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Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
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el mavericko Offline
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Post: #1
Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
So far in life, my work has entailed sporadic bursts of long, high-stress hours straight through followed by long periods of completely unstructured free time. This arrangement, combined with my undeveloped self-discipline, has pushed me into a stagnant lifestyle where I can't get shit done unless I have "a gun to my back."

For years now, my free time has been spent as follows:

60% mindless reading - from politics to lifestyle to psychology to philosophy to whatever random topic I happen to be interested in at the time. There's nothing wrong with doing a lot of reading of course but in my case it's just procrastination and avoidance of taking action.

10% fitness

30% alcohol/drug abuse, girls, gambling, and general debauchery/degeneracy - things have been escalating from occasional hedonism to full on addiction for years. The amount of "did I seriously just fucking do that?" moments I've experienced is staggering both in quantity and in degree.

Moving on, an investment I made in the past has recently presented an extremely promising opportunity beginning in late Feb / early March. Taking advantage will require a complete lifestyle overhaul as it will entail long, consistent medium to high stress hours, 7 days a week for at least 2-3 years. Likely 4. This development, combined with The Trumpening, has me pumped and highly motivated to take massive action.

Now, for the reason I'm bothering the men of this great forum - how can I get the absolute most out of the next three months? The goals being complete sobriety, acclimating myself to rigid routine and a consistent schedule, taking fitness to the next level, and developing my self-discipline. I have serious work to do starting in March and failure is not an option. I'm open to almost anything and in any location, anywhere is fine if it's a work environment but in a training/learning environment I would be limited to somewhere I can get by with a very limited budget. I'm willing to give up almost any comfort but I will need an internet connection for work.

I'm drawing a complete blank right now so I'd really appreciate bouncing some ideas around with you guys, I'm ready to hop on a plane and start my transformation as early as tomorrow.
(This post was last modified: 11-22-2016 03:49 AM by el mavericko.)
11-22-2016 03:37 AM
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Phoenix Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
That's going to need some social driver of some sort. Keep in mind most people are like this -- they're kept in line by a chain of bosses that ultimately ends in someone with money on line.

So I'd say get bosses of some sort, given that you don't really have enough time to cultivate self-discipline. For the fitness it could be as simple as hiring a PT for 3 sessions a week. You could also get some buddies to hold you accountable. At the very least you could post a diary here and we'll all yell at you whenever you've been a lazy piece of shit Smile
11-22-2016 04:22 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
If you have an internet connection then you are vulnerable to all the habits you say you wish to kick, wherever you are in the world.

The key to discipline is remarkably simple - you just get on with it. There are no neat life hacks, no easy cures. I say this as someone who has always struggled enormously with discipline, and diligence. I have a very strong tendency to idleness, bordering on the pathological, so I sympathise.

I have managed to get a grip now, but it still isn't easy - I could very happily spend 5 hours in a day staring out of the window.

Here is what I would recommend, having conquered the worst of this in myself:

1. Regularise your sleep. Be disciplined with it, it makes all of life easier. Go to bed early and get up early, same times every day including weekends.

2. Get out of bed *as soon as your alarm goes off* - force yourself, to much time is lost to laziness by lying around in the morning 'thinking'. It's amazing how easily the day gets going once you're on your feet. Something about lying alone in the dark causes you to think in ways that are unproductive/half-formed.

3. Consume healthy and nutritious food on a regular schedule - if you're eating things that make you lethargic then you won't perform optimally.

4. Ease into your day. It is not realistic, or desirable necessarily, to be overcome with a crushing need to 'make progress' - a nebulous idea at the best of times - or to feel you must do everything at 100 miles an hour. Shower, shave, make a good breakfast - read something you enjoy reading for half an hour with a cup of coffee. If you're up early, there is time for all this. Those early hours of daylight are peaceful, and often your most personal hours of the day.

5. Be clear about what you need to do with your time and what you would simply like to do with your time. It helps to write out the things that must be done the night before. Prioritise the shitty ones first. It's ok to wind down a bit later in the day. If your time is entirely yours, then you will want to set a time at which you commence whatever you regard as work for the day. For me personally, I try not to do anything work related before 9:30 am unless it is pressing. Usually I'll need to send an email or two dealing with something that has come in over night, which I'll do first thing before eating and relaxing with my cup of tea.

6. Buying yourself sufficient leisure time is important in being able to apply yourself to the more monotonous work of a career or study.

