Simplicity Project: Week 2

Two areas I’ve honed in on this week were health & nutrition and online activity, since these are parts of the project I can easily make progress on while abroad.

FITNESS:

Weight training is one aspect of physical fitness that has often bored me in the past, but lately I’ve learned too much about its importance to neglect it without feeling like a dummy. Therefore, a two-month membership to the 24/7 gym franchise here, amusingly called McFit, was a very welcome gift for Christmas from my German family. I’ve visited thrice already, and this week I focused on challenging my muscles and really upping the weight. I also began doing the clean and press with free weights, an exercise that supposedly makes all your dreams come true.

I’ve continued my semi-daily routine of running up and down the eight flights of stairs in the apartment building and have progressed to four trips in a row. My aim is to make my heart beat so fast I think I’ll pass out. Also buns of steel would be great.

NUTRITION:

Since overeating is a common temptation while staying indoors most of the day during this cold and snowy month in the land of Fleisch, Kuchen, Kartoffeln, and Käse, I’ve begun an experiment that includes eating a small breakfast of fruit and müsli or toast within an hour of waking, a king-sized lunch around 1-2pm (preferably after a workout), a small dinner of mostly protein and vegetables, then hot tea and a chocolate treat later on. It’s working extremely well so far. I think the big lunch is key.

ONLINE ACTIVITY:

Let’s just say I’ve got some habits to break. Due to the internet being pretty much the sole way I’m able to connect with friends and family back home, it’s difficult not to check social media more than once a day, you know, just to make sure no one’s having too much fun without me. But 99% of the time, I close the website feeling no happier nor more enlightened than before. On the contrary, it usually leaves me quite bored and like I just wasted 5 minutes of my life. Since I believe there’s more value in sending personal emails, I’d like to make that more of a focus. This week it’s been difficult to break the Facebook compulsion, but I’m hoping to make online activity more purposeful and worthwhile in the weeks to come. Anyone have suggestions for strategies to implement this?

-I finished a book this week that has been remarkably influential in my thinking about minimalism, consumerism, and financial independence this year, and I would highly recommend it to all those looking to have their minds blown about these topics. It’s Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence. You can get it here for less than 10 bucks. Or ask me and I might let you borrow it. This guy is extreme, as the title suggests, and I love him for it. His book and blog have inspired many of the changes I discuss here.

-As for entertainment, I’d rather not discuss.

I hope you all have seen success with the project this week! What are some areas you’ve decided to focus on? Tell me about your progress so far.

Simplicity Project: Week 1

This is week one of the simplicity project series. If you missed last week’s introduction to the series, you can read it here.

Real quick, below are two lists I made while thinking about areas of life I’d to expand and spend more time on, and areas I’d like to simplify.

THINGS TO EXPAND:

health & nutrition: increase hiking, cycling, weight training; train for 10k; eat mostly local and in-season foods; cook one brand-new vegan recipe per week

writing

reading

friendships: more quality time with people who make me happy, more communication, do productive activities together

personal development & education: self-sufficiency, philosophy, politics, economics/investing, career skills, piano

causes: animals, liberty

 

TOP THINGS TO SIMPLIFY:

online activity: check social media once a day; blogs, read only what is most helpful; delete all unnecessary accounts; decrease browsing/videos/music/misc/time wasters.

possessions: sell/give away most of what I own and haven’t used in the last year

purchases: buy only what is necessary or would add the most value, spend money on experiences rather than material goods

transportation: begin to phase out driving; learn more about bike care

entertainment: watch no more than one show a day (this is progress for a person who can, without batting an eye, gobble up four episodes in a row of X-Files, Big Bang Theory, New Girl, Californication, Downton AbbeyGilmore Girls, Mad About You, whatever the current mood calls for)

food: only buy fresh produce, no non-perishables for a while; make own hummus, pesto/tomato sauce, almond/peanut butter, nut milk, jam; start home canning

media: delete all unnecessary/lame media files

Next week’s post will discuss ideas, successes, and failures so far in my attempts at tackling one or more of the above items.

How are you all doing with the project so far? Have you thought about or made your lists–top things to expand or spend more time on, and top things to simplify or decrease? Have you begun yet to put some plans into action?