Week 1: Chicago Trip Reflections

As I sat down with a warm cup of coffee on a cold and dreary Saturday morning in Central Wisconsin, I took a few minutes to reflect on the Chicago Trip. I asked myself the following questions:

  • Did I achieve my goals?
  • What did I learn along the way?

After thinking for a bit and starting this blog post, I stopped and rewrote it. I wanted to make sure that I was being honest about what I had accomplished and where I had failed this week.  Without further ado, let’s discuss the Chicago Trip.

Achieving My Goals

Adams Street in Chicago in the morning -10/20/15

Morning Rush on Adams Street in Gotham – 10/20/15

Beyond starting the new job and learning as much as I could there, I had goals set for this week:

  • Work out at least four days
  • Control and track what I am eating
  • Reconnect with friends
  • Start blogging on Small Scale Life
  • Write an article and post a video for Small Scale Gardening

Admittedly, it was an aggressive agenda considering that I had a two hour commute everyday on express Metra Trains (one hour inbound and one hour outbound). Regardless, I was up to the challenge and wanted to get it rolling.  Now or never!  Let’s go!

Reality Bites

Tree Farm in Central Wisconsin

Walking in the Trees of Central Wisconsin – 10/23/15

Unfortunately….the best laid plans met with a grim reality: Rome was not built in a day, and I am not as disciplined as I would like yet. What did I accomplish when I was in Chicago?

  • Work out at least four days – Achieved a quarter of this. I got a great walk in on Monday, and I also hiked land in Central Wisconsin on Friday.  So, I got the bookends, but I missed the middle for intensive workouts.  Sure, I did walk from the hotel to/from the train station and from the train station to/from the office, but these weren’t prolonged workouts. The hotel was under construction, and the pool and workout room were closed.  Those are excuses; I just did not go to the gym on other days.  I will resolve to work on that going forward.
  • Control and track what I am eating – Achieved half of this. I certainly managed what I was eating this week, and I thought I did a pretty good job.  Breakfast was in the hotel; lunch was salad or Subway; dinner was with friends or salad that I brought along on the trip.  I kept snacks to a minimum.  Tracking, however, was not a priority this week.  I have been using My Fitness Pal application and will crank up the tracking starting today.
  • Reconnect with friends – Achieved! I did pretty well with this one!  I got to see my neighbor on the train and some of my friends from the neighborhood.  Granted, there were others that I did not have a chance to see, but I will reconnect with them when I return to the area.  I also got some great fitness advice from Jerry and Jen, and I had a fascinating discussion with my friend Jay.  Always great talking to you all!
  • Start blogging on Small Scale Life  – Achieved! I received good feedback from readers of my first post, and I will be adding to this blog as we go.  I have some interesting things planned.  More on that in the future!
  • Write an article and post a video for Small Scale Gardening – Failed!  I did not achieve this one.  I just ran out of time to get Small Scale Gardening done this week.  I have a ton of materials set for this blog and my YouTube channel, but I just need to finalize editing and get them posted.  ACK!  As they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming….”

Learning along the Way

Chicago River from Adams Bridge

Chicago River from Adams Street Bridge on 10/22/15

As I reflect on the Chicago Trip, I realize I had set an aggressive set of goals. I probably exaggerated the amount of free time I had; however, it is a matter of priorities and discipline.  In the next week, I need to focus the following:

  • Make tracking my food intake a priority
  • Make regular exercise a priority
  • Continue working on Small Scale Gardening and perhaps fold it into Small Scale Life

I am not perfect. I don’t know everything.  I will fail.  However, I am on the path. I am learning from mistakes and errors.  I am moving forward.  As my friend Matthew J. Peters from Authority Marketing Films said recently:

“Think you’re progressing?

How many times have you noticed a failure or a lesson learned this week?

If you have no idea, or you avoid mistakes or failures, you’re not progressing.

The most successful people experience far more “failures” than successes.”

How are you progressing?

Learn. Do. Grow.