#NoinNovember Challenge Year One Recap.

Last year I was inspired by Joe Rogan’s #SoberinOctober challenge with his friends. I felt inspired to create my own for November, last year this was my first 30 day challenge to myself.

November is almost upon us again. I haven’t planned what I’m going to do yet, but I would like to review what changes, good habits and behaviours are still in affect from last year’s self imposed challenge. These 30 items, some were just a little bit of fun, some created limits and acts of mindfulness. Importantly, they were meant to remove distractions and allow me to focus on what was important to me. How did I score?

Last year’s November challenge list (shorted, but full list here - ):

No...

  • coffee - TODAY - Only 1-2 a month. WIN

  • to eating carbs - TODAY - I have cut down and I deliberately buy small ice-cream portions instead of convincing myself a larger tub at a better price is better ‘value’. What is the value really? WIN

  • to sleeping after 10pm - TODAY - I’m even aiming for 9:30 where work allows me. HALF

  • to eating sugar - TODAY - I barely eat even dark chocolate, i’ve switched to Cacao! WIN

  • to shaving - TODAY - I’ll do November again. WIN

  • to gaming unless on the MTR - TODAY - I have a kindle and actually read more than I did last year. I have discovered BOOM Beach though.

  • to missing the gym (12 sessions in the month) - I need to get my ass back in the gym. - TODAY - I actually quit the gym (due to expense, rather than laziness) and it’s even harder to be self motivated doing stuff at home. FAIL

  • to not creating a schedule - a proper schedule will allow me to fit my life changes in*. - TODAY - I never created a schedule that worked. FAIL

  • to spending any money unless it is transport or food related - TODAY - I’ve increased my saving by 100 US Dollars a month. Up to 900 now. I have wasted other money though. Saved $4000USD, a huge WIN.

  • to saving articles instead of reading them. - TODAY - I am saving less, but not saving enough. HALF

  • to porn - TODAY - Of course FAIL.

  • to masturbation, only sex - TODAY - Of course FAIL.

  • to saying no to things (especially to Rea) - TODAY - This double negative is hard to shake, but important I keep it for next year. I say no to Rea a lot, I'm making an attempt at making up for it. This one is for you again Rea x. FAIL

  • to Facebook for the whole month - TODAY - Bitch, I DELETED FACEBOOK! WIN

  • to Twitter for no longer than 30 minutes on desktop. - TODAY - Couldn’t delete the app because I needed the login details for another App (Periscope). HALF

  • to WhatsApp on my phone - TODAY - Deleted WhatsApp for personal use! WIN

  • to Reddit for no longer than 30 minutes on desktop - TODAY - I did delete the app, but then I brought it back and in the last month, I’m forever using it, but I did unsubscribe from half the reddit groups I was in. Let’s remember to be mindful again. HALF

  • to Facebook messenger - TODAY - Deleted! WIN

  • to Dating apps - TODAY - Deleted! WIN

  • to swearing - TODAY - I still swear. FAIL

  • to eating out unless Saturday (because of schedule) - TODAY - I have cut back a lot. HALF

  • to less than 4 swim sessions in the month - TODAY - FAIL

  • to using the phone when walking - TODAY - I barely do this anymore and get annoyed at others for doing it. WIN

  • to buying of plastic bottles - TODAY - I don’t buy plastic bottles. WIN

  • less than 5 mins of meditation for five mins a day - TODAY - FAIL

  • less than 5 mins of stretching every day - TODAY - FAIL

  • going without a day telling Rea I love her - TODAY - I do say it more often just on principle. WIN

  • less than 4 Mandarin classes in November - TODAY - I am learning Mandarin, it took me a while to get back on track however. HALF

  • effort spared in trying to write down my dreams - TODAY - I didn’t write down a single one. FAIL

  • electrical products after 9pm - TODAY - Life has a way of saying no and you keep checking things or watching one more video. FAIL.


WINS = 12 FAILS = 11 HALVES = 6

In this quick summary there were some big wins to be had, I removed a lot of time wasting distractions from my phone, and made huge savings when it came to holding on to my money for those rainy days. I definitely made plenty of refinements, not so much huge changes. I do feel my time wasn’t entirely co-ordinated as well as could be. Twelve ‘wins’ isn’t good, it’s a decent start. I think this time I should get 2/3rds of what I set myself as a ‘win’.

I didn’t ask anybody to join in with me last year, some viewers from Periscope were inspired and did set themselves little challenges, I hope to get more people to join in this year and will be telling viewers on Periscope.

I’ll be creating a new list for next month soon and posting it here.

Sight and Sound - I

Articles

Warren Buffet's Best Kept Secret to Success: The Art of Reading, Remembering, and Retaining More Books. - Discusses how fast people read, types of reading, tips for improving the speed of reading and reading retention. Also - Staples - What speed do you read?

How to Develop the Coaching Eye - Bob Takano

On screenshots and taking pictures of words - Austin Kleon. This short article provoked me to download two apps, both on the iTunes, they are Cite and OneShot. Both are very easy to use and help give your twitter followers more context when tweeting.

The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence. - Tim Urban. Long insightful article about 

How Sleep Deprivation Decays the Mind and Body (The Atlantic) - Seth Maxon. Maxon takes us on a personal account on the lack of sleep while mixing in some insight from professionals trying to figure out why we need sleep.

We Should Have a Better Condom by Now. Here's Why We Don't. (Slate) - L.V. Anderson. A very long and in-depth article about creating a better condom. Starting with the personal motivation of a designer trying to improve on the sensation of condoms while asking the question as to why isn't there anything better than latex and why haven't condoms improved since the 1940s (answer: meeting FDA regulations).

*UPDATE - 26/01/18 - An in-depth guide to everything you could possibly want to know about condoms, it's 7000 words! Enjoy.

Videos

Louis C.K. "If God Came Back"

HARDGAINERS: How to Build Muscle (The Skinny Guy Lie)

STFU and Listen interviews Trent Oster - Basically an interview with the Creative Director of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. It's an interesting nostalgic youtube video, but I wish these guys did a podcast version. Still a good listen.

Everything Wrong With the Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Cinema Sins) - Often I watch these CinemaSins without having watched the parent video. With this however, I watched the Tolkien Edit version and thank fuck I did. I'm glad this Sins video is out there to Shame Peter Jackson and his team. I'm also glad the fan edited film is out there also which is available from all good rental stores, no wait I mean subscription services, I mean torrent sites sorry.

A Podcast

A recent one I've started listening to is Dan Carlin's Hardcore History (selling old episodes here), the episodes come out every few months and they need to. Episodes typically run over the three hour mark. I'm listening to a series focusing on WW1, there are five parts at the moment and the level of detail and context provided is astounding. The podcast is definitely worthy of its name.

I'm planning an episode of JPG with Charmaine soon and I'll go into greater detail about this. For now though, if you want to get lost in a retelling of various events across human history then this is the stuff. I binge listened to the 'Blueprint for Armageddon' series almost all in three days, that was over 18 hours. Hooked barely describes what's happening here with me (helps to listen on 1.5x speed).

All the more amazing is that Dan Carlin as the host is speaking on his own, this isn't a discussion podcast.

I found it via Joe Rogan's podcast, he was talking so passionately about it with his guest when they went into the reasons as to how the last 100 years of human history have changed simply because of a chance meeting outside a sandwich shop in Sarajevo.

Subscribe on iTunes here