Life has been easier since I gave myself fewer choices. I started my 10K training plan today. The first day of training involved running 20 minutes at a medium pace. I told myself that I did not have any other choice for my exericse. I was going to run 20 minutes at a medium pace. I mapped out a route that looked like it would fill the time. I threw on my headphones and I ran.
I did it, in pretty good time as well. I was running just under a nine minute mile. My usual pace is about a 9:15, so I thought this was a good slightly-above-average running pace. Sometimes my runs don’t go as planned and I end up going for long walks in addition to my run. Usually those times happen when I say, “I’m just going to go out and run.” If I don’t have an end goal or a distance goal, I usually fade away.
I’ve tried to take that approach to lots of things this past week or so. I give myself goals and think about how I will achieve them. I have no other choice than to get them done. I know that sounds really intense, but it’s not. It’s just a change in mindset. I try to go into the grocery store and only get the things on my list. (That doesn’t always happen. Usually there are a few things that I’ve forgotten.)
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ve been trying to be more mindful about drinking alcohol. I picked up a bottle of three-buck Chuck and a six pack of beer to share with my new roommate. He likes Corona. I thought about possibly just buying a couple more beers just for myself. I looked at some Indeed or New Belgium, but I turned and went to the cash register.
I told myself that I’m going to limit myself to two drinks an evening. I have no other option than that. I can work around that. It’s not awful. I can make it through a Saturday evening without drinking a whole lot. I think I’ll feel better tomorrow because of it.
I’m still struggling to bring this mindset to my money. I don’t spend excessively, but the last few months have been more in the red than in the black, and that’s not somewhere I want to be. I’m glad my roommate will bring in some extra cash flow. I’ve given myself three goals with regards to finances: 1. Stock away $3,000 2. Save up for the trip to Spain. 3. Invest in a good gym/yoga studio.
I think the step one is the biggest goal. I’ve been drawing against my reserves too much as of late. I just need to keep telling myself that there are no other options than to do those things.
Our culture is all about having tons of choices. I think that’s generally a good thing, but I also think it’s a good thing to have a narrow focus and keep what is really important in mind.