Q1 Update

I set some lofty goals for myself this year. This is my first quarterly update, which is where I will organize my thoughts around the restructuring that I have had to do.

I got pretty lazy about doing regular (weekly) updates and only did them twice, so I did not include any of those.

It is interesting, that even as I got lazy, I ended up making progress toward some of these anyhow – without realizing it and without referencing this list. Many people say writing it down is important. I believe this is true anecdotally. 

Here is my original outline with my notes as of 04/17/2019. 

  1. Improve communication
    • Public speaking – This has been hard to practice regularly. What I have decided to do is to join Toastmasters so that I can practice weekly, but I am stuck at the first step (visiting locations). I have identified two locations/ times that will work for me. Next Action: Add one per week to the calendar. No speaking obligation, just visit.
    • Card Illusions (presentation) – This project has gone through some lulls, but is generally strong. I find it a nice activity at night when I am just sitting and thinking, to mindlessly practice sleights. I also will do tricks for strangers when I am out and for friends at church. The rush of tricking them and the surprise on their face is immensely rewarding.
    • Book project (written communication and organization) – I intended to scrap this project altogether, but after sharing my premise with some strangers and casual acquaintance, I have renewed vigor to outline this book and write it before year-end. I will be putting excerpts on the blog and will likely make the book free on PDF to whoever wants it, as well as free on Kindle/Amazon. Next Action: Preliminary research and a rough outline.
    • Storytelling – I have written one story and practiced delivering it to a few strangers and family. I am going through a book right now called Storyworthy which promises to help me lay down a structure of building a story library.
    • What would prevent me?
      • Staying in more – This has been a legitimate challenge I am not sure how to address.
      • Being afraid of what people think and messing up – This is always a fear but the rush of doing it outweighs the fear for me.
      • Not staying on a structure, research procrastinating –Definitely experienced this with the book project, and I can attribute the lulls in card tricks to this point as well. It has been helped by setting weekly milestone goals (at least for the cards).
  2. Improve Sleep
    1. Early Bedtime – Once I cut out TV for a couple of nights and opted to read instead, it was easy to turn in early every night. Currently, I wake up at 5:30 AM every day (although I usually snooze till 6). I like to wake up to this, much to my wife’s dismay.
    2. Routine – I will go to bed either at 9:45ish or if circumstances prevent, 11:30 PM. This ensures I do not wake in the middle of a sleep cycle and it is easier to get up. Because I have been snoozing till 6, I am tinkering with the bedtime (20 minutes earlier, 20 minutes later?) to see if that makes a difference in waking.
    3. Orange GlassesI will usually do orange glasses for heavy daytime computer use, and then switch to red glasses at night. If I put these on, I am usually out cold within 10 minutes.
    4. What would prevent me?
      • TV – This is an issue if it remains unchecked.
      • Late eating – I have been eating dinner around 5 PM with no night snacking, this helps me stick to a routine that is identical every night (Brush Teeth, Shower, End of Day / Habit log/ Tea / Red glasses/ Read/ Bed).
      • laziness – Learning more about habits from Charles Duhigg and James Clear has helped me design an environment that virtually eliminates the need for willpower.
      • Messing with the timer – This refers to the timer I keep on the internet, which shuts off at 9:15 (terribly disappointing if you’re mid-Netflix binge). This has been irrelevant to me since my routine has me reading at this time nightly.
  3. Add Income Streams
    • Local Business – I finally did some preliminary research on this idea, and I am being extremely lazy about it. Next Action: Call leads.
    • FBA Experiment – I have dabbled with Amazon FBA and Arbitrage. It is primarily to add income, but I have been treating it like a hobby, which has been fun but also, thus far, unprofitable.
    • What would prevent me?
      • Fear of rejection – Always present before action.
      • Fear of failure – I am trying to adopt more of a game mindset when it comes to things like this. Finite vs Infinite Games is an interesting change of perception, as well as Seth Godin remarking that (22:49 mark of that episode)”It’s a game, and as long as you have money, you can keep playing.” I love games.
      • Lack of knowledge – Hello, Google. This is a ridiculous objection that I give to myself.
      • Fear of losing money – See Seth Godin’s comment above.
  4. Track & Organize Progress
  • Embrace rote tasks & boredom for future mastery – I cannot believe how successful I have been in this area so far this year. I would casually say I am performing 5x in this area compared to this time last year.
  • Look for feedback to improve results – Sometimes, it is hard to gain feedback from peers (this blog) and also, hard to find feedback in a task that does not give it immediately or clearly. What is the relevant feedback here, what is noise? How should the feedback be interpreted?
    • What would prevent me?
      • Boredom – I am less bored in other parts of my day because the automated parts keep me on track with everything that needs to be done, so I have more freedom to do fun stuff, like creating or landing new business.
      • Too much tracking – I have intentionally added far less than I thought I could handle, which has resulted in a near 100% consistency with my current habits.
      • Uncertainty on how to interpret data or how to use it to improve – I mentioned this above – still thinking through it.

Obviously, a lot of the year is left and there is a lot left to do. I am excited to see if I can keep up this momentum through Q2.

A few things I got sidetracked on:

  • Memorizing an entire book of the Bible. As a test, I memorized Psalm 19. After that was a success, I moved onto Hebrews. 302 verses should take me about a year.
  • Increasing my reading speed. I hopped onto Skillshare and reviewed Jonathan Levi’s Superlearner class. My book list is always growing and I read a lot, so reading faster with better comprehension will enable me to read more and/or read in less time to think more about what I am reading.
  • Digitizing all of my old song files. I used to write several songs a week, and I have paper stored that I never look at. I am currently uploading them to Evernote so that I can get rid of the paper, and they are more searchable.

Any advice on how I can improve? What did I miss? How do you handle some of the challenges I am facing?

Comment below and help me out!

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