Image by Jacob & Kiki Hantla
To summarize, over the New Year's holiday the newly employed and occasional contributor to the OSS (Andrew Polk) informed us that we were about to conclude the "Decade of Learning" (who knew?). And that January 1, 2010 would officially kick-off "The Decade of Action." He then rattled off a list of accomplishments that would take him through the year 2020, so that we all could track his progress.
Pretty cool, right?
Unfortunately for me, I've recently been diagnosed as having adult onset ADD so 10 year plans sound about as appealing as... wait, what was I just talking about? Oh right, continuing on.
Thinking up a 10 year plan was a bit too close to having someone ask me in an interview where I wanted to be in 10 years (I mean no one ever says "on the beach in the Caribbean" which is exactly what we're thinking, so its a dumb question), therefore I decided to shrink the window of opportunity down to 12 months and name 2010 "The YEAR of Action."
Unfortunately for me, in order to stay focused I've learned that I need to a) somehow hold myself accountable and b) for someone to tell me that I can't do it. So it's with that theory in mind that I've posted my goals below. Expect an update or two as I make my way through the list, which is broken down into 3 easily digestible categories (mind, body, and soul) for you to review.
Mike Will Fail to Accomplish the Following
1. Read 1 book per month and blog about it.
My beautiful wife bought me the "4-Hour Workweek "for Christmas after hearing me talk about Tim Ferriss incessantly for over a year now. I finished it in about 2 weeks (mission accomplished for January), and am now skimming back through it just in case I missed anything. I can't recommend the book highly enough, but its definitely not for everyone.
Expect a post about it soon.
2. Start my own company
I've learned that recessions have a funny way of teaching us things that we may or may not be ready for. For example, after losing ~40% of my savings in 2008, I learned that putting all of my savings in the market is silly and that risking a little bit of capital in something you both believe in and are passionate about is in fact barely a risk at all.
More on this in the very near future, but let's just say that the website is almost complete and I'm now officially the CEO and President of MGI Management, LLC.
1. Bench Press 225
I realize that this may not sound like a lot to my more masculine readers out there and is without question a bit ridiculous. However due to a birth defect (pectus_excavatum) I'm actually missing a decent percentage of my right pec muscle, so its more of a personal challenge than anything else.
2. Hold breath for 3.5 minutes
The aforementioned defect also reduces my lung capacity, so I've always stunk at holding my breath. Thanks to the author of the 4HWW however, I recently learned of a method to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat. And you know what?
It worked. My record is currently 2:30, but this year I'm determined to hit the 3:30 mark.
3. Win Warrior Dash (<--Click the link. Enough said.)
4. Work out 3x's a week.
So far so good!
5. Complete P90X
P90X® is a revolutionary system of 12 sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping workouts, designed to transform your body from regular to ripped in just 90 days. You can't tell me that you haven't thought about it too!
1. Increase involvement at The Village
Last year we finally joined the church, went through marriage counseling, and even joined a home group led by our friends the Woods. This year, Andrea and I are hoping to continue on this path and grow closer with our home group and possibly even go on our first overseas mission trip!
I've learned that there are no handbooks on what it being a "spiritual leader" actually looks like in practice, so God willing this will be a decent start.
2. Cook more difficult dishes more often
This past year some of our friends decided that we needed to hone our cooking skills, and started a dinner group to accomplish this mission. No question some are better than others, but its become a great way for all of us to stay connected with each other during the week and forces us to go out of our way to prepare a meal for others.
Between Andrea's studying and my frequent work trips however, I've noticed that its all too easy to make something quick and simple when it's just the two of us. This year, I want that change.
3. Go on at least 1 date with Andrea per month (excluding dinner at the house)
Andrea and I decided that we needed to go on more "dates". That's not to say that we don't spend a lot time together, we do. In fact, one of the greatest joys of not having kids is that you're theoretically always on a date when you're together, because there's nothing to distract you (assuming she's not studying or I'm not working late).
It's just too easy to make the same old meal again, watch some TV, work out (for those of you who know Andrea you'll know this is a requirement), etc... In other words, fall into a routine.
This year we decided that once per month we'd alternate who would be in charge of planning a date that had to be something other than just dinner and couldn't be the same thing twice. I'm also hoping this will inspire her to write her very first blog post!
4. Care less about politics
I'll still occasionally post my political opinions, just because I honestly enjoy the subject matter, but if I've learned anything my recent forays into political blogging it's this: it's all meaningless.
I mean sure there are some factual inaccuracies that need to be pointed out from time to time, (including my own) but most of the people I know are smart, well informed, and decent. In other words, our differences of opinion really boil down to nothing more than a philosophical difference in how we see the world. In other words, its mostly just a lame attempt to exercise our egos.
Or as someone much smarter than I once said:
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,