A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: August 2006 (page 1 of 2)

Eight Months, Twelve Steps, 72 Pounds…

As I thought about change and habits and discipline and all that stuff today, I wondered to myself about how I got from “there” to “here.” And I wondered to myself if there has been a process or a system that could possibly be applied to other aspects of my life that need improvement.

I didn’t intend to come up with a new edition of the Twelve Step Program, but it just turned out that I journaled about twelve points along my journey so far.

These are subject to the disclaimer in the previous post, and they aren’t necessarily in any particular order.

I’m going to list them here, and maybe – if both you loyal readers can stand it – I’ll unpack them as we go along later.

Straight out of my Moleskine

How did I accomplish any progress in my physical health to this point?

  • Started with an opportunity, really to serve someone else at the beginning of my process – to be a “hero” to the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” – to provide something for her, the opportunity to resume her swimming at the new YMCA in town
  • Began at the beginning. Had to be humble enough to ask for help and risk looking like a doofus
  • Agreed to pay the price
  • Assessed the reality of the situation with someone who could help (my comedian physician). I knew what she was saying was true, but I had to act on it!
  • Started small. (Note to self: This is the greatest concern I have with applying the same effort to other areas that need deep change: I don’t think I really have time to take the “baby steps! The problems are too great! The obstacles are too overwhelming! I need to see change/solutions NOW! No, yesterday!)
  • Tried out a variety of things but found something that worked for me, a routine to start with.
  • Daily, daily, daily! Had to get up and make the drive to the Y.
  • Tried to look the part – got workout clothes, shoes, etc.
  • Read, studied, researched
  • Had to stop some things – ice cream in the middle of the night, Cokes, etc.
  • Had to start some other things
  • Tracked progress

On Change, Habits, Discipline, and That Sort of Stuff…

Both of you loyal readers will know that I’ve been pretty consistent about improving my physical health since the beginning of this year. I’m getting to the point where I’ve just about reached my weight-loss goals, and I’m looking to that dreaded “maintenance” stage.

Throughout the year, I’ve often thought about the results I’ve been getting from my workouts and wondering about some of the other issues/areas of my life that could benefit from the kind of habits and discipline I’ve tried to apply to my physical health.

Today was one of those great days for reflection and study, and I wrote some thoughts in my notebook that are just dying to get out into the blogosphere! Over the next couple of posts, I plan to run some of ’em up the flagpole and see who – if anyone – salutes! So, here’s the disclaimer…

I am not now, nor have I ever been an expert on change, habits, effectiveness, success, discipline and the like, but I have experienced a significant change for the better in my physical condition this year. So take what’s here with a half-a-grain of salt. These thoughts are “specks of lint that fell out, the last time that I picked my brain…”*

Your mileage, as usual, may vary.

* from “You’re Nothing Without Me” from City of Angels
Music by Cy Coleman Lyrics by David Zippel

Stay tuned!

Baby Steps…

In one of the daily quote things I get, Colin Powell said…

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.

Funny…someone must be trying to tell me something. I’ve already been thinking about this and related issues all day long. Hmmm…..

Movin’ On Down…

Just for a change of pace, I’m working out of my basement this morning. I’ve got the decrepit laptop but a great wireless connection from two stories above.

I’m sitting at my “original” desk – U.S. Geological Survey surplus – bigger than some houses, solid as Stone Mountain.

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps is playing, and I’m trying to act as though life is good.

My little Bodum French press has just delivered up the goods from some freshly-ground Caffè Verona. My books and notebook are piled conveniently nearby, like old friends waiting for some great conversation and give-and-take.

How’s your Friday going so far?

The Serenity Prayer…

Pearls Before Swine style!

I’m still not really clear about the legal, moral, and ethical standards for posting actual comics on your blog, so I’ll just point you to today’s Pearls!

Mash that link above, and get ready to spit your caffeine all over your monitor! (Well, at least that’s how it affected me this morning!)

This Just In: Only 139 Shopping Days Left…

Seems the venerable department store Harrods in London is already putting out the Christmas hype! Which reminds me…

There’s only 27 days left until the Christmas music kicks in at the “Just Charlie” hacienda! (See, I have to force myself to wait until Labor Day, just to avoid driving the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” bananas. If it were up to me, there would probably be Christmas music playing right now!)

Wireless Phone Help…

Ok, here’s the deal…

Our cell phone contract is up. And it’s a good thing, too. Because, the cute girl in front of the library in the rain notwithstanding, lately, we have not had great service with Cingular. Talk about your dropped calls! Talk about your rotten coverage! Talk about your less bars! So, we’re looking to switch.

We’ve been with Cingular from way back in the big ol’ phone on the dash of the car, BellSouth Mobility days – a long time! I’m just getting a bit tired of the rotten service and all that jazz.

So, here’s what I need the help with…

We need good reliable wireless coverage at least from Atlanta to Rome and all points in between. Actually, we need to have great coverage over the whole state of Georgia. We don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. “The Boy” doesn’t think he can live without text messaging, but the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” has used maybe 17 minutes of her total over the last month. She doesn’t care one whit about cameras, and mobile web, and texting and all that stuff. I don’t really need all that, but I’m open to using it if necessary. We need a “family plan” deal, with good prices on basic, but reliable equipment.

We’re looking really hard at Verizon Wireless. Any Verizon users from the ATL around and about? Got any tips? Helpful hints? Suggestions? I’ll take ’em all! Thanks in advance!