2024 Goal Accountability May Closeout/June Kickoff

May proved to be more of a struggle to keep things at a high level of performance. Some things, like a COVID relapse causing me to be more cautious on ramping up working out, explain part of it. Some things are me trying to transform my working out into something more focused on running performance but with side effects. Others are me just feeling more slack this month. Overall it wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t at the level I have been at.


This is a quick refresher of how this works. The “Goal Accountability” method is to give myself five focus areas each day which help contribute to longevity. Technically it can be any five things but for me these have historically always fallen into the categories of: diet, sleep, cardio movement, strength movement, and mind exercises. For each day one is given a numerical grade like in school from 0.0 (F) to 4.0 (A). By keeping track of those things we can see how we do by week and over the year. To give myself opportunities for feeling the “new years resolution” type psychological prodding more than just once a year the whole year is broken up into four week “phases”. Therefore I can see how things are going over the year and at an approximately one month interval have an opportunity to start with a clean slate and “get a good grade”.

May Closeout

As I wrote in April/May’s closeout/kickoff , I was expecting May to be a lot like April but with potentially a bit more planned lapses on diet, hopefully better performance on sleep, while holding steady on everything else. The positive sides of that didn’t hold as much as I had hope. The goals for the month were:

  • Goal 1 (Diet): Eat a plant dominant Mediterranean diet averaging at least 100 grams of protein a day
  • Goal 2 (Sleep): Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night
  • Goal 3 (Cardio Health): 30 minutes of focused cardio exercise (indoor cycling, running, swimming, etc), with one hard session per week minimum and a stretch goal of two hard sessions per week
  • Goal 4 (Non-Cardio Health): 20-30 minutes of weight training, calisthenics, or yoga
  • Goal 5 (Brain Health): 15-20 minutes of meditation, stretch goal of 2x 15-20 minutes of meditation; increase reading time by decreasing TV/YouTube/Social Media time
    April Daily Grade Graph

After having such a strong performance in April I was really hoping I could have aced all the categories and the overall grade for another month. I expected that a few more lapse days on diet would potentially drop the diet score a bit into the B+ range but otherwise I intended to ace the month. That absolutely did not happen. I want to explore some of it more because not all of it is complacency, but some of it is.

January February March April May
Goal 1 (Diet) 2.89 (B-) 3.43 (B+) 3.30 (B) 3.76 (A-) 3.13 (B)
Goal 2 (Sleep) 3.52 (B+) 3.65 (B+) 3.53 (B+) 3.54 (B+) 3.70 (A-)
Goal 3 (Cardio Fitness) 3.74 (A-) 3.86 (A-) 3.91 (A-) 4.00 (A) 3.55 (B+)
Goal 4 (Non-Cardio Fitness) 3.74 (A-) 3.86 (A-) 3.93 (A-) 4.00 (A) 3.48 (B+)
Goal 5 (Brain Health) 3.39 (B+) 3.79 (A-) 3.76 (A-) 3.98 (A-) 4.00 (A)
Total GPA 3.46 (B+) 3.72 (A-) 3.69 (B+) 3.86 (A-) 3.57 (B+)

Goal #1 (Diet) once again was the weakest category but it clocked in as the second worst month so far. I have no problem with planned diversions from plan for vacations, family events, a special meal, etc. There were plenty of big dings for that in this data. However there is also a lot of middling around late night snacking and eating crap when I didn’t need to throughout the data as well. Those I’m not as okay with. Whether I am at my target calorie balance for any given day can be driven by eating on plan. I don’t have to fill that in with desserts, cookies, chips, candy, et cetera. Too often I did just that though. That meant that with the planned F days the whole average got brought down. It was still in the B range at 3.13 but it could have been higher.

Goal #2 (Sleep) I wanted to improve on and infact I did. I ended up needing a lot more sleep after my COVID relapse and then again when I started ramping up some of my training. That naturally drove my sleeping time well above seven hours. There were still days when I didn’t get a full night’s sleep for reasons of travel. I was better at getting my brain shutting down for bed or sleeping later than I normally do to get a full night’s rest.

