Wednesday, January 08, 2014


It is the same. But, not really.

Surely, my route to work is the same.

My office morning habit is the same --- check emails, make coffee, tackle the ugliest task down to the easiest deliverable. Then I go home via the same route. I pass by the same floor, ride the same escalator, exit the same door of the mall to the terminal where I get my ride home.

That is usually the case except when I have  to stay late at work, or I have a meeting after work, or there would be a dinner or coffee invite, or spend some after-work hours with good old friends.

But as I shared here, my 2014 --- and beyond --- is all about being free.

Thus to achieve my intentions, I invigorated my routine with systems.

Yes, I committed myself to processes than tying myself to goals, that when not achieved, I would feel a complete failure.

What's the difference? Travel photographer James Clear, espouses that having a system is what matters and that committing to a process is what makes the difference.

Scott Adams, creator of my favorite comic strip Dilbert, uses the post-holiday weight loss goal that most of us have as an example of why systems are better. "... Losing 10 pounds is a goal (that most people can't maintain), whereas learning to eat right is a system that substitutes knowledge for willpower," he blogs.

Now this is included in my "must reads" list.

In his book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, Scott sums up why systems top in the following "unlikely truths:"

  • Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
  • “Passion” is bull. What you need is personal energy.
  • A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
  • You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.

Meanwhile, James shares three reasons why we should focus on systems instead of goals:
  1. Goals reduce your current happiness. Thus, commit to a process, not a goal.
  2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress. Instead, release the need for immediate results.
  3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over. So, build feedback loops.

With that, let me share with you what I am up to since the strike of New Year 2014:

My financial intention is to be free. So, I entered the PHP20.00 weekly challenge. So for the second week now, I have guaranteed PHP60.00 savings. I keep on going and I will have PHP27,560.00. It is manageable so far, so I hope many are up to this challenge. And that we will all end 2014 richer! Hooray!

My intention is to be well. So, I am sticking to my one fastfood meal a month. I already had my cheese burger, regular fries, and regular iced tea from Mc Donalds last Saturday. So that is it. Though, I also told myself (and my friends whom I have the annual visioning session) that I will minimize my sweets intake. This part I am struggling with --- Krispy Kreme, Country Style, our concessionaire's assortment of sweet bars and cake slices, my family's stash of sweets) --- these are already in my diet this New Year. MUST FIGHT THE TEMPTATION! I also try to walk more often lately (to burn more calories!!! Even if my heels are killing my feet!!!) and I keep drinking lots of water, sticking to one cup of coffee a day, and eating on regular intervals (no more to acute gastroenteritis or peptic acid disease ER episodes!)

My intention is to connect more to God and Jesus Christ so on my way to work, I read and listen to daily, spiritual inspirations. I read the daily prayer on Sacred Space, a well-known prayer website and Pray as you go, a daily prayer in MP3 format, for people traveling to and from work. I started with these last year but not on a daily basis. So far, my mornings are not complete without these. I am also continuing the New Testament reading assignments from the retreat I attended way back 2012! This I am so lagging (and still, I am not able to do this nightly --- cable TV and sleepiness took over) thus I have to complete this so I can have the reading assignments for the Old Testament.

My intention is to cultivate more healthy relationships so at the end of my day, I write a "thank you" note and put them in my "gratitude box." I write a thank you note to those people --- colleagues, family, friends, strangers --- who did something (whether indirectly) that brightened my day. "Thank you" also goes to even inanimate objects that put a smile on my face. And with that, I will forever remember them. And if I fill my box with all these "good vibes," I will have a wealth to draw from when loneliness from the past would creep in. I first read this from Elizabeth Gilbert, who propagated (or reinforced) the concept of "happiness jars." I also started with this last year but was never consistent. Now, I have a "thank you" note pad from Papemelroti with me and when I immediately acknowledge something or someone to be thankful for, I write it pronto.

I am a work in progress, especially implementing my systems. I mean, we all are.

But if the intention is good, and we are steadily seeing results from these systems, then that is reason to celebrate!

So let us keep going!!!

So, how are you doing with your 2014 intentions?
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