Cycle 4 Reflection

This was, by far, the best 108-day experience to date. Something that wasn’t even mentioned in the Cycle 4 plan was the 108 group that got made. 16 other people joined me during these last 108 days and many of them checked in regularly. Being in charge of a group with so many eyes on me made me super committed to staying on top of things. I don’t even think I was conscious of the effect the group was having on me until a third of the way through. The clearest example of this was the fact that I ran to the top of a nearby mountain every single day for 108 days straight. I’m actually still doing it! The minimum requirement for that task was to walk for 1 mile a day. This is probably the first time I exceeded the minimum requirement.

Alright… Let’s do a point-by-point breakdown of the Cycle 4 plan.

Primary Focus: BeingBipolar.org

What I wrote…

BeingBipolar.org might end up being the primary focus for several cycles if things go according to plan. I’m building an online store and blog focused on bipolar themed merchandise and articles.

I’ll set aside a minimum of 1 hour a day M-F to work on tasks related to the website. More is better of course!

This is a perfect example of how hard it can be to predict the direction life might take. Not only will BeingBipolar.org not be a focus for several cycles, I’ve decided to fully retire it. I consulted my journal to see how this happened…

Day 3 – I was almost immediately sidetracked by a friend telling me they were willing to pay for participating in the 108 community.

Day 27– I listened to a podcast episode with the founder of Patreon. Something in this episode made the “willing to pay for the community” thing click. It made me realize that I was more interested in focusing on Flow to Your Dream/The 108 Collective. I also started seeing how what I wanted to achieve with Being Bipolar could also be achieved with Flow to Your Dream.

Day 32 – I brainstorm how to have my Patreon page represent four different things, Casey Abbott Payne content, Flow to Your Dream, Being Bipolar, and Black Horse Tai Chi

Day 34 – I thought, “If I am going to be dead tomorrow which of those four things would I want to see fully realized?” It was, without doubt, Flow to Your Dream

Day 35 – The order of completing those four things is listed as Flow to Your Dream -> Casey Abbott Payne -> Being Bipolar -> Black Horse Tai Chi

Day 39 – I stop working on the BeingBipolar.org website and social media accounts to focus on working on the Flow to Your Dream book.

Day 42 – I realize that choosing “just one thing” (Flow to Your Dream) actually unfolds into more things to choose from within that one thing.

Day 56 – I have my first day of yen.CAMP (here’s a review of that experience) and choose Flow to Your Dream as my project.

Day 72 – During a 1-on-1 conversation with John Saddington he recommended totally dropping the BeingBipolar project as to not make being bipolar a focus of who I am. I had already fully pivoted away from the project and was realizing that it would be a long time before I touched it again already and… I also agreed with him.

There you go. That’s how BeingBipolar.org went from potentially being the focus of several cycles to being retired, likely for good. BeingBipolar.org was also the focus of 3 other cycles with varying degrees of “success”.

Continue to Master Daily Processes (Flow)

What I wrote…

A mantra of mine is: Process > Progress

If the processes (systems, protocols, etc.) are functioning properly you don’t have to worry about progress. It will happen naturally. You obviously have to monitor progress to look for leverage points and assess changes but assuming your processes are in order, all you have to do is stick with them.

For the last three cycles I’ve focused on a single “anchor” daily habit in the form of going for a run or walk. This is worked out well. Other habits naturally built around it. I wasn’t very strict about when I went for a run or about the other habits that naturally grew around it. That all changes this cycle…

I totally destroyed this one on a general level. My “Lifeflow” (daily process) has leveled WAY up.

Nighttime Routine

What I wrote…

I’ve experimented with strict nighttime routines in the past and I like them a lot. I’ll have some built-in flexibility but Sunday to Thursday night there’s going to be a digital cut off time (for my cellphone, video games, etc.), combined with a “sleep by” time. The nighttime routine is important because that’s actually when the next day really starts!

This was totally thrown out the window, but will probably be a focus for the next cycle.

Morning Meditation and Runs

What I wrote…

This will be a major shift from how I’ve been doing my running. I was doing my running randomly during the day but, moving forward, I will do it first thing in the morning right after I meditate. When I get back from running the morning tasks kicks in…

Totally crushed. Ran and meditated every day for the 108 days and I’m still doing it.

