This is going to be the first year of tracking my progress with an organized system.
Ok, so I’m setting these goals in August 2018. A little early, but I had the idea of tracking my progress, and annual progress just makes more sense so I’m going to do it now and start with 2019.
So as many of you guys already know, (because I sound like a broken tape recorder by now) these goals are to track my progress towards my ultimate life goal of achieving 360 balance.
What does 360 balance mean?
- The physical health to have the freedom to do what I want.
- The financial freedom to do what I want whenever I want.
- The mental freedom to never be afraid to go after what I want.
- And lastly the social freedom to make my own decisions on what I want.
360 balance is pretty much my core values towards creating my life by design. If you don’t know what “life by design” is, then it’s the philosophical movement of questioning the status quo of living. It’s to identify what the status quo is and then proceed to make the active decisions to change, tweak and improve on it for your own life’s needs.
After wrapping my head around this concept, I can confidently say that the four pillars of 360 balance are the four major areas in life that allows or prevents a person from living a life they want. This is why all my goals are created with 360 balance in mind. I’m hoping to always improve my ability to pursue the life I want by improving my state in these four areas.
In addition to my goals being inline with the four pillars of 360 balance, my goals are also coupled with task goals. If you haven’t read my post on why task goals are important, then read that NOW!
Gain 10lbs…in weight, muscle, fat, water. Anything! Just gain 10lbs.
It doesn’t sound like a hard goal to achieve, but for me it’s been a life long struggle. I would really like to gain 10lbs to feel healthier. My physical health isn’t bad. I’m not the fitness or the most athletic but there’s nothing wrong with me per say, however I feel like the older I’m getting the more my skinniness IS effecting my posture.
The main ideas would be to increase meal sizes and increase meal frequency. That means, I’ll like to gradually get to 5 meals a day, and have all 5 be proper size meals.
March 2019 update: I’ve been eating some high fat, high protein meals lately but not much of a difference yet.
August 2019 update: Absolutely no change at all. I am 100% eating more than my recommended calorie intake and I have developed a snacking habit. But no changes in weight…
Fix my rolled shoulders to improve my posture
I have horrible posture. It’s been improving the past few months because I’ve been trying to consciously remind myself, but my shoulders don’t actually feel comfortable when my posture is in the right position. They end up feeling a bit tight, which means my shoulders roll in.
Increasing back muscle will be my main method to achieving this goal. I haven’t figured out which exercises to target my back yet. I’ll come back to update this part on a later date.
January 2019 update: Planks and supermans are on the list of back muscle exercises. Nothing too extreme and more importantly I can do them anywhere with a flat surface.
March 2019 update: planks are pretty boring so I’ve been throwing in squats and push-ups in as well. So far 30 second planks at a time (yes, I know I have a weak core), 50 squats and 50 push ups. Nothing strenuous or too hard but I would like to think it’s helping my back, especially the push ups and plank.
August 2019 update: I’ll be honest, I completely slacked for the 4 months my nephews were living with me. And rI went on a month long travel to recharge right after. But the good news is I’m picking it back up and im more aware of my posture.
Maintain proper hydration, because it’s about time I learn how to keep myself sufficiently hydrated
I don’t drink enough water. I don’t really know how I survive, but this goes hand in hand with not really snacking or getting out of my seat once I start working. I don’t find it difficult to drink water if you give it to me, but I never seem to feel the need to drink water on my own accord. The thought just seems to never pass my mind.
It’s pretty embarrassing that I don’t know how to keep myself hydrated, but it’s true. (my girlfriend is constantly hounding on me to drink a cup of water)
My only idea to achieving this goal is to have a 2 Litre bottle/cup/thing. I don’t think I can find a bottle that big by shopping at the mall. The best way will be to go online to search for something. I’ll let you guys know once I find something.
October 2018 update: I saw some massive bottles while in New York, but I didn’t get them because it was only for chilled beverages. Instead, I found a massive 2L flask on Taobao and ordered that.
March 2019 update: I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier because it’s been an absolute breeze to drink 8 cups of water/ fluid a day.
August 2019 update: I think it’s become a habit now. I don’t need to use the massive flask for me to feel like drinking more fluids during the day now. It’s pretty hot so hot water is off the menu. Lemon tea and soy milk on the other hand is very much on the menu.
Minimise the volatility of my Affiliate marketing income
I don’t care what the number is, I just want to be able to predict and sufficiently manipulate my affiliate marketing income. That would mean my actions are actually the direct cause of my earnings, and it’s not by chance. Right now, it feels like its a lot by chance. It fluctuates to the point where it’s like a nice bonus surprise every month instead of a reliable income stream.
The biggest influencing factor causing this volatility is traffic. I need more consistent sources of traffic and I need more targeted traffic. Right now the quality of traffic seems a bit off-target when I look at Google analytics, and this is translating into a hit and miss conversion rate.
I’ll be learning and developing my keyword searching skills for Google SEO to help improve traffic quality. The main method of learning will be through credible online courses. I haven’t been able to find one I like yet, but I will update this section when I do find one, or two, or even three!
January 2019 update: I’m not sure if it’s the usual holiday season buying boost, but affiliate marketing income has seen a bit of a boost the past few months. Is it stable? No. Is it predictable? No. So I have a long way to go to achieve this goal.
March 2019 update: I’m in the middle of creating an e-mail funnel. This is going to take a few months but I’ve been waaaaaay under utilising my email lists so I think the next few months are going to be worth the effort.
