We’re approaching the new year in a little over a month & today I felt would be a great opportunity to talk about my last year. Earlier in 2020, I had set the following goals:
- Read 52 books
- TikTok to 1,000 Followers
- Write a Book
- YouTube to 1,000 Subscribers
- Learn TypeScript
- Finish a MBA degree
Read 52 Books
This year due to COVID-19 & a bit of extra time indoors, I was able to read over 75 books in 2020. The previous year, I was able to read a book a week & ended up with 55 books total. Although it’s not really about how many books you read, it’s more about the habit of reading daily. I do not go on extended book binges, but rather I read everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes. Anything more than that is an added bonus that day.
Some of my favorite books I’ve read this year are:
- Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robins
- The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
- Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman
- Bonus: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
You can also visit my top books list on Notion to see more!
P.S. If you have any book recommendations, please let me know! I’m always looking for a new book to read. Here’s my full reading list in 2020.
TikTok to 1,000 Followers
What first started as being curious into the next generation of social media apps, became a strange addiction. The growth on TikTok has been absolutely insane. In less than a year, I’ve been able to grow past 18,000 followers by posting a TikTok everyday (as consistently as I can). If you’re interested in coding/tech jokes, productivity tips, or even how I view the world, check out my TikTok. Some of the most viral TikToks on my account have been helping people pick a programming language, when your code finally builds, how to exit vim, and strangely enough…touch typing!
Write a Book
I’ve been working on a self-help book for almost a year now. This has been something I’ve wanted to give back to the world as a book with how much material has helped me in the last two years alone. Many self-help books are impractical. They give you a single thing that you can do to improve your life. Much of the practical self-help only comes from experience & actually doing the thing. That’s why I want to write as practical of a self-help book as I can. It’s currently called “The Four Elements. A practical guide to transformation”. In the book I cover four main themes of:
- 💧 Water (Change) – Vision, Mindset, Sense
- 🌎Earth (Substance) – Plan, Systems, State
- 🔥 Fire (Power) – Fearlessness, Decisiveness, Language
- 💨 Air (Freedom) – Connection, Purpose, Transformation
I also have a podcast which you can listen to with mini-episodes inspired by the book!
YouTube to 1,000 Subscribers
I have put YouTube off for 2 years now. I have however recently been posting regular content on my YouTube channel and plan to double down on it next year to branch out my content & post more frequently. Right now, I’ve got 14/1000 subscribers. If you’re reading this blog today & haven’t seen my YouTube channel, feel free to drop a like on some videos & subscribe!
Finish a MBA Degree
A couple of years ago, I made the choice to go back to school & get a MBA before I was 30. Things didn’t work out however and I’ll tell you why. First, the MBA degree curriculum was too easy. It was more/less reading through various MBA topic books, doing the assignments, and taking a test on the material. Last year, I decided I would take a break to think about starting again in 2020. This however was not something I wanted to pursue any further as online school in terms of getting a MBA is not a way to learn. I feel terrible for all of the kids who are going through online / remote learning today. Simply reading a textbook, putting answers into an assignment/test grader is no way to learn.
In fact, I know it’s not a good way to learn. I read over 5 books on the topic of how to learn most effectively, and much of what I was doing with the MBA degree was going through the same outdated curriculum every school provides for an online option. In other words, I didn’t feel like I was learning although it was easy, and I really didn’t value another year doing it even if it was for a piece of paper & an addition to a resume.
Bonus: Non-goals that became goals
Run a Half-Marathon
In 2019, I watched my wife Stevie run a half-marathon. It inspired me to pick up running & run a half-marathon myself. As of 2020, I was able to train for a half-marathon & even do an impromptu half-marathon in the Texas summer because all of the races have been cancelled. I’ve been averaging 16 miles per week and slowly have put over 800 miles on a couple pairs of running shoes already.
Play in a Competitive Basketball League
I never played much basketball generally speaking, but have always been competitive. In 2019, I started regularly playing pickup basketball on some weeknights and weekends. This helped me become a better player in a short amount of time since I never really knew the formal rules of basketball, but watched plenty of it on the TV. In 2020, I played in a competitive basketball league (in a COVID-safe fashion), and learned more about competitive basketball in 8 weeks than I did the last year or so playing. Although I don’t consider myself to be that great, I was averaging around 8 points a game, which was way better than I expected.
Move to Austin
When my daughter Audrey was born in 2018, we wanted to make sure to plant some family roots in a place where we could call home. Since we both were primarily raised in Utah & have family in Utah, we wanted to do something that normally most people do not get the chance to do in their lives outside of work, and move to a place that resembled our values of family such as tech, music, arts, food, and much more. We’ve been planning to move to Austin, Texas for over 2 years and finally made the move. It has been one of the best choices & we’re excited to see what the future brings.
Newsletter to 100 Readers!
I haven’t really put much effort into my newsletter, and this year it will change. I had over 100 people sign up for my newsletter & I haven’t done my job of providing quality email content each week. That will be changing very shortly as I’ve now got a great routine going. I’m excited to grow this newsletter even further by focusing on it this year with other content I’m producing weekly.
- Many people treat a belief as if it’s a thing, but it’s really just a feeling of certainty about something.
- Having a good strategy is better than having no strategy. Having a bad strategy is worse than having no strategy.
- Anyone can build good habits. Few will actually do it.
- Always think in the long term. What are your big & small rocks & how can you stop getting distracted by adding sand?
- Leverage is infinite if you build a skillset many will not put the time & effort into.
- To be your authentic self, you must create. To create, you have to take advantage of your limited time.
- If you raise your standards today, you will thank yourself later & wished you’ve done it sooner.
- Resources are what you use to do it. Processes are how you do it. Priorities are why you do it.
- An outcome is the product of focus. With no focus, there is just output.
- Mastering your emotions will allow you to master your mind. You get to choose how you feel about everything.
- When your emotions want you to do something, you just do it.
- Doing your own thing will typically lead you to a winning path.
- In order to find happiness, you need to continue looking for opportunities that are meaningful to you. You can then learn new things to succeed in them.
Goals for 2021
Stay tuned for a separate post regarding my goals for 2021. Although I’ve been able to reflect upon the past year, I’m going to be focusing quite a bit on content creation this year & learning new skills to help me do just that. I’ll be learning much more about SEO, video producing, filming, community building, and much more. See you then!