A Target From near The Beginning

Evie on top of the door

Evie found on top of the door and not sure how she got there

The picture is of our Kitten cum Cat on top of a door in one of the rooms of our house. We are not sure how she decided this as a target or even how she got there.

Looking around the room we can think of more than one route she may have taken. One was mostly a set of small but slightly awkward climbs up bits of furniture and also along some pieces. In another scenario she may have leapt from the back of an office chair and scrambled up the door.

The out of focus picture was taken because I wanted to get her down safely and quickly so rushed the snap. Sorry about that.

I like to imagine she was down on the ground and decided it would be a good place to go to. Then she just tried different routes until she arrived on top of the door.

In the same vein I’d like to think I am in a similar place to where she was. I am down on the ground and want to get somewhere up there. I’m not 100% certain where “up there” is and so I don’t really know how to get all the way there. I can see where my next step is and I should try and get there. So where is my “down on the ground” and “up there somewhere”?

Down On The Ground

Since June 2016 I have been contracting on a daily rate to earn money. Although I have my own Limited company, it really means my clients choose when and where I work.

I am not a startup, have no products and no employees. I just work as long, if not longer, than most other people and not much of my time is my own.

Sounds familiar?

I am 54 years old and I personally know 5 people diagnosed with Cancer in 2017, two the same age as me. Thankfully two are in remission, but it has made me think about doing something more fulfilling with my life.

I have read The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss which is the main guide for my journey. I feel it is very important to be clear about where I am now. When reading any kind of self-help book, I read it with an open mind and don’t expect too much. Of course one has to actually act, review and adjust to expect anything.

So this is where my current ground is.

My current contract position takes about 90 minutes to get there by three trains and is approximately 100 miles away from home. I travel there each day.

When I first started in October 2016 I stayed in a Premier Inn, but since June of 2017 I have travelled back each day.

Daily travel has the advantage of seeing the family each day. I spend a little over an hour on one of the three trains and I take 15 minutes out for Headspace meditation. This is time well spent.

When I get home there is often things to do and I am lucky to get another hour or two each night to work on changing my life. The weekends are hit and miss. Having two teenage boys who both play football and referee requiring lifts, it takes up more time.  This is worth doing as I really enjoy watching them play and being with them.

I enjoy interacting with other people to the point where I probably talk to other people far too much. Not very good at saying no to requests means I often take on too much work.

I feel I do my best work alone and really enjoy spending time by myself.

All this adds up to someone with not much spare time to work on change and therefore a real need to make better use of the time I have. I recognise this is all down to me to change.

My priority is to free up time to provide the space to work on change.

On The Way Up

I’ve been trying to make better use of the train journey. I already meditate using Headspace for about 15 minutes. In the past week I have been going through trying to create a Dreamline. These are normally a set of goals to achieve in either the next 6 months or year.

This has been very hard. I kept doing things I could easily achieve, but that isn’t the point. The point is to aim high and learn something new on the way. I think I need two lists. One contains reasonably quick wins achievable in under five months and another more substantial list which is likely to take at least a year.

To thst end I have spent time brainstorming two lists, and reflecting on them.

I now have two lists and I now need to end up with 3 or 4 in each list to do in the given timescales. It is almost March 2018 so the quick wins shoul be completed between the end of May 2018 and August 2018.

List of Quick Targets To Hit

Here is my list of what some may call “quick wins” but I prefer “quick targets”.  they are exactly as i first wrote them down.

  • Contribute to someone elses open source project
  • Get fitter and my weight down to 76kg aka under 12 stone
  • Learn Rust programming language
  • Learn Elm programming language
  • Learn Elixir/Phoenix programming language
  • Learn Brain Fuck programming language
  • Finish Maths Thinking Course
  • Run 3 times a week (Run a 10K)
  • Ridewill Bike at least twice a week
  • Make my own Chai
  • Kayak in better weather
  • Start horse race betting
  • Start cooking again
  • grow some vegetables
  • Go mushroom foraging
  • swim in wild water
  • Drink tea Ashwin gave me
  • Meet up with someone I haven’t seen for 10 years

When I reviewed each target I realised some required another on the list and others could be done in less than a week. I spent time thinking about these and coming up with a more precise description and measure of achieving them.

I will provide the details in other posts, but for now, here are my four to achieve between May and August this year.

  • Contribute to someone elses open source project
  • Get fitter and my weight down to 76kg aka under 12 stone
  • Start horse race betting
  • Meet up with someone I haven’t seen for 10 years

List of Longer Targets

Here are the longer targets as I wrote them down. I found this a far harder task to do.
There are many people who would consider entries on both my lists an easy win. I look at some of them and think the same.

Therein lies the point of having targets. They need to be challenging for me to complete. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is capable of achieving. This is my list of things I believe will help change my life and provide me with a sense of achievement.

  • Write an application or library
  • Reading to Bristol Cycle ride
  • Learn to Ski
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
  • Get onto core team of an open Source project
  • Get 500 subscribers to UsingPrimavera.com
  • Make enough affiliate money to pay for online prescence
  • have at least 2 4-6 week breaks away from home per year
  • Get a degree in something

As before, here are the four targets I have settled upon. The details behind the targets and the reasoning for choosing each will be the subject of other posts.

  • Write an application or library
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
  • Get 500 subscribers to UsingPrimavera.com
  • Make enough affiliate money to pay for online prescence

What Next?

I have detail for each chosen item from the two lists so I know why I am doing it, what it is and how I know when it is done. I have also added something I would learn even if I failed – apart from how tough it is for me to complete.  All big “Strategic Thinking” things so in line with Tim Ferriss advice I have listed the next step to do for each in the next week. Not quite the next day as he advocates, but I am not Tim Ferris.

All the detail to come in future posts. Keep a lookout.

Author: callenb

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