La Sagrada Familia: Life’s always gonna be like this (always Under Construction)

My 2019 Personal Development Endeavour, Experience, and Progress (Part 1 of 2)

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Brace yourselves: people with new year’s resolution incoming, am I right lol. What if I told you I actually did it and I followed through the entire year? Well, I didn’t actually set a new year resolution. It just so happens that it was January back then so it was nice to line things up in an easily-recallable month.
Towards the end of 2018 I had this plan to improve certain aspects of my life. It was a very long-term plan but I was adamant on fulfilling it. I wanted to. I needed to. As the ball slowly rolled I noticed that it’s tied to other aspects of my life that needed work too and it would be beneficial if I just roll everything together. It’s harder and there are more things to consider but as my dad said, it would be more glorious. Fast forward to 2019 December and time’s almost up so I’m here to tell you about my personal development endeavour was and what those aspects I worked on and my current status for each. Hint: it is glorious.

Ps, I also have more detailed stories for each that I will link per section which I highly suggest you read if you want to learn more or motivate yourself 🙂

Why Should I Read This?

If you want to know how:

  • to realistically change a habit (and how long it takes), what and how I did it so you don’t fall back to old habits
  • to be steadfast and lay the brick works for your life goals
  • 1 year is the new (and ffs realistic) 30-day challenge

, then this is for you.

Quick Backstory

My personal development endeavour all started and were caused by travelling. Towards the end of 2018, I was living life. It’s winter season so I was probably snowboarding my mind off. I also planned to go to The Ski Week March 2019 (and I did). I planned it so that would be my “last hoorah”.

No I am NOT stopping snowboarding or travelling. It was just a realization I had for years and now it’s finalizing in my head: I love snowboarding and travelling. I want this to be my lifestyle, not a 15-business day vacation that I’d have to negotiate with. Looking at my 2018 self, I needed to make some life adjustments if I wanted to make this a reality. It will be hard, it will be tedious and difficult, but there’s always a steep price to pay for the biggest things you want in life….and I’m totally ok with that. I then said “Jan – Mar would be planning stages, March is the last fun time (for now), then March onwards would be execution”. And that’s what happened.

Now let’s go to the specific things I worked on and improved:

1. Finances

Originally, this was the only thing I wanted to improve in my personal development endeavour. Basing from the story above, it’s simplistically just money I needed to work on. This is how I ended up with my 3 Actionable things on How to Save Money article. Again I’ll be providing relevant links that have more detail to the story so I’ll keep it summarized here.

I took better control of my spending. For example, I really cut down on food. Not that I was starving myself on my daily nutritional intake but it meant having more practical lunches, or even better, packing lunch. I also shouldn’t be downing boxes of pizzas per week or something. I can, but I don’t have to. This actually connects to Fitness.

I cut down on a lot of sensible things too:

  • Cancelled Netflix for a month on that month where I was busy + travelling
  • If I’m out but it’s nothing big or eventful (e.g.: café meetings), just try to limit expenses to $10
  • Decidingly not going out with someone if I get a sense that the it’s a waste of time (connects to People Audit)
  • Driving more efficiently / working from home when possible / managing routes
  • etc

Basically overall, the spending graph in my Mint account was on a downward trend. It was definitely a habit change and I…noticed it. I didn’t struggle in a sense, but I can feel the big changes. That’s actually why I intentionally spread the entire effort in a long amount of time: so that I won’t be shocked and then bail on the efforts asap.

Restraint and Delayed Gratification

It was tough since you’re practicing restraint and delayed gratification, something I wasn’t natural to. I needed to do this but I also need to continue to live life so I had to get creative.

Domestically, I was able to cut down on my fast-food/eat-out budget and re-allocate those to “going out” (with people) budget. Expense was overall the same and this was actually better for me, socially speaking. At this point, I’m hitting two empanadas with one fika already in this personal development endeavour.

Travel

Travel-wise, I allowed myself one trip after March. That’s when my Uruguay / Argentina trip happened.

I planned and calculated the entire trip and this was me “cutting down”. Instinctively I’d go to Europe, but South America is cheaper and closer so there goes the destination change. When I bought my ticket, I set up so many alerts for it and I got the cheapest ticket price possible. I was able to stay at a friend’s place on certain days that definitely cut down on accommodations. Choosing South America also meant that overall price tag e.g.: food, transportation, actividades would be (relatively) cheaper (than NA/EU). I also just went for a week and I get to save more vacation days and the less days I’m travelling means less expenses.

I had a budget (and it was low), yet I was below that; let’s put it that way 😀 So: SUCCESS.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding also suffered a bit but again, my experience and happiness didn’t decline. I just had to be smart and creative with travelling and snowboarding. This year I didn’t get an Ikon Base Pass. It also helps that this year I plan to cover multiple, small/medium mountains anyways so any sort of pass wouldn’t work. I am crazy on double downs this year and when you go to Toronto Ski and Snowboard show, you get 2 for 1’s, did you know that?

I’ve also decided to not go to The Ski Week. I love ’em, I love Obertauern more, but yea, not this year. Tbh I just feel like I’m growing out of it. Also there were other factors that made it easy for me to say no like:

  • the price tag increasing when there’s no additional value (I think)
  • I’ve been there twice already
  • I can go to multiple small/medium places with more meaningful people for less
  • I don’t want to burn a week of vacay days for this one this time
  • I’m hesitating on big mountains this year because I can still feel my knee injury from soccer/summer; a little bit concerning…

Overall that’s the story on the snowboarding side of things. Things aligned and it was super easy for me to say no to certain things in general.

2. Health (eating + portioning)

This connects to #1. To start, I’m trying to eat less (junk). It also helps to be more selective and conscious with what I eat. I learned and spent more time in groceries and food prep so I can cut down the fastfood expense category. I was doing this and I realized that I again can hit two empanadas with one fika! If I improving my eating habits and quality, I can be healthier! This is what I was mentioning before that I realized I can improve other aspects of my life. Don’t worry, I’m not all-salads now. I’m realistic. I initially just adjusted my portioning to be more mindful of my appetite. Before I’d be eating to “feel full” but now I’ve learned to eat to be not hungry. I’d splurge every now and then still and I don’t feel repressed at all.

Five to ten steps ahead I know this can help with my physique (which we will discuss later), but I was just looking at what was in front of me. Originally this is to cut down on expenses (and it’s working) but also I’m using this to slim down. Why?

  • So I’m not panting like there’s no tomorrow when I’m playing football
  • Same story for snowboarding
  • Get rid some of the…~what do you call it, love handles? LOL
  • Overall health: you know, internal organs, don’t want a heart attack and all

I was also aware that these changes are more of a habitual change, rather than just a “temporary thing”. This is a call for change in lifestyle, quality of life, and habits…and I treated it as such.

Part 2 (not yet ready)

To keep the interest and flow going, I’ll be breaking this into two parts. I will be releasing the second part next week and it would be the last for the year too.

Click here to read part 2 of my personal development endeavour. (not yet ready)

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