My Goal Review (Q1 2015)

Alright, three months into 2015 – It’s that time of the month again!

Reflection time.

Yup

Why?

What these reflections allow me to do is take a step back to really evaluate where I’m going with my life. It also clarifies my priorities since in daily tasks it’s easy to lose the bigger picture of what’s truly important.

By doing this I can start to see what has been working lately and what hasn’t.

Also: You might pick up a thing or two about how I set goals, how I structure my life and maybe even learn from my mistakes + by putting these out I’m able to get feedback from others on how I can improve my actions (and keep myself accountable)

Overall – I also think transparency/openness is the best long-term strategy to build up trust.

But mostly I write these for myself

Note; Standing still on your direction is something you should must do quite regularly. It allows you to fix recurring problems, bad habits and make some real progress in your life.

+ It also gives a cool overview of your life in retrospect ;) – if you make it consistent though.

Be sure to keep a daily journal!

My Previous Reports;

PS: Click on any picture to enlarge

PPS: Fancy Color code

  • Achieved
  • Failed
  • Discontinued

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Mindset

  • I’ll easily do a consistent morning ritual & evening ritual
    I have been consistent for about 80% of my days but I want more consistency to reap the benefits of these rituals all the time. I do these routines because they obviously provide the best results at any given time. They make me feel awake, alive, focused and motivated. I have a timer in my cell-phone which goes off at both times. I need to immediately drop everything I’m doing and start those rituals. 
  • I’ll easily use my systems to get in the optimal mindset & eradicate common problems
    I’ve been falling back into problems I’ve dealt already with in the past; Consistently setting my goals in the evening, motivation to work on the things that are important, media distractions, prioritizing actions that aren’t really as relevant. To counter this, I’ve made one of those IF-THEN systems to deal with those recurring problems as recommended by Ludvig – I will print this out and hang it where I can quickly see it – it simplifies “problems”.
    Systems
  • I’ll easily do a three week media fast
    I think a one week media-fast was enough to realize I can’t cut it out completely. Limiting media input is really the best way to reduce paralysis by analysis and get some real work done. We’re living in an attention economy and the only way to get the best of it is to manage your own. Overall it has cleared up quite some more time and mental clutter. I’ve been able to get some solid work done on my book, had more time for social gatherings and learning more relevant subjects. At the moment I’m going to change this to;

    • Email @ 13:00 & 19:00
    • No Blogs (only Sunday – I have also reduced my reading list to 5 blogs)
    • No YouTube (only Sunday – Unless I have a good reason)
    • No FaceBook (only Sunday – Unless I have a good reason)

Overall;

I’ve stopped meditating in my morning ritual lately which made me more reactive towards my environment. When you take time to pause your thoughts in the morning you carry that effect with you throughout the day. Meditating makes me more open, relaxed and social as opposed to rigidly structured. (Am implementing this again) Basically it’s a nice way to filter out the bullshit in your life and really become “present’ instead of being sad about the past or anxious about the future.

Self-esteem has been solid although I need more consistency on dealing with recurring problems. I believe a visual reminder will help as an extra cue to get these counter-habits in place.

Health

  • I”ll easily do a three week high carb (experiment)
    I’ve successfully completed a trial of 300 grams+ of carbohydrates/day. I’ve compared my journal entries with the ones I’m writing now and they made more comments on being tired and foggy (although I slept & ate enough). I’m convinced humans function better on fats compared to carbohydrates. Your thoughts are overall more clear and your energy is more constant instead of “spikes” (I’d say it’s worse for athletic performance though – my lifts decreased by roughly 10%)

    I’ll easily do a four week steak & eggs diet (experiment)
    Still doing this! I’d say for optimal health, a (cyclical?) ketogenic diet is the best. I’ve also been monitoring my blood levels lately as I’m consuming quite some whole eggs lately (+- 15/day). The first test came back (relatively) positive and I’m going to do another one in two/three weeks to see where it’s going.

    + You’re satiated faster and get hungry slower because of all the protein & fats making you feel “full”. You have more constant energy and especially during my Sunday-fast I feel really alert.

    Guess Ron Swanson already knew what made him function best;

  • I’ll easily train heavy 3-4x a week consistently
    This is still very consistent. I haven’t set any particular goals as I’d like to invest more time and energy into other areas of my life (mainly financially & socially). I’ve reached a point of diminishing returns meaning the effort I put in gets increasingly smaller rewards. And then I figured; I’m really happy with the physique I have & I get in a “flow-state” from training but I’m better of putting that extra time and energy in areas with a bigger pay-off.  Here’s a physique update;

    I don’t think I’ve physically changed all that much. I’ve lost about 2,5 kg in the beginning of my ketogenic diet (mainly glycogen) but have been eating steadily about 3000kcal/day to gain more strength/size. Am at 83,2kg now. I estimate 10-11% bodyfat. I’m going to continue to focus on strength & size.

