June Review

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I’m writing this from Klintholm, a small Danish fishing village on the coast of Møn. We’ve sailed 110 miles in the last two days. June was a good month – but for the first time, I failed at a challenge. I got my gym sessions in for most weeks (8, 9, 7, 8) but I failed to do my 10 image series. I did do a lot of other photography though – I spent two sessions shooting the Bailey Lighthouse for the image series, and also did three studio shoots with bodybuilders. This, along with getting everything set for travelling this month, meant I just didn’t get the two or three days I needed to dedicate to doing the series. It’ll now happen in August.

Financially things were good. The photo shoots and writing were nice – there was also continued progress in other areas that will pay off down the line. Hopefully in the next month or two for some of it.

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Fitness was obviously great. I got a lot of training done which I was happy about. I got some serious strength increases with this month’s sessions in Compound Fitness and it was nice to get some jits sessions in again.

The reading challenge continues well. I’m still a good few books ahead of my goal. Unfortunately this month I got heavily side tracked by the Dresden Files. Amazing books, but not the most literary.

One thing that was fun – even though I nominally failed – was the photo project. I explored the area around the Bailey Lighthouse, one afternoon, for where there were going to be good photo opportunities. I then went back a few days later at 4 am to get them at sunrise. This is definitely something that will be good to do more of going forward.

For July – I’m on a boat. My time is kind of free but also severely limited by what I have the opportunity to do. Internet access is patchy, sailing can be relaxing or hands on depending on the weather and I’m just not sure when I’ll be anywhere. The one thing I know for sure, is I’ll have a lot of opportunities to read! I’m going to take the soft challenge this month and aim to read double my required number of books – I’m going for 8. Even though I’ve plenty of reading time this will, I think, still be a stretch.

May Review

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May was a mixed month in terms of a few things. A lot was going on which meant my long term goals took a backseat to dealing with the urgent short term stuff. The flipside of this was that the stress of the urgent things forced me to take time to relax – as a result I read a lot and I’m now 6 books ahead of schedule! My 30 day challenge of meditating also nicely fell into alignment with what was going on around me. I certainly noticed the difference to my focus and it’s something I’m going to keep in my daily routine going forward. Midway through the month I became aware of the guided meditation service Headspace. Not this month, but perhaps next, I will redo meditation for 30 days and work through their program.

Financially things were interesting. While I did not directly earn a lot, I set a few things up that look like they’ll have serious returns in the near future. June on the other hand is going to be a month of big financial returns.

Fitness was mixed. I managed to get in some good training for at the beginning and end of the month but had some situationally induced slack off in the middle. This is gonna get back on track this month.

I finally got around to doing something creative. I managed to get two good photo sessions done. The first was another street shoot in Dublin. I got three photos I was happy with from it. Two portraits and the moped in motion shot below.

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I also got a second shoot where I played around with a macro extension cube and my desk cactus. The photos had a really nice abstract quality. You can see one of them in the header image and another below.

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Creativity is also something I am going to push this month.

For June’s 30 Day Challenge I was tied between two ideas: 1000 words for publication a day or eight gym sessions a week. In the end I settled for the eight sessions as I will be doing a lot of writing any way but have other things going on that mean I may not be able to write every day. Yes, eight sessions is more than seven days which means I’ll be doubling up weights and jits on some days. This is intentional. Also, eight is a minimum goal rather than a set target. I’m also going to do a monthly challenge, in this case, to push my creativity, I’m going to create a 10 image series of my home town, Howth. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’m excited to do it.

When you read this it will likely be on my new website. This is something I’m going to spend the first week or two of this month designing. This blog post will likely go live with the site.

April Review

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April, like March, was another good month. For the most part I aced my sleep goal! I’ve been averaging three to four extra hours of sleep a week and mostly getting 6.5 to 7 hours a night. I can feel the effects and have more energy and focus because of it. Going forward, I want to keep this level of sleep.

Financially April was mediocre. Not bad per se, but I wasn’t able to focus on it and that shows. This month is going to be the same.

Bookwise I again kept on top of things and got through 5 books. Well on track for 52 this year.

Fitness was also great. I’ve been getting four weights sessions a week on top of three or four jits sessions. This is only going to increase coming into the summer. From June on I’m going to be aiming for four weights sessions and six jits sessions a week. That, however, is not this month.

This months challenge is something I’ve been considering for a while: meditation. I’m aiming to count to do 100 breaths – slowly – with a clear mind every day. This should give me around 10 or 12 minutes of meditation. The aim is to simply get to 100 so I can do it in blocks of however many I like throughout the day. On top of this I’m going to keep up with the sleeping and fitness progress I am making.

March Review

March was an interesting month. I managed to get my 20 sets of hill sprints done which kept fitness in check. Financially it was also a great month – to my surprise. I managed to get more work done than I’d thought and had a few new projects crop up.

Bookwise it also was quite good. I managed to get some decent reading done as well as some good time listening to audiobooks. I’ve once again got ahead of schedule!

For April I’m taking a different challenge. I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of sleep and I think I am probably getting too little: between 4.5 hours and 6 a night. So my 30 day challenge is to try and get 7 hours sleep a night. Quite a pleasant one I think!

The non-work stuff that I mentioned coming due this month is actually far more likely to interfere with April and May so learning, creativity and unfortunately finance are going to take a hit. I start in a new gym though so exercise is finally likely to be on the up!

February Review

In my review of January, I mentioned that my goals for February were to nail down fitness and finance. Fitness was a bit of a non-start again; I got more jits time but I’m in between weights gyms and so my strength training’s taken a hit. I join a new gym on the first of April so that should get things together again.

I completed Ido Portal’s squat challenge which has done great things for my flexibility and posture.

Finance on the other hand, I blew out of the water. It was my most financially successful month ever. I had 6 tutorials published which contributed heavily to that; I also had some design work in. This month will probably be slightly less financially fruitful as I’ve more non-work stuff to do but should still be decent.

Bookwise, February was a little slack. I’ve been struggling to make it through On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I’m still on track but I think I’ve lost my slight lead. I also utterly failed to review any books on this blog.

Looking forward to March, my main aim is to clear my plate of non-work stuff so I can really focus on that coming into the summer. I’m also aiming to get 20 sets of hillsprints done in 30 days to make up for missed weights sessions. Learning and creativity are unfortunately on the back burner til probably May.