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Before January closes out I wanted to write a post about goals, resolutions, fresh starts, whatever you like to call the “hope of taking action” that comes to most of us when a new year rolls around.

I have plenty of goals I plan on achieving this year, and I would like to share a few of them.

Before I do that, however, I’d like to just give my thoughts on the “New Years Resolution” idea.

Accountability

I’ve noticed that rationalizing with myself is much easier than rationalizing with someone else, say, my girlfriend for example. I’ve learned that if I put my mind to a new goal or task, that I will probably be side tracked in about 10 minutes.

You ever experienced this phenomenon?

I often told friends and fellow classmates in college that I was the “King of Procrastination”. I’m sure if I ever truly tried to claim that title I would be challenged by most other college students.

Why do we always, without fail, find something, anything to do instead of what we are supposed to? I don’t find much enjoyment in the pop culture mobile game “Candy Crush”, but when I have something important I need to be doing, I become the almighty master of crushing candies.

There are probably many reasons I am so talented at procrastinating, but there has always been one thing that is usually pretty effective at bringing me back to focus.

Accountability! For each of the goals I am about to outline below, I have asked people to hold me accountable for. I want my friends/family/loved ones to bust my ass if I don’t put work and effort towards achieving my goals.

So, Mom, Dad, Rachel, Ana, Bryce, Diego, Erik, etc. You will all be reading this at some point, so make sure I DO THIS STUFF.

PrettyPlease

Please and thanks :D.

 

Goals for 2014

1) Get back in shape, finally…

So I am going to Florida in May, then a week later going to Mexico. The time has finally arrived that I get my ass back in shape.

This one I probably won’t need as much outside accountability since I started doing TaeKwonDo again. I love TaeKwonDo, I find it really fun, and while I am there, the instructors are “motivating” and push me to give 110%. I go 5 times a week and haven’t experienced a single class where I didn’t get my ass kicked in every sense of the word.

I started December 23rd, and have lost about 10 pounds of fat, and gained much of the muscle mass in my legs that I lost since I stopped doing TKD in 2008.

Now this goal’s header is pretty ambiguous. What does “getting in shape” constitute? How should I measure progress?

The answer is…I’m not really sure. If I can make it to 175 I will have lost 25 pounds since I started, so that is the only real metric I am going off of now. I probably should add some metrics so that I can better calculate progress. Any suggestions?

2) Learn how to code

I have a Management Information Systems degree. I should probably already know how to code. The truth is, I can read code, manipulate code, and eventually get code to do what I want, but that is not knowing how to code.

I want to actually learn how to develop software, and that requires a firm grasp of both structural programming, and behavioral programming.

These are the languages I’d like to learn how to code in:

  • Java, for android app development
  • Ruby (on Rails) – It is easy to read, very forgiving, and pretty damn powerful. I have already started trying to learn this language
  • php – I’ve used it in the past, and it is a very widespread language
  • Objective C – This is the coding language that all of the Apple software is written in iOS, OSX, etc. I like mobile apps, so I want to be able to make iOS apps as well
  • C++ – Mainly because it is a great starter language that teaches the basic principles of object oriented programming, which all of the languages above this one use.

There is no change in hell I will learn all, or even half of these languages in 2014. My goal is to focus on 1 or 2, and get good at them.

Those 2 are probably going to be Ruby, and C++.

I will be using the following sites to learn how to code, and will eventually offer my opinion on which I liked the most.

3) Write a LOT more

Pretty much the point of this site.

My about page pretty much sums it up. Aside from the goofy picture, I like to write, and I need to do it more often.

I am also currently working on a personal development blog that I am very excited about. I will be announcing it at a future date (hopefully soon)!

As long as I keep writing blog posts here I hope no one yells at me for not writing, but if I ever stop posting, then YELL.

4) Pay off 75% of my student loans

Now, full disclosure, in 2013 I paid off around 30% of my student loans (woot!).

So this 75% is based off the of new total.

For me to pay off 75% of my remaining loans, I will need to pay off over $20,000 in 2014! Pretty insane right?

I don’t give a damn how insane it is. I HATE having student loan debt, and I am going to do everything I can to pay off as much as possible this year.

That includes cooking more, eating out less, spending less money on alcohol, making money from side projects outside my current full time position, etc.

All of the aforementioned parts I will need a lot of accountability help with, especially the eating out. Austin has so many good restaurants. Ugh, I’m getting hungry now just thinking about it.

5)  Learn, learn, and learn some more. Personal Development!

This past year I have met some very talented, amazing people, and after spending a lot of time around them I realize that many of them are achieving truly extraordinary things. It really opened up my eyes to what I could be achieving at this stage in my life.

With that being said, I have adopted an attitude of constant, consistent personal development. I know that I can never learn everything, but I can constantly strive to better myself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. It may sound idealistic or overly optimistic, but that is the point, isn’t it?

I always have a better time when I am in a good mood, so why not always strive to be in a good mood?

Anyway…

To learn and to grow, I must read! So, with the help of my friends I have compiled a list of books I plan on reading this year to improve myself.

If you have any desire to do the same, then I highly suggest you look into purchasing some or all of these books. I will provide amazon affiliate links for all of them, so that you can grab them if you so choose.

  1. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  2. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  3. The One Thing – Greg Keller
  4. Productive Person – Chandler Bolt, James Roper
  5. The Cashflow Quadrant – Robert Kiyosaki
  6. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuck
  7. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
  8. The Management of Time – James McCay
  9. Rework – Jason Fired, David Heinemeier Hansson
  10. Re reading of The 4 Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferris

If you’ve read any of these books, please let me know what you thought of them in the comments below.

OR, if you know any books that I should be reading, please (kitten face) let me know.

In closing,

Thanks for reading.
I’m really going to give this “new year, new focus, new goals” bit a try.

I’ll write periodically to talk about how things are going.

Check back every now and then.

 

-Garrett

 

 

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