--> divine angst: New tack

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

New tack

The last few weeks have been unproductive. Once I had my wisdom teeth out, my schedule went to pot. I stopped studying as regularly and I stopped going to the gym in the morning. Consequently, my practice test scores have suffered and I have gained about five pounds. Both of these things are unacceptable.

I'm a firm believer in recognizing your weaknesses and countering them however you can. And here's what I've noticed about me:

  • As much as I like the way I feel when I go to the gym early in the morning, I am not an early riser. It is far more likely that I'll reset the alarm and stay in bed at 6 am than actually get up and venture out to the gym. I know this because I have done it several times in the last three weeks.

  • When I am at home, almost anything else I can do will be more attractive than studying. And when at home, there are lots of other things for me to do—not just the unproductive ones, like watching TV and reading novels, but also the homeowner things, like cleaning and drywall repair.

So. These shortcomings firmly in mind, I'm making some "New [School] Year Resolutions." Nevermind that I'm not in school; I work for an educational institution, so I feel the academic cycle as much as any other student or teacher. These resolutions are:

  • I will go to the gym after work. This will be more inconvenient for me, as the gym is much more crowded at 5:30 pm than at 6:15 am, but the morning thing just isn't happening. My punishment for being so lazy in the morning, then, is that I will fight rush hour traffic, scavenge for a parking space, and actually get some exercise.

  • I will follow up my trip to the gym with a trip to one of my favorite coffeehouses, where I will be without my computer and wireless access—and therefore without distractions. I will study for the LSAT. I will take practice tests. If I begin to feel confident in my performance on said practice tests, I may work on my personal statement—again, though, sans computer. I will work in longhand. This will probably be more productive anyway, since I won't get caught up on a single turn of phrase and attempt to edit it to perfection as I am writing. This is the problem with word processing.

The beautiful thing is that husband is in class late two nights a week. So my gym/coffeehouse schedule will work beautifully on those nights. The nights he's in class but not late, I can still go to the gym after work and beat him home. And finally, he has agreed to come with me to a coffeehouse or some location that is not our home on the weekends so we can BOTH get some studying done.

This, I think, is good practice for the future.