It's been a couple of weeks since I've sent out an issue of this newsletter. A few things are changing behind the scenes. Firstly, we've switched over to a new email provider, so this email probably looks a bit different to what you're used to. Hopefully things work, but if they don't, I'll sort it out for next week :)
Secondly, I've recently resumed playing World of Warcraft, which is making my productivity take a hit. If anyone plays, add my Battle Tag (Ali#1406). I'm also looking for an EU guild to join, preferably that raids 2-3 times per week. If that means anything to you, please hit <reply> - I'd love to hear from you. I've been streaming every evening (GMT) on Twitch - follow me at https://twitch.tv/aliabdaal.com please.
In this email, I want to share a write-up of my goals that I wrote a few weeks ago. I'm going to do this as a monthly thing to stay accountable , and I'll share them in these emails each month. Click here to check out the full write-up on my website, but here are 5 out of the 25:
💪 Get six pack abs
I was semi-serious about this goal in January, but in February I decided that I couldn't be bothered with the calorie deficit. I still think it would be nice to do at some point, but with lots of other big projects going on in my life + a generally sedentary lifestyle, I felt that it wasn't the right time to really take this seriously. Oh well.
I'm making an effort to generally eat a little healthier, and experiment with intermittent fasting. And I'm keeping track of my body measurements + occasionally taking progress photos. Part of me hopes that the six-pack abs will magically happen if I sort my diet and lifestyle enough, but that's probably unrealistic.
🧘♀️ Fix my posture
I have a serious issue with anterior pelvic tilt + nerd neck + rounded shoulders. My bum sticks out like a Kardashian, and not in a good way. This is thanks to decades of sitting on a desk in front of a computer.
I've been half-arsing this particular goal. Other than spending around 30% of my desk time in standing mode, I haven't made much progress towards fixing my posture. I know it involves daily stretching and strengthening exercises (hip flexor stretches, glute bridges etc) but I haven't yet built the habit.
Action Point - Find a default stretching and mobility routine that I can do while watching TV or while standing at my desk in Zoom calls.
👅Get more hench
This is going well. I've been doing 3/week Zoom sessions with my personal trainer, and he works me quite hard with my home workout stuff - pullup bar, 16kg kettlebell, exercise bands, weighted vest. For the past few months, I've been getting consistent comments on YouTube videos + Instagram that my biceps are looking better. My housemate even comments this sometimes. It's a nice feeling. Let's keep going with it.
🥰 Be more grateful
In my live-streamed interview with Justin Kan (co-founder of Twitch), we talked about various strategies for wellness. Justin's favourite is Gratitude Journaling - each morning, he writes down 3 things that he's grateful for. This is a ridiculously simple practise, and I've been hearing about it on the grapevine for years - apparently there's some evidence that it does more to boost your happiness than a doubling of your salary.
Either way, after hearing him wax lyrical about it, I decided to give it a go. I'll report back next month.
Action Point - Gratitude Journal everyday, and include screenshots in next month's Goals Report.
🏥 Work part-time in A&E
When I think about my long-term goals regarding Medicine, I keep landing on the idea of working part-time. I think working 2 days a week as a doctor might be quite fun. The speciality I'm leaning towards is Emergency Medicine. This means I'd be spending most of my time in A&E (Accident & Emergency), otherwise known as ER (the Emergency Room).
I had a chat with one of the A&E consultants (the UK version of "Attendings") at my local hospital, and he kindly invited me to join the AE& Locum Bank. "Locums" are extra shifts you can pick up here and there.
Given that I've never really had proper experience in A&E, I want to try it out for a few months to see if I like the vibe of Emergency Medicine. And I want to test the assumption that "working 2 days a week would be fun".
The annoying thing is that for the past month, I've been going back and forth with the Medical Staffing department to try and get the paperwork sorted out. Currently, my DBS (criminal records) check is processing, and that seems to be what's holding things up.
Once the paperwork is sorted, I'll pickup a few shifts and see how things go
So that's the vibe. If you want to check out the full write-up of all 25 goals, click here to read the full post on my website.
Otherwise, hopefully we'll go back to this newsletter being a weekly thing, rather than a 'when I feel like it' thing.
Have a great week!
My Favourite Things This Week
- Book - I recently devoured the audiobook of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It's apparently one of Bill Gates' favourite books. It's about a man with Asperger's Syndrome trying to find a wife. I'll just leave it at that.
- Book - I've also been losing a large amount of sleep recently thanks to being engrossed in Open, the autobiography of tennis legend Andre Agassi. I'm not one to follow tennis (especially pre-2006 tennis) but I'd heard so many good things about the book that I had to give it a read, and it didn't disappoint. In fact, I'm typing this in a haze because I was up until 4am last night finishing it. It's really good.
✍️ Quote of the Week
"Happiness is the absence of unhappiness. It’s our resting state when nothing clouds the picture or causes interference. Happiness is your default state."