Habit Guide

Bulletin board filled with goal tracking sheets and calendars
The backside of a small whiteboard Courtney Jaeger gave me while we were dating and she was moving things out of her apartment on Military Hill in Pullman, WA. I’ve surprisingly held on to it for years now and have recently begun pinning important documents to the backside with the location marker needle pins Connor bought for me along with a US map for my last birthday (27th Birthday).

I just now attempted to place my black, plastic digital wristwatch in such a position on my desk that would allow me to know the time at-a-glance as I look up towards my computer’s monitor. I realized after several seconds that my wrist would be a rather optimal location to read the time from my wrist watch at my choosing and convenience.

Some notes I took down from the Habit Guide eBook by Leo Babauta (creator and author at zenhabits.com)

Developing habits is akin to developing creative output for my projects: each require deliberate and persistent effort over time before any significant substance in perceivable.

Process for forming new habits

  1. Choose habit
  2. Connect to a trigger
  3. Setup a reminder post-trigger
  4. Complete habit immediately after trigger, every day
  5. Positive feedback for doing, negative feedback for skipping
  6. 4-6 weeks of repetition

Form habits that move toward goals.

Focus on formation at the habit for one month, at least

  • Able to create 10-12 new habits a year, if done this way

More sustainable to create habits one-at-a-time rather than juggling them all at once.

Habit experimentation = Learn what works and how environmental factors impact attendance to habit.

By learning how to stick to small changes, I learn to trust myself and believe that I can actually accomplish the change I seek to instill.

The real reason we struggle with habits is because we let the stores o ideals in our heads cause resistance for us, and then we procrastinate.

Overcoming resistance

  • Don’t rely on “feeling like it”
  • Don’t miss two days in a row
  • Getting through the Dip
  • Journaling and reflecting
  • Restoring and re-motivating
  • Changing your identity
  • One habit at a time
  • Small steps
  • Deeper Motivation
  • Fully commit
  • Accountability
  • Facing resistance with mindfulness
  • Just getting started
  • Being completely present

Yoga Dick

Three column bookshelf stocked with premium supplements and nutritional products
Caleb Laberge’s ever evolving shelves of nutritional supplements: oils, pills, powders, beans and god knows what else. All supplies are stored on this bookshelf which rests in our kitchen and is just shallow enough to allow the dishwasher’s door to open fully. I thought it might be interesting to ask Caleb how much he would value this shelf and everything on it should it ever be lost in a house fire and some sort of insurance claim needed to be made.

I just arrived back home after an appointment with the optometrist at the Des Moines Vision Center, here in Des Moines, WA. I’m about 95% sure that the optician is a member of the Des Moines & Normandy Park Rotary club because his voice is uniquely familiar and, even though he’s probably in his 60s, I believe I recognize his face as well. I thought that he told me his name was Dave, but on his card the first name is listed as Richard. Connor could best address this concern of significantly little significance. Might as well pop in his room and ask him right now as I’m not able to come up with any more interesting bit of content for this entry. Oh! Both of my eyes bumped up in prescription slightly! I don’t know why I would choose to use exclamations in that notice, because that means my vision has gotten worse at far distances. However, it’s entirely possible that my previous optometrists have not correctly identified the prescription parameters that would provide me with the clearest vision.

Well, I removed my headphones and approached Connor’s room only to be met by his closed door with light spilling out from the floor gap and the sound of his voice as he spoke with John Schuster on the phone regarding a client’s website that has seen a recent plunge in traffic from Search Engine sources. So, I may not ever know if the optometrist I saw today was in fact the local co-rotarian of Connor’s I had previously encountered. I specifically remember this man from the new chapter president’s inauguration at Carri and David Litowitz’s home where Blake Messer was roasted in the form of a 20 min+ skit.

Connor just confirmed that I was right about my connection and that the doctor’s preferred name is Dick (which makes much more sense now that I think on it). He must have told me that his name was Dick when I wasn’t giving my full attention to listening and repeating his name as he offered it to me.

Time to hit up my first yoga plus class (vinyasa with weights, I guess) at Be Yoga Burien. I’ll likely come back to contribute more later on.

I’m back now. Yoga Plus is no joke. There are some badass fitgirls who obviously have been rocking the class and using the 3lb weights with some degree of consistency. There were plenty of fine looking women in this class and I was about the only one of the younger crowd who took some breaks in the midst of sets, particularly the squat repetitions and holds, dude. Literally, my thighs became like a solid sensation of burning paralysis when held in the low sumo squat position after moving reps with two of those 3lb dumbbells. 3 pound dumbbells were more than enough for my first Yoga Plus experience. I’ll try to stay at that weight for a few more sessions until I see some progression.