  • I’ll easily scrub & bleech every Wednesday with lemon juice & baking soda
    I have not been consistent in the bleeching but the scrubbing is something I’m doing quite regularly as I combine this with warm showers on Wednesday and Saturday. 
  • I’ll easily cook for the week each Monday
    Still doing this. Also a permanent habit that isn’t going to go away any time soon. I just cook for four days each monday and have my meals ready-to-go at any given time. Extremely time-efficient & tasty!
  • I easily look/dress my best every single day
    I’ve been putting more conscious effort in my grooming/dressing and the way I present myself. Overall, good-looking people are treated better, are assigned with more positive character traits and get more opportunities in their life. Use the halo-effect to your advantage!
  • I’ll easily IF every sunday
    Still doing fasts every sunday – fasting has many benefits and is a more natural eating pattern than constant snacking/eating small meals. I might transition to a daily fast by skipping breakfast.
  • I’ll easily stop ejaculating
    > This is a continued goal from last time since I believe in the concept of sexual energy. Basically; If you ejaculate too much you’ll lose energy/drive to work on important projects. To fix this problem I’ve read The Multi-Orgasmic Man and I’ve experimented a bit with breathing techniques, locking the gate method“, dry orgasms and PC contractions (kegels). I’ve found this difficult to control during sex when arousal is high. But when you pull it off – you last a lot longer, are able to have multiple orgasms and keep your energy high. It’s overall much better sex – and she enjoys it more too.

Overall;

I think I’ve got health “down”. I know what it takes to be extremely healthy and I’ve build up consistent health routines that will keep me in the best shape possible for quite some more years to come. I’m going to withdraw my focus from this area (just maintain my current shape/routine) and put my time and energy in other areas I can have more impact.

Primarily;

Wealth

  • I’ll easily write 3 guest posts
    I’ve written three articles but none got accepted. I’m wondering if it was the quality or the fact that they get lost in the masses. I’ve noticed I don’t really persist on any emails I write. I’ve used most of the articles to create some other articles or just put them on my own blog. 
  • I’ll easily find a better way to track blog progress
    I’ve been keeping an extra excel tab in my goal template to keep track of subscribers, views, visitors, posts, guest posts, conversion rate and whatnot to quantify what’s working and what isn’t. (The same for my weight, energy levels, dating, … ) 
  • I’ll write at least one hour/day
    I have not been consistent on this habit. I’ve reduced this habit to 30 minutes each day – which has been consistent up until now. 
  • I’ll easily make a checklist for my blog-posts
    It’s basically a list with all the actions I should check upon before posting an article. I’ve compiled it from different sources and just put it into Onenote. Here it is. 
  • I’ll easily use custom visuals in my posts
    I’ve been using PiktoChart for this to make my ideas more clear and visual. I find it’s sometimes difficult to translate my thoughts with just words and visuals are always nice for easy comprehension.

    I’m wondering if I should still make videos – as I’m better able to express myself trough writing. But videos are more personal though so it might be a good idea too build up this skill.

  • I’ll easily make a weight loss plan for fiverr/general people
    I have canceled this plan since I don’t believe it’s the best investment of my time at this point. I also convinced myself that it won’t sell well since almost all the information regarding weight loss is already abundantly and freely accessible online. But then again; almost everything is freely accessible online. 
  • I’ll easily apply for freelance writing for a health magazine (guest article)
    I’ve translated my article of the 6 basic laws of a healthy life to dutch and send it off to three different news-sites, no response though. Persistence is something I’ll need to focus down on. I will get a system in place that reminds me to re-send emails when I didn’t get a reply. 
  • I’ll easily make a fiverr gig for my money managing template in excel
    Done this (download). It’s pretty self-explanatory. It allows me to keep track of my income and expenses and more intelligently allocate my money. 
  • I’ll easily finish my life guide (first edition) on practical life advice – give it away for free (first week) then sell it later for 7$
    Once I figure out how to set up a simple payment system I’m going to do some minor updates on the book, put it in the menu bar and tweek it as I go along.
    life guideAlso – I’m a big fan of the dark cover.

