Note: Read time 5-10 minutes.
It has been just over 6 months since I outlined my goals for 2009. Let’s review my progress:
1. Run 5 miles in 35 minutes
My running style drastically changed when I bought the Vibram FiveFingers shoes.
Designed to restore the foot to a more primal state, these shoes (“Classic” model pictured above) strengthen the foot and lower leg muscles and reposition the spine to a more posture-friendly state. They take a while to get used to, but now that my legs have adapted, my runs are euphoric.
Regarding the goal, I can hold pace for 3+ miles, but still find myself struggling to keep up the speed. Every Thanksgiving morning, I run in a 5 mile race back home in Nashville, TN, so I’m hoping to complete this goal then.
2. Reach conversational level in Spanish
Yikes, I need to get on this. I will write a post outlining my tactics in the next few weeks.
3. Read and take notes on 3 out of 77 books on the Personal MBA reading list.
Complete! A few weeks ago, I wrote a review of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I have also read two more books on the list and will write reviews shortly. I am putting together a page that explains more about why chose this goal…stay tuned.
4. Compose a photo-journal coffee table book of my abroad experience in Nepal.
While I finally finished my photography site, nepalprints.com, I haven’t made any progress with this particular goal. Below is what I had written on April 1st.
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. In March/April, it was between 35 and 40. Now, I have at least 75 regular readers. I like where this is going. To all my readers out there, stay connected! It’s been great getting to know all of you, and I really appreciate all of your feedback. To any new readers…hola, welcome, namaste.
Recently I have made a few changes to the site:
- I installed the NoFollow Free and CommentLuv plugins. If you have a blog of your own, this means that you can sync any comment you make with your latest blog post. Now that the “nofollow” attribute is turned off, comments can become backlinks to your site.
- I updated my Images page.
- I created a new page, Countries Visited.
- I installed TweetBoard, a tabbed program that not only pulls my Twitter updates into the blog, but it allows you jump into the conversation. I first saw the TweetBoard on Corbett Barr’s site, Free Pursuits.
I have several things planned for the next few weeks, including an updated Resources page and a few new widgets. If you have any additional suggestions, let me know!
6. Clean up my research paper on vertical farming and send it to Dickson Despommier at Columbia University.
Sent! Here’s my email to Dr. Despommier:
Dr. Despommier –
Greetings from Boston. My name is Alan Perlman, and I have been a big fan of the vertical farming idea since the Popular Science article featured your work back in 2007.
In spring of 2008, I spent two full semesters researching and writing a “capstone” paper for my International Studies major at Washington University in St. Louis. The paper, titled “Vertical Farming: Exploring a Modern Extension of Agricultural Intensification,” looks at both Paris and Hong Kong as two potential sites for vertical farms, drawing on contemporary social, economic and political implications as well as historical models of agricultural intensification.
I offer my thoughts to you and your research team. I attached my paper, as well as a poster I put together for a presentation on my research. Hope you enjoy!
And here’s his response:
Short and sweet. Good stuff!
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 am still stuck at week 4 on this one. A few weeks ago, I took a few days off and did 60 pushups, but I still have a long way to go. Argh. I’ve been working out regularly, and have seen improvements in the gym. I’ll try this challenge again in a few weeks when I leave for Africa.
Next update: July 1, 2009. I definitely have some work to do, but I’m happy with progress thus far.