Success is improving my life. Achievements Big and Small. Positive Goals.

Good luck! I've tossed around in my head for years that I should take people's advice and try to get into this... I just don't know. Maybe I'll start a YouTube channel on which I do something that doesn't make any money for fun! ...maybe.

Do it! You can always jump off if it isn't working out for you and you never know where you'll end up.
Way before I signed I submitted myself for some gigs and landed a supporting part (15 seconds worth of air time) on "Wives with Knives" on Investigation Discovery. (episode 1 season 3 after the 38 minute mark) I also got a featured extra role in a short indie film. (I haven't seen how much of my scenes made the cutting room floor)

The agent will make you get professional head shots @$500 or so. But I got many gigs from good amateur photos taken by friends. So start with those.

I used to post all my victories, big and small, in the love thread, but I think this might be a better place to share.

Had a busy but productive "day off" today. Did a little work on my car ahead of a vacation in a few weeks: got it washed, put some air in the tires, cleaned the floor mats and vacuumed the carpets. I intended to do more, but it was hot today and I figured I can maybe do some more detailing work while I'm on vacation if I need a little time to myself (I'm driving down to Long Island to visit family). My other big deal was assembling a flat-packed end table all by myself:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/BFUKwd2.jpg)

Had to go to the hardware store and get a dedicated #2 Phillips screwdriver while I was out because of some weird "hidden connector" dealies that required wedging in the screwdriver at an angle, and my cheap Walmart toolkit screwdriver had a bit adapter that was too wide to give me clearance and/or torque (furniture fasteners are in a class by themselves). That and the stupid screw covers they included were cheap as hell, wouldn't stay on and looked like crap even if I could get them in, so I didn't even use them. It's a $20 table off Amazon, you get what you pay for, but I think it turned out very nicely. I checked it with a level, was pretty much dead-on flat on the top. A good start to tidying up some loose ends I've neglected. While I've probably done enough physical activity for one day, I'm due for my upper-body workout today as well, so I guess I better head downstairs and get that done, then I have the whole evening to myself.

I seem to be in a good place, all things considered. Been wondering if there's anything I can do to "challenge" myself. I'm still in the tail end of a major life transition, so just about everything is a little unnerving to consider, what else is new? Until the path ahead becomes clearer, I guess I'll continue to appreciate the little bit of comfortable balance I've managed to carve out for myself at the moment.

Dropped half a smoothie on the carpet but managed to completely clean it up without staining.

Started the day with a 5 mile walk to pick up some coffee (and hunt pokemon). Moved everything back into the wet bar cabinets that had been moved out during renovations. Installed 2 under cabinet lights in the wet bar. Swapped out the light in the guest bath. Changed out a toilet seat for a quiet/slow close one.

Nice change from my usual Saturday of sitting on my butt watching tv all day.

Days 7 and 8 down, but stumbled on day 9. Went out to a friend's going away party and stayed out until 12. I did wake up naturally just a bit past 6 on Sunday, but then I looked at the watch with both ears ringing, said, "f*ck this noise," and went back to bed until 9.

Woke up today at 6:30 with the alarm. I think I'm still okay. My body isn't adjusting to a later sleep schedule like it just loved to do. I would say day 10 down.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Dropped half a smoothie on the carpet but managed to completely clean it up without staining.

I need you to have a talk with my kids.

Bought a small watermelon that ended up being a gross mushy mess inside. But instead of tossing that $5 in the compost, found out you can just chop it up, blend it, and make watermelon juice. I bought some lemonade to mix it with, and now I have half a jug of awesome watermelon juice in the fridge. I've been feeling good about saving that watermelon all day.

Watermelon lemonade sounds yummy.

When life hands you mushy watemelon, make delicious watermelon lemonade. Love it!

I've had something similar and it is pretty amazIng!

Finished a presentation for teachers' first week to school. I'll be presenting the science curriculum to teachers of grades 1 and 2. I managed to squeeze in a Jurassic Park AND a Star Trek reference/gifs.

I feel VERY good about this!

Week two done. Far more challenging than week one, which is not what I expected.

Oooo, good thread! I find myself using Habitica (previously HabitRPG) to keep track of goals like this. Let me know if anyone wants to party up in there! Good luck all!

Great thread Baron!

This seems like the best place to ask this: does anyone have any suggestions for books or the like for learning how to plan and organize things better? Although I'm good at executing on a to-do list once it's set up, I'm pretty bad at establishing longer or even medium term goals and putting together plans to achieve them with all the smaller achievements along the way. Any pointers would be appreciated!

