My Resolution for 2011

I will repay all of my consumer debt by the end of 2011.

Simple.  Clear.  Doable.

A Year in 1080p High Resolution

2010 – A Look Back

I managed to survive yet another year.  My thanks to the friends, family, and moments of solitude that made this possible.  I took my chance to celebrate last night, and would now like to take a look at how the last year has treated me — and what I expect to create in my corner of the world during 2011.

Last Year’s Resolutions

I wanted to drop down to 153 pounds.  I’m currently 190.

I wanted to increase monthly revenue to $3000.  I am currently at about $4200 per month.  Mission accomplished and then some, and things are really only looking up.

I wanted to decrease my consumer debt to under $6500.  It’s sitting at nearly $15,000.

I wanted to complete a full draft of my book, Broken Glass.  I didn’t.  In fact, I hardly made progress on that particular project.

I wanted to have completed 48 total college credits.  I have completed 30.

Of my five objectives, I met one.  The summary?  I’ve been very ambitious in making, but not achieving, goals.  I think that there has been this drive in me to prove my worth through visible actions rather than through the cultivation of real self-respect.

A Year in Review

What did I accomplish last year?

I wrote over a dozen short stories, and selected one to be highly polished and refined.  You can read it here.  In quality, it may be the best thing I’ve written, according to my personal standards.

I did some significant work on several novel-length projects, including re-approaching Paleon’s Journal after several years, and starting on the book tentatively titled Harbingers.

I fully re-designed my online portfolio space.  I started working with several new clients on projects of varying scopes, and maintain successful relationships with clients on four major campaigns.

I lost fifteen pounds, gained muscle mass, and began resolving issues with back pain.  I have greater flexibility, strength, and cardio fitness than I did last year, and am currently at about 20% body fat.

I moved to Salt Lake, furnished an apartment, put together an office, got two cats (and got them fully “taken care of”), and have made myself a home.

I sold my car.

I figured out how to respect myself and what it means to fight for your desires.  I cut off friendships and built new ones.  I went on dates, learned more about what I want in relationships, and I kissed the only girl who’s made my heart beat like a ten ton hammer within the last five years.

I bled and screamed and sweated; I had panic attacks; a few times, I thought I wasn’t going to make it.  I persevered, and I came out with new scars and good memories.  I cried a lot; I laughed even more.

I met one of my five objectives for last year.  So, how do I feel about 2010?  Amazing.  It’s the best year I’ve had so far.  I’m very proud of it and am eager for what 2011 will bring.

Focus, Focus, Focus

Today, I shut down the website Seraph Swords.  This has been a project since 2008, and has taught me a lot about web marketing, design, coding, and more.  It was a lot of fun in many ways.  However, every time I got an order, it just annoyed me.  The average $7 profit was simply not worth all the customer questions I had to answer to get there, the juggle with my bank account, the annual business fees, and working with the warehouse to get the items shipped.

I want to focus.  That’s why I closed it down.  And there are several things I want to focus on.

These are my current priorities in life.  All else is secondary:

  • Work.
    • Figuring out how to make work fun.
    • Finding appropriate coping mechanisms for anxiety and stress.
  • Financial stability.
    • Getting a solid savings account.
    • Paying off debt.
  • Fitness
    • Getting to a 15% body fat
    • Increasing overall cardio, strength, and flexibility
  • Writing
    • Get my short story published
    • Get my novel ready for publication
I may do other things in my life, but things which interfere, rather than contributing, to these objectives are going to be cut off from my life.  Just like Seraph Swords.  :)
Focus, focus, focus.  I can do this.  Come on . . . I can do this.

Revision of Goals

And, because Demotivators is awesome:

I finished The Now Habit (which, again, I cannot recommend strongly enough).  It was good on a number of levels, and has already helped immensely.  It mostly helps through a shift in perspective.  One of the things I realized (about my own limitations) is that my goals tend to be too ambitious and too far into the future (for example, 7.5% body fat, paying off all debt, getting my degree, publishing a novel).

Neil Fiore, author of The Now Habit, suggests specific, near future goals (as well as a breakdown and plan for sub-steps along the way).  With this in mind, I am changing my major goals.  In fact, I’m reducing it.  I would like to have only one major goal at a time, and up to two secondary goals.  This will allow me to easily prioritize my life.

