March 2018 Goals – Slow Movement

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4 min read. Goals, Personal.

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Every month I review how I did during my last month and plan out my focus for the next month. Since I do these goal posts monthly, you might want to read them all by checking out the goals category. For February, I focused on Using Everything and gave myself about a D for my efforts. I overextended myself a little too much, so March the focus is more about getting back on track. Here’s what I’m focusing on for March.

March 2018 Goals

Most of my recent goals have leaned towards being action based. Uncluttering/Organizing in February, Writing more in January, organizing content on Minafi in December. That organization played a part in the recent Minafi homepage redesign and is continuing to impact what I choose to write about.

For March, I’m switching things up and giving myself a bit of a goals break. I’m not creating a strict goal in the sense that there’s a deliverable at the end. Instead, the deliverable is knowledge. This relates back to one of my yearly goals around slowing down. One of my personal problems is trying to push myself too hard to do things and then not giving myself the time to just be happy. This month is about intentionally giving myself a bit more leway to breath and learn.

By April 1, 2018, I will have tried living a life without driving (for as much of the month as possible).

Since the move to Utah, I’ve been driving less and less. In order to get to the office, I can jump on a bus at the end of my block, transfer to a train and take that into the office. That train drops off within only a few steps of my building, which means even in days of heavy snow I can ride it.

Even with taking public transportation, my FitBit steps for the day have still been under 10k – so the routes are super convenient.

What I haven’t done is test this out in other contexts. Can I make it the gym, or to the grocery store and make it home? I’ve checked the routes for going to these places, and all of them look doable. I’ve tried this once or twice (often on the most snowy days when I wouldn’t want to drive) and it’s a lot of walking and a lot of time. Am I OK accepting this tradeoff of having less time at the end of the day, but more time in transit?

Driving In Snow Isn’t Fun

If you’re not aware of this fact, I’d like to inform you that driving in snow is scary. That could be because I just haven’t really done it before, but also because my car doesn’t have all-wheel drive. On days it’s snowing, I want to have the public transit route down cold so I’m not worrying about getting into the office. Luckily, my company does encourage people to work from home if there’s any difficulty in coming in (snow, lots of traffic, accidents, etc). Basically, if you’ll get more work done from home that day, or feel safer, go for it.

We’re Not Dropping Our Car

The goal from this isn’t to drop having a car at all. Right now Mrs. Minafi and I have 2 cars. With her work being a half mile from our apartment and me taking public transit, we’ve considered going down to 1 car. It’s unusual for us both to be driving at any given time right now, but it still happens a few times a week. One of our cars isn’t paid off so that change alone could save us $400/month (!), which is no small sum if we did want to move to a single car family.

You Need a Car in Salt Lake City

For what we want to do, not having a car isn’t an option. Within the city, we could get by without a car. One of our hopes to explore Utah much more in the coming year – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands – and further out Yellowstone, Glacier and The Grand Canyon. We could rent a car for these, but the cost and flexibility of having one is too nice.

We recently picked up some Kahtoola MICROspikes, which should help us out on some of the icy hikes in the area. Getting out to these areas isn’t exactly bus friendly. Mapping to the trail we hiked a few weeks ago – it’s 29 minutes by car or 1 hour 50 minutes by public transit.

Exploring the parks and trails of Utah is unrealistic without at least one car.

Transit Activities

One thing I’m going to challenge myself to do on public transit is to spend the time on something productive and not on social media. I’ve tried writing during this time, but with only about 20 minutes max on a given leg, it’s not enough to get into a good flow. Instead, I want to focus on using that time for a few other things:

  • Taking a break – Just not doing anything except looking at the window and listening to an audiobook/podcast.
  • Editing Posts – I make sure to read over every post on a different day than it’s written. This is something I can do on a train.
  • Comments, Social Replies – Replying to conversations I’m in or comments on this blog.
  • Learning More – Whether this is a course on Teachable, a Pluralsight or YouTube Video or a long-form article, it’s a good opportunity to take some time to learn.

Office Move

Just a month ago, my work announced plans to move their office about 10 minutes further away – but not for another 2 years. The office move is pretty exciting actually. They’re building out a major campus, which would be the first time in my career I’ve worked at as elaborately designed a place. A lot can happen in 2 years, but I would love to see what it’s like to work in an environment engineered from the ground up for people and productivity.

For reference, here’s what the office could look like.

It’s a pretty impressive looking plan! It’s crazy how they’re going to be working with the city to route public transportation to our doorstep. I want to be ready for it when it gets there.

The problem though is that taking public transportation there will be a little more complex. When it opens, I’ll be taking a bus to a train to a shuttle. Doing this now will be good practice. On the upside, my work is working with the city to extend public transportation routes to this new office. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to jump on a tram within walking distance from our apartment and take that all the way to the new office.

Do you have any goals for March? What are you trying to focus on this month?

Comments (4)

  1. It’s funny that even when you take a goals break, you have a goal! Slowing down is actually harder than it seems, especially for someone as hard-working as you are.

    You live in a beautiful area and the video shows it nicely. I am happy not to need spikes where I live though. They look cool. I’ve wanted to try them for a light snow hike in our nearby Sierras. I’ll check those out.

    1. Hiking in snow is still something I haven’t tried, but want to as well! Getting the clothes right to not feel too cold or too hot is tough.

  2. I like the idea of a taking a different approach month, and having less quantifiable goals. However, I often find creativity and ideas come to me when I am completely at rest and not engaging in anything productive…..gazing out the window of a moving vehicle can be very inspiring itself.

    1. Good point! If you’re always lining up goals, there’s less room for exploration and imagination. Making room in a life for those is something I struggle with sometimes when trying to stick to schedules too much.

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