Incremental advancement towards a long term goal like health or wealth involves a lot of waiting and patience. One of the things I’ve found most difficult is that often the next action is no action at all. Once you’ve set a goal for yourself, you figure out how it is that you are going to achieve it. You figure out a system, the major actions and milestones that will get you there, set it up, and start working on what you can work on. But most of the time you’re just trying to leave well enough alone.
Accounts don’t go from hundreds to millions overnight and the pounds don’t melt away from one weighing to the next. In order to see progress you have put in the time, then zoom out and see how you’re doing.
So? How am I doing?
I’ve become a much better saver since I’ve been awakened to the true power of money. I sold my second vehicle, the beloved Sienna, and bought a bicycle. That was a great move. I do miss the van from time to time but I’ve only had one instance where not having a second vehicle cost me a cab ride. Peanuts when you compare it to a year of full ownership.
I did end up driving a lot of the winter. Project winter bike was a failure. A tank of a vehicle with poor gear ratio and high rolling resistance. I rode it to work once and had to stand on the pedals the entire time. My legs were burning all day and then I had to ride the damned thing home again. By the time I got around to reconsidering my design, we were in solid minus 40. There was no incentive to continue biking so I admitted defeat and drove until the weather picked up.
Money is being spent more practically and that which isn’t is being shuttled into investment accounts to quietly do work for me.
I didn’t get it perfect right away. My resolve to drink less beer faded almost immediately and directly with my work ethic when it came to exercise, so demotivating a Manitoba winter can be. I could blame it on that but that would be a cop out. A failure to take responsibility. That takes us to…
I wrote “Will’s Hundred Days” one day in late January. My call to arms. A galvanizing manifesto. A touchstone for my personal well-being. A plan. I didn’t post it until day 79 and today is day 89. I am not at my goal yet so I’m cutting it pretty close but I am pleased with how I am doing and what I have learned so far.
If I had to identify it, the Jesus Nut holding the whole thing together is not drinking alcohol. I knew that curtailing alcohol would be key but I had no idea how much effect it had had on my life. In my mind the beer was extra calories, and it led to snacking, and gave momentum to doing little in the evenings and sleeping in in the mornings, and feeling like general crap.
I had tried a Whole30 in 2014 and not really enjoyed the no booze aspect. It came to an abrupt end as day 28 found me on a work trip in the UK. Sat in an old stone pub on the river Thames with some good friends I caved to the peer pressure to have a beer. My refusal to order a beer and explanation of Whole30 was rebutted with what can be paraphrased, “C’mon, really?” To this I immediately capitulated and ordered a pint of London Pride. I am also not a “one beer” kind of guy.
This time I made it different. 100 days is significant. 100 days isn’t thrown away with a light scoffing from friends. Not drinking has empowered me to action the rest of my plan. I’ve been eating better. Not snacking (as much). Lifting weights and being active. Getting shit done. Reading more. Sleeping better. Being more social (this one surprised me). Being more confident. Having a better outlook. The list goes on.
A wise man once told me, “Look good, feel good. Feel good, look even better”A Wise Man
The end is drawing near. You’ll have to check back to see if I made it but in the meantime I need your help. I want to celebrate my milestone 100th day. I’ve traditionally celebrated with a drink but that is off the table. 100 days is too great to immediately sacrifice for a short term pleasure.
Leave a comment and let me know how you would celebrate an important milestone.