2009 Quarter 3 Update

It has been exactly 9 months since I outlined my goals for 2009. Let’s review my progress:

1. Run 5 miles in 35 minutes

I’m on pace. Currently, I can hold out for nearly 4 miles, and come November 26th, I plan on breaking this goal. Registration just opened up today for Nashville’s Boulevard Bolt, a 5-mile, Thanksgiving morning run down and back one of Nashville’s most historic and scenic roads. Anyone want to join me?

Due to a seriously disgusting gash in my right heel (circa July 4th weekend), I put Vibram FiveFinger training on hold. Easing my feet back into them is a slow process, but well worth the pain. I miss the feeling of barefoot running too damn much.

2. Reach conversational level in Spanish

I had a similar response last quarter – yikes. I’m not giving up on this just yet – in fact, I have quite an interesting approach planned. I promise to map out my strategy over the next few weeks.

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


So far, I’ve read 6/97 books and written up my reviews on 3 of them. My latest reviews are of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and The 80/20 Principle, both of which I enjoyed for different reasons. Again, if anyone else is working their way through this list or has simply written a review of one of the books, please get in touch!

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

I have started putting it together, but then something amazing happened.

I found out that I will be traveling back to Nepal in November as part of my next work assignment! This will give me a unique chance to reflect on my experience 3 years ago, revisit some of my old photography sites and maybe put a refreshing, more comprehensive spin on the book.

On October 18th, I will be traveling to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Nepal and Georgia for a cost-of-living assignment. You’ll be hearing more about this trip as the time approaches, trust me 🙂

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

feed stats

Doh! This graph doesn’t look nearly as clear as I would have liked it too. Sometime in the last two months, my average subscriber account crossed the 100 mark. As of this morning, I’m looking at 122 subscribers.

I updated my Resources page and got rid of the Twitter-update box on the right side of the screen. Originally I wanted to free up room for some targeted affiliate ads, products and services that would help you all out, but I’m not so sure I want to mess with it. As an experiment, I am running two affiliate programs now just to capture impression and click-through data. I’ll most likely scrap the ads in the next few days. Who am I kidding?

I’ve also connected with some very cool people over the last few months that have helped bring my site to a larger audience. People like Nate at the way that you wander, John at JetSetCitizen, Rob at The Life Design Project, J.D. at Wage Slave Rebel and Diggy at Upgrade Reality. There are plenty more people that I have connected with – you all know who you are! I look forward to meeting new people through email, Twitter, TBEX, Location Rebel, and good ‘ole fashioned face-to-face.

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


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.

Well, it took me awhile, but I finally did it. After doing push ups in countries like Nigeria, Ukraine, Albania, Syria, I completed the entire 6-week workout. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the workout that pushed me over the top, it was a group of coworkers that agreed to do push ups in the conference room. At 11:30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we do 3 sets of as many push ups as we can do, resting for a few minutes in between sets. After just a few weeks with them, I noticed a sharp increase in the amount of push ups I could complete – team dynamics can be quite powerful!

Next update: January 1, 2010. 3 goals left, and 3 months to complete them. Until next time!

16 thoughts on “2009 Quarter 3 Update”

  1. All really great goals, Alan!

    I’m just finishing up my 10th book on the PMBA series, and man what a great project that is. Every single book I’ve read from it so far has been worth its weight in gold (well, they’ve been mostly ebooks, so that’s probably not the best metaphor to use..).

    I’m thinking about doing the 100 push-up challenge…I was able to do that many back in the day, but I’ve slowed down my push-up routine (down for 4 seconds, then up for 4 seconds), so I’m thinking of doing it again with that new rule. I’ve also been checking out different kinds of push-ups for variety and to work out different muscles and came across this, which lists 35 different kinds of push-up (my fave is the Dive Bomber!).

    Keep it up! Looking forward to seeing your next list, since this one is almost done!
    .-= Colin Wright´s last blog ..You’ll Never Be Philosophically Fulfilled (and That’s Okay) =-.

  2. I’m so excited that you get to go back to Nepal! Awesome! My bro is living/studying there right now…you guys should connect. Lots of love.