The exercise goals Goal #3 (Cardio) and Goal #4(Non-Cardio) faltered substantially both in grades and in execution. I had three total whiff days. One of those days was at the peak of my COVID relapse. When I had COVID last month I ramped things back substantially to just walking and very light yoga. On the peak COVID relapse day I felt I needed to pull back even further. Ironically this was the day after I had my best ever performance on a Peloton ride and a really solid leg workout day. Why not give myself another pass? Because I feel like I could have at least gone for a walk and done yoga but decided not to. The other two days were days on a Memorial Day trip. I found a gym that wasn’t too far away. The daily schedule would have allowed me to go do a workout before we left if I woke up early. I instead decided to wake up later and do more socialization with people. It happened again a few days later but with no good reason. I am cool with those two days being a whiff. However my bigger concern is that between my first whiff day and the end of the month I found my brain going back to the whole “this is why today isn’t a good day to workout.” That was the reason for the third whiff day. Yeah I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Yeah it would have been a bit hectic to get it in before I got my day started. Yeah it would have been a little sucky to do it when I got home in the evening. I decided to just blow it off. I’ve had a handful of isolated days where I had this happened since my reboot a year ago. It has never been so pervasive though. That is causing me concerns for how things play out in the next month as I attempt to radically change my workout routine for performance reasons.

Goal #5 (Brain health) was finally a perfect score. I just made sure to emphasize that more than I did in previous months. Mostly it’s my not so great 15 minutes of meditation wherever I could squeeze it in. However that is still better than nothing. The bonus goals were definitely not factored in at all.

All in because of the big drops on diet and exercise goals my total GPA for the month dropped back into the B+ range at 3.57.

June Kickoff

June is going to be a pretty easy month to get right, if I choose. Again there are a few days of expected poor scores on food because of special occassions. I really need to get it dialed in besides that though, especially with some of the trips I have planned for July where diet will definitely go into the crapper. A bigger thing I want to address is this whole matter of my exercise plans.

At the end of the month I decided to engage a running coach. They’ve looked at my workout plans and have taken exception to my working out every day thing. I explained what my active recovery day was, which I thought would be light enough. They don’t think so, in light of the other training they want me to do especially. I don’t know how to account for that in my goals except to replace the 30 minutes of Zone 1 cycling with 30 minutes of planned casual walking. It meets the spirit of the plan which I think is most important. The whole “doing it every day” thing is not about literally getting some minimum every day. I don’t think the body knows the difference on such a short timescale. It was about fighting my life long mindset problem of, “today is not the day to workout.” I’d like to think if I maintained a solid training plan for multiple years then the idea of a planned full day, or days, off in a week wouldn’t revert me back to the “today is not the day to workout” mindset. The warning signs that I’m not past that happened this month after my first whiff day. I’d say half the time I was fighting the urge to just blow off working out each day. I successfully fought it most days, even if it was just for a half-assed workout to regain some momentum. But reverting back to my old ways seems to be something that is building momentum in the wrong direction.

For this month I’m going to keep my exercise goals the same while trying to adapt the new workout regime. If after a month or two I can get through having total rest days without the following day my brain going to the “meh let’s not do our workout today” automatically then I can think about making that more flexible and targeting some weekly workout target with planned rest days getting A’s. For now I need the accountability for those “rest” days even if it is reverting to focused just walking and very light yoga to hit the arbitrary goal. I am tweaking the languaget on workouts to get rid of stretch goals and to just make it about hitting the daily minimums and performing the training plan setup by my coach.

The goals for April’s Goal Accountability is:

  • Goal 1 (Diet): Eat a plant dominant Mediterranean diet averaging at least 100 grams of protein a day
  • Goal 2 (Sleep): Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night
  • Goal 3 (Cardio Health): 30 minutes of focused cardio exercise (indoor cycling, running, swimming, focused walking, etc), meeting training plan goals set by coach
  • Goal 4 (Non-Cardio Health): 20-30 minutes of weight training, calisthenics, or yoga, meeting training plan goals set by coach.
  • Goal 5 (Brain Health): 15-20 minutes of meditation, stretch goal of 2x 15-20 minutes of meditation; increase reading time by decreasing TV/YouTube/Social Media time