I believe I will certainly come back to another round of the yoga plus class, particularly if Nina Granatir is leading us. Nina is the owner of the yoga studio and you can just sense that she’s a true warrior in spirit. What’s even better is that she engages her students with a gentle directive that promotes a kind of synchronized practice. It did feel like she knew precisely which kinds of thoughts and observations are going on in the minds of less experienced yogis. I’ll be sure to try and lean toward classes led by her. After checking the most recent schedule, it appears that Nina literally only teaches the two classes a week, the other one being a 1hr Bikram on Saturdays at 9:30am. Guess I’m gonna have to keep rising earlier throughout the weekend if I want a full dose of Nina each week.

Cater Pro/Con

Rand fishkin poses next to an eager fan for a photo at a seattle event
Connor gets his photo taken by yours truly of him and SEO celebrity Rand Fishkin of Moz SEO software. We both attended an SEO panel discussion titled “Beware the Backlinks: A panel on modern SEO strategies” presented as part of Techstars Startup Week Seattle. Our friend and President of the Seattle Search Network non-pofit, David Lindahl, spoke alongside Rand on the panel of experts today. Connor took photos for Dave and I just came mostly to take this photo you see here (ok, there is a better one without Connor looking away).

Today I received my paystub from D-Squared Company for my hours logged in labor from September 16th-30th in service of their Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering company division. I had conservatively

Just received a new staffing opportunity for a catering crew gig at the Seattle Yacht Club as one of three total crew members and jumped all over that shit since it offers 6 hours of work at a venue I might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit!

While I’m on the topic of my catering job, allow me to expand even more on this burgeoning career of mine throughout the remainder of today’s entry:

Shit can happen if I choose this path

What are the worst outcomes that may potentially spawn as a result of my pursuit of a career in catering/service? Here are some ideas:

  • My advancement to higher levels of compensation and leadership may be sluggish in acquisition. I might not get where I want to be as quickly as I assumed or when I would prefer to to arrive there.
  • It may be much more difficult to be hired on by new, higher quality employers than I presently think it will be
  • Muscles or joints in my body may start to sustain long-term injuries due to the physically demanding nature of food/beverage/event service work
  • I may fail to attract and date any cute female co-workers I interact with. They may all be in committed relationships or plain uninterested in the prospect of a romantic relationship with me
  • I may lose the freedom to engage in activities I value because of the time I’ll spend in commuting to and from events, not to mention the hours I’ll be working at each event
  • I will have to give up on other opportunities for employment and miss out on other exciting occupations that pique my interest

Great things may come to me as well

Now comes the much more exhilarating thought experiment. What preferred and desirable experiences and other outcomes may present themselves to me of I choose to progress my catering/service career incrementally into the future?

  • I become more familiar with the Seattle Area’s local event spaces and the organizations who hire the my employers to cater their private or public events.
  • I could meet a gorgeous and charming woman through the course of my employment that can share a fruitful relationship with me for am extended period of time
  • I can meet folks I would otherwise have never had the opportunity to engage with and build them into my network or personal and professional contacts.
  • I could make decent enough money to live a good ass life and enjoy doing a good amount of the things I love to do until the end of my days

Today’s Discussions

corner of an elevated wood deck with trees in the background
Michael Teehee and I were supposed to pose together for this photo op on the deck of the Des Moines house (I forgot to bring up the photo op) Mike stopped by today after shooting footage at a gig arranged by Blake Messer, president of the Des Moines & Normandy Park Rotary Club, for the Rotary Club. I think that yesterday Connor had mentioned they were going to film for a new recruitment video. Mike and I discussed current projects during our time together today (and I made some bomb apps).

Here’s one discussion I’ve already had

Connor – New Tall Town Website

  • A design and theme that doesn’t embarrass us
  • Great content that more accurately describes what we offer
  • Keep on Tall Town design brand
  • Sorted and ordered to keep only the best for the page
  • One-pager that tells the story/presents our offer

There are something other discussions likely coming up today

Michael Teehee – MJT design and my potential involvement

  • Buy some snacks I can cook on the skillet real quick
  • Mike, what are you offering to clients and how would you like to involve me?
    • I need direct client contact to effectively develop a project spec outline, estimate and timeline
    • Mutual understanding of exactly what my services are and the pricing structure
  • A photo of us together for today’s blog entry (hopefully seen above once this post is live)

Clara Davenport, Alfred Collins and Friends

  • Surprise happy birthday party Biiotch! (Clara’s 25th birthday, that is)
  • Don’t drink too much, buddy
  • Toss around the idea of throwing a pumpkin carving party
  • Grab bag assortment of items brought by guests to be incorporated into pumpkin displays
  • Host at Clara’s House?

