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Inside Buffer

19 Improvements the Buffer Team is Working on This Week

The entire Buffer team starts each week fresh with new goals—both work and personal.

One of Buffer’s 10 values is a focus on self-improvement, and it’s a lot of fun to share our personal improvement goals and cheer each other on each week with our daily pair calls.

Improvement goals can be almost anything, from exercise and eating better to home projects to learning a new language to listening more. Since we all receive free Kindles (and Kindle books) and a Jawbone UP, there’s generally a lot of emphasis on reading, getting enough “steps in” and getting enough sleep.

To keep track of who’s working on what and how we’re all doing on our improvements, we write down our weekly goals in a document that we made public a while ago and are now going to begin sharing here each week on the blog. :)

We’d love to hear what your improvement goals are, too—tell us about them in the comments!

Here’s what we’re working on this week:

Niel– This week I’m finally getting back into running after a two week cold/cough induced hiatus. I’m stepping it up with 2 x 7kms and then one 10km. :)

Rodolphe – This week will be about meditation, looking at 4 sessions this week, also 1 manual notebook entry, and keeping up my 15-20min before bed fiction reading time! :-) I’ll also try to spend more time outside – the indoor city life takes its tale!

Octavio – This week will be a bit irregular compared to the last ones in terms of setting up sort of defined schedule, so it seems it’ll be a bit complicated to create a plan to follow and stick to. I wanto pick up the reading habit again, in the last couple of weeks I had a hard time trying to find a time to read, which led me to completely putthing that aside. I’ve started with the right foot this week, dedicating a time to read for two days in a row. :)

Dave – My daily steps have slipped slightly and I would like to refocus on that, by extending my daily walk on my non-running days. Good sleep, physical activity and nutrition feel like the foundation of all other improvements so they are where my attention will remain this week. I’ve been so pleased to get a three day streak with my sleep goal last week! (8hrs felt like such a challenge at first) Steadily the earlier bed times have become more normal and I’ve had some great tips and advice from the team in getting to this stage, especially Patrik’s sleep trick! I am still working on my French language skills too and trying to read more.

Mary – I’m spending the next two weeks in Kansas City and am excited to spend time with my parents, sisters and nephew. My suitcase routines (routines while living out of my suitcase) that feel most important to hold on to are running (4x/week), reading (every night before bed) and drinking lots of water. I’m also reviving my letter writing and going to start with 1/week this time.

Kevin – My first week here at Buffer and it already feels awesome! This week I’ll focus on getting to the gym at least three times a week again. I also want to familiarize myself better with Python so I’ve started on a Python plugin for Sublime Text 3. I’d like to set a goal to finish that plugin at the end of this week.

Adam – Looking forward to getting another week underway. Though I struggled a bit to find a consistent time to get 30 minutes of Code Academy in during the evening, I was able to spend more time last week working on it than previous weeks. I was really happy with how easily it was able to get moving when I didn’t have to review as much. This week I am going to look to increase the frequency a bit more. In addition, this will be the second week of tracking my runs, consistent weight training, and sticking to proper nutrition.

Tom – Well it’s my first week here at Buffer, and I look forward to many new beginnings this week. One of which, from a personal improvement perspective, is to get the gym – midday! – at least three times. I’ve been an on-and-off gym-goer for a few years now, but I’m yearning to get back into a regular routine, specifically going in the middle of the day instead of in the evening. Finishing up work later in the day and not having to “still go to the gym” is something I’m looking forward to!

Daniel – Focusing this week on writing some blog posts and taking advantage of the beautiful weather to grab some pictures. Can’t wait to get out and see what I can explore in Louisville to get some great shots :-)

Colin – Improvements have been thin on the ground for me lately, so I’m keen to get back into the swing of things. Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while is focus on the Buffer values. So, for this week and the next, I’m planning on one per day.

Courtney – I think it’s finally time for a month-long improvement goal! I got inspired by this article about living in a more minimalist way to try to remove one material possession from my life every day this month. I hope this will be an interesting exercise in priorities and gratitude; thinking I might blog about it as well. :) While that’s ongoing, I also want to up my step count this week. My goal is 6,000 at least 4 days this week.

Leo – Excited for my first proper week back in SF. There’re 2 goals I have for this one. I want to get back into a full meditation routine with 5 sessions in the office after lunch every day. And I’m also aiming for a full gym routine with 4 sessions again this week after a slight disruption with travelling last week. I’ll still be moving furniture this week a bit, so don’t want to overdo it and set myself up for disappointment. Excited to see how things’ll go.

Nicole – This week I’d like to focus on the basics: more sleep, more steps. I’d like to start my day earlier without sacrificing much-needed sleep, so it’s off to bed at an earlier hour. :-) Also, while I can maintain a better step count on weekends, I want to up that during the work week, which means taking breaks to do more walking. I’m going to shoot for at least 7,500 steps each day this week, when I generally average 4,000.

Kevan – I had a really fun experience eating vegetarian last month! I think I might even continue with a 90/10 vegetarian menu for the foreseeable future. I just finished a book about skill development, and I’m excited to put a bit of it into practice. The book encouraged “desiring difficulty,” which basically means to push yourself into the sweet spot between comfortable and insanely difficult. With that in mind, I’ve got a couple goals: Make every word count in my writing, and increase reps in my daily exercise.

Patrik – I’ve been really happy with my sleep progress over the last three weeks so I’m looking forward to transitioning to my new goal of getting into a regular workout routine. I’ve already started to fit in regular walks in the afternoon around the neighborhood thanks to Carolyn’s advice, so I want to step that up (hoh!) to include 20-30 minutes in the gym each day. :)

Joel – My plan this week is to get back almost into my ideal flow. That includes kicking my daily gym and meditation habits back into action. Still taking it slightly easier, next week I plan to hit the throttle full-speed ahead :) The other plan is to do a blog post this weekend and start weekly blogging again.

