Monday, October 9, 2017

A New Life Has Begun

Day 9 of this journey and feeling strong. Benefits so far:

1. Feeling alive each morning
2. Less anxiety overall
3. More internal peace
4. Sense of accomplishment
5. Better, more consistent sleep
6. Clearer mental focus
7. I'm exercising more
8. Clearer skin
9. Hard to describe it, but there's a more visible light in my eyes
10. Deepened relationship with a friend
11. Ability to handle a crisis with another friend
12. Finding out that I can both have fun and be funny without the crutch

1. More headaches (should diminish as time goes on)
2. Feeling desperate at times and not able to find immediate relief. I find that if I can exercise, I feel much better eventually.

That's really it. I can't say there are more drawbacks.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 2017: Reflect, Reset, Recover

Every day is a chance to be better than you were before. It's an opportunity for a fresh start. Each of us can choose to accept this gift, or revert back to where we were.

I feel that I'm not challenging myself enough. I'm coasting through life right now on autopilot, but I know I could be more. I'm not content with a static life. I want to be constantly changing, continuously improving.

Not only is it a new day, but it is a new month. I have one main goal this month. This goal is something that I have been wanting to achieve for a while, but have not been able to do - yet. I believe that I am ready now to have a month without drinking. Sober October, if you will.

I have tried to abstain before, but only made it to 12 days. I succumbed to the false assurance that drinking would alleviate the stress of the day. It was an empty promise. Sure, I felt better for a couple of hours, but this was followed by many more of feeling worse. I had failed to keep my promise to myself. This failure contributed to a loss of trust that I could keep my commitments.

This time, it's different. I don't want to live this way anymore. I want to fully feel the good and the difficult. I want to experience life without the haze of alcohol. I want to be free.

It won't be easy. I've got a social cocktail hour to attend, a wedding, and a visit from my in-laws. All triggers for drinking. But I will find other ways to cope. I will be strong. And I don't have to do it alone - I know God will help me, if I will let Him. He's never failed me, and I know I can trust Him.

And so new life begins today...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017 Mid-Year Reflection

Ultimate purpose:
To love God with my heart, mind, and soul, and to share His love using the gifts and abilities He has given me.

3-5 Year Objectives:
1. Be healthy in mind, body, and soul
2. Share God's love with others
3. Contribute to the field of continuous improvement

Annual Goals and Activities:
1.1 Care for my mind:
      1.1.1 Attend >/= 12 counseling sessions. Status: △ - 5/12 sessions completed.
      1.1.2 Post weekly goals in A Running Tally. Status: X - 12/24 posts
      1.1.3 Post quarterly 2017 goal progress update in A Running Tally. Status: O - 2/4 posts.
      1.1.4 Keep a log of when I go outside my comfort zone and the results UPDATE 1/22: This has                    been going well, so adding a metric for Q1 of a total of 107 entries, then re-evaluate at Q1                    reflection. Status: X - 47 out of 107 entries. Action plan: Post a reminder with quotes

1.2 Care for my body:
      1.2.1 Personal goal #1. Result: X - 18 times. Yikes. Action plan:
               a. Increased counseling sessions in February to 2x month. Result: ~20% decline in incidents.
               b. Incorporate weekly detox days. Result: O - 50% decline in incidents!
               c. When traveling, plan a treat meal at the end. Result: Doing b. has enabled this.
               e. Listen to 2 podcasts per month related to topic. Result: Removing goal, not important.
      1.2.2 Personal goal #2. Result: X - Gave up this goal.
      1.2.3 Strength training and/or yoga 2x per week. Result: X - Removing this goal.
      1.2.4 Track my daily nutritional intake. Result: X - about 50%. Gave up this goal, but found a new one.
      1.2.5 Detox 1-2 days per week. Result: O.  Average 1 day per week, occasionally 2. This has been a huge benefit.

1.3 Care for my soul.
      1.3.1 Write verse and thoughts in journal each day. Result: X - about 50%.
      1.3.2 Attend church >/= 40 times. Result: △ - 7 times.
      1.3.3 Read the following 3 books:
               a. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Result: X - 1 chapter. Removing goal in lieu of weekly Bible study.
               b. Confessions by St. Augustine
               c. The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton Removed 1/22
      1.3.4 Attend 2 semesters of small group study - Result: △ have attended about 5 sessions. Enjoying getting to know folks.