There is a book called Getting Things Done that is all about organizing goals. However, I am sure you can find the basic setup on the internet converted to whatever you want to use. I used it on gmail, blank paper cards, pc not cards, a ton of different phone apps and I'm currently using a bastardized version with One Note & Toodledo that is working for me.

Oh I love toodledo. It's been my primary task app for something like seven years or so. I doesn't teach you how to organize, but it gives you tons of options to do so.

Thirteenth wrote:

Yeah, great thread.

I've been struggling with sleep deprivation lately due to inefficient time management. I want to go to bed early and wake up early. My goal is to keep a stable 10pm to 6am sleep schedule on weekdays. Sadly, this does mean cutting into gaming time.

Read back through to find what you're working on. I'm going to need to do this, as well. According to my sleep app, to pull an 8 hour night, I'll need to get to bed at 9:10, waking at 5:30 am.

Let's see how tonight goes! Last night, I had pre-work jitters, so was up until 12:30 before finally passing out.

Kronen wrote:

Oooo, good thread! I find myself using Habitica (previously HabitRPG) to keep track of goals like this. Let me know if anyone wants to party up in there! Good luck all!

I keep hearing about this Habitica program and finally went there and signed up. I've only added three tasks to it since I don't want to overwhelm myself from the beginning, but I put "drink 8oz. of water" as a habit, and for dailies, I added "make bed" because it was easy and I do it every day anyway, and "15 mins. yard" because it's very difficult for me to get out there, and I want to give it priority and desperately need motivation.

So today I got out there and started working once again on "the jungle". (The heat and humidity have been so bad here that today is the first in a long time it's been less than 100 degrees heat index.) I have a really hard time being out in the sun, have a skin sensitivity to grass, as well as two other (hopefully temporary) physical issues that, working together, keep me from spending long periods of time doing outdoor physical work. It's so frustrating! I really envy people who can spend hours outside in the yard when I feel really dizzy, sometimes in some pain, and about to fall over after only a few minutes and everything still somehow needs to be done.

Nevertheless, I made it through the 15 minutes!

Woke up early and walked with my wife this morning!

We had been doing this prior to Summer (we had even just started jogging) and it was remarkable how just a bit of exercise helps me both mentally and physically. I'm also back on my maintenance diet which was very easy to slip back into as it had become a habit I guess.

Then the whole "back in the swing" groove continued at work where I spent the whole morning re-organizing my to do list, projects, etc.

Feeling good already.

Tom - great! Find those small things you can do together that make you feel good!

BEKKI, awesome! 15 minutes is better than 0!

Baron Of Hell wrote:

There is a book called Getting Things Done that is all about organizing goals.

Thanks, I always assumed that GTD was mainly a method to get through a to-do list, but I'll give it a look.

I'm writing SQL queries again!

Our only database developer left abruptly, and of course everyone new comes to me to generate reports that don't exist via the ui.

I'm a jack-of-all-trades at my job and have never had the opportunity to specialize in anything. I haven't used SQL in almost 15 years (and even then I was never an expert).

Considering that I hate my current job and am looking for new ones, it's been a nice little confidence booster to me that I actually have some useful (and perhaps marketable) skills.

PaladinTom wrote:

I'm writing SQL queries again!

Sweet! I actually enjoyed the bit of MySQL I learned during my LA postdoc, felt like it would be useful in that same way.

I'm sort of in the same boat with Perl at my new job. I think the resident Perl expert(s) on the team left, and we have a lot of Perl scripts as glue, especially on the OpenVMS side of things. So the title of "Perl expert" falls to me, with one two-credit college course from 2008 as my credentials. Fun to flex those muscles which I never got to make much use of, but scary because I'm the "expert" and my Perl may be absolute garbage. Still, I know other teams here use Perl, and while I don't want to leave this team any time soon, it's nice to have options and to have skill sets that will fit in elsewhere.

Perl Best Practices and Modern Perl will have you feeling a lot more confident about your perl. The former especially helped me a lot when I was actively using the language.

Through most of July and August I've been dealing with digestion issues, which often resulted in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, etc. This was happening with increasing frequency to the point where I stopped eating for a few days a couple of weeks ago because I knew if I put anything more in there it would just come back out.

Went to the doctor and was given a restricted diet list as well as a lab requisition... Which I was finally able to fulfil after two long weeks!

I was told no meats, no dairy, and no complex carbs. Primarily rice, broth, bananas, plain black tea, and very small amounts of probiotic yogurt or the occasional piece of dark chocolate. For ease of digestion, I've essentially gone on a vegan diet that is also often gluten free due to its increasing availability because I really wanted to mix up my food choices a bit.