Woke Up In My Car

A plate of breakfast food containing egg on naan bread with sliced avocados
My prototypical breakfast which has been developing over the last several weeks. The havarti dill seen just below the fried egg layer is an atypical component of what I basically refer to as fried egg and hummus over naan with a side of sliced avocados.

Audio Transcription

The home menu page of a Sumsung smartphone running the Google Now Launcher
A screen image capture I accidentally took of my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge while working my catering event. A Facebook messenger chat notification is visible in the lower right-hand edge of the screen. My pinned notes from my Google Keep collection dominate the screen.

I’m going to attempt to do nothing but transcribe the notes I recorded in audio format on this day. This may become a technique for streamlining much of the content development and publication for grandpasnotes.com

Let’s find out!

Today’s Audio Transcription

… from just the first minute of the recording

“Hi there it’s Colton Townsend, coming at your from the Mercer Island Beach Club parking lot, where I’m waiting to start a catering shift as a server with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering Company. We are serving an event for the Mercer Island High School, I think their name is, reunion, class reunion, 30-year class reunion for what I could only guess would be the class of 1977? Or maybe ’78 if they actually graduated 30 years ago this coming summer. And, yeah. I just finished reading a little bit of the Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World book by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. And, I still have about 10 more minutes or so before I need to approach the Beach Club and look for our lead, Abi Haggerty who drove the van up here, and I think another gal I haven’t met yet.”

Personal Questions

A blue plastic pail filled with crumpled up sticky notes of assorted colors
The plastic bucket my Mom must have bought for me for college, an Easter basket or something like that. It currently serves as a crumpled sticky note receptacle for Connor and I on our living room floor.

I wanted to think of some more engaging and intimate questions I could pose to folks I find myself in conversation with. I realize that most people I meet have some truly remarkable stories from experiences in their past that provides me a much deeper perspective on them. Even just catching glimpses into the nuances of their familial or lifestyle cultures is enough to expand my consciousness further out into the universe. (We did discuss The Secret in jest for several minutes last night. Pardon my use of mystical verbiage).

Questions I Should Offer Up to Folks More Often

  • Do you have any art projects going on?
  • What are you most looking forward to in the near-future?
  • What was the last song that you listened to?
  • Where did you spend your last vacation?
  • Do you have a vendor/location/professional you would recommend for _____?
  • Are you taking any kinds of classes at the moment? Online/offline/group/solo, what evs
  • Why did you choose to come here today?
  • How were you introduced to ____?

Whiplash Thriller

I’ve just boarded the Sound Transit’s Light Rail train from the southernmost station platform (The Angle Lake station which technically resides in SeaTac). Connor and I are passengers aboard this northbound express voyage to our final destination, Benaroya Hall. We will depart our transport at the University Street station in downtown Seattle, WA. Fortunately for us, the underground transit station lies directly beneath some portion of Benaroya Hall itself. The Hall may even rest entirely atop University Street Station.

Let’s play out a fantasy scenario given the setting and characters of our fellow passengers.

Act 1 – A Standstill

The train never stops at the stations an route from its southernmost station to it’s northernmost. Passengers slowly begin to murmer amongst one another in a confused state. A professionally dressed elderly Filipino man and his wife stage themselves near the door of their anticipated stop. As the train never fails to slow down and swiftly passes the platform, the older couple begin searching for am authority figure and mutually complain amongst one another in their native languages.

Act 2 – Whiplash

As the train finally approaches the most northern platform, a collective accumulation of hope and anxiety rise within the passengers. The train doesn’t slow and in the measure of an instant the train violently shifts directions and speeds along the same track going southbound. Several passengers are injured during the jarring reversal and the elderly Filipino man dies within the next few minutes after failing to take in enough oxygen through his lungs. The impact of his chest against the rail of the bench seat in front of him sent his ribs and sternum crumbling into his lungs and heart.

