Accountability (Mid-2019)

If you’ve read any of my other posts, I think you’ll be able to discern that “flexing on” people isn’t my style. Nonetheless, this post inherently contains some self-congratulatory pats on the back.

October of last year, I committed to maintaining accountability in regards to my goals. Since then I’ve adhered to and improved my “Ledger” method (of writing down significant goals, then documenting how I pursued them on a day-to-day basis). But I have been a little lax in updating others on this progress (or, to be frank, achieving anywhere near an ideal blogging consistency). Let’s remedy that.

First, the improvements to the method. I’ve found that it is psychologically powerful to be able to see the entirety of the Ledger’s goals all in one place. While it’s sometimes depressing to see how far there is to go, this disadvantage is outweighed by the pleasure of marking off victories and being able to better envision an ideal future. Here is what my Ledger visual looks like [excepting redactions], for anyone who might like to adapt it for themselves:

ledger pic

It started out as the janky Powerpoint approximation of a pyramid.

The green base at the bottom summarizes what I “cannot do without” and must provide for monetarily. The words in white represent large financial goals (meaning they ought to be totally paid-for before I commit to them).

The orange squares in the center represent six “genres” of goals. In my case, those are (T-B, L-R) Reading, Writing, Tech, Minimalism, Health & Miscellaneous know-how. Obviously, if all six of these boxes are ever checked off, I’ll come up with new ones.

The grey apex represents the general daily routine whereby everything below it on the pyramid can gradually be accomplished.

The yellow circles (L) detail the extensive Tech square.

The blue & grey squares/rectangles (R) represent the state of my finances, writing projects, and what I ought to be primarily focusing upon each year. According to this, I could conceivably cross off or at least have begun to master everything in the orange squares (except all of my writing goals) by 2024 (or 30 years of age).

Alright. That’s well and good, but what have I actually done this year?

  • I’ve read at least one quality book a week, every week. At that rate I’ll finish my Reading goals long before 2024.
  • My debut novel is in its 2nd draft and going better than expected.
  • My fairly elaborate (although not at all lengthy) work on nostalgia is ready to be published.
  • I’ve started earning Tech certifications / learning JavaScript and Python and am practicing regularly.
  • Thanks to Humble Bundle making Sony Vegas Pro and Magix audio software affordable, I’ve gotten passable (not yet good) at audio and video editing.
  • I’ve maintained or improved my sleep and exercise schedule.

What have I done wrong?

  • Slacking on meditation. It is way too easy to convince yourself to neglect “doing nothing.”
  • More screen-time spent gaming or watching Twitch and Youtube than coding. Tsk tsk!
  • Continuing to indulge my introversion. My single-minded pursuit of the Ledger goals, while perhaps admirable “in a vacuum,” has provided me the perfect excuse to shun all socializing, which of course exacts a heavy toll in the long-term. I have no peer friends, much less a girlfriend. Loooser.

In summary: I’ve done pretty good for me and great compared to “past me.” But, it took me much longer to get here than some (wherever “here” is). And there is no telling how much longer it would have taken without the exceedingly rare and exceptional familial support that I have.

If you’re paying really close attention, you’ll notice I’ve taken off some ideal travel destinations from the Ledger for now. This is because I’ve determined to think more about growing what money I have than how to spend it.

If you’re really, really paying close attention, you might wonder how my resolve to stop buying video games has gone? Well, my deadline cutoff–the release of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night–is 48 hours away. I see no reason to think I’ll go back on my word in this respect, since I haven’t in any other. I don’t feel dread about it either; coding is the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to learn and I could really use re-appropriating that valuable gaming time towards it. Also, cutting off the monetary vidya hemorrhage would mean my only non-essential spending is books.

To conclude, here’s some stuff that has improved my 2019 so-far that might improve yours as well.

I was hesitant to buy any books online (even comics) elsewhere than Ebay or Amazon, but their competitive prices made me take the risk and I’m glad I did. I recommend paying the extra $4.00 for upgraded shipping and trying the Monstress series if you haven’t already.

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