This is how comfortable and composed I look when I do yoga

What I like about hot yoga is that because of the temperature, no matter what type of yoga you’re doing, you’re getting sweaty, so it feels like a full workout. I mean, within 15 minutes I’m dripping with sweat. It makes me feel like I’m training really hard.

So at the start of 2017 I bought a ten-visit pass to our nearby hot yoga gym. And I used them.

Well, most of them.

But it took me all year to use up all ten tickets. In fact, I used the last one in January 2018 (more than 12 months later), and even that the woman behind the counter had to do me a solid by looking the other way, as the pass had technically expired.

You don’t need to be a habits expert to see that, while better than doing actually nothing, 10 yoga classes in 13 months isn’t exactly a “great workout regimen”.

At the start of this year, I re-upped my subscription, as part of my new year’s resolutions.

Last month, just before my birthday, I’d used them all up. That’s right: in just six months I had blasted through those ten classes! Luckily I’ve been doing quite a lot of stretching, so patting myself on the back is no trouble. I’m aware that it’s actually not a big deal, but it’s improvement.

And improvement matters. And good habits lead to improvements, so that’s this year’s focus. Good habits. And being consistent.

The magic of consistency

Do just 1% a day or a week or a month, and soon enough you’ll be far further along than you dreamed possible. I love this idea. And it works in tandem with checking your current progress.

Having just celebrated a birthday, this has been on my mind. So I’m looking ahead to the next twelve months. And also looking back on cool things I did last year (my fortieth).

Fun stuff from being 40

  • Firstly, I should point out that publishing my first book, a collection of musings on theatrical improvisation, TAKE IT EASY, and the huge success of my crowdfunding campaign around that, will remain undoubtedly for the rest of my life as a milestone. That’s really cool.
  • I went to Vancouver in December and then again in June, meaning for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long – maybe ever? –  I went to Vancouver twice in 12 months (!)
  • Boom Chicago recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, and I played in the Anniversary Alumni show at the huge and fancy Carré Theatre. Boy did I enjoy the whole weekend, and especially the thrill of playing on that stage.
  • Next week I host the Amsterdam Magic Show for 200+ people. Magic is so cool.
  • In May I went to Portland Oregon to co-facilitate a leadership retreat with my old partner-in-crime Geordie Aitken. It was incredibly fun and challenging and also kind of nuts. In short, it was perfect.
  • On the homefront, it’s been roughly an entire year that I’ve had Mondays off to spend with Arya. This is my favorite day of the week, and we generally go to swimming lessons, and she loves those swimming lessons, but so do I, a lot.

Habits for my 41st year

So part of the working is also on getting going and doing more stuff, more regularly. Here’s a list.

Dutch classes – I’ll be taking a Dutch class this fall. I have a pretty good basis, but hardly ever speak Dutch, so now I need to get into a class that widens the dutch wedge.

Writing and editing – All the time (well, every day, more or less). I have the goal in mind of publishing another book (yes, maybe even two) before my next birthday. I currently write 750 words just about every day and have a whole backlog of essays and stories. My goal is to keep the writing and generation going, but also go back into the vault and polish pieces up and put them out into the world, instead of leaving them in the middle of nowhere.

Financial fluency – Just like Dutch, this is another language (and area of my life) where my fluency level is quite low. I also hate it with a burning passion. So my new plan is to divide out that hatred and foster, if not a joy, then at least a tolerance and go from there.