Overall;

I’m doing ok financially. I’m managing my income very intelligently (apart from some unexpected expenses.) The main problem I should be focusing on is finding a way to raise my income. One the one hand I can keep picking up trash for about 140€/day. But that’s just not sustainable over time and I’ve always learned to prioritize learning skills over making money.

So, I’ve been searching for different ways to do this and from what I’ve learned so far there’s only one, solid (long-term) solution to this problem; learning a difficult, high in-demand skill that’s based on my strengths.

Untitled Report (1)

I’m at the moment experimenting with a JavaScript course on CodeCademy & am planning to pick up a repair course for laptops/iphones. By analyzing myself I’ve found that I’m quite analytic, organized and work best independently. Therefore I’m going to try this direction and see if it suits me.

This will put me into a financially tight spot for a while – but I believe it will pay dividends down the line.

Another big issue (again) was my schooling. I’ve seriously considered to quit and carve out my own direction from there. I’ve mailed spammed some people I’ve found really insightful to get their opinion on the matter. Here’s some advice I found really valuable in making this decision (which was continuing my education);

  • The personal cost of simply finishing is a lot smaller than if you were considering beginning a 3-4 year program (I’m about 1 year away from graduation now)
  • How much are you really hampered by school?(if at all) (Is school the problem? How much do you get done in your spare-time already? – I’m learning most courses on my own now based on my learning style)
  • Investigate the lines of work you think might be suitable for you in your spare time before you decide to quit. (Do you know what work you do want to do?)
  • Get the stupid piece of paper

Here’s my current advice on people looking to quit their schooling;

DO NOT QUIT

Until you;

  1. Know your personal strengths (how you perform & learn optimally)
  2. Know difficult, in-demand skills based on your strengths that will take care of the financial aspect (test this in your free-time!)

Social

  • I’ll easily meet up once a week with Michael and Nicolas
    I’ve been meeting up at least once a week with one of my two close friends. Pretty strange to see as we get closer to graduation how our paths might split up in the future. Again: Openness & engagement to keep valuable friends around. Don’t let you choice of friends be defined by your surroundings. Write down what you look for in friends and keep in touch with those who match. I look for; 
    self-directed, humor, morality (their character) & insight.We’ve also booked a vacation this summer to the south of France with a tent – going to be great!
  • I’ll easily spend my time from 19-20 reading other peoples blogs and networking
    I’ve found this to be a waste of time, really. There’s so much great content on the internet to go trough (a lot of crap too). Therefore I’ve simply limited my blog reading to Sunday-evening and limited my reading list to 5 bloggers. I’m going to set up an automatic email system to periodically ask spam some people to do a short interview with me. I’d love to get a hold of Owen Cook & Mark Manson. I have to reach out to more interesting people since I regret not having contacted/talked to Greg Plitt before he died. 
  • I’ll easily pick up a regular social hobby where I can meet women/be social
    I prioritize a great social life. I don’t want my work to go at the expense of other areas in my life. If I don’t build up these social skills when I’m young I’ll have a lot more difficulty in meeting new people as I get older. I’m currently doing kickboxing twice a week to meet new people and simply be “out there”. Hot girls too – so that’s definitely a plus. héhé

Overall;

I think my social skills could use quite a tune-up. I’d say of all 7 areas this might be my weakest link. Therefore I’ve decided to pick up “How to win friends and influence people” (again.) I’ve read that book in march last year and from my notes in my journal I had a lot more social contact/success in that period. (Again; You should journal to see what works and what doesn’t)

Also;

I had a great girl by my side the last three months. After reading models by Mark Manson (HIGHLY recommended) I started approaching more attractive girls – because, in truth? You start to miss intimacy/sex after a while.

Sure you can train, read, write, work and have fun with friends but there’s incredible value in not having to go trough all the bullshit life offers alone. Having someone in your bed/arms when you return from a hard day is simply priceless.

She was cute, very open, extremely attractive & the sex was really good. Yet – it didn’t work out since we both wanted different things at this point in our life. We were incompatible – so we ended it.

I probably had more difficulty dealing with this than I would’ve thought. At the moment I’m just going to the process to get over her.

