New Year’s Resolution complete – I have surpassed my goal of reading 30 books this year! In fact, with the completion of the Steve Jobs biography, I read 32 books in the first 7 months of this year. I’m going to extend my resolution and attempt to complete 50 books this year.
The five books I read this month were:
- Hounded – The Iron Druid Chronicles (Kevin Hearne)
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less ( GregMcKeown
- Hexed – Book 2 in the Iron Druid Chronicles (Kevin Hearne)
- Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
- Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson)
My favorite book this month was the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. Although the book was published shortly after Jobs’ death, I held off on reading it simply because I had heard the stories about how cruel he could be. I didn’t want to waste days of my life reading about such a person. Well, a co-worker urged me to give the book a shot and I’m glad I did. Although the book details Jobs’ cruel and weird personality, I was impressed with his drive for making beautiful products and I found myself admiring his attention to detail and his perfectionism for Apple products. Although he was never charitable to the extent his rival Bill Gates has been, I did appreciate his modest and minimalist (relatively speaking) lifestyle. The takeaway for me is that Jobs had many awful attributes but there were other attributes that were admirable. I hope I can show the same devotion for the products I make in my current and future endeavors.
Flow was a close second.
Essentialism was my least favorite book. My critique is not specific to Essentialism but to perhaps the whole genre of business/ self help books. So many of these books have a very simple message that could be summarized in a few pages (like a magazine article) but the authors drag on for way too long.
2. 365 Opportunities
No progress on this resolution. I have been generating new ideas but haven’t really been keeping track of them. I’m going to make a specific goal for August – I want to add 15 ideas to my list.
3. Exercise More Consistently
I continued to improve my fitness in July. My progress is illustrated in the figure below. Blue represents days I ran, typically 5km. Light blue is a bicycling day. Red indicates days that a did some strength training. Dark blue are hiking days and light gray were rest days.
I improved my 5km running times. At the start of July, my fastest 5k time was 7:53 (average pace) and I struggled to run faster than 8 minute miles for most of the June runs. In late July, I ran a 7:30 (average pace) 5km and can pretty consistently run faster than 8 minute miles. I’m pretty happy with my progress and will try to improve my times in August.
Unfortunately, I have experienced some mild soreness in my left calf and knee in the past couple of runs so I am taking a few days off from running in the hope these pains will go away. In fact, I plan on doing more strength training and bicycling this month as I fear I may start having joint issues if I continue to run nearly every day. In July, I had six days of strength training. In August, I would like to increase the number of strength days from somewhere between 10 and 15 days. I even bought a dumbbell set and bench so I can do these exercises at home.
I need to find a way to motivate myself when it comes to strength training. I am proud when I complete a run. I feel nothing during or after strength training, only a deep chasm of emptiness. Ok, it’s not that bad but, unlike running, I don’t feel any sense of pride and I am not motivated by changes in appearance, which seems to be the most common reason people lift. Finding that motivation will be another goal for August.
No classes in July. Many of the online classes are timed with the college semesters so I am expecting that I will start taking more classes in September when colleges start their Fall semester.
5. Build Something
Absolutely nothing. I am a pitiful excuse for a human being.