Day 92: One Quarter In


keep-calm-and-check-progress-5So now that I am one-quarter of the way through this year, I took the opportunity to revisit some of my goals to see where I stand…

Physically:  I’ve been able to get a workout in every single day.  Some days, that workout consists of 50 pushups as I get ready to crawl into bed.  Some days it’s a full, heavy weight session at the gym.  But I’ve done some sort of muscle punishing workout every single day.  I’ve seen some results, too.  Nothing too tremendous, but enough that I’m happy with my progress.


Day 4


Day 89

No, I’m probably never going to be huge.  I resigned myself to that my senior year of high school.  Nor do I want to, as my wife claims she doesn’t like overly muscular dudes.  So that’s good.  But I am happy with my results so far.


I’ve completed a number of books so far, but I’m slightly behind pace.  I realize that, but I’m not freaking out too badly by that, because when I get into a fiction book, I usually devour it.


I’m pleased with my progress.  I’ve made a desk, learned to identify a lot of birds (which reminds me, we’ve seen our first robin in the yard), and I’m progressing towards my first belt in karate.


Again, pleased with where I am.  I’m slightly off pace, but that will all change as rugby season comes into full swing this spring.  I run a lot during the spring and fall seasons.  So anywhere that I am behind, I will make it up very soon.  In addition, we’ve got our first adventure race of the season coming up in two weekends.  I’m excited to be running with my wife.  Also, I love my Vibram Five Fingers.

People Who Matter:
I’m a little behind on this, but several upcoming posts include more than one person, so I will be back to pace very shortly.

So that’s it.  A brief look at the first quarter.  I’m sure I could be more in depth, but none of this matters to you.  What really matters here is you.  Is this inspiring you to do something better?  Does it help you continue on a path you’ve wanted to walk?  In the end, that’s what I hope to do…inspire you.


As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.
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Day 51: Quote of the Day


“The human mind is a miracle, and you will never see it spring more beautifully into action than when it is fighting against evidence that it needs to change. Your psyche is equipped with layer after layer of defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly where they are — ask any addict.
David Wong,

I’ve talked about this one before, but it is important to remember and remind ourselves every so often that our number one enemy is ourself. We can do anything we want if we just convince our mind to do it. Conversely, our mind can keep us from doing anything if we just listen to it.


Read the full article here:

Day 37, Babe’s and Quick Shots

Today would be Babe Ruth’s 118th birthday.  In honor of the birth of one of the greatest ballplayers to ever live here are a few words to live by, from George Herman Ruth, Jr himself.

“Don’t let the fear of striking out get in your way.”




Quick Shots: As I mentioned before, I finished Captivating a week or so ago and have moved on to How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.  I’ve also picked up Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldredge.  I read this month’s Imprimis essay last night.  I’ve selected the French Silk Pie recipe I will be making this weekend (finally), and the desk is coming along wonderfully.  I hope to post the full write-up on the woodwork tomorrow night since I want to get the finish work done on the desk.

I’ve still been able to get in a workout every day so far this year.  We identified another new species of bird the other day – the American Goldfinch.  And I’ve been pouring a lot of energy into work so far this year.   So I’d say I’m still on track.

Finally, one last quote to chew on, from another great man who shares today’s birthdate.



As always: This is simply my journal, nothing more, as I try to better myself.  I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself somehow.  Make 2013 YOUR year.
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Prep Yourself

Today marks day two of this journey. Compared to yesterday’s “fun”, it was extremely benign. In addition to working out – again, a goal I intend to do every day – I began my running with a half mile on the treadmill. Began it with an 8-minute mile pace, barefoot. Yes, you read that right: barefoot. Methinks I shall have shin splints tomorrow.

I also began prepping for another of the 12 “skills” I want to acquire: bird watching. I bought the Audubon Society Guide to North American Birds to complement the Backyard Birder’s Bible we received for Christmas. We have three small feeders off the back patio, and currently get visits from a half dozen different types of birds…I want to know what they are.


Finally, I’m nearly finished with the first of the 24 books I will read this year. I kicked off the year with a quick little fiction book from Glenn Beck entitled Agenda 21. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to read only right wing literature). An easy read, it appealed to me because I enjoy dystopic future and/or apocalyptic tales. If you can’t stand Beck’s politics, you probably won’t care at all about this one. If you don’t mind his politics, think of it as a cross between The Hunger Games and 1984. Easy to read like Hunger with a young female protagonist, oppressive all-seeing tyrannical state like 84, it’s clearly written as an introduction to what will be more stories in the series.


Next up on the book list is one from my non-fiction list: Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. The subtitle is “Unveiling the mystery of a Woman’s soul”. Apropos, considering I’m married to a woman and trying hard to raise two little ladies.

New Year’s Day, or How I Learned to Love the Water

Polar Plunge


I decided to start 2013 with an easily achievable goal. I likely would have done this regardless of whether or not I was doing the #betterin365 challenge. However, it was still on my list, and there was a point late in the countdown where I thought it would be easiest to just not jump. Yet jump I did, so I have started the year off on a successful note!

A polar plunge was one of the physical goals I had set for the year. These goals are tests of my physical stamina, strength, determination, fitness and guts…goals that exist to push me further than I have pushed myself before.

Yes, jumping into freezing water may not be the most physically demanding challenge, but it required a lot of mental determination and wasn’t easy on the body. I was shivering prior to the jump just thinking about what I was going to do. Stripping down to my swimming suit in 8 degree Fahrenheit temperatures was daunting. But once the crowd started cheering as the jumpers made their way into the water, adrenaline took over and I plummeted, feet first, off the side of the river bank into the awaiting icy bath.


Your goals for 2013 might not have started off so easy (5 minutes and I was done) or so challenging (not everyone jumps into ice cold water), but I hope you began the year off on the good foot, none-the-less.

Check in with the BetterIn365 Facebook page, or tweet along on Twitter with #betterin365. Together, you and I can make this our best year ever.