The Monthly Practice Report – January 2012

nathan with carrot

 

 

Welcome to The Monthly Practice Report, where I detail how my practice of healthy living: the commitments, goals, and other metrics!

 

 

Why I’m doing this:

  • To be completely transparent with what my practice of healthy living and full-time travel looks like
  • To share the actual numbers with you in hopes that it makes this lifestyle (or any part of it) seem a little more attainable
  • To publicly track my progress among several categories
  • To provide cool resources that I find helpful

You’ll see information below on my expenses (food, travel, etc.), how I’m doing with my practices, travel I’ve taken, and anything else (hopefully) relevant!

I’ll also share some lessons learned and plans/goals for the future.

 

Please let me know what you think!

If anything is unclear, if you’d like more information on a certain topic, or if there’s something I’ve left out, I’m open to hearing all feedback and questions. Just leave a comment below.

Thanks – and I hope you enjoy this month’s report! :-)

 

Where was I in January?

  • Grafton, MA: 1/1-1/5, 1/15-1/18, 1/29-1/31
  • West Barnstable, MA: 1/6-1/14, 1/19-1/28

I bounced back and forth with family this month, helping things get settled after a death. All in all, it was really fantastic to have this much time with them – it had been years since I’d been back for this long!

 

Onto the Numbers!

FYI: some of the links below are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I absolutely appreciate it; if you’d rather not, that’s cool, too. If you have any questions about any of the products or services, please let me know!

 

MEDITATION

  • Ideal/Goal: to meditate for at least 15 minutes in the morning, before other activities
    • Continued the daily practice for another month, bringing the total to 621 consecutive days!
  • How long did I meditate each day?
    • 15 minutes:  7 days
    • 30 minutes:  24 days
    • Most often amount:  30 minutes (77% of the time)!
      • Last month: 30 minutes (24 vs. 7)
  • Continue to use my Blissitations tracks
    • They’re really helpful for concentration, and one of the best parts is that I never have to think about how long it is – I just keep going until the track is over. (Affiliate link above)

 

NUTRITION

  • Ideal/Goal: since December 2010, I have been following the Paleo diet, which is lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. No legumes, grains, starches, processed foods, or sugars. Dairy is OK (raw/unpasteurized is best), though I tend to avoid it.
  • When a guest in someone’s home, I defer to gratitude and do not refuse meals; that does not, however, give me free reign to eat whatever I want – everything in moderation.
  • There are also “non-paleo” foods I still enjoy, mostly pizza, bread, and other baked goods. I occasionally allow myself these items – I’d rather be flexible and have a good time, than rigid and mopey. :-)
  • Animal Products (red meat, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, and dairy)
    • Ideal/Goal: 20% OF THE TIME (or less)
      • For the month: 29%
      • Last month: 30%
    • Breakfast: 13%
    • Lunch: 35%
    • Dinner: 74%
    • Snacks: 9%
  • Not Paleo (the “no” list above)
    • Ideal/Goal: 10% OF THE TIME (or less)
      • For the month: 18%
      • Last month: 17%
    • Breakfast: 0%
    • Lunch: 0%
    • Dinner: 26%
    • Snacks: 22%
  • Alcohol
    • Ideal/Goal: 0-1 drinks per month
      • For the month: 0
      • Last month: 2

**Above percentages calculated for 30 days with an average of 90 meals + 70 snacks

 

EXERCISE

  • Ideal/Goal: some form of movement every day; could my morning options (see below), hiking, biking, or walking – something to keep me fit, to maintain and sustain me! 
  • At least 20 minutes of activity before meditation
    • Includes one or more of the following: yoga, energization exercises, tai chi warms-ups, balance poses, pull-ups, and stretching
    • Days: 29 (94% of the time)
    • Last month: 24
  • Other Exercise
    • Even with the mild winter, I did get about an hour of shoveling in! Most of the time when it’s snowed, it was gone by the afternoon!
    • One 20-minute walk around the neighborhood
    • Moving lots of furniture around – nothing too strenuous :-)
  • There was a fair amount of driving/sitting this month as it is 90 minutes between Grafton and West Barnstable.

