We’re approaching the end of 2014.
For me I can honestly say it was a year of change. The first year I’ve become heavily invested in self-improvement in all areas of my life
I wouldn’t want any other way to live life than the approach I’m using (and improving) at the moment.
Anyway, guess what time it is?
Time for another one of those brutally honest quarterly reports!
In my quarterly reflection I look back on the goals I’ve achieved, failed and the ones that I’ve discontinued.
What these reports allow me to do is to clearly measure progress on the goals I’ve set for myself, get a better idea of where I want to go in the future and reflect on what’s working (do more of this) and what isn’t working (eliminate/reduce) and sometimes reveals areas where I need to get my act back together.
Additionally, it makes for a sweet overview of my life in retrospect.
Basically, I just write them for myself. héhé
(But 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 and keep myself accountable)
My Previous Reports;
If you haven’t set any goals yet in your life, I HIGHLY recommend you to do so. Without a plan for your life you’ll fall into destructive short-term thinking by default. (think conformism and totalitarianism)
+5 intelligence points for difficult words – schweet..
Check out my post on how I set goals and get started immediately
PS: Click on any picture to enlarge
PPS: Fancy Color code
I’ve tweaked some things in my “7 areas of life” to accommodate some recent changes. Nothing really major, just some semantics that changed.
Here’s how my 7 areas currently look like;
Spiritual got replaced by “mindset” and physical by “health”. I also reshaped the energy-center into a star.
I like stars..
Yes, I’m an incredibly anal control freak. You have no idea.
Anyyywaaay.. I’m going to do a review of my old goals of the last three months and end this post with a recap of 2014’s highlights.
Overall there’s been a change in the way I carry myself the last three months. In the way I walk, the way I talk and the things I do. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s a few steps closer in the right direction.
- I’ll easily visualize my ultimate self and ultimate life during my morning ritual
> The visualization practices I’ve learned about in Psycho-Cybernetics have been incredibly useful in changing my self-perception. We literally act according to the image we have of our-self and our surroundings. Out of those actions flow our circumstances. I can’t stress the importance of self-image enough. Being proud, confident, attractive, valuable and all that awesome stuff is directly related to your self-perception.
- I’ll easily perform my morning ritual (5:45) and my evening ritual (19:00) each day
> I’ve skipped some days when I went out but overall I’ve been increasingly consistent. Apart from the last two weeks, where I’ve been doing a sleep experiment (more on this in “health”)
- I’ll easily increase resistance by reducing motivational movies & music during training to twice a week
> I’ve been training more without music and without watching motivational videos regularly before training. I’m going to discontinue the music since it gets me into flow slower. In my gym they continuously play sing-alongs and trendy pop-music which is killing my brain cells slowly I believe. Also: Having earplugs in is a clear sign that says: do not disturb, I’m training.
I’ve haven’t made any noticeable strength nor size gains the last three months. Mainly because I’ve been experimenting with different diet types and experienced a period of sleep deprivation.
I’ll easily implement scrubbing 2x a week and whitening with sodium bicarbonate and lemon juice (Wednesday & Sunday)> Once a week is enough in my opinion. I’m reducing this to only Wednesday
- I’ll easily strength train 4 X a week, focusing on compounds
> I’ve continuously been training four times a week with primaily heavy compound movements (squat, deadlift, bench press, standing barbell press, rows,…)Although I got a bit leaner, I haven’t made any notable strength gains. Here’s a current physique update;
- I’ll easily hit 180 kg DL for 3 reps by january
> I mostly don’t set goals for this rep-range (I mostly do 5-6 reps and 1RM) I need to re-assess what I think is more important atm; strength and size or getting leaner.
- I’ll easily do HIIT training 1X a week (saturday)
> I haven’t made this a priority and skipped on it from time to time. I will re-implement this to maintain cardiovascular health.
- I’ll easily stop ejaculating
readskimmed the book “The Multi-Orgasmic Man“ which talks about how ejaculation drains a man of his vital life energy. Therefore I’ve experimented a bit with breathing techniques, “locking the gate method“ and PC contractions (kegels) to train myself and this has resulted in me being able to stop ejaculating during sex and last a lot longer – which is a great skill to have to keep energy levels high. Still practicing this. The practicing isn’t always successful though… héhé I’ll easily implement PE> The time investment is not worth the end-goal in my eyes. Getting women off is mainly psychological from my experience and from what I’ve read. It’s not the best use of my time at the moment.