7. Try to apply yourself for 45 minutes out of every hour for the next 8-9 hours of the day after your leisure time is over. Take one or two short breaks each hour to make a drink and move around/stretch.

8. Once you've done that, say by 6pm or so, stop. Do something completely different - at least a couple of days/week do some weight lifting for an hour or so. Have a little ritual if you like that marks the end of a constructive day. Personally I like to pour a small whiskey and eat some olives before I make a light supper. Let your mind wander, read forums, read the book you've been wanting to get back to all day, put on a film, see friends, whatever you like. Then be in bed at a decent time.

I don't think you should expect to find it especially satisfying at the end of the day. Just recognise that a day spent actually working is ultimately no more or less tedious than a day spent trawling the web looking for something, anything to engage your mind. Some of us can go to extraordinary lengths to avoid working, but ultimately we simply swap one form of tedium (hitting f5 on the forum hoping for something new or interesting to come up, for example) for another. Much of life is like this, and it's as well to accept it. The satisfaction in the work done comes over time, in the way that real knowledge starts to open up more of the world to you or gain you a reputation for being bright, or that your business success starts to bring rewards and accolades.

However remarkable an individual you may be, however highly regarded you may be, much of life is remarkably humdrum. Over time, and with consistent effort, the highs - fleeting as they are - become increasingly sweeter, and the lows are more rarely so overwhelming.

Accepting much of life will be quite repetitive and mundane is, in my view, key to accepting discipline and simply resolving to do the work.
11-22-2016 04:40 AM
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DaKi Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
(11-22-2016 03:37 AM)el mavericko Wrote:  So far in life, my work has entailed sporadic bursts of long, high-stress hours straight through followed by long periods of completely unstructured free time. This arrangement, combined with my undeveloped self-discipline, has pushed me into a stagnant lifestyle where I can't get shit done unless I have "a gun to my back."

For years now, my free time has been spent as follows:

60% mindless reading - from politics to lifestyle to psychology to philosophy to whatever random topic I happen to be interested in at the time. There's nothing wrong with doing a lot of reading of course but in my case it's just procrastination and avoidance of taking action.

10% fitness

30% alcohol/drug abuse, girls, gambling, and general debauchery/degeneracy - things have been escalating from occasional hedonism to full on addiction for years. The amount of "did I seriously just fucking do that?" moments I've experienced is staggering both in quantity and in degree.

Moving on, an investment I made in the past has recently presented an extremely promising opportunity beginning in late Feb / early March. Taking advantage will require a complete lifestyle overhaul as it will entail long, consistent medium to high stress hours, 7 days a week for at least 2-3 years. Likely 4. This development, combined with The Trumpening, has me pumped and highly motivated to take massive action.

Now, for the reason I'm bothering the men of this great forum - how can I get the absolute most out of the next three months? The goals being complete sobriety, acclimating myself to rigid routine and a consistent schedule, taking fitness to the next level, and developing my self-discipline. I have serious work to do starting in March and failure is not an option. I'm open to almost anything and in any location, anywhere is fine if it's a work environment but in a training/learning environment I would be limited to somewhere I can get by with a very limited budget. I'm willing to give up almost any comfort but I will need an internet connection for work.

I'm drawing a complete blank right now so I'd really appreciate bouncing some ideas around with you guys, I'm ready to hop on a plane and start my transformation as early as tomorrow.

If financially possible--and it sounds like it is--I would urge you to hire a good personal trainer, preferably one who can also give you dietary advice.

If you post or message me your location (or where you would like to be) I will be happy to try to find some people or facilities I can suggest.
11-22-2016 04:45 AM
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el mavericko Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
Where else in the world can you ask for advice from a bunch of strangers and get that sort of response? And within an hour too. Thank you guys.

Pheonix, I was thinking something similar. Having an outside force to keep me accountable will help get the ball rolling in the beginning which is exactly what I need right now. Only question is where to find one.

H1N1, thanks for such a thoughtful and well-written reply. Actionable advice that can be used for a lifetime. I'm already covered as far as the exercise, lifting, and nutrition goes and am in pretty good shape, it's only the booze and inconsistent sleep that's keeping me from getting to a more advanced level. Everything you've said deeply resonates with anyone that has things they need to get done on a day to day basis but there is literally nothing required of me on most days. I could go three weeks with zero responsibility of any kind and then get a call where I put in a marathon 40 hour session. Then it's back to nothing. I guess what I'm really looking for is something completely immersive and rewarding to replace the times of nothing for the next three months. I don't think a better place to ask for ideas exists.

