Around 2015-16, I picked up a couple of books. One is Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and the other is The Old Man and the Sea Book by Ernest Hemingway.
I loved them and felt I missed so much not reading the previous few years. So I decided to read 52 books in 52 weeks and I hit the goal.
Then I kept on trying different challenges. Here is a list of challenges I have done
90 days challenge [No Movies/TV Series, No Sugar, No Tea (black teas), No Coffee, No Deep-fried foods, No Maida, Every day exercise]
Few other things that aren’t exactly challenges, but went great
Beating depression (not exactly fought it, but it was a good feeling when it ended)
Building a push notification product from scratch that sends 5 Billion notifications/month
Building a community of 10,000 people in 4 years (later went to 25k people, but I was out by then)
While I had my fair share of learnings, burnout, epiphanies, and benefits from these.
You can see that, in each of those skill areas, I had focused on at least one or more undistracted years (work-related is multiple years).
After doing these for a few years, now I feel like I built muscle memory for many of those things.
For example, reading is more natural to me than in the first year of reading, my body has adapted to running better than when I started(so less exhaustion in the day), and making better decisions at work because I make too many mistakes that didn’t work and ended up with few that worked wonders.
While I have pride in all the targets I have hit,
This year, I want to have multiple large goals.
So here is what I did.
I took out an Excel sheet
Listed down areas of improvements
I put down Min goal and Max goal for each.
So I have 4-5 areas I want to improve on and set targets.
Min goal = I must hit it.
Max goal = is anywhere between 2X to 10X depending on which goal it is.
We are still at the start of the year,
And recently decided not to put my goals into publicity.
Let me give a couple of examples(which I am currently comfortable to share).
Min goal = 25 books
Max goal = 60 books
Reality maybe somewhere in between.
Min goal = 1 Ultra run(50km)
Max goal = (will tell you at the end of the year, for now, I and my coach knows)
Min goal = 1
Max goal = 10 (how is this possible? Currently I have no idea, I may fail at 2 countries too, but I won’t be surprised)
You get the point right?
I just put a higher number for everything in Max,
For which I may not know how to achieve at the moment.
The idea is to stretch myself in terms of thinking, imagination and planning,
While staying sane, healthy, not broke and having good relations with friends/family.
(for people wondering about my marriage, it’s one of the goals, but we never know right)
I want to try balancing things out while maximizing on trying to hit larger goals.
While Ideally, I want to hit all targets, most of them are unrealistic.
I want to sit with discomfort this year thinking about how I can make them happen
And they are making at least 1 or 2 things happen on the Max side of my planning.
Because keeping one goal and hitting did not feel exciting this year.
So far, here is what I have done in planning:
- Listed down areas I want to set goals
- Kept min and max goals
- Dumbed it down to input goals (example tracker has – creation goal(writing/coaching/etc.) , consumption goal(learning/reading) workouts etc,.)
- Then I wrote down why I wanted them to have
I also wrote a personal manifesto (I don’t know what else to call it, probably not the right name) on how I want this year to look.
I cross-checked if my tracker, manifesto and the reason for why are matching(they did). So I started it off.
Here is how it went in Jan 2024:
|Plup (Physical book)
|Jeevithame O Dhamal (Telugu book on Storytel)
|Chantabbai (Telugu book on Storytel)
|Malladi Venkata Krishnamurthy
|Vennello Godaari (Telugu book on Storytel)
|The Book on High Ticket Sales: The Ultimate Guide to Making Millions Through Remote Selling (on Kindle)
Coaching Sessions: 7-9 (did not track properly)
Food: 400 grams of veggies and 56-60 grams of protein (0.8 grams/kg body weight) – for 25 days
Ran a Marathon: Tata Mumbai Marathon (and Jan’s running mileage is 178 km)
Charity: 2k (Never been a charity person inherently (I would only help if I know the person, or see someone posting about a campaign that needs money, always paid in those links). But this year I wanted to start off somewhere. So we will spend 2k each month throughout the year.)
(tracker a couple of other goals, but don’t want to keep them here yet).
Also, I travelled to my home town for 10 days and then out for Mumbai for a couple of days. I did not track anything in these days. My creation goals went to the trash.
Here is what I understood from tracking above:
- When it’s a marathon month, 2 weeks will have low mileage and almost no strength training(and it’s okay to lose it)
- I procrastinated to open personal email tabs in the office system(as I carried a home office system) and did not feel like tracking (so I downloaded an app now and experimenting with it in December to track my goals)
- I procrastinated on the ebook goal(editing it), so forcing myself to do it now in Feb (tried doing 30 mins a day, but ended up doing 2 days and 3rd day for 15 mins).
- I open my laptop and go to YouTube and watch something even though I open it to write. So want to(from this week) restrict myself from movie-watching until I at least work on the draft for at least 15 minutes (of course, if I can focus more, I will focus more).
If you have read till here, you may feel this is too much. Or too little. Depending on where you are and your point of view of hitting goals.
But if I do this and pull off my best this year, I feel I wouldn’t want to repeat this year again. Or at least that’s how I feel it.
For now, I am happy with things I checked off, failed and learnt in January (also it’s making me uncomfortable as I did not hit more than half the goals, which is exactly how I wanted it).
I want to say, I am excited. But honestly, I am slightly nervous and lot curious how the year would go, how much I can keep track and if I can keep track for another 11 months, how it would make me feel.
Life is unpredictable, so I am taking one day at a time.