Playing To a Scoreboard (2-1)

Well, Monday and Tuesday I worked and made sure I got my letters written, my reading done, my writing all set up, and my exercise performed. Then yesterday came around, and well…yesterday didn’t work out so well. My record right now is 2-1, and I’m happy with it.

In case you missed my last blog post, I’ve come up with a way to try and keep myself motivated to get important things accomplished each day. I’ve decided to count each day like a sports game, counting it as a W or an L based on the whether or not I achieve all of the following tasks during the day:

  • Write a letter to someone important.
  • Exercise the body, mind, or soul.
  • Write for an hour.
  • Read for a half-hour.
  • Journal.
  • Drink ❤ drinks.
I’m adding one more to the list:
  • Don’t buy any new video games (other than the ones I’ve already pre-ordered.)
It’s a challenge, but it definitely feels worthwhile.

What I’ve learned already from this experiment: winning doesn’t make you a winner, and losing doesn’t make you a loser. Last night I ran some errands, tried to get some things working on this car that I bought (which happens to be falling apart even 1 day after I’ve finally gotten it mobile, but since I paid 200 dollars for it, I guess that’s to be expected), worked on some insurance stuff, hung out with a friend, played some games, and proceeded to go straight to bed after I returned home. Even though I knew that I still had writing, journaling, and the rest to do, I was so damned worn out from staying up until 3 and 4 AM the prior days to accomplish my tasks that I didn’t have much of a choice but to fall asleep. Still, I was productive and had a good time…I’m alright with that L.

In contrast, Tuesday was a W, but ended up feeling like a pretty crappy day. I got pretty wrapped up in myself, and spent a lot of the day looking for people to talk to, but to no avail. I went out later that night, meaning to hanging out with a friend at a local bar (and keeping under my drink limit, mind you!), but I just didn’t feel into the atmosphere. I met some new people, but they’d already formed a group of their own, and I was obviously an awkward wheel there. All in all, I didn’t really feel like I fit in much anywhere…by the time I went to bed that night, I’d sure accomplished all my tasks, but felt pretty miserable. And that’s a damned shame, considering that day I’d played almost two hours of Ultimate Frisbee AND done my C25K run back-to-back. I had a lot to be proud of, but I let other stuff get in the way.

Out in California, I had a motto: Play to win. I think about that now, and I realize something: the important part is not to actually win, but to play the game with every intention of winning every time. Sure, Monday and Tuesday I was able to chalk up Ws, but I cut so much sleep and rest out of my day that I set myself up for failure on Wednesday. If I plan to be successful, both inside this experiment and in life in general, simply winning can’t be enough.

Those W days I procrastinated hard, and I paid for it by having to stay up really late to accomplish my goals. The idea of this project is to learn how to integrate those tasks into my daily life, not tack them on at the end for some artificial scoreboard. My goal for the rest of the week is to not just win, but play to win. And even though I’ve gotten a late start today (slept almost 11 hours last night), I’m going to do some workouts and get my exercise done. Definitely chalking up a W today.

-Josh

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