Monday, 27 May 2013

The Palau FIVE

Over the past few weeks I've spent a lot of time evaluating my life. What's important? My future? What I would like to achieve whilst in Palau. I've always set goals and been interested in personal development but I have never been particularly good at achieving them. I'm currently reading an Irish gents blog called Disrupting The Rabblement. I've found his blog useful to focus my attention.

For me, goal attainment has always been a funny thing. I'm pretty good at setting goals but I'm pretty crap at achieving them! Actually that's not quite true, its the less sexy ones I struggle to achieve. You the know healthy habits like exercise 3 times per week or eat 5 serves of vegetables everyday, blah, blah, blah! When it comes to the bucket list kind of goals, the ones you tick off your list and get a buzz out of when you finish, those ones I can do! Things like attaining my dive ticket, hike to Everest Base Camp and get braces have all been on my list. Tick, tick and TICK! All done! It wasn't that easy at the time but you get the picture. I guess what I am really looking at here is establishing some really strong healthy habits and embracing a positive, productive life. So I thought I'd use this blog as a forum to monitor my progress. 

Me at Everest Base Camp One Nov 2010

 So here they are- When I'm in Palau I want to:
  1. do my yoga practice at least twice per week
  2. dive at least once a month
  3. do a HIIT session at least 3 times per week
  4. become an early riser
  5. do something I  wouldn't normally do at least once per month.
My university placement students would be so proud! Goal setting 101- identify an action you wish to achieve, by when and how often.

1. Do yoga at least twice per week
I started dabbling in yoga about 14 years ago and for the past 5 years it has become part of my life. Before this Palau thing came up I had started toying with the idea of doing my teacher training so that I could deepen my practice but now I am happy to focus on just being a diligent student.

In Brisbane I go to a wonderful school, Brisbane Yogaspace and practice with some amazing teachers and students. There I learn about yoga philosophy, we sing, we dance, we laugh, I hear the coolest stories about Hindu gods, we twist into all manner of positions and most importantly we learn to honor our body.
Yoga makes me feel good. Physically and mentally. When I practice yoga I feel more grounded, physically stronger, happier and helps prevent old injuries from flaring up.

Even with this motivation I generally struggle to get to classes more than once per week. When things are going well I'll go twice a week but something comes up. I get busy. Life gets in the way and I drop off the yoga radar. I know that there is a weekly yoga class in Palau that I am keen to check out but I am worried that I will get lazy and the cycle will continue. So I am prepared. I have knowledge on my side. Books in my bag and a number of downloaded YouTube clips of my favourite yoga teachers on my computer. Now motivation please be with me!

2. Dive at least once a month
Palau has some of the best diving in the world. It's hot and tropical all year. People travel from all over the world to dive around Palau. So I'd be crazy not to make the most of living on the Island.

Recently I worked to overcome my fear of water, successfully attaining my dive ticket. You can read my post about that here. Having done so much hard work to get this far it's really important that I don't let that fear creep back in and continue to go diving and swimming.
3. Do a HIIT session 3 times per week 
HIIT stands for High-Intensity-Interval-Training. It's short and sharp. You get your heart rate up quickly, you sweat and by the end you want to die!

In the variation I do 30 seconds of exercise full on with a 10 second break. You might choose 3 or 4 exercises and you will move through these 3 or 4 times. So the sessions will never go for more than 20 minutes (and that would be FULL ON!).

For me it works because I can rationalise each 30 second work out, the exercise aren't complicated and it is suitable to all fitness levels. It's up to you to push yourself. For example, if you are starting out you may only be able to do 4 burpees in a 30 second set. After sometime this may increase to 8 burpees in 30 seconds.

There are a number of websites that offer free home work outs that I use. They are overly sexualised so I apologise if its not for you.  

4. Become an early riser
I've had a few months off work and even before this I had become lazy. I find it sooo hard to get up before 7 am. The other thing is that I train better and am much more productive in the morning. I really want to be a motivated, productive and happy person and I really think that a piece of the puzzle may lay in my sleeping habits. One of the blogs I read talks a lot about sleep and our behaviour, check that our here.

5. Do something I wouldn't normally do at least once per month and say YES more often
Part of us moving to Palau is about making ourselves available to new things and seeing what opportunities arise. If you want to progress along this path of development then you have to do things different and sometimes these things are challenging and uncomfortable; especially at first.

If I'm being honest, I am a little shy and insecure. I am more likely to decline an invitation or not ask something of someone as I don't want to embarrass myself or seem like an idiot. These thoughts are completely irrational, unproductive and hold me back. There's a large piece of urban art on a wall of an under pass heading into Fortitude Valley. I would see this everyday when I drove home from work. Credit to the Brisbane artist  Sebastian Moody. It says "The more I think about it the bigger it gets". I always related this back to my anxiety and unfounded fears.

I'm not sure how I'm going to quantify the last goal so I can monitor my progress but we will see how we go.


  1. I ride past that wall every day and I never thought about it the way you do. That makes a lot of sense.

    I just thought it was a promo for an impotence product. :-)

    1. Hehehe think every male in Brisbane thinks that! I actually did some research and the artist wanted it to be intentionally ambiguous. I guess more people attach to it that way.