Tweaks for 2019

Some life changes to attempt in 2019

Eat slower

Eat like the French, not like the Americans

Expected difficulty: Hard.

I eat very fast.

Eating fast had its advantages growing up in a big joint family. It meant being able to go for seconds quicker – before the favourite dishes got over. It also meant being able to finish food quickly to get away from prickly adults and back to fun/isolation. An ability to eat fast also meant that when forced to eat dishes I didn’t like, I could quickly swallow them after chewing just twice.

I want to slow down, to eat slow.
Eat slow to enjoy more – keep the food longer in my mouth so I can feel the taste longer.
Eat slow to eat better – chew the food longer so it digests better.
Eat slow so eat less – ensure more of the food has reached the belly, and registered with the brain before I finish the first serving. Fewer, smaller, second servings will result, hopefully.

Talk slower, pronounce better

Enunciate like Ross. (Ep: The one with the thumb)

Expected difficulty: Very Hard.

- I speak quite fast.
- I have lisp. So some consonants don’t sound correctly when I speak them.
- I have an accent (North Indian in Britain).

Combination of these three factors means that my speech is often hard to understand, specially by non-Indians.

I need others to understand what I am talking about, without much effort on their part. They won’t pay me (money, attention) if they can’t understand me.

Speaking slowly and enunciating correctly will hopefully help with some of these issues.

I also need to improve my choice of words when I speak. Speaking slowly will also give myself time to think of better alternate words before I utter them out.

Aside: I also have hearing trouble, which means I myself don’t hear consonants correctly in noisy environments. I have a hypothesis that if I speak slowly, others around me too will, subconsciously, start speaking slowly. This would help me not just be heard better, but hear better too.

It’s the hardest tweak because, unlike with eating slow, I can’t think of any cues or tricks to slow myself down when speaking.

Alternate phrase:

Speak like a politician

Practice mindfulness

Become a single-tasker

Expected difficulty: Moderate-Hard.

Mindfulness, focus, being in the present – all define an ability to stop becoming a multi-tasker. To get back to being fully focused on just the present act – whether its working, playing with the boy, reading, or even watching the TV (watch the TV, put down the phone).

The reason for why the previous two changes are hard is mindfulness as well. Remembering to slow down – while talking or eating – both require active mindfulness. It would be hard to focus on slowing down when I am too distracted to even fully notice the act of talking or eating (e.g. watching a TV show while eating, or thinking of ‘what are they thinking’ while talking).

Eventually, I hope to turn them both into habits – so I speak and eat slowly even unconsciously. But till I get there, I will need to be focused in the present – be mindful of the act to be able to slow myself down.

Finally, mindfulness may help me get better at not just the tasks that I enjoy (spreadsheets, coding, running), but also the tasks that I don’t (reaching out to people, writing better copy, socialising).

Be frugal

Be Scrooge McDuck

Expected difficulty: Moderate.

I don’t have money, and I need a lot. So, I need to save money.

I have strict work and relationship targets this year. They require me to be very focused, and not squander time or attention. So, I need to be frugal with my time and cognitive capacity this year.

I have set myself a running time target, and I have an entry in London Marathon to address last year’s failings. Combined with demands for attention on work and relationships, I can’t afford to waste time or energy this year. I need to be frugal with my physical and mental energy, as well as with time.

I weigh too much, having gained 10 kg in the 7 months since the ankle injury. I need to lose weight, eat frugally.

I will try to be frugal this year, with everything

Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

Run like Eliud Kipchoge :)

Expected difficulty: Moderate.

This the only SMART objective in the list. It’s also the only one where I wish to speed up, instead of slowing down.

My PB at Guildford Parkrun is 23:12, and my best ranking is 77.
My current time at Guildford Parkrun is 25 mins (5:00 min/km), and ranking is near 120.

To rank in the top 50, I would need to achieve a time of 22 mins or lower. This would require running at an average pace of 4:24 min/km.

Losing 3 mins will not be easy. It’s a good target – challenging but not impossible.

Other tweaks

Do not interrupt anyone speaking

Let them speak. Hear everyone out.

Let them do. Watch them out.

Let them be. Let them live their lives.

In any case, for some and interruption is just another reason to start again. Louder.

Do not interrupt. Keep the peace. Give everyone a chance.

Expected difficulty: Hard!

Stretch after every long sit or lie down

Stretch like Tango

This one comes from Chewie make me jealous with his stretching all day. Every time he gets up after a long nap or lie down, he does deep, sexy stretches – the original version of what we humans call ‘Down dog’ and ‘Up dog’.

So I am going to copy him.
Every time I get up from the bed, I will do a quick stretch.
Every time I get up from a long sit on the sofa, I will do a quick stretch.
Every time I get up from work chair after a session, I will do a quick stretch.

Quick stretch:

– Cat stretch,
– Baby stretch,
– Up dog,
– Down dog, and
– Roll up