August 09, 2014

POMPC: Days 2 and 3, Summarised.

Albums listened to [one per day]: (Day 2) Black Keys 'Rubber Factory', (3) Thelonious Monk 'Straight, No Chaser', both of which I enjoyed. More album suggestions are invited.

Meditation [twice per day]: Once a day so far.

Exercise [new morning routine plus general extras]: Have been cycling FROM work (train avec bike to work  - next week I intend to start using bike in both directions). No morning workouts. Again, I will.

Dog walking [extra walk in morning, hill at night]: Managed full-blown morning walk on days 1 and 2, but actually clean forgot on day three! Haven't been up in hills in the evening as have had prior engagements, or weather has stopped us. Going camping tonight with dog, up a very big hill.

Reading [just, more/some!]: have done more, including an academic paper/chapter of a book an teaching English to Koreans. Reading levels have improved but could do more.

Learning Korean [10 new words, 3 new phrases per day]: have studied a little every day. Not quite met targets but still, an improvement on the norm of zero. Feeling quite motivated to learn more.

Money [150k per week]: I've spent, so far: (Day1) 26k on groceries, (2) 10k on household items from Daiso, (3) 34k on a restaurant meal as I met a former student of mine, plus another 5k here and there. Total: 75k.  Hopefully I won't spend too much over the weekend. Still on target for this one.

General procrastination [improve upon]: apartment etc is a lot cleaner. Still work to be done though on changing my computer/sedentary habits.

All in all, a decent start. I'm feeling a ot more positive and 'alive'. Let's do stuff!

August 06, 2014

POMPC Day One A Moderate Success

I had planned to do many things, and at the time of writing, 9.11pm, have done some but not all.

I DID walk the dog a good long walk before work this morning, which was a first. I DID eat my five a day (several bananas, a good handful of grapes, and a made a fresh stew/soup using cabbage, potatoes and carrots). I DIDN'T meditate before work. Nor did I work out before I left. Nor did I cycle to work. However, it was raining a little, though that's no real excuse.

I did take my bike to work on the train, and cycle home though! I also meditated at work - it's summer classes right now and my afternoons are free, so meditating is not a problem. It's deathly quiet, I'm almost certain to be undisturbed, and there's a big cushioned area at the back of my classroom. Perfect. So I did meditate. And I did cycle home.

I also learned my 10 Korean words today - all body parts. It was quite easy, and though my memory is not great, I think I've memorised them. I didn't get around to the three phrases, so that's a minor failure. Must do better tomorrow, and I will.

I listened, all the way through, to 'Blood on the Tracks', a Bob Dylan album. Whilst I was cooking a spicy sausage stew. So two success in one there. I didn't get around to writing, or painting either today, but I didn't expect to achieve everything in one day either.

I also have not read yet, but plan to read a chapter of something before I hit the sack. (Edit, didn't do - watched a TV show I 'needed' to finish).

All in all, not perfect, but an improvement on the norm, and something I hope to build on over the coming weeks.

Again, album suggestions are most welcome.

August 05, 2014

Paul’s One Month Positivity Challenge (POMPC), DAY ZERO.

I'm calling this day zero for several reasons. Firstly, I'm not starting until tomorrow because...

...there are one or two things I forgot to include in the plan yesterday, for example, MEDITATION. I plan to meditate every day. I've long believed in the benefits of meditation, but don't get around to it very often. The recommended 'dose' is 20 minutes,. morning and evening. That will take some time rearrangement.

I want to walk my dog better. He gets plenty of walks, but he could always use a little more. So now, rather than the brief walk around the block in the morning to relieve himself, before I head to work, he will get a proper walk in the mornings. He will also get a walk up the nearby hills once a day, weather permitting, rather than just the local park. This will double as a calorie burner for me too. And young Bonesy will love it. I've never seen any being more ecstatic than my dog up a hill!

I will cook more, better food. And I will try some new recipes.