Morning Tasks

What I wrote…

There are a million different ways to track tasks. Spreadsheets, pen and paper, a Bullet Journal, and a wide variety of apps. I’ve decided to test an app called Todoist this cycle.

Here is what my current morning task list looks like. It will evolve throughout the 108, but this will give you a good idea of what’s going on:

1. Drink water 2. Take vitamin B 3. Make bed 4. Post 108 update (in private FB group) 5. Clear dish rack 6. Clean litter box (automatically gets scheduled 4 days after the day I do it) 7. Journal 8. Check washing machine for laundry to hang

That’s not the exact order of things but by the time the 108 ends the order will be precise. Any recurring daily or weekly tasks will be programmed and I will execute the program 100% of the time (most of the time. 😉 ) There’s also a daytime and evening list.

Totally crushed this. The exact order is…

  1. Make bed
  2. Drink water
  3. Take vitamin B
  4. Clear dish rack and do dishes
  5. Check for laundry to hang
  6. Clear litter box (if needed)
  7. Meditate
  8. Journal
  9. Run

I recently moved daily tasks to a habit tracker and I’m slowly turning Todoist into a task manager for project related things. I’m also working on refining my day time routine. That will continue into the next 108.

Chinese

What I wrote…

I will be reinforcing the characters I learned last cycle while working through the book Practical Audio-Visual Chinese 3 with a goal of finishing the book by the end of the 108. Chinese study will be included in the daily tasks.

This got dropped pretty quickly. When I dropped BeingBipolar.org studying Chinese was no longer connected to a long range goal. I had it in my mind that I would complete a degree in Chinese connected to psychiatry. That is no longer the case. I will probably reinclude Chinese study to my daily tasks at a lower level for the next 108.

Content Creation

What I wrote…

At some point in the future, I’d like to create professionally produced video and audio content. That’s going to require hardware and software upgrades as well as serious time or dollar investment for editing. There are small steps I can take over the next 108 to get me closer.

* Scheduled content creation

* Organizing the equipment for podcasting

* Organize equipment and software for better video editing

As far as the schedule goes, I’d like to have a weekly gaming stream and a weekly schedule for video releases. What I have in mind right now is a Tuesday morning gaming stream and two videos a week. A “rant” and something more entertainment oriented.

I never created a content schedule because the one I was working on was focused on BeingBipolar.org, but a schedule naturally emerged. I started doing “Weekly Reflection” videos, daily videos, a weekly blog post, a video M-F focused on my indie project, and I did an Instagram story once a day from the top of the mountain.

I’ll probably create an actual content schedule for the next 108 based on what I learned the last 108 and what the focus will be.

Principles

What I wrote…

I’ll be slowly establishing, collecting, creating, and refining principles. I have collected many theoretical principles over the years that I’d like to put in practice. Here are two principles that I’ll be focusing on for this 108.

DO THINGS RIGHT AWAY

If there are dishes to do. Do them now. Something to throw away. Throw it away now. I’ll be exercising this with every little thing in the house, but I imagine it will extend beyond the borders of the house (both physically and digitally).

PUT THINGS AWAY

I started doing this already and my room has stayed 100% clean ever since. When I take a book to read, I put it away when I’m done. When I’m done playing the PS4, I always attach the controller to charge it. By the end of this 108 I expect my room to be “perfect” (everything has a place and everything is always in it). I also believe this will be something that extends beyond the borders of my room and house.

CRUSHED these two. They are basically a part of my coding now. They play off of each other well as it’s best to put things away right away. Do things right away is amazing as I don’t spend any time thinking about when I’ll do tasks I don’t like doing. I just do them immediately. I’ll think up one or two more principles to include for the next 108. I’ll also create a page for principles.

Discipline Creates Freedom

What I wrote…

Ha. I suppose this is actually a third principle I’ll be working on. When discipline is forced onto you in ways you don’t understand or in ways that aren’t aligned with your dreams, desires, goals, or passions, discipline won’t feel very freeing. Alternatively, when you craft your own processes and are disciplined in their execution, it is the ultimate freedom. Why? You no longer have to think about these things and their energy requirements drastically drop. This frees up more time and energy to do… you!

This is my most ambitious 108 yet! Wish me luck. 🙂

This was my most ambitious 108 as well as my most successful one. It takes time figuring out how to best utilize the three periods of time but the more you plan, execute, and reflect the better you get at all three.

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