Onwards;

Mental

  • I’ll easily (re)-read & summarize;
    (About 9 books and some extra PDF’s & chapters on psychology)
    – 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
    – The Way Of The Superior Man
    – The Multi-Orgasmic Man
    – Sex God Method 2nd Edition (héhé)

    – 48 Laws Of Power
    – 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing
    – Quiet
    – Ondernermersgids
    – The Millionaire Fastlane
    – Charlie Hoehn – Recession Proof Graduate Student
    – Models – Mark Manson
    – Finish Tai Lopez 67 Steps & Yellow Belt
    – Psychology: 17,  13, 10, 2, 9
    I’ve read some of my favorite books again, some about sex/dating and some about getting more money. One book at a time. I’ve also made some new rules for myself when it comes to buying books;

    • Don’t buy recommendations instantly, check contents on Google books
    • Buy two, limit yourself to buying books until you’ve finished the former – stock will be present, delivery will be instant
    • If you won’t read a book in the next 7 days, don’t buy it
    • Do you have a book that can already solve the problem you’re having? (What makes this book unique?)
  • I’ll easily create a “learning blueprint” to learn better
    I’ve completed the MOOC “Learning How To Learn” by Barbara Oakley, read the chapters on learning and memorization in my psychology book and summarized what I’ve found into a clear 5-step learning process. I really think it’s text-book stuff they can use in schools :). SMART-learning, I mean; c’mon? I should patent it haha.
    SMART-Learning (1)
  • I’ll easily create a knowledge archive with essential, practical information of all areas of my life. Which I review weekly.
    I still am not reviewing this weekly, the pile of knowledge keeps growing without really having something to “settle upon”. By doing my media fast I’m able to catch up on the ever-growing knowledge pile in my Onenote archive. 
  • I’ll easily get my drivers license
    You better watch out ;)

Overall;

I’m being really consistent in my morning reading and summarizing the books afterwards. I’ve reduced the evening reading to 30 minutes (instead of an hour) but am currently not prioritizing that as a habit. I don’t want to take on too much at a time. Slow change is lasting change

I’ve abandoned speed-reading completely – it’s just not effective at absorbing information. 

Next quarter I will focus down on trying out some difficult technical skills and see if they suit me.

Energy

  • I’ll easily relax once a week (movie/bath/,,,)
    I want to schedule in a period of time where I can completely relax for one whole evening. I believe I have a high performance standard for myself (probably to compensate for the time I wasted, playing video games). I’m never fully satisfied with my performance though. How can you find a good balance between pushing yourself enough and pushing yourself too much? I’m tipping towards “pushing yourself more” is the better option.
    Mainly like this; Shut the fuck up, I don’t care. Do the shit you’re supposed to do (me, talking to myself)
  • Run shirtless trough the snow
    This wasn’t exactly a goal but – inspired by Mikael Syding – I’ve ran shirtless trough my student town around 18:00 when it was snowing. A lot of people and a lot of stares. Just a way to keep my mind engage and challenge myself. 
  • Brocolli challenge Michael
    I’ve done an eating challenge with Michael in three rounds; broccoli, protein (bacon, eggs, steak & protein shakes) and wheat-grass & flaxseed oil (probably the most disgusting things ever – but healthy nonetheless)
    I won off-course ;) + I really enjoyed the editing.
  • 2015 Bicep Curls
    As a late new-year event I’ve done 2015 bicep curls with Michael to celebrate it. I think we curled weights for about 2 hours. It was ridiculous and painful – never again :)
  • Made my blog public on Facebook
    I write some quite personal/controversial things on my blog and have never really taken the time to share those articles on my personal Facebook page. Mostly out of fear of judgment from others. So I forced myself to grow out of this.

    sharing

Overall;

I’ve been stuck in routine for far too long the last three months and need to actively search for novelty/excitement as I’m doing right now with the kickboxing, programming and the repair course I’ll pick up.

I think overcoming fears is mandatory as they limit you in every aspect. They’re pretty much indicators for areas you need to grow in. Especially social challenges I’ve always found difficult; pick up, handstands in public, speaking up, … . This probably never will go away as I still see people struggling with this who are years into pick up.

But there’s two choices really;

  • Give in to it and let it destroy and poison your life. Rot in your self-created mental cage.
  • Accept, embrace and realize there are more important things than fear. Visualize the outcome you want, take a deep breath, then do it anyway.

In the end you’ll realize it’s not that big. People often are too involved in their own life to really care about what you are doing. Courage to do what you know is best for you is essential. It comes from high self-esteem.

My advice?

DO NOT AVOID THIS – tackle it while you’re young to avoid regretting it laterBuild it up consistently, like a muscle

  • Just approach that hot girl
  • Speak up in front of a lot of people once in a while
  • Lie down in the middle of a public space/mall/supermarket sometimes
  • Scream out loud in the gym when lifting a lot of weight
  • Talk about sex and masturbation on an online blog

Who cares, it’s your life

Fear mostly comes from focusing on the negative outcomes from our actions. Visualize the positive outcomes you want and the process that’s required. Don’t forget the 80/20 YOLO-rule

Essence

Overall I’ve learned especially to just “go trough the motions” and learn to love the grind. Just doing the things you’re supposed to do – no matter what you feel like.

