“Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Last year, I made a list of goals for 2008. I failed at all of them.
This year, I kept those same goals, but added even more. Why? It’s not because I am a masochist that gains some pleasure in watching myself fail, it’s because I feel I can complete these goals. So what’s different about me this year than last year? I am more determined, I realize that I’m not getting any younger, or as Mr. Ford put it, I am starting, “more intelligently.”
With these goals, I try to be more definitive with them and assign quantities wherever applicable.
Also after I list each goal, give a brief description, and maybe a brief history behind the goal, I am going to list the deviations, which are the reasons that I rationalized in my head that it was not a good idea to keep working on that particular goal. Recognizing these thought patterns will lead to me making different decisions. I am also going to list any websites that will assist me in achieving my goals.
1. Use the computer less
I currently use the internet on average 12 hours a day. This is no exaggeration. Sure, on days that I work, I am required to sit in front of a computer for eight, but often I come home and use the internet for another four.
I want to make a conscious effort to cut down my internet usage. A good goal is about 2 hours a day during the week, and 4 on the weekend. This is still a lot of internet time.
Deviations: A lot of my internet time is spent looking for new porn (see goal #2), and surfing random websites. I absolutely love the random article function on wikipedia. If I can simply be mindful that I am doing these things, then they will stop.
2. Stop Watching Porn
I made great strides in achieving this goal this year. I actually stopped watching for something like 35 days.
There are a number of reasons why I want to stop watching porn. The first being that I spend too much time looking for it. While I don’t actually watch too much porn per se, I will spend hours upon hours searching for good porn to watch. This time could be better spent on any number of more constructive tasks.
Secondly, porn is slowly ruining my sex life. First off, if you spend most of your day wanking off to girls and then try to go out and meet women on your own, you won’t be motivated, because the women are often not as attractive as those in porn, and if you do meet a woman and take her home, you won’t be able to get it up because you spent your whole day whacking off!
The last reason is more ideological in nature. Porn is watching other people having sex. Why am I watching other people having sex? I want to have sex. Why am I not out meeting women on my own?
Mystery advises cutting down on watching porn to once a week for the best results. When you do watch porn however, he says to make it a date for yourself. Like, this prolonged event. If I do feel the need, then I will make Sundays this day. All in all though, I would like to cut this out of my life entirely.
Deviations: I find myself watching porn the most when I feel particularly bad about myself. I’ll tell myself, “you’re not going to meet any women anytime soon, might as well watch some porn!” When I feel down, it is often the first thing I run to. What’s funny is that after all is said and done, and business is completed, only very rarely do I feel happy about myself. Oftentimes, I feel worse.
New Life Habits
3. Meditate Every Day
Out of all of my accomplishments of 2008, I am the most proud that I really got into zen philosophy. Back in May, I happened upon my local zendo, met some absolutely wonderful people and became really active. I was gung ho for awhile, I meditated twice a day, I went to the zendo once a week, and I even went to an all-weekend sitting. At some point though, I fell off and stopped going until recently.
When examining my mental health to a year prior, I find that I am a lot more calm and humble. I remember times when I was downright suicidal. Meditation has helped me get over that. While I still get sad, it never gets that extreme.
I had a routine going for awhile where I’d wake up 90 minutes before going to work, I’d sit for 20 minutes, shower, and eat breakfast. This was a wonderful way to start my day and I am going to bring it back. It helped me stay on time for work, too.
Deviations: Sitting is a large time investment. I usually try to sit for about 20-30 minutes at a time. Oftentimes, I would sit at work and tell myself that the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is sit, then I would get home, think about all of the things I have to do and I would forgo sitting for whatever I’d have to do.
Also, I think it’s easy to write meditation off as not helpful, because afterall you’re just staring at a wall for an extended period of time. I need to remember just how beneficial meditation can be and I’ll be alright.
4. Exercise/Eat healthy
Earlier this year, back in September, I put myself on a regiment of more exercise and healthier eating. My goal was to gain 20 lbs by the years end. The plan went well for about 3 weeks, then I fell off. In order to gain 20 lbs., it meant lessening the actual amount of food per meal, but increasing my meals to about six per day. This takes an incredible amount of planning/money.