- I’ll easily eat exactly according to my pre-set meal plan (no distractions)
> Although my meal plan changed ever so often the last couple of months – as I learned more about the ketogenic diet/paleo diet and fasting – I’ve been sticking to it fairly consistently (90% of the time). I’m considering the steaks & egg diet by Victor Pride. Got to love the simplicity.
- I’ll easily try-out a ketogenic diet for two weeks
> I’ve tried it for two weeks and it made me into a blabbering zombie apart from the last two days. But I blame it mainly on the fact that I went low carb and not no carb. Still allowed nuts, whey, …. . Bad planning – will retry in the future (steak & eggs)
- I’ll easily implement IF every sunday
> Not eating for a whole day, every sunday. It’s made me more focused at the end of the day. Might do this everyday in the future after I get my sleep back in check (see below)
- I’ll easily supplement with wheatgrass (2x), omega-3 (2x), whey and multivitamins (2x), cacao every day consistently
> For respectively fiber, brain health, convenience, overall health & antioxidants.
The biggest problem I’ve had in this area lately was sleep-deprivation. I continuously got up at 5:45. But I was just depleting my energy levels slowly and eventually I crashed without the zest to complete anything anymore.
Therefore I’m doing a “free running” sleep experiment to find out my own natural rhythm and sleep according to those hours I need. 6 hours just isn’t enough and depletes me gradually. (like a small hole in a bucket you’re trying to fill up). GREAT resource on sleep. It’s all about optimizing sleep instead of minimizing it (just read the summary at the bottom and the part of “free running sleep“)
“There is only one formula for healthy and refreshing sleep: Go to sleep only when you are very tired. Not earlier. Not later. Wake up naturally without an alarm clock.”
What I’ve found is that sleep and recovery are not negotiable for optimal performance. Especially under a heavy physical and mental training regimen.
Overall I’ve grown closer to two great friends the last three months. I’ve dated several girls and have made great progress in my networking and social skills.
- I’ll easily live according to the principles of HTWFAIP
> The easiest way to do this is by simply reminding myself daily of these unwritten rules in my morning ritual
- I’ll easily arrange 2 meet-ups/skype calls a week with Michael and/or Nicolas
> I have a natural tendency to prioritize work before my social relationships and therefore have an increased risk to fall without friends in the future. I know the importance of the social element in my life and won’t let it get that far. I have two really close friends at the moment that I want to keep by arranging a meeting once a week with them. Openness and engagement are the two factors I shouldconsidertomaintain & improve the relation. They have attributes I admire and additionally they elevate me to become a better man.
- I’ll easily pick up the habit of networking every day by sending 2 personal emails and leaving two comments (+ high engagement on facebook) 19–> 20:00
> I don’t want to force this beyond the point it feels unnatural. I’ve devoted this time to reading articles from other people (and commenting on the ones I find interesting), responding to mails, sending out stuff that might help others, engaging with valuable friends on Facebook and keeping in touch with people I care about. Furthermore I’ve attended a networking event where I’ve applied some of the “networking rules” by Jan Vermeiren and John Corcoran and have added some contacts that way on LinkedIn.
- No particular goals
- I’ll easily go out at least once a week (Thursday or Saturday)
> I’ve been continuously practicing my social skills with women and just overall with friends. But from recent experiences I’ve found going out increasingly less rewarding. Chasing women and all that surrounds it is simply not as rewarding as growing yourself in other areas of life. Getting stronger and bigger in the gym, helping more people with my blog, reading more information, having new experiences and so-on. I’m reducing this to once every two weeks (maintenance level) to make room for more important things.
My advice when it comes to women at the moment: Get the skill of approaching and relating to a woman as a man. Then find a great/sexy girl that can fulfill your needs and focus on bigger things.
Resources I recommend on dating: “The Way Of The Superior Man” by David Deida, anything by RSDTyler. Probably saved me truckloads of time & frustration..
I’ve read a lot of books and summarized a bunch of them.