2.1 Complete and publish book
      2.1.1 Publish book 100% on by June. Result: X - still only 10/30 chapters done.
      2.1.2 Improve book with feedback. Result: X - only 10 chapters done.
      2.1.3 Publish book on Amazon via CreateSpace by October. Result: TBD.

2.2 Become foster parents.  Sadly, for reasons we disagree with, we were not approved.
      2.2.1 Obtain foster parent certification. Remaining items:
               a. Fire inspection. Result: O - Done.
               b. Cats rabies shots. Result: O - Done.
               c. Physicals. Result: O - Done
               d. CPR / bloodborne pathogens training. Status: O - Done
      2.2.2 Provide respite care for children. Status: Did not work out. I'm at peace with this, though.

2.3 Love my family and friends
      2.3.1 Give a card and/or gift for the birthdays of 36 people. Status: O - 10/35 cards done and sent.
      2.3.2 Spend time with family >/= 25 times, possibly including: Status: △ - 4/25 visits. Action Plan: Initiate more visits instead of letting others do that.
               a. Trip to see my college with my sister. Status: O - Done - great time!
               b. Play in Feb with my dad and nephew. Status: O - done.
               c. CO vacation with Shane's family - Planned.
               d. CO vacation with my family - Planned.
               e. Oct wedding in Maine. - Planned
               f. Thanksgiving with my family
               g. Christmas with Shane's family
               h. 4th of July at my house - Status - planned.
               i. (new) 3 day vacation with Shane at the beach - planned.
      2.3.3 Continue to provide love and support to my younger sister
               a. College trip. Status: O - Done! Had a great time.
               b. Summer visit. Status: TBD
               c. Answer her calls whenever I can. Status: O - All calls (about 4-5) immediately answered or returned ASAP.
               d. Reach out to her daily. Status: X - About 50-60%. Action plan - post reminder in journal.
               e. Care packages / letters. Status: O - two letters and 2 care packages.

3.1 Develop knowledge of continuous improvement (CI)
      3.1.1 Listen to >/= 100 podcasts (i.e. Kainexus and Gemba Academy). Status: O - 29/100.
      3.1.2 Read >/= 7 books, including:
               a. Toyota Kata. Status -  Status: 30% done.
               b. Beyond Strategic Vision. Status: 50% done.
               c. Creating a Kaizen Culture. Status: Not ordered.
               d. Creating a Lean Culture. Status: 75% done.
               e. The Power of Habit. Status: Not ordered.
               f. Lean Six Sigma for Service. Status: Not ordered.
               g. The Four Hour Work Week. Status: Remove
               h.  (New) The Lean Guide to Leadership
               i.   (New) Gemba Walks
      3.1.3 Write 5 blog posts about CI (inc. reviews of the above books). Result:  △ - 2/5 done.
      3.1.5 Attend a lean/CI conference if I have the opportunity. Status: O - still on track to attend AME - Boston, October 2017.

3.2 Practice continuous improvement skills
      3.2.1 Execute >/= 4 DMAIC projects. Result: △ - 1 project done, next will be done by end of July
      3.2.2 Execute >/= 3 Kaizen events - Status: O - 2 events done (both 5S Kaizens)
      3.2.3 Have >/= 2 coaching sessions with each of my Green Belts. Status: O - 20/24 sessions done.

4.1 Other (nice to have, but not necessary)
     4.1.1 Paint my kitchen. Status: O - Done!
     4.1.2 Paint my dining room with my mom. Status: O - Done!
     4.1.3 Paint my front door. Status: O - Done!
     4.1.4 Develop my personal style Status: not important, removing goal.
     4.1.5 Paint office with my mom. Status: O - Done!

5.1 Look for additional opportunities for growth and service

Other reflections:
1. Got promotion at work
2. Working toward Master Black Belt role at work
3. Selected to work on executive-sponsored project at work
4. Mentored new black belts and created onboarding program for them
5. Less anxiety overall
6. Personal style has improved - feel more comfortable in more feminine clothes