Discipline Week Update: Day Five

Today is the fifth day of Discipline Week, and I’m pleased to say that it’s going well. But it’s time to up the ante. Time to raise the bar. To kick it into gear. The discipline has just begun.

The Past

But before we up the ante, let’s talk about what I’ve learned so far from this week. I think I expected the burst of willpower it takes to get out of bed at 7am to feel good somehow. I expected that I would feel like it was good for me, and just do it. Clearly, that’s not what happens at 7am. What happens at 7am? Reddit*. For half an hour, and if I’m honest, sometimes 45 minutes. The point is, it doesn’t feel good to wake up at 7am, and it won’t ever feel good – at least not for a long time – to get up at 7am. Exerting your willpower, forcing yourself to do something that you know you need to do, but really don’t want to do in the moment, is no fun. But my aim is to get used to it.

Blood sugar checks haven’t been happening as frequently as I’d planned, and next week I want to address that. More regular blood sugar checks give me more useful information about my blood sugar, so that I can adjust my basal rates (the amount of insulin I get per hour) accordingly. At the moment, I check fairly regularly in the morning and at night, but during the day my blood sugar checks are sporadic. Hopefully logging my blood sugars will help me check at the right times.

While doing dishes yesterday, an idea occurred to me that I’ll probably expand on in a future blog post. To explain this idea, let me define something I’ll call “frames of awareness.” The way you see yourself right now – the way you feel about yourself, the world, what you’re planning to do later, what you feel like doing now, all of it – is one frame of awareness. The way you will be tomorrow is another frame of awareness. They might have things in common, but in some sense you’ll be different tomorrow than you are today. You could think of these frames of awareness as frames in a film strip that make up your whole life. Now let’s define a special frame of awareness: the now frame. The now frame is you as you are now. Sometimes, the now frame can be selfish. Even though it knows the other frames will suffer because it decides not to do the dishes, not to study, or not to eat well, sometimes the now frame just doesn’t care. The now frame can be like a spoiled child: it wants what it wants, and it wants it now. So you have to teach the now frame – just like a spoiled child – that it can’t always have what it wants now. It has to share with the other frames. How do we do that? Willpower!

Maybe that’s all just a sack of crap, but it seems like an interesting model for explaining procrastination. I’ll ponder some more and probably blog about it later.

The Future

Let’s talk about this weekend, and next week. This weekend is MAKER FAIRE MONTREAL. I have wanted to go to Maker Faire ever since I learned about it, and I am SO STOKED for this one. I’m planning to go both days. So that’s what will be happening this weekend. You can expect at least one huge blog post about that.

According to my original Discipline Week plan, weekends should be largely devoted to doing new and interesting things. I’m always frustrated by how infrequently I work on my various projects, and I plan to change that. Even into the school year, I want at least some part of my weekends to be about projects. So when I’m not frolicking around at Maker Faire, I’ll be working on one of the several projects that I’ve started. And of course, I’ll be blogging.

8am is when I’ll wake up, and there is no running on the weekends.

Next week, however, is when things really get started. I’ll wake up at 7am, eat a light breakfast, read for half an hour, go running, take a shower, and start work. Every morning. Rain or shine. I also want to establish a more rigid daily routine, particularly at night. I want to do the dishes every night before I go to sleep, record my blood sugars, and maybe do some writing. What exactly my nightly routine will be, I’m not sure. I’ll think about it this weekend, and probably post it later.
Writing this blog post, I feel like I’m making campaign promises. Maybe it’s because of the upcoming election, or maybe it’s because I’m afraid I won’t stick to all the things I’m committing myself to doing. But I’ve done everything I’ve intended to so far, so my track record is good. I’ve made it through the first week; now let’s see about the second.

Note: I wrote this post this morning, but forgot to post it until now. So I failed at one of my objectives, but I think I achieved the gist of it. Am I making excuses?

*I like to start my day with a healthy dose of r/funny.

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