2013 was a pretty intense year for me…

  • Visited Miami for my first trip somewhere warm!
  • Visited the Dominican Republic, as you can see from my first three posts here, here, and here.
  • Graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in Marketing and Operations Management.
  • Completed my first 5 classes in pursuit of my MBA from Providence College.
  • Continued to grow professionally, moving into a new job more suited for my interests.
  • Self-invested over $1,200 for my personal growth in online courses.
  • Started this website, which should help keep me focused on the many projects going on now.

What is this transition really?  I’d call it, “From aspiring entrepreneur and student, to early-stage entrepreneur and young professional.

It wasn’t all perfect though.  My biggest hangup was probably not spending enough time on projects, nor getting started on them early enough in the year.

 

There are a few major areas of focus to make 2014 better…

  1. Relations with old friends and family
  2. Time with my cousin / lil bro’ / best friend
  3. Projects developing into businesses
  4. Continued learning and application
  5. Healthy eating and living

And now, to expand upon these, of course:

1) Relations with old friends and family
I believe relationships are incredibly important, not just professionally, but personally.  We are social creatures, so daily interaction is important.  However, beyond the usual relationships we maintain by living everyday lives (significant other, children, co-workers), being open to rekindling the old  and maintaining the current relationships is important emotionally and spiritually.  Tim Ferriss supports this, suggesting that everyone has at least one dinner per week for 2-3 hours with people they enjoy being with.
How to do it?
Once per month breakfast outings!  Fortunately, breakfast is my favorite, most convenient, and cheapest meal of the day.  I will find the time at least once per month to make sure I have breakfast with someone I have not seen or spoken with enough of recently.  January will be my cousin and grandmother.  February will likely be a pair of friends I haven’t spent enough time with since high school.  Old coworkers are possible as well!  No doubt, some people will play games and we will never get together, but to those I do see this year – I’m looking forward to it!

2) Time with my cousin / lil bro’ / best friend
I noticed recently, I’m spending a lot of my free time pretending I’m ten years old again — and it feels GREAT!  A lot of that also happens to be spent with my cousin, who I grew up having as my best friend.  Now that we are older, we still enjoy some of the things we enjoyed as kids — Nintendo 64, old WWF and WCW video games, professional wrestling documentaries, Halo (Xbox), and so on.  It feels great to be able to reminisce, and as long as my N64 keeps running, live in those moments as kids again.
How to keep it going?
I’m hoping to set 1 – 2 times per month aside to spend with my cousin.  It may only be an hour at times, but at least it is there and set aside so we will be sure to meet up.  He will keep me accountable for this also, so that should help once work and homework starts to pile up!

3) Projects developing into businesses
If you’ve visited my projects page, you’ll see I have quite a few ideas to explore, design and develop.  And of course, it is always growing with new ideas!  However, these projects will only pile up unless I get to work on them.  Despite having work and school involved, I’ll need to make this a priority.
How though?
I’m going to have to be tough on this, as I’ve already attempted to work on projects near the end of my workday.  At that point, I’m too involved in my day-job to transfer into projects.  Instead, I’ll have to spend some time each morning on developing these projects into something, or scrapping them once I do enough research to decide that’s the best move.  Either way, mornings will be project time!

4) Continued learning and application
There’s almost no value in learning something if you don’t put it to use.  With that in mind, I don’t want to slow my learning down either.  However, a balance is necessary to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in what I do.
How to reach this efficiency and effectiveness?
I’m going to do my best to set action learning plans — reasonable expectations for what I can do to apply what I learn, and how I can make the lessons really resonate.  With this, I should have a better account for how useful it is, and by making the learning process more engaging, I’ll spend more time on each course.  That means less through the year, but hopefully, higher impact.

5) Healthy eating and living
I’ve always been into healthy habits.  I was at my peak years ago when I would train MMA 4 times per week, hit the weights 4 times per week, and track my eating to make sure I was eating enough of the right things.  I maxed out at a lean 182 lbs.  That changed after I had two bouts of mono, dropping 20 lbs. and a lot of motivation.  Now, my goals have changed from getting bigger or lifting heavier to one, lifelong goal — be healthy and live long!
How to start working on this?
First, I will continue Wendler’s 5-3-1 gym routine training 4 times per week (first cycle complete at this point).
Second, I will incorporate three new habits to my everyday living: Drink 80 oz. (or 10 cups) of water per day; take a multivitamin at 1:00pm each day (when my afternoon slump typically sets in); and drink green tea around 6pm (immediately after the gym, when my final slump begins).
Third, I hope to begin shopping exclusively at Whole Foods (and similar stores), buying food that is produced in healthier ways.  Along with this would be generally healthier eating by monitoring my food, and staying away from bread, pasta, and junk food.

 

I think that is about it for my major goals of 2014.  There are several other one-off type goals, but these major goals above are more of “habits” I’m looking to form for long-term personal growth.  Wish me luck!

 

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  ~ Aristotle