Well, it’s been a month, and the results are in. For the past month, I’ve been trying to realize some pretty ambitious goals, and let me tell you, it has not been easy.
The first, and perhaps most important goal was to “avoid single-passenger car usage at all costs.” For the most part, this goal has been a success. To achieve this goal, I have had to change my behavior and paradigms pretty radically. For my daily commute, I changed from a 25 minute car ride to a 45 minute bike and train ride. For groceries, I had to carry a massive backpack full of food, and for everything else, I have been riding my bike all around town. The one time I failed at this goal was when my car broke (somebody else was driving it), and it had to get to a mechanic. For that, I apologize, but what can you do?
The second goal was to jump a rope 500 times daily. I have failed at this goal for a couple of reasons. The first is travel. I did a fair amount of travel during the past month, and it’s a tiring thing to do. I don’t like jumping rope after traveling. That’s a fact. The second reason is that I was doing a lot of other exercise during the past month. I biked about 120 miles during my commute, I played soccer and basketball, and I hiked about 30 miles. Am I really supposed to jump rope after all that?
The next goal was flossing. I flossed pretty much every day during the period, but I did forget to bring it during one of the vacations mentioned above, so I didn’t floss during those nights. I was lucky enough to have a dentist (dis)appointment during the month, wherein I learned that I have three fresh, new cavities in my mouth, so that helped to make the flossing goal a success (sort of).
No hydrogenated oil. This was a pretty easy one all in all. I failed once, when in a meeting it just was kind of unavoidable because of social circumstances. I made up for it though by persuading a friend not to eat hydrogenated oil at a later date, so my karma is good there. This stuff is all over the place in food. It’s pretty surprising where it turns up when you start looking for it.
For the reading a half hour goal, it was a piece of cake since I was riding public transportation anyway. I did neglect it on the weekends, but I think the balance came out OK.
That was a lot of detail, I know. More than you probably wanted, but I wanted to get it on paper (so to speak). The real outcomes of this are not those of the 30 days, but rather the outcomes of long-term change in my habits. I can say that this was a rather challenging process, and I didn’t really enjoy it the entire time. It made me a lot more tired each day, and the commuting made me have to get up earlier, so that was tough. Figuring out how to do things by bike has a learning curve as well, which was also stressful at times.
When it is all said and done though, I can say that this has been a positive experience. I am planning on continuing most of the goals (floss, oil, car and reading), but I think the jump rope can leave my life at this point.
There are two answers to the question of whether the mission was a success. I did not achieve any of the goals without some kind of qualifier, so in that regard, no the mission has failed. However, on the other hand, it has created lasting change in me, so in that regard, the mission is a great success.
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