Every year I get obsessed with some new activity. As we grow older, the years fly by. This is my way to keep my life interesting.

My process is: Consistency -> Routine -> Intensity -> Goal -> Reward -> Keep for life/ Discard.

Why choose consistency first? Because it is the thing that matters the most when you start something.

If you set ambitious goals without being consistent first, you will get discouraged and drop the thing. You can’t even have a strict routine because missing a day or two would make you feel guilty and put unncessary pressure.

I commit to a weekly routine after some consistency. Once I am consistent, I focus on intensity. I push myself.

Once I ramp up on the activity, and become good at it, I set goals. Goals can be based on magnitude or cadence. And I reward myself once I hit my goals. If I keep enjoying the activity, I try to get better at it and keep it for life. Else I discard it. And do something else.

Let’s go through a few examples. I had been planning to focus on strength training for years. Been to gym at different points in my life. But was never consistent.

I thought the best approach for me is to build a home gym. Why? Read Atomic Habits and you will know.

But I did not want to put pressure on myself by getting expensive equipments, get a threadmill to hang my clothes on, or set unrealistic goals.

I got the cheapest weights from Amazon. The PVC ones with sand inside. I kept trying, but could not build consistency. So I started doing easy things. My Streaks app had a task for 10 Kettlebell. I just wanted to remember to do 10 kettlebell swings.

I also started tracking my calorie intake for a year. Seeing how much I ate and how much I needed to burn helped me realize the need to workout even more. But I was still not consistent. So I got a personal trainer. I committed to working out 3 days a week. Having a trainer brought accountability. Then I set a routine of working out Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Sometimes I would stretch myself and do another day, bringing up my workouts to 4 days/week.

From barely being able to lift 7.5 kg dumbells to now benching 50kgs, deadlifting 110 kgs, I have ramped up intensity over time.

I told my trainer that I don’t want to overexert myself/ push too much/ and drop out. I am okay going slower. I want to do this for life. So PR goals and intensity could come later. Even now I don’t have any big goal, be it asthetics or weight goals.

Okay, sometimes I think it would be nice to deadlift double of body weight, but I am not pushing myself to reach there sooner. Once I hit my goal of working out regularly, and could deadlift my body weight, I splurged on my squat rack and got more fitness equipments. I also splurged on supplements. Rewarded myself for taking my health seriously.

Very few things will impact the quality of my life as working out regularly. I only wish I had got serious about this earlier and not waited so long.

I have started and left a lot of things in the past. If you check my 2019 personal OKRs blogpost, you would see that I have been trying to run for years, but failed, before becoming serious this year. I have managed to tinally run a few 5Ks. I am still early in my running journey, but it is another activity I want to continue.

I have been playing poker for years, but only started getting serious, playing cash games weekly starting this year. Had to keep a decent bankroll to manage the swings that come with it. Start consuming poker content again. Even tried learning GTO.

I have started and left photography, graphic design, illustrating, and copy writing in the past. Some stick, some I get bored and leave. Let’s see what I pick up next year.