 

JOURNAL

  • Ideal/Goal: to express my Highest Goal, my Path, my ideal Partner, my Hell Yes’s, my Strengths, my Zones of Genius, my Gratitudes, and any Big Ideas.
    • Days: 31!!! (100% of the time)
      • I made a commitment to journaling and didn’t miss one day – yahoo!!
      • Last month: 6
    • If I don’t get to journaling in the morning (before email/work, etc.), it usually doesn’t happen.

 

WEIGHT

  • My Stats:
    • 1/7/12: 137 lbs.
    • 1/12/12: 137 lbs
    • 1/20/12: 137 lbs.
    • 1/26/12: 136 lbs.
    • Average:  137 lbs.,  19.66 BMI
      • Last month: 135 lbs., 19.37 BMI
      • Difference: +2 lbs, +.29 BMI
  • Weight/BMI
    • I weigh myself (usually) on the same day of the week, first thing in the morning – before eating or drinking anything.
    • For body fat %, I’ve used scales that send electromagnetic pulses through the feet to determine body fat. With any device, I’m going to assume there’s a ± 2-3%.
    • According to the BMI data, I am within the healthy range (18.5-24.9 for men and women)
      • For my height, underweight would be below 127 lbs, and overweight would be above 174 lbs. (see this article from Livestrong.com for how to find the weight range.)
      • Formula to calculate your BMI: ([your weight in pounds] x 703)/ [your height in inches]2
        • Example:  (150 x 703) = 105,450/ (70 x 70) = 21.5 (within the healthy range)
    • It’s tricky because I found many charts online where according to those, I was underweight – it’s tough to know the validity of those sites, so I think BMI is a much more reliable figure.
  • Body Fat

 

TRAVEL

  • Trip costs: $100
    • Renewing driver’s license: $100
  • Hacking Actions
    • None this month
  • Current Points (selected accounts)
    • American Airlines: 22,893
    • Amtrak: 42,825
    • British Airways: 107,382
    • Club Carlson: 54,125
    • Starwood: 26,157
    • TOTAL: 253,382
      • Last month: 252, 958
      • Difference: +424
  • Open Credit Cards
  • Credit Score
    • These scores are reported by two separate credit agencies. A credit union I use provides the Equifax score as an included service, and I signed up with Credit Karma (free) to obtain the TransUnion score. Since the numbers are so similar, you really only need information from one agency.
    • Equifax: 793, as of 1/27
      • Last month: 772
      • Difference: +21 points
    • TransUnion: 771, as of 2/20
      • Last month: 772
      • Difference: -1 point
    • Context: between 700 and 850 – very good or excellent credit score

 

EXPENSES

  • Food: $87.82
    • Groceries: $87.82
      • **Other grocery trips: picked up by family
    • Dining Out: $0
    • Average cost/day: $2.83 
    • Last Month: $296.54
    • Difference: -$208.72
  • Travel: $100
    • (see above)
    • Last Month: $297.27
    • Difference: -$197.27 
  • Lodging: $0 
    • Last Month: $0
    • Difference: $0
  • Nomad Life: $6.57
    • Cable for Uncle’s TV
    • Last Month: $18.37
    • Difference: -$11.80
  • Cell Phone: $111.42
    • Verizon Wireless and unlimited Skype
    • Last Month: $73.67
    • Difference: +$37.75
  • Entertainment: $0
    • Last Month: $2.99
    • Difference: -$2.99
  • Health: $444.55
    • Includes full premium for health insurance (two months) and contacts order
    • Last Month: $156.00
    • Difference: +$288.55
  • Technology: $2.99
  • Other: $4.00


  •  Total Expenses: $757.35
    • Last Month: $847.83
    • Difference: -$90.48
    • Financial Freedom (Ideal/Goal: income > expenses): YES
      • It also pays (well, almost) to be at home with family; some costs are picked up, others are eliminated
  • In related news, as I closed out 2011, I learned I spent less than $20K for an entire year of full-time traveling! I may just do a post on that!