- I’ll easily read 10 books
I’ve read 7 and some PDF’s
– Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
– The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
– E-myth revisited by Michael E. Gerber
– Speedreading by Tony Buzan
– Mindmapping by Tony Buzan
– Let’s Connect by Jan Vermeiren
– Edushock by Pieter Sprangers, Dirk De Boe & Bernard Lernhout
Note: It’s useless in my eyes to pre-define what books you’re going to read. Your vision for your life changes a lot over three months, therefore your goals, therefore the books you should be reading..
- Some PDF’s I’ve gone trough:
– The Bootstrapper’s Bible by Seth Godin
– On The Shortness Of Life by Seneca
- I’ll easily take the speed learning video course by Jim Kwik
It’s a great free course on speedreading, memorization techniques and remembering names. If you don’t know anything on the subject I’d say it’s a good investment of your time. I found it a bit too long for the actual content.
- I’ll easily experiment with mind-mapping the things I learn from my psychology course.
> The way we learn in school is highly inefficient at memorizing information. We often forget 80% of the things we learn the day after we had an exam. We simply cram everything in our short-term memory but don’t really store anything. (it’s mostly information that’s not worth memorizing anyway) From what I’ve read is that linear notes are sub-optimal since humans learn better visually, by association & by restructuring and re-coding what we learn. Mindmapping appears to be an excellent tool for that. (I’m still experimenting with this)
- I’ll easily read 2 X 30 mins a day (at least)
> Timing the amount I read seems to be better than simply counting the pages I need to read. I read more for comprehension than for speed.
- I’ll easily complete the Tai Lopez coaching course by 27/11
I’ve been watching his “67 steps to health, wealth, love and happiness” which are really good but consume a lot of time. (I intend to review this when it is done) I’ve upgraded to the “yellow belt” in which he talks more about the basics of starting a business. I haven’t completed this course yet.
- I’ll easily write for 10 minutes every morning immediately after my morning ritual
I have not been writing consistently but have made this my priority from now on. Behavioral conditioning included. héhé
- I’ll easily make my blog look bigger, redefine what I talk about.
Things I’ve changed;
> “As seen on”-bar at the bottom of the page
> Brain-visual next to my logo
> Clear “start here” page
> Removed categories, QOTM-page and meta-tags above posts.
> Included term of service
> Updated resources page several time
> Updated “about-me” page several times
- I’ll easily guest post 5 times on relevant websites
I’ve done three guest posts
- I’ll easily complete my linked-in profile
It’s a GREAT tip I’ve gotten from one of my books on networking. Connecting/interacting with people who can give you new opportunities is a good idea.
- I’ll easily sign-up for JAP-adventure
I’ve joined a non-profit organisation which organizes adventure and survival trips for young adults with limited opportunities in life (addictions, delinquents, poverty, handicapped, …) I see it as a self-development camp where they can experience that there’s more to life than what they’ve experienced so far. A experiential trip where they start creating a better self. I found it worthwhile work with a lot of learning opportunities in the area I’m interested in – so I thought I’d give it a chance.
- I’ll easily manage my income and expenses on Sunday, every week
> I’m still regulating my expenses and income according to the tips I’ve learned in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Millionaire Fastlane”. Especially in these holiday periods it seems like an epidemic where people are trying to spend as much money on material junk as possible. This media-educed consumer mentality is toxic for your own long-term well-being.
- I’ll easily take up a part-time job
> Picking up trash – not so glamorous – but better paid than most office workers. But trading my time for money is a bad long-term strategy overall and I need to find new ways (fast) to generate more income.
- I’ll easily launch a fiverr workout program
Done this. Apparently the status was “on hold” for quite a while and today I fixed this.
- I’ll easily reward myself once every week by taking a hot bath with candles and music OR a movie by choice
> I swear this is the sum-mum of relaxation. Nothing beats it to wash away stress and recover from a hard week. 30-60 minutes of pure bliss.
- I’ll easily find a location for the vacation with Nicolas and Michael
> I want to take a trip with my two best friends in the summer break to improve the relationships/have a new experience that keeps me engaged in life. Haven’t put much thought into it though.
So that’s what has been going down the last months. To finish off I’m going to include an…
Overall Re-cap & Highlights Of 2014
I’ve become an overall more focused, calm and confident man. I’ve made meditation, journaling, morning & evening rituals consistent habits in my daily life. They’ve made my “good days” even better and more frequent and my worst days neutral. I’ve also implemented visualization to increase my self-image and bought a whiteboard to do my planning. I’ve found that the effects have been noticeable in my mood, my body language and just the way I look at life.