My one major goal right now is to increase income and decrease costs to the point that I have a surplus of $500 per month, consistently.  Here are the things I’m doing for that:

  • I am selling my car (already have most of the work done on this).
  • I am closing out all my Utah Valley accounts to make it easier to manage.
  • I am making sure that I will consistently have at least $600 a week in projects.
  • I am working on anxiety to be sure I can complete all these projects in a timely manner.
  • I am completing $600 in projects per week.
This will be fully done by August 1st (with June and July both seeing a $500 surplus).
At any time, if my secondary goals interfere with my major goal, my secondary goals will be put on a back burner.  However, until that time, I have two major secondary goals.

My first secondary goal is to get under 20% body fat.  To do this, I will:
  • Aim to lose 3 pounds of body fat.
  • Make sure I get lots of protein (investing in more protein shakes, among other things).
  • Develop a plan for what else to eat to get enough protein.
  • Do more research on protein intake as a vegan while building muscle and losing fat (and see if I can get some clarification on the calorie/carb/protein ratio).
  • Do weight lifting at least twice a week.
  • Get an intense, 45 minute cardio session in at least three times a week.
  • Do yoga at least three times a week.
I will do this by July 1st.
My second secondary goal is to get a piece of short fiction ready for publication.  To do this, I will:
  • Decide on a piece of short fiction to refine and polish.
  • Dedicate at least a half hour to writing, at least four days a week, throughout June.
  • Find at least two intelligent, literary minded individuals who can review this piece prior to the end of June.
I will do this by July 1st.
See . . . this is nice, because I look at these goals and I say “I can do this.”

Anyway, I have stuff I want to get on.  I’ll keep y’all updated!


P.S.  The HTC Evo isn’t $400.  It’s $200, after a $100 mail in rebate.  /drool

My Approach to Goals

Last entry, I did a ton of goals.  I am now going to detail a plan of action for each one (in the next month).

Sell my car (paid off completely with the help of student loans covering the difference).

  • Re-list my car at Craig’s List and KSL (every Monday)
  • Put a “for sale” sign on my car with my phone number (by the end of the day on Wednesday).
  • Put up a sign at the U student boards (by Friday)
  • Put up at least 5 additional classified ads for the area (by May 20th)
  • Pay down the loan with the student loan in order to simplify payment.

Find a roommate (for the larger room, at $400/mo.)

  • Re-list my apartment on Craig’s List and KSL (every Monday).
  • Put up a sign at the U student boards (by Friday).

By June 1st, put $500 extra toward debt (outside of student loans and car repayment)

  • Work a minimum of 24 hours per week (total of 102 hours)
  • Pay debt toward lowest balance CC.

Do a dietary cleanse (as mentioned in previous entries, starting today)

  • Obviously, starting today.
  • Do a shopping trip (Tuesday) for bolthouse drinks, Naked, salads, and fruits.

Go to the gym a total of 16 times.

  • Aim for 4 times a week.  This gives a couple times for missing.
  • Go tomorrow.
  • Set aside time during the Zumba classes to attend.

Lose 3 pounds.

  • Do yoga, in addition to exercise and lighter eating.
  • Bike places instead of driving when possible.

Lose 1.5% body fat.

  • All of the above.

Start classes

  • Visit student center by Friday and get student card.
  • Get bus pas on same visit.
  • Learn locations of classes (check out info by May 13th).
  • Follow up on when student loans will be disbursed (check out info by May 13th).

Decide which two classes to drop.

  • Find out (by May 20th) when the drop date is.
  • Examine which courses seem to be the most taxing in work and anxiety weight.

Read (or listen to audiobooks for) at least 2 full books

  • Listen to “Atlas Shrugged” before going to bed.
  • Listen to “Percy Jackson and the Sea Monsters” at the gym.
  • Read “American Gods” as the bedside and bathroom book.
  • Read “Diary” (audiobook or reading) once another book is finished.
  • Grab “Violence” from the library.

Write at least 15 additional pages in Broken Glass

  • Set aside at least one day a week (for now, we’ll say Friday) where at least 2 hours can be devoted to writing (should produce 4 pages a week).
  • Write whenever inspired to (re-allocating other time if needed).
  • Make sure the herbal tea cabinet remains stocked.  :)