 

PRODUCTIVITY

  • Working Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: 6-7 hours per day, with each chunk being only 90-120 mins.
      • Days worked: 31 (100% of the time)
      • Average hours per day: 5.49
        • Last month: 4.07
      • Number of days where work was > 7 hours: 6 days (19 % of the time)
        • Last month: 2 days
      • Most hours in one day: 10.5 – last day of the month (!): writing an article here, en*theos classes, and the omg! travel deals site and commercial
    • In February, I began tracking how much I’m working and earning as part of my $100 a day goal
  • Morning Creativity Practice
    • Ideal/Goal: waking up an hour earlier to focus on creative work (before exercise and meditation)!
    • Days with Morning Creativity Practice: 26 (84% of the time)
      • Last month: 15

 

SLEEP AND AWAKE

  • Sleep Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to sleep for at least 7-8 hours each night
    • Average
      • For the month: 7.31
        • Last month: 6.85
    • Most often amount of sleep: 6.5-7.25 hours
    • Longest sleep: 8 hours
    • Shortest sleep: 6.17 hours
    • Number of days where sleep time was < 7 hours: 13 days
      • Last month: 15 days
  • Naps
    • Number of days with naps: 6 (19%)
      • Last month: 3 days
    • Average amount: 20 minutes
    • Mostly occurred on days with multiple classes/calls for en*theos Academy + radio
  • Awake Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to be awake for 16-17 hours
    • Average
      • For the month: 16.63
        • Last month: 16.91
    • Most often wake hours: 16.5-17 hours
    • Longest day: 18.3 hours (twice)
    • Shortest day: 14.75 hours (also, twice)
    • Number of days where awake time was > 17 hours: 10 days
      • Last month: 12 days
  • Going to Sleep
    • Ideal/Goal: go to bed around 11 pm
    • Average
      • For the month: 11:35 pm
        • Last month: 11:45 pm
    • Most often sleep time: 11-11:30 pm
    • Earliest sleep time: 9:45 pm
    • Latest sleep time: 1:00 am
    • Number of days where sleep time was past 11:15 pm: 21 days
      • Last month: 22 days
  • Waking Up
    • Ideal/Goal: wake up around 7 am
    • Average
      • For the month: 7:00 am
        • Last month: 6:45 am
    • Most often wake time: 6:30-7:15 am
    • Earliest wake time: 6:00 am
    • Latest wake time: 8:00 am
    • Number of days where wake time was later than 7:15 am: 8 days
      • Last month: 5 days

 

OTHER HEALTH

  • Contacts
    • Ideal/Goal: to wear 8 hours or less per day
    • Days worn: 19 (out of 31, 61% of the time)
      • Average hours per day: 7.75
        • Last month: 8.84
        • Average time I pop them in: 3:45 pm
      • Number of days where use was > 8 hours: 4 days (13 % of the time)
        • Last month: 13
      • Most hours in one day: 11.42
  • Vitamins
    • I picked up Alive! Vitamins at Whole Foods in January and have been taking 1 pill in the morning. When I was traveling through Montana last summer, Joe Withey (of Withey’s Health Foods in Kalispell) recommended this brand as it’s entirely plant-based!

 

CHEMICAL-FREE

  • Ideal/Goal: to use few-to-no artificial or chemical products in my life: no deodorants, sunscreen, etc. I do use toothpaste.
  • Showering
    • I had been experimenting with no products in the shower (no shampoo, conditioner, or soap) since January 2011
    • New to the equation: a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castille soap – now occasionally using this on my hair and body
    • I have a small bottle of olive oil and Lavender essential oil that I mixed together and will start using again on my hair, after showering.
  • Shaving
    • Using the olive/lavender oil combo – seems to work well; the blade needs a little extra cleaning, and only seems to last through two uses.

 

COOL FINDS

 

CONNECTION

  • My two mastermind groups:
    • Optimal Living Mastermind (formed shortly after Optimal Living 101) – our focus is moving forward into growth in all areas of our lives (in place for more than one year!)
    • BizSoul (formed shortly after the World Domination Summit) – our focus is creating businesses that are true and authentic expressions of ourselves

 

What I Learned:

Or, “what worked and what didn’t?”