Due to the low-key constant nausea which resulted in a lack of appetite, I wasn't eating enough to produce... samples. Out of desperation I went to a medical cannabis place to get a little disposable vape pen to see if it would quell the issues and get me eating enough, and it worked pretty well! Mission accomplished. Labs submitted. Now just to wait out the processing time of the labs and hope they find something.

TL, DR Accomplishments:
-cut coffee completely from my diet
-oops I'm vegan now (hamburger I miss you so much)
-haven't barfed in nearly two weeks!
-yay I pooped
-got to do a little weed, for science
-labs finally complete
-even the blandest foods taste like delicious ambrosia, gained appreciation for simpler foods
-I don't fart nearly as much anymore

All around good progress made. Goal is to figure this out this stomach thing as well as work on a more healthful diet overall.

I couldn't stand up due to problems with my medication, so I made a Jigglypuff.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/hkiDkvv.jpg)

I'm finding doing craft things more soothing than playing games these days. Plus I have something to put up on the playroom wall when I'm done.

Got carried away with cleaning and accidentally sprayed bleach on my black curtains. This caused a bunch of brown spots to show up. Lucky for me I remembered there was a thing called fabric paint. I bought some in pen form and went over the spots. Now I can't see the brown spots and black fabric pain't perfectly matched the curtains.

This has also given me the idea of painting half of a red tie black for my harley quinn costume.

This Habitica program really seems to be working for me! I haven't loaded it down with tasks, but I have been slowly adding more dailies as I continue to get used to the dailies I already added. So far, I haven't missed a single daily that's been added, included doing 15 minutes of yard work every day...which is one of my enemies! I most recently added "clean toilets" for every Tuesday (meaning deep cleaning...I added swooshing them to the dailies) and I just finished doing it now!

I really just wish I could get more energized in general. I've always had a low energy problem but this year has been the worst for long-term. I have all these things in my head that I want to do and find myself too tired to do them. I want to be one of those people who literally bound out of bed every morning ready to face the day. I have a doctor check up later this month and will ask her if the blood test checks for low iron or magnesium to make sure it isn't some deficiency. In the past, I went through a period of a few weeks where I thought I was in serious depression and couldn't focus on anything or get through the day without crying because I couldn't function, and it turned out I was low on Vitamin D. I've been taking Vitamin D supplements since then, so this energy issue is something else, and also doesn't feel quite the same. I'm also suspecting it might even be hormones since I think I may have started peri-menopause. (Finally!)

So at least the Habitica keeps me motivated, even if it sometimes feels I am just forcing myself to do the stuff. At least it's getting done and I do feel less stressed about things in general at least, so that's improvement! Going to add clean the bathtubs for Wednesdays so I can start on that tomorrow!

The only thing I am finding lacking with Habitica is being able to set up biweekly and monthly tasks. Having bi-annual and yearly would be great too. I'm hoping they'll add it in a future update. In any case, just poking along, my Habitica character has reached level 6!

Glad to hear you've found something that keeps you motivated! I've been struggling with the same thing although perhaps not to as high a degree. Sorry to hear it's been a rough time for you lately, though. Always feel free to join us in the Slack, if only to have someone to vent to.

DiscoDriveby wrote:

Glad to hear you've found something that keeps you motivated! I've been struggling with the same thing although perhaps not to as high a degree. Sorry to hear it's been a rough time for you lately, though. Always feel free to join us in the Slack, if only to have someone to vent to.

Yes, I've been pretty slack about Slack.

Just wanted to mention that another tool that has been extremely helpful in keeping up with some things I've been doing is a digital timer. Using the yard work as an example, I'll set the timer for 15 minutes when I'm stepping out the door and then when the timer beeps, I stop. It doesn't matter if something is not completely done. I'll still stop. I can then take care of more of it the next day. I think it's about my limit anyway without getting dangerously dizzy from all the heat and sun.

So when I say I'll spend 15 minutes doing something, it's *exactly* 15 minutes.

I'm usually not very squeamish about gross stuff, but I've discovered over the past couple of years that I hate mice. They're fine behind glass at Petsmart or whatever, but hearing them skittering around in the drop ceiling of my basement (or creepily peeking out of a hole in said ceiling) makes my skin crawl. So I'm more than happy to set traps to catch the f*ckers.

Here's the rub though, for as much as I hate live mice, I get freaked out by smushed dead ones. I always make my husband take care of trap disposal.

You guys, last night I found and threw away not one, but two dead mice. All by myself. I had a glass of wine afterwards to calm my nerves