On workdays, I will go to bed at around 10.30 each evening, and get up 6.30. My morning routine will include a long-ish dog walk, meditation, and a small work out.

I will cycle to work, which is about a half-hour cycle ride, most uphill.

I will eat healthier foods.

I will spend less time surfing the net, and more time being creative - which includes writing, and painting.

I will spend no more than 150 000 Korean won (about £75, $130) per week.

I will study some Korean every day - learning 10 new words and 3 new phrases each day. I can do this at work.

I will read every day.

I will listen to a new album every day.

In general, I will procrastinate less. I will have a get-on-with-it attitude. This month is about results.

I will keep a daily log here. There will be no doubt things that I have over-looked, not planned for, forgotten about. I will add or remove items as I go on.

Some days I will fail. Others I won't. But for one month I'm gonna try to live life as I'm supposed to.

Day one is tomorrow. I will spend the evening in preparation: tidying my apartment, arranging books, buying fruit and vegetables, downloading albums, resetting alarms and creating a suitable spot for meditation.

I wish myself luck. I don't need you!

August 04, 2014

Paul’s One Month Positivity Challenge

You’ve probably heard ‘carpe diem’ before (seize the day). I’m gonna ‘carpe mense’. Seize the month.

I’ve seen a few of these around on Facebook recently, and so I thought I’d do my own, tailored exactly to me.

So, what do I need to fix? Well, it’s hard to admit this, but I guess I’m kinda lazy. Not ridiculously so – I walk my dog regularly, and I often take the stairs instead of the escalator etc., but I spend too much time sitting in front of my computer doing not much, either at home or at work, when I could easily be doing something much more productive. I’m a vaguely creative person, and have a couple of writing projects on the go at the moment. When I say ‘on the go’, what I actually mean is I procrastinate around them. I leave them alone. I also have a canvas and paints, that have been waiting for me to use them for around 3 months. And a bike I rarely use – I could easily cycle to work. So there’s a start. Let’s do all of those above. Add to that – I want to exercise daily – I shall look up a simple daily exercise regime that doesn’t involve much equipment.

I’d like to drink less. I don’t drink that much, in that I rarely drink alone, at home, etc. But I probably spend more money on going out than I’d like to. I’m also a bit ‘spendy’ in general. If I think I need something I just buy it. I’m not a spendaholic, but I could do with a tighter rein on my finances. So there’s another thing. A budget to live by, for one month. I’m going to set that at 150k, for everything (about 75 UK pounds), per week. That doesn’t sound like much – but it’s plenty here in Korea. I should be able to live well on that, without trying too hard, and still go out here and there. I’m not going teetotal for the month; I don’t think a little alcohol will be of any detriment.

My diet is not that great. I eat a lot of, well, whatever I feel like eating or is put before me. Today I’ve consumed: some chocolate, a lunch of noodles (cold and quite nice too), a can of Coke, several coffees, and some cracker/cookie type things. None of this concerns me greatly – I’m not hugely overweight or out of shape, but I could certainly improve my diet by eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. So here’s another one – I will at least have my ‘5-a-day’, for a month.

I’d also like to look better ‘on the beach’. I don’t go to the beach – beaches and sunbathing is the most fucking boring thing anyone could possibly do in my opinion – just lying there? Wut? I’d rather walk around. Anyway. I’d like to look a bit more buff. So I’m gonna work on that too. Every day, for a month.


I’ve lived in Korea for five years, and have only bothered to learn a smattering of ‘getting by’ phrases. I will study Korean every day for a month. I will learn 10 new words, and three new phrases every day. For a month.


I’m gonna listen to a new album every day. I’m not really an albums kinda guy, or artists for that matter – I’m a big believer in the power of the individual song. However, with a view to broadening my horizons, I will listen to a new album every day. For a month.

I will read some part of a book. Every day. For a month.

There are other things I have may have overlooked or forgotten about. I shall add them in as I remember them, or feel their inclusion is necessary. I will update my progress, or lack of it, here.