I’ve disconnected my confidence from the way I look by growing out my hair. It made me more resilient against opinions and judgments from others.
I’ve done some comfort zone challenges to get rid of social anxiety/stifledness and overall to build up courage. Training it like a muscle so to say. Some things I’ve tried;
- Approaching & talking to attractive women
- Dancing on small stages/countertops without drinking
- Doing push-ups in London Subway
- Recording myself on video and making it public on youtube
- Doing hand-stands, lying on the floor in the middle of a crowded train station/public square
- Push-ups in the middle of a club
- Serving drinks half-naked
- Taking my shirt of in a crowded gym
I’ve noticed it’s especially the social-challenges that are the most difficult to do.
Note it’s not about proving yourself to others, but how “courage” opens up new opportunities for you so you won’t skip on opportunities other people do. In comparison “-everyday-struggles will seem less troublesome in comparison
I’ve made steady progress on my physical goals and have set numerous personal records in my main lifts. I have refrained from eating junk-food this year and haven’t drank any alcohol at all. Experimented with keto, paleo, fasting, human flag, handstand push-ups and crossfit. Additionally, I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in.
I’ve made two, strong bonds with friends I want to keep in my life. Additionally, I’ve approached, talked to, dated and kissed more girls than all the other years of my life combined. For me this was a big (social) step forward since quitting video games in September 2013. I’ve improved my networking as well as my overall social skills.
I’ve read about 28 books, learned how to drive a car, discovered speed reading, mind-mapping and common-placing. Wrote a few poems and practiced some piano (which I discontinued)
I’ve started and improved my own website which will help young men like me to get more grip on their life by applying practical psychology so they can reach self-mastery. Changed domain from elementalhealth.be to basicgrowth.com. I’ve written several guest articles for big sites (one has gotten 4000+ social shares = sweet). I’ve written my own book on overcoming video game addiction, made a fiverr training program and set-up my own email course and email-list. I’ve done an internship at a crossfit gym and joined a non-profit adventure organisation.
I’ve designed my own excel template to manage my finances and have adopted a new investor mentality. Additionally I’ve picked up hard-labor work to earn some extra on the side. This has resulted in the highest amount of money I’ve ever had on my bank account which has remained there steadily. I’ve also written an ebook on quitting video games and a training program on fiverr which has provided a little bit of extra income on the side.
I’ve done some really memorable trips to Spain, London and France. I’ve done exciting new things that keep me ENGAGED in life like taking a nightdive in a river, climbing a building, going to fibo, visiting events, sleeping on a beach, organizing an air soft event, … I’ve found new ways to relax myself besides watching TV & playing video games.
Overall? 2014 has been good.
Even great at times.
But not enough.
Never will be either..
Anyway, that’s not the point. What this post is about is how continuous growth in life keeps us awake, happy and fulfilled.
Don’t you see many people simply waste their life in the 9-5 death-grind, slowly turning into plant-zombies, continuously longing for their holidays or other means of escape from their reality?
At least that’s the way I see it..
I haven’t figured everything out yet. I struggle. I also think I talk way too much and act too little. But I trust myself enough that I will adjust as I learn from other great men around me.
Staying in great shape, making money, adding some meaning to my life, reading a lot, training my courage and willpower, balancing my social life and keeping this blog updated is draining.
But rewarding – o so rewarding.
IMO staying engaged and using your time in useful ways is the only way you can call “living”. Everything else is merely existing.
Every day should – rightfully – be a struggle between your mal-adjusted brain wanting you to live a crap life and your heart wanting something better. Until momentum starts to work for you
“We’re bound by the chains of our instinctual conditioning – unless overcome, we’re predestined for decay by default.“
How about you incrementally eradicate the bullshit your own brain is telling you and create your-self into the exact person you want to be?
To become calm, proud and focused,
To be in great health,
To have great social relationships,
To be wealthy,
And in addition; to find meaning in your life – to leave your mark.
That somehow, someone was better off – simply because you were there.
How Was 2014 For You? & What Will You Do Differently Next Year?
Let us make 2015 mean something – shall we?
Stay strong, keep growing
And let’s not forget;