I want to get back on track with this goal. Lifting for an hour 3x a week, and increasing my meals to at least 3 is very reasonable.
Deviation: At some point, I convinced myself that there is nothing wrong with being skinny, which there isn’t. I pointed towards Barack Obama who is a man that is looked upon by many as a very attractive man. However, the truth is 5’11” and 150 lbs. is not a healthy weight.
5. Apply for new job/Graduate School
2008 was a horrible year for me career wise. I actually ended the year making less than when it started for the second year in a row. I understand that money isn’t everything when considering a job, but I actually hate my current job more, too.
I have been unambitious about my career ever since I had a negative experience working at a non-profit company. I have taken jobs just to get by, without exception.
I want to go to graduate school for library science. I have been saying this for years, but I never apply. This year, I had half an application, with both recommendations submitted, but I never finished the application.
Deviations: Quite simply, I am afraid to fail. I dread the thought of getting a rejection letter so much that I am afraid to even apply. I need to work through this and realize that life is full of taking chances.
6. Meet More Women
If there is one goal I want to succeed at in 2009, it would be this goal. Two years ago, I read The Game and immediately became enthralled with the community. Still, for as much as I go out, I can count the number of women I have truly cold approached on one hand. Getting into pickup led to
I want to start going out at least 2 nights a week and opening 3 women a night. By the end of the year, I want to have already taken, or be close to taking a bootcamp with RSD.
Deviations: Again, I am afraid to fail. I need to be present, make my two feet move, and open my mouth. It’s that simple.
Real Social Dynamics
7. Learn How to Drive
I will be turning twenty six this year, and this is simply unacceptable. This year, I made a great stride in that I actually took the drivers test, even though I failed.
I want to have a driver’s license, in hand, by March. I will practice 1-2 a week until the test.
Deviations: This goal is dependent on the schedule of others. Oftentimes, I get into the mindset where I tell myself, “oh I shouldn’t bother them!” And as a result, I never pass the test.
8. Better Management of $$$
Ever since I graduated college, I have kept a budget in excel that tracks my spending. I have noticed that when I look at my budget on at least a weekly basis, I have a lot more money. Whenever I stop looking at my budget, that’s when overspending and overdraft charges come. I need to remember to look at my budget at least once a week.
An underling to this goal is to cut down on drinking and eating out, because a lot of money goes towards those endeavors.
Deviations: I just keep forgetting to be honest. A simple note to remind myself will suffice.
The Simple Dollar
9. Finish rap album
I love hip hop, specifically of the indie variety, although there have been some quality releases this year. When I was in college, I wrote and recorded songs, performed in front of people. I even had my own producer and DJ, who is my current roommate. My roommate gave me enough beats for an album 3-4 years ago, but I have just sat on them. This is maybe the biggest disappointment in my life right now.
This year, I made great strides in that I recorded 3 songs, which is more than the 1 output of years past, but a lot less than when I was at my peak.
I want to start writing for at least an hour 5x a week.
Deviations: A lot of this has to do with self-confidence. Sometimes I’ll tell myself, ‘oh you’re terrible, you should put the mic down.’ But the fact of the matter is that I have a lot of fun making music, and that’s why I should keep doing it. It would be absolutely wonderful if I could finish that album this year.
10. Be more responsible.
This is more of a catchall goal that encompasses a big problem with my life. The truth is, there are very few things that I take seriously in my own life. For instance, I am rarely ever on-time to any engagement. In fact, I have a habit of leaving at the exact time as when I am supposed to be somewhere, usually. Oftentimes, when I an assignment to do, I mysteriously get sleepy, (as I am right now), and sleep rather than complete the assignment.
Failure due to irresponsibility put me in a horrible mood, and a more concerted effort would go a long way.
So there you have it, goals for 2009. I am sick of staring at this screen after having wrote this long post. I am going to bed!
Oh, before I go…
Big shout out to Zensquared, who left this comment:
Come now, where are those goals? Don’t procrastinate. Post them.
You can always revise them later.
I had been procrastinating, now here they are. Always good when a comment from a stranger motivates you!