Dan – Continuing my no sweets/excess sugar 30 day challenge, now 1 week in. I didn’t think I craved sweets/sugar as often as I do. Eating at home more has definitely helped this out! Trying to continue to get my steps and/or biking activity in each day. I haven’t been pushing myself enough on this lately. It’s too often that the clock turns 2 or 3pm and I’ve just been head-down in work all morning. Hoping to break it up a bit this week.

Carolyn – I’m focusing on health this week in advance of traveling and things being a whirlwind for a few weeks. That means I’m continuing with Intermittent Fasting (breakfast happens 14 hours from the last evening meal) and gym. I’m experimenting with “2-a-days” this week which means a short workout in the morning and another one at lunch. My goal is to do this every day except Thursday.

Åsa – This week is all about routine and I have started planning my days a lot more in my calendar. Therefore adding almost all activities (including social things, gym, runs etc). I have felt a little bit like I have been chasing my tail lately and I’m hoping this will increase the sense of contentment at the end of each day. Also started using Wunderlist instead of papernotes. Also focusing on sleeping 8 hours each night, normally hit around 7hours 30 min so not there just yet.

Want to share your own improvement goals? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

  • micaela

    Made a goal to run at least a mile every morning with my dog for the foreseeable future! And not have coffee before 10am… we’ll see how that works out :)

    • LeoWid

      awesome idea Micaela, excited to hear how it goes with your running habit, keep us posted here!

  • I’m going to do a half marathon in October! I started my training this week and ran 2 miles this past Monday.

    • carokopp

      Woot! We have a lot of running related improvements each week. Congrats on the 2 miles, that’s a great milestone! :) Keep us posted, Eric!

  • Thanks for sharing! These are all very inspiring. In April and May, I set a goal to get closer to achieving an optimal work-life balance. I made trips to NYC, Alabama, and St. Augustine, which really reignited my passion for traveling. I plan on continuing to foster my wanderlust with overnight camping trips!

    My goal for June is to begin freelance editing/copywriting pro bono, and I’m aiming to take on two new clients with socially responsible projects I really support.

    • carokopp

      Oh wow, how amazing! What a cool variety of travel there. Are you finding the limit of how little you can travel with? :)

      • Thanks, Carolyn! I’m trying to limit what I bring and live a bit more simply. I find that I pack too much, but that can be a good thing when you’re in the middle of the woods and “need” something! I’ve been limiting myself to a carry-on size bag, which fits more than any human truly needs! =)

  • Baybreeze

    A few months back, I made a goal to either learn a new skill or upgrade my current skills every month. I’ve actually managed to acquire enough courses in my queue to learn something new every week! I didn’t plan on signing up for so many, however, I got all of them either for a deep discount or free. I figured I might as well stock up when the prices were right, and it never hurts to learn something new.

    • carokopp

      That’s so cool! Which service are you using for that? :)

      • Baybreeze

        I’ve used Udemy for most of them. RIght before Black Friday, they had a promo where most courses were 76% off. They also offer promos now and then for special deals on select courses. There are always some free courses available, some which are older, but not always – they also make some newer ones free for limited amounts of time. Not to mention, after you sign up for a course, often times, the instructor will send you coupons for other courses they’ve created.

        I love that you can sign up for a course at any time, like when they are on sale, but you can take the course any time you’d like. You have access to it for a lifetime, so you can always go back to a course if you need to reference back to something. You can also access your courses through their apps.

        I also like Google Gooru’s free “Google University” for learning tips and tricks about Gmail and Google Apps. It’s an awesome resource, all in one spot, for anyone that uses Google services.

  • Great post! :) I just secured an accountability partner about an hour ago (an old high school friend) so we can text each other each day to keep on track with our daily goals.

    The remainder of this week the focus is primarily on my environment: eliminate all paper clutter (junk mail, paper bills, old magazines, receipts etc.) by Saturday & do a thorough cleaning of my living space. Also to work out 20 min/day for the next 3 days to rebuild consistency.

    Next week, continue decluttering with clothing, shoes, etc. to live a more minimalist life (similar to Courtney). I also need to reorganize my living space to create a distinct separation between my “home” (relaxing space) and my “office/work” space so that I’m more focused while working.

    • carokopp

      Oh that sounds like a great one, Thea! I just ordered “Everything that remains,” a book on minimalism. Haven’t started it yet, though, so can’t recommend it yet. :) In case you’re looking for reading on the topic, though! :)

      • Oooo – sounds like a great read! Will definitely check it out and add it to the list. :)

  • Storewars News

    read! Very informative. Did you know that Nestlé CEO Sees Organic Growth Around
    5% for 2014 CEO Cites Less Tolerance for Underperforming Businesses. Full story

  • Just downloaded the LittleBit app to build my habits – the first 21 days is devoted to walking 20 minutes for every 2 hours of work. Have built in to my calendar so I can’t take meetings and so far it’s working well (okay, it’s day two, but still…!!)

  • James Glendenning

    I’ve been learning JavaScript over the past few days, I’m hoping to be able to make a simple game with physics by the end of the month.

  • Vikash Koushik

    I set a goal 3 weeks back to make at least one unknown person happy and spread the smile around and I’ve been able to achieve it without breaking the routine. :-)

  • Hello there Buffer team! I can’t stop feeling amazed each time I learn more about how you work through your values. You are true inspiration!

    Is there any post that talks about the team member’s routine? I mean, when you work from home you must find some balance.

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