0515 – hello 2016: goals

So we’re halfway through the first day of 2016. A year is an arbitrary signifier of the passage of time, but it’s a useful signpost so I’m going to use it anyway.

# What is my vision for myself this year? What do I want to accomplish? What needs to change? What’s the work that I need to do?

The first thing I want to do is to write every single day. That means at least 1 word vomit a day. I have 486 word vomits left to write (including this one), which means if I can do 1.3 a day I’d be done by the end of 2016. That’s a nice amount of time to spend to finish the project and move on to other things entirely. If I try to do 2 a day, and there are some days that I miss, I’ll need to do 243 days of 2x word vomits and can afford to take 123 days off. Those are some nice-sounding numbers. I’ll attempt to do at least 2 today and see how that plays out.

# What do I want to do with my writing?

I want to use my writing to think more clearly. To troubleshoot myself. To remove bugs and inefficiencies from my mindware, so I can spend more time feeling happy, satisfied, fulfilled. So I can grow and contribute more and not feel guilty or ashamed about anything. I want 2016 to be my most productive year yet. I want it to be the year that I’m most proud of, that I’m least ashamed of. And when I succeed at doing that, I’d like to continue the trend for each subsequent year (but I’m getting ahead of myself).

# What will the remaining vomits be about?

I don’t entirely know yet. I know I will be writing reminders to my future self about what works and what doesn’t. I also think I may be using vomits to do sketches of future blogposts that I want to write, figuring out all the things that I want to figure out.

# What else do I want to work on, in terms of writing?

I want to flesh out my main blog as a repository of useful information that is helpful to me. I used to try to come up with grand plans and projects, but I realize that’s a form of escapism and distraction. I need to get a little bit done everyday. The first and simplest thing to do is to go through my existing digital footprint on Workflowy and Evernote and externalize everything that’s useful.

Then, I want to put together a list of things that I want to find out (I already have some sort of lists) and then I want to find those things out. This means a lot more research and a lot more reading.

# What do I need to stop doing?

I want to spend less time being distracted, less time being afraid of The Resistance. Less time on social media. Less time on reddit. Less time avoiding difficult things. Less time lounging in bed.

# What do I need to do that I’m not doing?

The main thing that’s missing is a daily review system that allows me to improve day by day. I keep postponing them. I’m going to do one today, and I’m going to do one tomorrow. I’m going to track this on my Day One app.

I want to do a lot more reading. I have a bookshelf that needs to be re-examined critically. I want to get rid of books that I’m never going to read.

# What are some measurable, manageable goals that I want to achieve?

I want to bench press my bodyweight (85kg).

I want to squat 1.5x my bodyweight. (130kg).

I want to run 2.4km in 11 minutes or less.

I want to write 400 word vomits in a year, or 2/day x 200 days.

I want to read the first chapter of every single book that I own. Assuming 400 books and 10 minutes per chapter, that’s 4,000 minutes. Suppose I spend an hour per session. That’s (4,000 / 60) hours, or 70 hours. That’s 1.3 hours per week. So I could do this by just spending an hour on every weekend reading.

I want to do a daily review every single day. The bare minimum would be

“today I wanted to do X. I did Y”.

I want to be more effective at work <- how am I going to measure this? I need to develop a system or routine for developing deep work. I think I can do 4 good hours of work a day. So where should these 4 hours be, in the context of a work day? I haven’t made this clear yet.

I typically go to work almost right before lunch, so I seldom get deep work done before lunch. After lunch I’m typically unproductive for a while (I’ve been thinking lately that the best thing to do after lunch is to do some isolated reading, or some isolated task management, without allowing for online exploration). If I get deep work done at work, it’s usually… 4-6pm, sometimes later. And then I get home late and tired and I might do some work then too if I didn’t do much earlier, and then I sleep late, wake late, the cycle continues.

I think it would be much more productive if I went to work much earlier. I should get 2 hours of deep work done before lunch, 2 hours of deep work after lunch, say after 30-45 mins of rest, and then be done for the day. To do this I need to reach work at 10, which means leaving home at 9, which means waking at 8. I personally really do enjoy waking at 6 or earlier– I can spend some time writing for myself, I can spend some time with the wife, I can work out, the weather is pleasant, and I can eat breakfast, and I can leave for work early– the commute is a bit shittier because it’s more crowded, but I can leave work earlier too, which is a more pleasant commute, and I can get home before it gets dark, which is great.

So I think I want to work towards that. Sleeping and waking earlier. Shifting my entire schedule back. Getting 2 hrs of good work done before lunch, a break, and two good hours of work after. So I’ll measure my progress towards this on Day One too.

I think that’s a good set of goals to make progress towards on a month-by-month basis. I’ll do monthly reviews to see how I’m doing. I’m not 100% sure how long it will take me to get stronger and faster physically, but I should be making progress at a steady rate and I’ll keep track of that.

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