I’m also going to focus down more on meditation to start thinking less. My mind just never shuts up. This allows me to be more present to my day-to-day life instead of frantically working towards an “end-goal”.

I’m continuously looking towards the future, thinking it’ll be better but what I’ve realized is this; you’ll never really “get there”. 

It’s not real. As we progress our “happiness-level” simply rises with us. We instinctively measure our life in contrast and not in absolutes. 

relative happiness

  • If I get rejected today, it will still hurt – although I might have had dozens of times it worked out great
  • If I get a little bit chubbier I’ll still be displeased – although I might still be in better shape than a year ago
  • If I lose a large amount of money I’ll still feel like crap – although I might be earning more money than ever before.
  • If I don’t get as much traffic today I’ll still feel bad – although I’ve put out great content already

Our “baseline” simply rises along with us as we progress trough life. (Measuring your life in absolutes makes you feel more fulfilled.)

I’ve also started to keep a collection of lessons which I’ll start to share each quarter now ( the ones that I’ve found the most relevant at least)

  • Knowledge is useless unless practically applicable to improve your life quality and you’re able to recall it when it’s necessary. (REVIEW the most important things you learn)
  • “Do not reduce yourself to four letters.” (MBTI). (Where do you draw the line between biological truths and self-fulfilling prophecies?)
  • We admire in others what we want for ourselves. (This is the only reason why we listen to/follow others. They have something we want and by adopting “their methods” we can eventually have the same – or so we think at least)
  • Writing gives you peace of mind. It helps to take out the mental trash. (Everyone should write imo)
    brain dumping
  • Be a creator in the morning and a manager in the afternoon. (Focus on output first instead of being an accumulation machine. ABC – always be creating)
  • Being engaged is what you should pursue – it provides energy for everything else. 
  • Human desire is not to be suppressed, avoided or indulged but controlled.

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Alright – Wow, great you got this far into this article. Thanks for reading my review. If you have some more thought or questions about things I’ve talked about in this article, feel free to leave those in the comment section below.

Take care & Stay strong

– Simon

PS: God I love this playlist whilst writing ♥

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5 Comments

  1. Hey Simon, recently found your blog and you’ve got some insights here!

    Respect to you for putting yourself out there so much. I can relate to the whole not sharing your blog on facebook thing, that’s something I only just did too with my own blog. But yeah we need to get over that eventually so might as well go all in now instead of delaying the inevitable right? Some people will judge no matter what.

    Also, hilarious broccoli vid haha! If I ever bump into you one day I challenge you to a duel ;)

    Peace, and keep up the good work ..imagine in 10 years where you’ll be if you keep up the growth across the board.

    • * you’ve got some interesting insights

    • Yo Julien,

      Glad you liked it mate,

      I think being open is the best way to build trust. As well as online as offline. Straightforwardness makes life so much easier.

      But yeah we need to get over that eventually so might as well go all in now instead of delaying the inevitable right?

      By doing it now (facing social anxiety) we’ll create a time in the future where we won’t have to deal with that bs anymore. so yea

      Must. Grow. Faster

  2. Hi Simon,
    I really enjoyed reading your blogposts. It filled me with energy. I’m quite good at getting difficult things done. I’m a bit of a “habit collector” like yourself. One thing I’m looking for is to do things in an accountability group – you have a skype meeting every 3 days, each person sets goals for next 3 days, after 3 days each person will be held accountable. It puts a really good amount of positive pressure and simplifies things a lot. But I’m looking for really determined people to do this with. Not guys that say they will do something and don’t take it seriously. That ruins everything. If you want, we can gather together some guys who are interested in self-improvement for this project. It would at least be an interesting experiment. Let me know if it interests you.
    Shaun

    • Hey Shaun,

      I’m glad you like the posts man!

      “you have a skype meeting every 3 days, each person sets goals for next 3 days, after 3 days each person will be held accountable”

      That’s a good idea – However, I like my self-discipline at the moment and think Skype calls are too much of a hassle to implement considering the benefit I might get out of it.

      Motivation simply comes from action and consistency. I know I’m inherently lazy – everyone is. So make sure you’re not listening to the bullshit your own mind is telling you.

      Make sure your priorities are clear in the beginning of the day and eliminate all distractions. Execute accordingly.

      Try to see how far you can push yourself.

      I used to have a facebook group where I posted my weekly goals into – maybe you should try that with some friends?

      Take care,

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