New goals: a 30-day experiment in productive habits

I mentioned here that I needed to reset my goals, using a favorite web widget, after being gone on a trip.

Well, ironically, I have procrastinated.

This post has awakened me:

I just successfully finished a new 30-day program that involved 4 habits. Here is what I implemented:

1) Get up at 5am every single day, even though my job didn’t start until 8am. Do this even on weekends.
2) Walk 30 minutes every single day.
3) Listen to 30 minutes of an inspirational/educational audio book every single day.
4) Avoid all general news website – sites like,,,,, etc. I previously was spending several hours a day (mostly at work) reading through those sites. Instead, I would direct my time and attention to read sites like, slashdot, and this forum. These sites are much more positive and would provide a way to help avoid general news sites. This is in addition to not watching TV news, a habit I previously conquered through a 30-day trial.

OK, obviously, I am going to tweak this. I’ll include great Bible teaching/theology (though I’ll probably also do some secular success material as well). Also, I’m going cold turkey in eliminating any lurking on inquisatorial Pharisee blogs and “magazines” rather than “news” sites.

It is very tempting to add more exercise and other things. But I’m going to resist the temptation. The problem is that adding too many great goals means that you don’t actually meet any of them. I begin tomorrow and, in thirty days, I will analyze the results and then begin some new goals if I think that would be wise and helpful (prime candidates will be exercise, time with family, and reading).

So, I have restarted by goals with the three positive (5am wake-up, 30 minutes walking, 30 minutes listening) and one negative (no lurking in Hell).

And, anyone who wants, can watch my progress here.

4 thoughts on “New goals: a 30-day experiment in productive habits

  1. Christopher Witmer

    I recently measured my blood pressure and found it was about 160/110. Yikes! I won’t go into great detail (unless someone asks) on what I did, but basically I immediately started doing most of the stuff that the Internet websites on hypertension and “natural healing” tell you to do, including taking a brisk 30-minute walk each day. I am pleased to report that in just a few days my blood pressure has come down by 10 points (both systolic and diastolic). I already feel better and am sure I can make more productive use of my time as I continue to get my health back under control. Eventually I may go see a doctor but not until I have done what I can for a few weeks to return to a more normal health condition. For a person who is not getting enough exercise, the investment of 30 minutes in walking will more than pay for itself. I look forward to seeing how things progress for you.

    P.S. Here’s one thing I learned: anyone who likes ice cream may enjoy peeling a ripe banana, wrapping it in saran wrap, freezing it, and then eating like an ice cream bar when it’s frozen. I swear I enjoy frozen bananas as much if not more than ice cream, and they are much better for people with hypertension and a lot cheaper too. (That’s another benefit of eating healthy — I find that my food shopping bills are a lot lower.)

  2. Paul B.

    Since bananas have come up:

    You can also make a swell banana milkshake. Drop a frozen banana into a blender with skim milk and a little vanilla.

    Thanks for calling attention to the Joe’s Goals site. I’m inspired, too, now and have signed up.

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