing is, once you start doing it you:

  1. Realize that even in the shittiest of days there is something good to remember.
  2. Train your brain to look for those things throughout the day, so that you can have something to write down at night.

I’ve been using the Field Notes Resolution weekly planner for that, but you might want to use something larger. I just chose the Resolution because it gave me a reason to use the notebook, and it’s small enough that I’m sure that I will have something to write in it every day.

Three Good Things

Sketchlog January 6, 2018

  • Really glad that I snagged one of Adjiashvili’s charcoal drawings.
  • Yoga is turning out to be more enjoyable than I thought. The new yoga workouts in the NTC app are really good.
  • Wrote a good deal today and going to write some more.
  • 2nd day of the 30 day plank challenge was OK. Yesterday was test day – I can hold a plank in good form for 1min. We’ll see where I end up.
  • Not pictured: I saw “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”. There’s a reason it’s not pictured.
  • This made me laugh, because it’s true…

Sketchlog January 6, 2018