Thanks for your patience these last few months while I’ve been out of the loop. I’ve been spending my time on other things lately, but will be getting back into writing on this blog. In the meantime though I feel I should give an update on what’s been going on with me lately; where I am at with my 2018 goals; what my 2019 goals will be; and where this site will be going in the future.
I should first state that after a particularly bad date in June this year I became Red Pill aware. I was extremely frustrated that at 32 years old I still didn’t seem to be in control of my love life or understand what I kept doing wrong. Being a book lover, I naturally decided to read my way out of the problem and eventually discovered The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi. I cannot recommend the book highly enough for every man out there. Buy it yesterday and buy it for all your guy friends. It turned my life around, and my physical fitness and dating situation since then couldn’t be better. So I have an excuse for being away 😉
That said, it also had a definite impact on my yearly goals, which we’ll go over now.
Spend next to nothing outside of food & utilities
This failed horribly. I thought I would be satisfied with the clothes that I had last January, but I discovered late this year that I was wearing the totally wrong size of clothes. Ever since I hit puberty I’ve always worn my shirts in a large size, but found that after I got in shape that I looked great in a medium size. As such I had to reevaluate my ward drobe for fit and bought a bunch of shirts and pants that look much better on me. And blew past my budget 🙁
Learn & practice new handyman skills
In my effort to be a better man every day, I promised to learn a new skill every month and become increasingly handly. I met this goal extremely well this last year.
In the first three months of the year I learned how to:
- Use a flat bar and hammer for quick demolition work (it really is an art).
- Use a jackhammer to drill holes and shave off uneven chuncks of concrete on the floor.
- Use an 8-guage nail gun for framing.
- Use a drop saw for framing timbers.
- Use a tile saw for cutting up subway tile for the shower.
- Install, grout, and clean whole tile walls for the shower.
- Install vinyl click plank flooring.
- Mud corners and large wall expanses for the bathroom.
In the later half of the year I learned how to:
- Replace my car’s headlights and tail lights
- Replace my car’s windshield wipers
- Replace my car’s engine and interior air filters
- Sand, stain and refinish old furniture
- Apply wrap to the exterior of a house to waterproof it (and even better, got to learn by testing it on my sister’s house, not my own!)
- Realign a garage door’s wheels to its track
- Perform a background and credit check on rental applications
- Perform financial reconciliations across multiple platforms (for work)
- Lift weights using a hypertrophic method (more on this in the future)
- Lift weights maximizing muscular tension (more on this in the future)
- Change my diet to maximize and maintain muscular gains
- Improve my dating game
- Kick and punch effectively with Tae Kwan Do
And there are probably a couple more things that I’ve learned that I’ve forgotten about right now. In any case, I’m counting this goal as accomplished.
Pay off personal loan and student loan
Earlier this year I was dying under the stress that came from paying my personal and student loans. Every month I was shelling out $1,000 and it never felt like I had enough in the bank. After one of my stock trades matured in June I paid off both of the loans. While my life isn’t stress free yet, the financial part of it has mostly gone away.
Update the blog 3x a month
As my regular readers are aware, this goal fell by the wayside. I was doing really well up until September, but after that I was consumed by work and my other projects. I will need to renew this goal for 2019.
Staying fit and going to the gym 2-3x a week
I honestly thought that I would fail to meet this goal. By June of last year I was already weeks behind and it looked like a lost cause. However, after my traumatic date that month I reevaluated myself and started hitting the gym like my life depended on it – 6-7x a week for 1 to 1.5 hours a day, varying my workouts by muscle group – chest, arms, back, legs, abs, repeat. After a few months of that I put on 10 pounds of muscle and am in the best shape of my life. I have no desire to enter any kind of body building competition, but I’m still looking forward to my future gains in 2019!
Update the blog 3x a month
As I stated above, I enjoy the writing process and need to get back into posting on this blog. I won’t stay sharp if I don’t stay active!
Monetize the blog/start a side business
At the same point, I would like to start monetizing the blog as a side business, providing people with actionable advice customized to their needs. I really enjoy coaching – both at my work and in Toastmasters – and feel like this is something I can excel at and make a difference in people’s lives.
That being said, maybe there is another online business I can start and work at too. Either way, now that my biggest money fears are over I have enough in my savings that I can risk some of it starting up something new and escaping the daily grind entirely.
Keep Going to the Gym 6-7x a Week for 10 months
I’m in great shape going to they gym as often as I do and should continue this next year to maximize my gains. From what I’ve read, if you workout consistently and eat right, you will see incredible changes to your physique after about 4-6 months. However, it takes at least 1-2 years before you become a real physical specimen and up to 4 in order to become jacked like Arnold Schwarzenneger. While I have no desire to go that far, I’m still a ways away from the ideal self I have in mind.
The key question is whether I’ll be able to stay healthy. You don’t build muscle unless you push yourself, but at the same time this increases the wear and tear on your joints and ligments. I expect that I will need to take a month or two off next year to recover, but otherwise I want to maximize all the newbie gains
Drop Down to 10% Body Fat
This is going to be big challenge for me because I like to eat! Even if you’re in great shape you will never get the 6 pack abs or muscular definition you’d like without changing diet. I’ve already made some headway in this direction by dropping my ice cream habit, switching to skim milk and zero-calorie soda, but its going to take time for my body to work off what I’ve already got. I let myself have some low-fat potato chips as my cheat to enjoy unhealthy foods, but need to get in the habit of turning down cookies from relatives, fries in restaurants, and all other temptations.
Get a Green Belt in Tae Kwan Do
After procrastinating for several years I also finally started going to a dojo this fall and learning martial arts. Mine in particular focuses on Tae Kwan Do, which stands for “The Art of Kicking and Punching” in Korean, and Hapkido, which is a Korean art similar to Japanese Aikido that focus on motion and joint manipulation. I am testing for my Yellow Belt this month and will need to keep a pretty rigorous schedule to get my Green Belt this year.
That being said, for those who have never learned a martial art before, I strongly recommend starting one. Even if you are athletic or like watching MMA you will still learn a lot, and it gives you tremendous self-confidence knowing that you can handle dangerous situations without freezing up or not being able to fight back.
Pay Off the House
This is going to be a REALLY big stretch goal and one that I probably won’t make. Regardless of what happens, I’m going to try and finish paying off the mortgage before I turn 35 in March 2021. Once that is finished I will truly be debt free and refocus my time and energy on my goals, my business, my values – and no one else’s.
Improve My Leadership Skills
Another big change for me recently is that I accepted a new position with my company as a manager of client-facing operations for one of their sub-areas with four direct reports. This is my first management position ever and I’ll need to fight to make sure that I not only meet my supervisor’s expectations, but that my leadership shadow resembles more those bosses that I love and not those bosses that I despise. So I’ll be practicing a whole different skill set.
Also, I hope to become an Area Director for Toastmasters International this next year to get my Advanced Leadership Gold and Distinguished Toastmaster award. This should give me even more opportunities to practice my coaching and presentation skills.
Continue to Learn New Skills
Last year was kind of a dynamite year for skills. I don’t have as many home improvement projects lined up for this year, so have fewer opportunities to really branch out into new things. I hope to do some more wainscotting and trim work in my living room and kitchen though so my carpentry skills will improve. And if anything breaks plumbing wise, I will try and fix it myself before calling a plumber. Either way this is more of an optional goal than a mandatory one.
So in all we have a busy year ahead of us! I generally believe that its better to have fewer goals than too many goals, so 8 is probably too many, but we’ll see what happens. There is no time like the present to start doing amazing things, and I thank you all for following me as I work to make it happen.