DaKi, appreciate it man but I'm good to go as far as fitness goes - I wasn't clear in my OP and my bad title make it seem like getting in physical shape was the top priority. I'm already mostly there.
11-22-2016 10:32 AM
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Nascimento Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
Tremendous post H1N1. Thanks.
11-22-2016 03:38 PM
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superschalk Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
Hey EL Maveriko,

I found a place where you get almost everything you are looking for. I am here since 6 weeks and will be here for another 4 weeks. I got into the best shape of my life, did not touch any alcohol since and since I am here and was not out partying at all. And the environment is so awesome that I don't miss the things mentioned above at all.

My circumstances I came here are different than yours because I only came here to get into the best shape I have ever been, but I think it would be the right option for you.

PM me for more info. Cheers!
11-23-2016 03:52 AM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
Great thread. I have almost the same exact problems as the OP here - so don't mind me, I'll just sit back and read.

EDIT: Feel the need to share that I know all about "idle reading". Wasn't able to sleep last night - decided to go on Wikipedia, open up the article "United States Elections, 1944" and proceeded to look at all of the Senate/House totals and how they changed for every single year leading up until 2016.

Seemed like a good idea at the time like it always does (looking at the patterns of presidential wins, massive congressional takebacks like 1994 and 2010 and why they happened, yadda yadda) but as soon as I woke up this morning I'd forgotten at least 75% of what I'd read.
(This post was last modified: 11-23-2016 04:17 AM by stugatz.)
11-23-2016 04:07 AM
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smithblack Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
For me, I had to get myself mentally fit before I got physically fit. I got myself mentally fit by meditating for 1-5 minutes whenever I did something, or was about to do something that went against my goals. I find that within a month, I can rewire my brain to form positive habits for myself.
11-23-2016 11:29 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
What has worked for me is eliminating distractions.

Don't let yourself get wrapped up in women, don't spend so much free time socializing and going out with friends, and get off the internet.

If you don't have needless hedonistic shit to occupy your time and stimulate your mind then going to the gym and focusing on personal improvements is really the only option.

Moving to a place that is unfamiliar helps. When I first moved across the country I had no friends and didn't know anyone or where to go. To fill the social and mental void I started going to the gym, working on projects, and other personally beneficial activities.
11-23-2016 02:13 PM
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el mavericko Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
(11-23-2016 03:52 AM)superschalk Wrote:  Hey EL Maveriko,

I found a place where you get almost everything you are looking for. I am here since 6 weeks and will be here for another 4 weeks. I got into the best shape of my life, did not touch any alcohol since and since I am here and was not out partying at all. And the environment is so awesome that I don't miss the things mentioned above at all.

My circumstances I came here are different than yours because I only came here to get into the best shape I have ever been, but I think it would be the right option for you.

PM me for more info. Cheers!

Sounds really good man definitely gonna shoot you a PM

(11-23-2016 02:13 PM)General Stalin Wrote:  What has worked for me is eliminating distractions.

Don't let yourself get wrapped up in women, don't spend so much free time socializing and going out with friends, and get off the internet.

If you don't have needless hedonistic shit to occupy your time and stimulate your mind then going to the gym and focusing on personal improvements is really the only option.

Moving to a place that is unfamiliar helps. When I first moved across the country I had no friends and didn't know anyone or where to go. To fill the social and mental void I started going to the gym, working on projects, and other personally beneficial activities.

Guess I gotta start stepping up my self-improvement game. Interesting that you say you're less likely to go out drinking when arriving to a new city, so far it's been the complete opposite for me. It's exceptionally effective at filling those voids you mentioned.
11-25-2016 01:50 PM
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Jackreacher Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Ways to kick my ass into shape - both physically and mentally
It all goes back to a very primal aspect. What moves you? What do you actually want to do? Do that. The more precise you are in this the less you'll have to worry about "self" discipline. You'll look like a fucking samurai to other people if you're doing exactly what you want to do because you're whole self is absorbed in the activity. And then you're free. Free to do what you please. No need to escape into addictions when you're doing "You".
(This post was last modified: 11-25-2016 02:02 PM by Jackreacher.)
11-25-2016 02:01 PM
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