  3. @Colin: Ooh 10 books already? Looks like I need to catch up with you, Colin! Regarding the push-ups, I’m thinking about slowing mine down as well – 100 was a fun goal to hit, but doing slower, more calculated push-ups, I imagine, is more effective then powering through 100 as quickly as possible. Thanks for that link – I’ve been looking to switch things up!

    @Gordie: Thanks for connecting, Gordie! Just checked out your blog, good stuff. Let me know if you end up doing the 100 push-up challenge.

    @eliza: Last time I saw your brother was at the STS9 show. I’ll definitely try to connect with him if time allows – is he doing SIT?

  4. You are doing your thing man! Congrats on doing so well on your goals. I’m really looking forward to reading more about your upcoming work trip. I would love to get to 100 pushups. The way I do them now is very slow up and down so usually I wear myself out, maybe I’ll have to adjust my workout. And thanks for the mention, it’s been great connecting and getting to know you a bit!
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Mark Twain and lifestyle design =-.

  5. wow. awesome goals…i’ll be assimilating some of these into the workflow. and i think its high time i added a resource page to the life design project as i’ve actually found a use some great ones. good stuff…glad i read this….keeps me focused. 100 pushups are such a good focused fitness goal, completed that last year myself. i’m trying to complete the 300 workout for time. 50 pullups are seriously hard to do in one go.
    .-= Robert´s last blog ..Source Control: The Invigorating Outsourcing Guide =-.

  6. Hey Alan!
    Wicked post! I enjoyed reading your goals! Thanks for the link! 🙂

    You can do the 100 pushup challenge? put it on film, Id love to see. I do one set of pushups till failure every day, and can currently do 50 consecutive. I havent really aimed for more.

    Congrats on getting to 122 subscribers so quick! 🙂
    Im on 207 right now and entered a challenge with Bud from aboundlessworld.com to 1000 readers by end of Dec 09. Will be interesting 🙂

    Have an awesome day!
    .-= Diggy – upgradereality.com´s last blog ..Take the Plunge =-.

  7. Kristin: What books have you been reading? Checked out your site earlier today – your list trumps mine!

    Nate: You too Nate. Faster is not necessarily better than slower. I was working on explosive push-ups, but now that I’ve hit 100 I’d like to slow them down and build more muscle. Keep me posted if you end up trying the challenge.

    Robert: I took a look at the 300 workout – are you serious? Now THAT’s some hardcore fitness. Definitely put up a resources page – I’m sure there’s plenty of good links from your end that would help a guy like me 🙂

    Jonny: Thanks for connecting!

    Roy: Cool! Let me know if you end up writing any reviews and I’ll post ’em here.

    Diggy: 207! Good work Diggy – your content has been fantastic over the last few weeks. 1000 seems far away, but keep at it. You’ll get there soon enough.

  8. Just ran a 5 mile race without proper training and got it done in 39 minutes. I’m going to do some training and get that under 35, I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Good luck in November.

  9. Well, you have certainly been busy. Awesome! How long will you be traveling for when you leave for Nepal? That is our route in the latter half of next year. Looking forward to reading your posts for inspiration.

  10. @Anil: Thanks, Anil. Keep me posted with your running!

    @Dave and Deb: My entire trip is just over a month, but I’ll only be in Nepal for about a week. Definitely keep it in your route for 2010!

  11. Wow pretty good! Getting conversational in Spanish should be interesting… it’s one of those slippery goals that get further away the closer you get. Even when I was speaking Spanish 100% of the day, completely immersed, I felt very far from conversational. It was only later, when people were like, “Dude you’re totally fluent” and I was like, “huh?” You never really have that moment when you *feel* like you got it. You’ll always be learning.
    .-= Christine Gilbert´s last blog ..Becoming a Digital Nomad – Small Business Edition: Day 23 of 30w30d =-.

  12. @Christine: Thanks for stopping by, Christine! It’s been a while. Have been enjoying your ’30 ways in 30 days’ series–great idea. As for speaking Spanish, I think I’m going to have to bend the meaning of the word “conversational,” but I’ve still got a couple of months to practice, so we’ll see 🙂

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