This project aims tackle all aspects of my physical and mental well-being — bringing them up to the best levels that might reasonably be expected for a 63 year old of my history and circumstances, by October 2022. That’s a long sentence, because it encapsulates the goals of a comprehensive, long-term and pragmatic project.
Its effects are intended to last forever. So one critical objective is to embed habits which are easily sustainable, long after the project itself is completed. And that’s one of the reasons I’ve given myself 17 months to complete it.
Instead of wondering what I can do to ‘get fitter’ and ‘do more, better’ when I wake up on 1 October 2022 — I intend to wake up knowing exactly what I’m going to do, to keep things ‘ticking over nicely’.
It’ll take 17 months, because targets like 40 kilos of weight-loss, a 4-hour ‘office day’ and 300 kilometres of cycling a week, can’t be reached overnight. And, because simply reaching those targets is not the purpose of the project. The task is to sustain those levels of ‘performance’ idefinitely.
It’s comprehensive, because it has to be balanced. And it has to be balanced, because that’s a precondition for acheivability and sustainability. It would be far quicker and easier to lose weight while smoking, than while giving up. Just as it would be far easier to get fit, if I didn’t need to earn an income. But neither of those pseudo-choices is a practical option.
Partial success builds motivation and progress across the board. And while that’s partly, because a succession of ‘little wins’ in one field builds general confidence and ambition, it’s not merely a psychological process. The very act of acheiving such ‘wins’ almost always requires the acquisition and development of new skills and knowledge — both physical and intellectual. First, learning how to do a thing. Later, learning how to do it more effectively and more sustainably.