August 2019 update: A few months ago, I found out some affiliate programs were bugging and I wasn’t getting paid properly. I’m still figuring out what to do about this in the long run to prevent this from continuing.
Share more, teach more and sell more
Many of you reading this will know it’s been less than a year since I started this blog. When I had set out to create this blog, it was firstly a way to share my experience of creating a life by design with 360 balance, and secondly a place where I can share and teach others what I have learnt.
I’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating the modest but awesome ecosystem of content on here and I’m glad people are finding it helpful, entertaining and insightful. I don’t hard sell anything on here, which I won’t change anytime soon. However, I will be making more effort to share more, teach more and sell more of my knowledge.
This means, I’ll be creating both free and premium information products. And more importantly I’ll actually start promoting them.
October 2018 update: The first version of my 10 day blogging course is up and running now. It’s completely free and it covers all the essential areas a new blogger needs to learn. However, I already have plans to improve it and include additional content to the course.
January 2019 update: I looked at the data and what people wanted to create a bunch of free content. I made it all available on my FREE MD resource page.
March 2019 update: I deleted the free resource page temporarily because the stats showed me the page wasn’t converting well and the page loaded stupidly slow. I created new resources since then that are more targeted to the reader with pop-ups. Conversion is up!
August 2019 update: I’ve been creating more in-depth content for the site with case studies and tutorials. The bounce rate has gone down and sales for my Kindle course has gone up. I also have some mini knowledge based products I think readers will get a lot of benefit from. Excited to roll those out soon. In the mean time, I’m preparing my schedule to edit and add more free resources for readers.
Improve my sleep quality
I have always been a horrible sleeper since I was a kid. I don’t sleep very well, or very deeply and most of the time I don’t feel well rested. This is a pretty big problem, because sleep quality is one of the major indicators of my mental health. I’m very lucky to be in full control of my time and schedule, which means my daily schedule can be adjusted to suit my sleeping habits.
However, I still want to gradually make this more consistent and similar to conventional sleeping habits. Right now, I sleep about 8 – 10 hours a day (from the minute I get into bed to the moment I get out of bed). It takes me a long time to fall asleep and I do wake up a few times during the night. So that 8-10 hours is more like 5 hours.
The first thing I want to do is fall asleep faster, then try to minimise the amount of times I wake up at night and lastly sleep more deeply. I’ll be tying to achieve the first step by meditating just before I sleep and ban any type of blue light for an hour before I sleep.
October 2018 update: Jet-leg has definitely pressed the reset button on my sleeping habits recently. I plan on taking advantage of this to start falling asleep faster.
January 2019 update: Been sick since coming back from Thailand and it’s been horrible on my sleep since my coughing fits seem to only happen at night. But I’m not giving up!
March 2019 update: Honestly, no improvement. It’s gotten worse in terms of when I sleep. I do fall asleep rather fast though, but that’s because I tend to go to sleep exhausted. I still wake up feeling groggy on most days.
August 2019 update: I suppose there’s been an improvement since my last update. I sleep earlier, and I wake up feeling less heavy and bogged down. I also don’t wake up in the middle of the night as often.
Improve my memory
My memory is bad. It use to be really good when I was a lot younger but it just got really bad when I was on medication for my bipolar disorder. My memory is still very bad even after so many years off medication. It doesn’t cause too many problems, I write a lot of things down and I have a gazillion sticky notes everywhere, but sometimes I do feel a little sad about not remembering moments or events.
Any side effects from the medication should be gone by now and any physical side effects from prolonged depression should have also been reversed as well. It has gotten to the point where I don’t really try. I’m so use to having all these memory aids around me that I don’t really need to even try.
From observation, my memory isn’t that bad, but my recall is horrible. I can remember memories if I have help in recalling, which is why I’ll be focusing on my recall ability. I think starting a personal diary would be great practice to help recall.
October 2018 update: Ordered a THICK journal along with the massive flask on Taobao.
March 2019 update: Slowly making it into a habit, but I have to admit, I find the whole thing rather boring and unenjoyable which is making it hard to sit down and spend a few minutes everyday journalling.
August 2019 update: Journalling has been a complete and utter fail. But on the other hand, because I’ve made improving my memory a goal of mine, I have noticed I do recall some things faster than before. It doesn’t take me as long when friends and family talk about past events for me to know what they’re talking about.
Here’s something they don’t tell you as a kid – keeping and making friends as an adult is hard. Everyone is getting busier and scheduling a meet up with the old group is a scheduling headache.
I’m learning to appreciate my good friends more and more as I get older and that means I need to prioritise some time for them. Gone are the days where life just magically meant you’ll be with your friends often/ everyday.
Conscious effort is required and I’ll be honest, I haven’t been putting a lot of effort into it. So that’s going to need to change.
January 2019 update: Been making a conscious effort to get in touch and initiate meet ups and hang outs. Still pretty difficult syncing schedules up, but I already see improvements.
March 2019 update: I think I’ve been pretty good. Many things aren’t as hard as you think once you put conscious effort into it. Well, getting the whole group together is still hard and yet to be done, but adulting doesn’t mean you don’t have time to hang out.
August 2019 update: I’ve made it a point to stay connected and keep in touch, but Hong Kong’s current situation is making it tedious to meet up on weekends, where most people only have time off on the weekends.