Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Year In Review

As 2020 closes in, I have been eager to review my year,  figure out what worked, what didn’t and hit the ground running. This past weekend, I managed to devote a few hours to reviewing my planner and my 2019 notebook, and I can say there was a lot of things I learned about myself, and see areas to focus on for the coming year.  The list isn’t comprehensive, but it is stuff that stood out for me.  It is also not to humble brag, but to keep myself on track and accountable.

In 2019, I managed to

  • Attend the Samurai Game Workshop
  • Try Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Experience a Sensory Deprivation Tank
  • Reread and do The Artist’s Way
  • Write a Novel in a Month
  • Ate more vegan but not as regularly as I’d hoped for
  • Adopt an amazing Immigration Law Mentor
  • Do 3 legal Seminars
  • Volunteer 100s of hours at The Harriet Buhai as a family law attorney
  • Volunteer dozens of hours at the LACBA Immigration Legal Aid Project
  • Travel to Seattle, New York and Las Vegas
  • Run a Half Marathon
  • Read a dozen  plus books
  • Deadlift 375 pounds
  • Squat 245 pounds
  • Create a new accountability group to keep me on tasks for my goals
  • Continue my weekly accountability group call for most of the year. \

Yet, when I look at the list, I see so much more possibility for 2020. So much to still learn, grow from, so much more I could accomplish. I noticed that around October is when I ran out of juice and stopped posting updates in my planner. I did increase my note taking in the notebook, and I also faithfully updated my top weekly and monthly goals in a Google sheet I shared with 3 other people on a regular basis.  I also noted that I didn’t add too many personal things in my planner or notebook. Either it didn’t happen, or I didn’t give it the importance it deserves. There is also my nagging habit of being annoyed at things that I cannot control or being in judgement of others and their quirks. Too often, I am quick to assume or judge rather than taking the time to see the person in their light and not my experience. That changes in the coming year.

For 2020, I plan to focus in 3 major areas: Health, Law Practice and Relationships. To that end, I envision doing the following:

Health

  1. Run a Marathon
  2. Crossfit average 3 times a week and improve my weightlifting numbers and finally conquer the pull up
  3. Run a triathlon

Law Practice

  1. Do a minimum of 6 legal/educational seminars
  2. Complete mentorship on Immigration Law
  3. Build Referral Network through BNI and Provisors

Relationships

  1. Year of Travel with my wife
  2. Find New Place
  3. Phone Roulette: call someone randomly when free instead of scrolling mindlessly when waiting a prolonged time

It might seem foolish or even egotistical to make so many goals but I truly believe in the quote “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”  Happy New Year and I look forward to my journey in 2020!

 

Food For Thought, Inpsiration

A Rough Day

Yesterday was not an easy day. It’s been over 8 months since Papa has been going, yet it still feels so raw. Mostly because I haven’t allowed myself to process my grief. It’s just easier to look at the unfairness of things, to be snippy at others at their “luck” of having dads still.

My selfishness knows no bounds when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. I buried myself in feeling sad and sorry for myself, yet it hit me as I hiked Hellman Trail yesterday that my father would have hated me this way. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who would try anything to make his loved ones smile. So not was I dishonoring his memory, I upset others with my crappy attitude.

Then a beautiful message from my wife hit me to my core, and I lived yesterday with a new sense of urgency: to not waste time and energy on things I cannot change. Then I also noticed how so many had reached out, and the most I could muster was a lame thank you. It is in times of need that I sometimes truly forget that I am never alone. I just make myself feel that way which only serves the selfish need inside me to dwell rather than take responsibility.

So each day will be a focus on less feeling sorry for myself, and then finding way to be in service to others. It’s what my father would have wanted.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Tasks Versus Goals

In just a few days, March ends. We are 1/4 of the way done with 2017. That boggles my mind. Each month,  I take a few minutes to take stock of the month with the same question: am I living a life worth living?  The answer for this year so far has been a resounding yes. Are there challenges? Failures? Missed opportunities?  Of course, to say otherwise assumes that I am done learning, pushing myself and ensuring I am present for others. There is the constant urge to keep moving, to do more, be of service to others, but there are times I also know that I can get more task oriented rather than goal focused.