Act 3 – Selection

The passengers learn to anticipate the next coming reversal of direction and attempt to organize each other amidst the chaos. Most passengers are able to properly brace and secure themselves for the next whiplash. Those left without the most secure positions or corpse cushions are more likely to sustain damage from the whiplash. Passengers respond and adapt to the successive whiplashes until am equilibrium is attained where injuries are avoided. Sleep is very difficult to find.

Google Timer

Colton holding up an index notecard that lists his habits by preference of daily frequency
Minor “problems with this image that I have a tendency to be critical of when I recognize them in myself: 1) crooked front teeth with large protruding adult canine and miniature baby canine still hanging on 2) deviation of my nose’s septum 3) Handwriting that is somehow worse than it was in the 3rd grade. There much more to “hate” offscreen, but at least my eyelashes rock their socks off.

I’m incredibly focused on attending a Vinyasa Yoga class at my yoga studio, Be Yoga Burien, which is being held tonight at 18:30 with Ashleigh Blor. In fact, I’m fixated on this performance today more than any other activity or task that might otherwise preoccupy my time today. About two hours of my time on this Monday will be allocated to this class, including travel and clean-up duties.

I’ve just asked our Google Home device (or “Okay, Google” as Caleb often calls it) at what times to expect tonight’s sunset and tomorrow’s sunrise. She spouted the plain jane answers of 6:32pm and 7:21am respectively.

Here’s an interesting definition I picked up while Googling the term “sunset time”: Twilight = The time just after sunset, when the light is half-faded, but the world is not yet totally dark, is twilight. If you are between two states, like asleep and awake, that can also be called a twilight moment.

I really wish that I knew more words or at least the fundamentals of vocabulary roots in the English Language and all others that have influenced it most profoundly. Is that some much to friggin’ ask?

I really don’t know what to do with myself for the next 105 minutes, so I set a timer on the Google Search Engine results page which is counting down as I type now. For best results, I may want to wrap up today’s entry right now, get it published to my WordPress website, and get the fudge to doing something nourishing or necessary.

Present Schedule

Colton wears a plaid flannel shirt and poses next to a world map hung on the wall
Connor snapped this photo of me with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone in his room. You’ll notice the world map poster I previously owned and have since given to Connor when I moved away from the Des Moines house in June of 2016. The silver and blue book that has the letters MBA on it is also my book that I’ve lent Connor several times before, titled “The Personal MBA” by Joshua Kaufman.

Didn’t make yesterday’s Vinyasa Yoga class that I had so eagerly pledged to in my last entry. I also stifled my 5am alarm this morning that was supposed to serve as my cue to be up and moving so that I could make it to the 6am class in its stead. Here I sit at my computer desk with a cup of fresh coffee at 9:22 in the morning, experiencing the feelings of failure and frustration in not seeing myself acting in the manner I had aspired to whilst planning for my future. There is clearly a disconnect between the imaginings of my prioritization’s and the physical execution which takes place in the only moment that ever counts: the present schedule.

At this moment in time today, my present schedule indicates that I intended to just about be wrapped up in my time spent prepping for the B-Town’s BEST awards presentations. This would then allow me to a couple comfortable hours to finalize the design and content presentation of the Re:Industries website for my client in Missoula, MT, Nathan Hansen.

But, I’m nowhere near the progress markers that had been set on my schedule. I established the scope and terms of those markers for myself yesterday evening, and what I did after there recording was basically smoking weed, watching porn and then watching a recording casting stream of the StarCraft Remastered launch event tournament. You know, I don’t feel like much of a winner after announcing this information to y’all readers.

Through my experiences in mindfulness meditation, mental health counseling and a multitude of other outlets propagating self-help advice, I have a conscious understanding that being fully alive to the present moment is the way to prevent falling victim to emotional mood disorders and to ground myself so that I can heal, understand and respond to stressors effectively. However, I don’t want to continue being complacent in just knowing these things and having the skills to prevent another severe episode of depression. Don’t get me wrong, I do carry a large chip of confidence in knowing that I don’t have to succumb to depression and that there is a way through those heavy emotional waves that doesn’t require a prescription bottle.

What I most want for my personal development, is to follow through and do what I have intended to do. Essentially, I want to exercise discipline routinely and provide myself more direction with confidence that I will be true to my word. I’m really good at doing this for others under the right context, e.g. employment. I want to be the master of my domain; control my reality (and learn proper usage for punctuation marks in English).

I was just reminded of an album title by one of my favorite artists, Nine Inch Nails, called Not The Actual Events. I just commanded our Google Home assistant to stream the album through the Google Play music service.