2011 Quarter 1 Update [and Quarter 2 Challenges]

And poof, just like that, we’re already three months into 2011.

Each quarter, I like to take a step back and reflect on my goals for the year. In January, I started a new goal-setting experiment by seeking out twelve month-long challenges.

Three months in, so far so good. While January’s cooking challenge and February’s writing challenge both went well, I didn’t approach March with the kind of gusto I had originally intended.

For the last thirty days, I’ve been reading about and practicing Parkour, the art of getting from point A to point B, most often in an urban environment, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The challenge, when I wrote it out, was to learn Parkour. In January and February, I had specific metrics outlined for each goal. Looking back, I should have done this in March. Learn x number of moves, or put together x number of videos. Something more concrete to keep me motivated and accountable. Something more compelling than a broad idea. It’s hard to know whether or not you’ve hit a goal if you don’t have any specific milestones laid out.

Despite my lack of direction, I did learn quite a lot about the sport. I watched Banlieu 13, or District 13, a French action movie where the main character is a Parkour traceur. I scoured the Internet for tutorial sites. I even found a few meetup groups in the Boston area to join when the weather gets warmer.

As promised, I put together a short video of one of my practice sessions. Compared to people who actually know what they’re doing (and are in much better shape), I’m as amateur as they come. That said, I had fun putting this together. Shout-out to my coworker Alex for helping me film:

Since it’s the start of a new quarter, I also wanted to let you know what I’ll be working on over the next three months.

April: Bucket List Smackdown.

The Challenge: Knock three items off of my bucket list.

The Details: Of the 38 challenges currently on my bucket list, I’ve only completed one of them. I haven’t decided which ones to tackle this month, but some are significantly easier than others. I’ll try to mix it up. Any suggestions?

Get Involved: Have a life list of your own? Let me know what you’re working on. For more inspiration, check out these lists: Nate DammSean OgleHeath TulleyTyler Tervooren, Joel Runyon

May: Hustling, Hour by Hour.

The Challenge: Work 10-15 hours on a side project or business venture.

The Details: I tend to be pretty scatterbrained when it comes to business and project ideas. The purpose of this month’s challenge is to buckle down and focus on one of these ideas, putting at least ten hours into it to push it forward.

Get Involved: All of us have side projects in the closet or under the bed. What have you been putting off? Join me this month and put some time into your idea.

June: Do it Yourself.

The Challenge: Spend 5-10 hours on a DIY project.

The Details: I’ve always looked up to my mom for being so hands-on. Problem with the sink? Ten minutes of Google research and she’ll be inside the cabinet, tightening bolts with a headlamp on. You rock, mom. This month, I’ll attempt to build a solar panel. First step..locate a soldering iron.

Get Involved: For your own DIY project, check out Instructables.com, DoItYourself.com or DIYIdeas.com to get started.

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. See you soon.

15 thoughts on “2011 Quarter 1 Update [and Quarter 2 Challenges]”

  1. I like the idea of 12 month challenges, Alan. I used to do a lot of 30 day challenges, but found that, for whatever reason, 30 days isn’t long enough to create a habit for myself. A year is a tough commitment, but if it’s well thought out, you should have a new way of life after 12 months of keeping it up.

    1. Yep, the idea is to start small, with 30-day increments to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. A goal that’s well thought out is much more useful in the long run, you’re right.

  2. Ok, that parkour video is still pretty badass, even if very amateur. You know how much of a desire (and/or ability) I have to hop a park bench and land in a ground roll? Less than 2%. Yeah, I’ll give myself two percent. Then I’ll think about it and realize it is much more like .000002%.

    Great job so far – I’m in for 3 for 3 for the upcoming quarter. As long as “cross 3 things off my bucket list” can be “create a bucket list”. 🙂

  3. Nice work! I love these kinda posts. I can’t see the parkour video (shit internet) but congrats for trying it out. I love it but have yet to try my hands.

    I’m currently doing something similar, but rather than a month a goal (which is a pretty cool idea, just saying), I’ve been working on about 8 goals for the entire year, with different levels of importance (high, medium, low). I completed my first goal (to become conversationally fluent in Spanish by the end of March) which felt incredible. Now all I’ve got to do is create a business making £1000 a month by the end of July, move to New York in August, learn French (and probably Portuguese), go to Croatia, increase traffic to my blog and increase my eating/overall fitness…

    Little help? 😉

    I’ve not written a proper bucket list yet, but my 2011 goals are here: http://liferapture.com/2011/01/2011-year-plan/

    Have you decided what item from your bucket list you’re going to tackle first?

    Cool man,

    – Benjamin

  4. I really like your idea of focusing on 1 goal per month. My goal for May is to set a schedule and stick to it. I think it will help me with my overall goal to start making money online. I don’t like having a stringent schedule, but I guess until I really “make it” I need one.

    I have been thinking about learning parkour, so it’s kind of funny you mentioned it.

  5. It took me quite a while to see the value in goal setting, then a bit more time to impose the self-dicipline needed to actually make the plan AND take action. I’ve gotten to the point now where I have a set routine – daily, monthly, and yearly goals – that gets me from point A to point B. I look back now on all the wasted hours I spent just sort of drifting in and out of projects, trying the next new bright shiny object, etc. Thank you for such a nice summary of both the “How To” behind goal setting and your own real world examples.

  6. Awesome post. Goal setting is a key ingredient in creating a foundation for success. Not setting goals is like trying to build a house on shifting sand. I like the idea of 12 month, 1 month, weekly; and daily goals. Goals should be congruent to my intentions and purpose. Any goals that go against my integrity and purpose are not sustainable, and will lead to disappointment and stagnation.

  7. Really liking your idea of micro-goals. I have been doing something similar to you for a couple of years now and have learned so much. There’s tons of stuff out there to experience and learn.

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