This year, Ryan Lancaster is learning to blog, become a better cook, live frugally, meditate, eat vegetarian, swim long distance, have epic weekends, read more, learn computer code, speak a new language and do more charity work.
“I started my blog, ScaleMyLife.com, because I was feeling unaccomplished and unfulfilled,” said Lancaster, 31. “I wanted to document my journey and stay accountable.
“It’s a passion project that has taken over my entire life for the better.”
Now, don’t get Lancaster wrong.
He has a good job managing Andre’s Electronic Experts Telus store downtown and helping other employees with sales and training.
Lancaster and his girlfriend are renovating the house they just bought. And he does community work with the Kelowna Jaycees.
However, after graduating from Okanagan College in Penticton with a business diploma in 2013, he felt he was drifting.
Go to work, socialize too much and watch too much TV. Hang out with his girlfriend, renovate the house and go to Jaycees meetings.
All worthwhile endeavours, but there wasn’t a lot of personal development in the offing.
“I just came to the realization that if I didn’t so something, nothing was going to change,” said Lancaster. “Most New Year’s resolutions are cliche, get in shape or be better with money. I wanted to do something big that kept me accountable.”
Thus, the blog ScaleMyLive.com.
It’s basically a year of following Lancaster pursuing 12 lofty goals, one a month.
January was the foundation-setting warm-up as he learned some web design and how to build a blog.
For February he vowed to become a better cook and learned how to prepare duck with an Iron Chef, French cuisine with a Summer-land chef and spent the day in the kitchen at Earl’s in Penticton.
"For March, I set myself a budget of $250 for groceries, entertainment, gas and booze," said Lancaster. “And I made it and it wasn’t miserable.”
He started to cycle to and from work to save on gas and got hooked. He cycles most places now. He started to hike and play board games for entertainment instead of going out for dinner or the pub.
“And I shopped carefully and ate really well,” he said. “You can do a lot with pork chops, chicken and lentil soup.”
April was meditation month.
“I got the app Head Space and it works,” said Lancaster. “Just 10 minutes a day has helped me get more focused, not get swept away by emotion and to breath and reset when I get frustrated. It worked so well I continue with my 10 minutes every morning.”
This month has been all about being a vegetarian.
“The beginning of the month was great because I went on a work trip to Phoenix with Andre’s and we ate in restaurants and they really catered to me,” Lancaster recalled.
“It’s been a challenge cooking for myself because the tendency is just to eat too much cheese and too many carbs and pasta and cheese pizza. You have to make sure you eat more fruits and vegetables.”
Next month, Lancaster plans to learn how to swim two kilometres so he can complete the Across the Lake challenge in July.
Also in July, he’ll try to experience something new everyday, including epic weekends boating the length of Okanagan Lake or rock climbing.
Not a big reader usually, Lancaster will read 10 classic novels in August.
He’ll start a business, he doesn’t know what yet, in September.
In October, he’ll learn computer coding.
In November, a new language; he doesn’t know which one yet.
And to wrap up the year, there will be the charity challenge to volunteer or to raise money.