Last week, after speaking to my accountability buddy, it occurred to me while its fine to get through my to do list, I get to focus on what my vision is. It is not about lists or tasks, but creating a life that matters and makes the world better than when I came into it. It is that drive that gets me to be up before 6am most mornings because the excuses of “not enough time” no longer works if I truly want change.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

The week in Review

9626bcc2e5db425aaff8e01956e0ad02Yesterday, I shared with my accountability buddy how I did for the week for my goals and habits. Initially, I felt like a failure because I only got to 80% of the things and missed a few days for daily habits until it hit me that perfection was never the goal. The goal was to do something about the things that bother me. It is very easy to get caught up in failure and beat oneself up, but really the entire point was that I tried, not every day, but it was still 1000 times better than not doing anything at all.

It is not an easy transformation to make from being content to say there is nothing I can do about my goals, habits and results to still giving it a shot. Fear rules that state of mind, but a good fear where I become more comfortable being uncomfortable. It is easy to criticize and point out what I am not going and to see that in others, but much harder to put things into practice. Too often, I look at what I missed rather than what I accomplished. It is a habit I intent to change because while being critical is good, it does me no good to make into a self-worth issue. That said, I am extremely proud of my progress. Just for some perspective, here are my January goals which touch upon New Year resolutions, but are geared towards creating habits. What are yours?

1)Drink 64 oz to gallon of Water Daily

2)Meditate Daily

3)Write Morning Pages Daily

4)Write 300 words daily

5)Date Night Weekly

6)Connect with 2 people Weekly

7)Work on Improving Memory

8)Work on Improving Handwriting

9)Work out 5 days a week

10)             One Hike and/or physical outing

11)              Drink no more than 2 drinks on weekdays

12)             Try a new activity/place this month

13)             2 Legal Blog Posts

14)             Begin Learning on how to do a podcast

15)             Begin learning on how to get more readers for blog

16)             One Boys Night

17)             One Friends Night at least (ideal 2)

18)              Hug and Kiss Daily

19)             Take one Weekday off a month,

20)             Lose 5 pounds

Food For Thought, Myself

Gratitude

images (1)I admit that for a few moments last week (ok more than few), I had a difficult time finding reasons to be grateful. Attending a funeral for a friend’s father and watching helplessly as they broke down took an emotional toll. It made me wonder how quickly things can shift. In those moments, nothing else mattered. All the problems I thought I had, faded into noise . They meant nothing. So much of my time wasted on things that really didn’t matter in the long run.

Death is a reminder that we are not here to stay. I believe most of us will never know when we will go. All we have is the present moment. It’s not easy. Too often, I let the negative thoughts in my head take over, and then all I do is worry about the past and future. It’s a tough cycle to break. What good is it to waste so much time on things you cannot control? Yet, I seem hardwired to do it.

It is not a coincidence that a family friend and others started a gratitude chain few weeks ago. It is as if the universe conspired to forcefully remind me to count my blessings, love the ones that are in my life, and connect with all the ones and things that truly matter. It is not easy, but it is also yet another reason to not take myself and my life so seriously. There are more important things to do like take a moment, breath in, and be grateful for what I have.

Myself, Writing

Nightmares

failureSo had my first nightmare in a long time. It was surreal as it started in the middle. I am sure I was dreaming of something else, but I see a guy passing by, and for some reason. I call him a pussy. He keeps walking, but I know he is going to come back, and sure enough he does. I am on some stairs, and he begins walking up, and I begin blubbering that I was kidding, and didn’t mean to say what I did but like in dreams, suddenly there are 3 more people, and one grabs my hand, trying to force my wedding ring off while another grabs my watch, and then third has a razor blade. The old school kind that my father used to use when he shaved. And I start mumbling that I really didn’t mean it, but the razor keeps coming towards my right eye. The only one with a contact, and I don’t want to be blind. I don’t want to be squinting out of left eye which sees mostly blurs lately. I knew instinctively that they wanted the good eye, and as I woke up, there was an immediate fading idea that if only I had a gun to equalize the unfairness of the situation (there goes my liberal card).

The weird part is that I didn’t know any of the men well except for the first guy who suspiciously looked like the Reading Rainbow Gentleman Levar Burton (chucking anti-racist card as we speak).  Yes, I did try to figure out the dream, and I am pretty sure the entire dream was an allegory of my recent in ability to read, write or do anything workout related the past few weeks. Each day, I have this vague goal of writing and running, and while some days I am successful in writing for 20 minutes and exercising for 15, I know that’s not going to get it done if I want to be published or be in any sort of shape for the Spartan Beast which is fast approaching in September.

But, and this is a big but, I know I am doing something which is still infinitely better than the nothing I was doing before. So thanks to the Zen Habits, I practice self-compassion. I am giving myself a break even if they give me nightmares.