2009 Quarter 1 Update

It has been exactly 3 months since I outlined my goals for 2009. Let’s review my progress:

1. Run 5 miles in 35 minutes

I’m off to a good start with this one. So far, I can run a 6:58 min/mile pace for a little over 2 miles. I can run 5 miles at a much slower pace, so I am trying to find a balance between running both short and long mileages. Does anyone know what a good approach would be? I’m hoping to hit this goal by the latter part of the summer, when I can have some more time to run outside. In the meantime, I am enjoying the episodes of Family Fuud that are displayed above the treadmill!

2. Reach conversational level in Spanish

Haven’t done much here. In August, I’m hoping to travel for a month in Spanish-speaking countries, so I plan on bumping up my training closer to that time. By doing a few Google searches, I have compiled a list of the top Spanish action verbs and spoken words. I will use the Tim Ferriss method first – deconstructing the language grammatically – then I will undergo a calculated memorization operation to help boost my vocabulary as efficiently as possible. Look for a blog post in the next few months.

3. Read and take notes on 3 out of 77 books on the Personal MBA reading list.

I have 3-4 more books in the pipeline before I plan on tackling this goal. Thanks to a gift from my friend Dan, I already have my first Personal MBA book in possession: Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Do you have recommendations for the other 2?

4. Compose a photo-journal coffee table book of my abroad experience in Nepal.

I have collected and sorted through my field notes and class materials, and have a first-draft introduction written out. The whole book should take 5-10 hours to put together. Have any of you used Blurb.com? Looking at the cost of self-publishing a photojournal, it appears to be more expensive than I was originally intending. Are you familiar with any alternatives?

5. Expand my blogging audience to at least 100 RSS subscribers.

In January, I was wavering between 15 and 17 subscribers. Now, I range between 35 and 40! What a jump! I have been meeting people through Twitter and the Travel Blog Exchange and am finding myself much more engaged in the blogging community than I have been in the past. To my regular readers: thank you. Keep the comments and emails coming, and let me know if you have any suggestions! To my new readers: welcome! I look forward to cranking out some good posts for you.

6. Clean up my research paper on vertical farming and send it to Dickson Despommier at Columbia University.

Oops. Forgot about this one.

7. Complete the Hundred Push Ups challenge

The 100 Push Ups challenge is a six-week program that builds endurance, enough to do 100 consecutive push ups. I started this a little over a month ago, but have been stuck at week 4 for the last few weeks. This week, I stopped my push ups altogether and have been replacing those workouts with full body workouts at the gym. When I travel to Eastern Europe in a few weeks, I plan on resuming my training back at week 3 or week 4.

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Next update: July 1, 2009. Until then, I leave you with a quote.

Attitude almost always determines your altitude in life.


2 Comments on “2009 Quarter 1 Update”

  1. Lauren says:

    Nice job, Alan – you’re inspiring me! I need a list like this!

  2. Kyle Smith says:

    I think that “The Innovators Dilemma” by Clayton Christiansen is an awesome business book. We all read it at Tripfilms. It takes an interesting look at the role technology plays in shifting markets.


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