  • It’s easy for me to let my food goals slip.
    •  I’m not going to blame anyone (I’m responsible here) – I ate my share of cookies and cakes. The other part is that I had many meat-heavy dinners; probably way more than if I were preparing the meals each night. It’s OK – not the end of the world, AND I even had my family trying (and enjoying!) some of my crazy recipes!
  • I can commit to anything!
    • Super excited that I made journaling a habit (and rocked it for one month straight!) – now it feels so natural to finish up my meditation and reach for my pen and notebook! It’s just so helpful to have a place to let all my ideas out, and to also reflect on my life. I totally recommend starting a journal practice – can just be 5 minutes!
  • ALSO:
    • Really feeling the groove of creative work, exercise and meditation (in that order) in the morning – getting easy to get up and do this!
    • I’m getting much more conscious of my sleep schedule, and plan to increase the number of hours of sleep I’m getting, and when I’m going to bed!

 

Favorite Food Items this month:

  • SALADS:
    • Spinach, cranberries, avocado, pecans, walnuts, currants, tomato, orange slices, cashews, carrots, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, balsamic
  • BREAKFAST:
    • Smoothie: banana, spinach, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli
  • DINNER:
    • Veggies: portabello mushrooms, garlic, red onion, carrots, green beans, butternut squash
  • SNACKS:
    • Grapefruit
    • Pure bars (a few throughout the month)
  • OTHER
    • Roasted sweet potatoes: just cut ’em up into cubes, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, a freshly chopped fresh herb or two, and pop in the oven until tender!

 

***

OK – that’s the monthly report for January!

 

How are your practices going?

 

I’d love to hear your answer + any other comments you have below!

And if you have any feedback or questions about something you’re tackling, just let me know!

 

Thanks for reading, and for continuing to be awesome!

 

Looking forward to learning more,
Nathan

 

###

About

Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad – looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.

5 comments on “The Monthly Practice Report – January 2012
  1. Mozart says:

    So fascinated! What are your tracking tools?

    • Nathan says:

      Thanks Mozart!!

      I carry around a small pocket notebook and write down EVERYTHING. Seriously, it’s in my right front pocket at all times!! :-)

      I keep meticulous notes about when I wake up, what I do, what I eat, when I do these things, how much exercise I’m getting, and anything else that might be worthy to note. Perhaps I could do a quick video on this? :-)

      I’ve also been tracking my expenses to the penny for years using a customized Excel spreadsheet (my own creation).

      Often, I’ll look back at my calendar and Facebook to see if there’s anything I’m missing: something I just didn’t write down anywhere else that I’d like to include. I’m kinda, sorta organized like that… ;-)

      Then, when I’m compiling these reports, I either calculate different items in my head, or use another spreadsheet to lay all the numbers out and then figure out averages, etc. As I’m sure you can tell, I like numbers!

      Happy to share the info! Anything else you wanted to know? Thanks again!!

  2. Karol Gajda says:

    Whoa! How’d you keep your food costs to under $100 for the month? I spend more than that on just veggies. :)

    • Nathan says:

      good point – thanks for bringing that up!

      When I visit my Mom, she insists on buying me groceries (she wants to make sure I’m eating well!). The one change: since I tend to pick up more expensive options (sometimes), a couple trips were written off as Christmas and Birthday gifts – ha!

      I had mentioned in a couple spots that I was with family for the month, but I made it more clear for that number, as I think it does catch you off guard – thanks for pointing that out!

      On average, I spend about $300/month on food – it’s my biggest expense by far, and I’m cool with that!

      BTW – I just watched your Dr. Bronner’s Laundry video the other day – thanks so much for that!! Very helpful as I was wondering just how much soap to use! Clean clothes in no time!! :-)

      • Karol Gajda says:

        Aww damn, too bad. I’m planning on practicing poverty and one of the goals will be to eat for $2/day. Bonus goal will be to eat *well.* I thought you had it almost figured out.

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