A few months ago I wrote up an article about what I call a Trial Week. It is a week where you break free from habits and take part in a personal experiment. The only real good is to live your life during that week a bit differently and come away from it with a new perspective and experience to make you’re day-to-day life a bit more fulfilling. Quite simply it is an opportunity to realign yourself towards the life you want to live.

Trial week, part 2.

Not only was my own experience from my trial week experiment great, but so too was the response from others who took part in their own version of it. With the autumnal weather having finally arrived, it seems fitting to run a new trial week. I must also admit that I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently and really need to break out of this rut. So here are my goals for the week:

  • Eat more of a Mediterranean or Cretan diet (fresh food and fats especially)
  • Exercise at least once a day (emphasis on being outside if practical)
  • Stay away from corn-sugars (inc. light beer) and processed foods
  • Read at night before bed, no illuminated displays
  • Be more creative during the day (personal productivity)

There isn’t much to say about the list of goals, at least not here, except that this list is a natural result of a couple key observations about myself. Movement and physical activity are central to who I am, so I’ve developed a couple of these goals directly from that understanding. A Cretan diet rich in fats and fresh foods will help me be the best athlete I can be, while reading at night has always helped me feel recovered and energized in the mornings.

From the previous trial week I learned that getting up early for one week isn’t enough time to develop a new habit, so I’ve decided to stick with my regular schedule (6am-7am wake up) during this week. Someday I’d like to push that time back to 5am (like these people) so that I would have ample time to workout in the mornings before work, but let’s take it one step at a time.

My list of goals is remarkable for one thing, there are no solid rules or even goals for the week. There’s nothing solid except having to exercise once a day: I don’t have to eat only the Mediterranean diet, read a certain amount per night, or even eliminate anything in particular. I feel that being able to fail during a trial week is antithetical to the whole enterprise. A trial week is, in my perspective, an analog to life, and you can’t fail life by not reading a book before bed or by missing a trip to the gym. The week is an experiment, not an ultimatum.

Daily Log

This is merely for reference, not particularly interesting, and needs elaboration/context.

Monday:

  • 20 mile bike ride after work, felt great. Small pasta dinner and 1 miller lite (oops).

Tuesday

  • Slept well but should have turned AC off. Trail run after work (new shoes!), 5 miles.

Wednesday

  • Sore today but well worth it, forgot how much I love being outside. Bike ride after work, 15 miles, hungry and tired when done. Pasta and presidential debate tonight.

Thursday

  • Thursday was my “off” day to give my legs a chance to recover. Worked on my master bathroom remodel.

Friday

  • Time for some fun, went for a mountain bike ride… on my road bike. 20 miles later I emerged tired and satisfied. So far this week I’ve increased my olive oil

Weekend

  • Doesn’t really qualify for my trial week since I went camping with friends. Lots of meat and good beer so definitely a success.