I’m no fortune teller and although it’s fun to think about the soothsaying divination that comes from a gift of clairvoyance, the tarot card flipping and ritualistic candle lighting that’d go into it just seems like so much more hassle than it’s really worth. In every story ever told about looking into the future things never end up being exactly what they seem to be. Promises of riches may come with a sacrifice of health, predictions of success or fame will usually come with an untold curse or calamity that balances out the equation. Even so, if we were shown what our future would be, whether it’s bad or good, we’d still have in mind what we want from life and so in spite of the psychic’s words or the fortune cookie’s description; we’d inevitably vie for what we desire over what was prescribed. Twisting fate.
I feel like looking into the future and making predictions on what’s going to happen is a little like getting the pay off before the work is done. Like getting rewarded without the proper effort or achievement. Everything in the future takes paying your dues for them, regardless of how mundane it is. You still have to wait for a boring mundane future to come. Even more so if your future includes a lot of good, desirable, positive stuff. Usually, you don’t get stuff like that for free – you’ve got to earn it – and if you knew you’d get it in the future by way of a fortune teller’s predictions, then I wonder if you’d put in the same work to get it. Thinking you’re destined for something may make you assume that it requires little effort, or it make put you at ease and you just wouldn’t put in as much effort, or the same effort… and thus end up never getting it after all. Undoing fate.
It’s far more reliable to simply put in the effort to make our future what we want it to be. We decide. Have some goals, etch out some plans, and hustle until we reach our limits – then hustle some more to break our limits and grow even further. Sounds simple enough, but putting it into action requires a consistent daily commitment. A focused spirit, a determined breath. Discipline. That can be hard enough on its own, but when we factor in all the other fun things in life that may come along to distract us, waiting around every corner to take us off course and halt our progress, it’s even more difficult than one might think. Any other bad habits carved into our lives that we’re comfortably used to stand to guide us astray as well. Often these habits are invisible to us because we’re so used to their presence or they’re so ingrained into our culture.
I’ve spent many years reading about it, watching videos on it, and talking to people about it. I’ve really tried to listen to how people feel about trying to improve their lives. All the while reflecting on my own journey through the last few years. Growing to see the incomparable importance of the subject, I can see that how we feel today has a lot to do with what we did years ago. Yet that backward hindsight thinking is difficult to come to grips with. We only ever have ourselves to blame. Changing our habits is really hard because the most problematic habits feel the best in the short term. It’s very clear that a true change for the better and a path of continuous improvement toward some new future we desire is one most intimidating and frustrating processes we could ever experience. Yet, if we can manage to invoke that change and gradually become the person we want to be, the rewards in the result are greater than anything else in life. With hard work and persistence, over time, we could do anything, be anyone.
If you want it, work for it. It’s that simple.
So if hindsight is 20/20 and we so easily see the details of our past mistakes when reflected, yet we can never return to those times to right our wrongs or fix events after the fact, I’d rather work to develop the same clarity of vision for events yet to come. A future fixer, a fortune designer. Decide my fate and put in the work to make my dreams a reality. Actually see the future and make it real. A 20/20 foresight for the year 2020. Today’s January 1st and I really clearly see who I’d like to be by December 31st.
- Accel at work as a programmer, completing a full version of the application I’m assigned, with a happy customer.
- Have $20k saved in the bank.
- Be more than 75% finished with my Bachelor’s degree.
- Get great scores on my PluralSight IQs, nearly done with Freecodecamp, and lots of progress on KhanAcademy.
- Complete a large portion of the first draft of my novel and textbook.
- Earn at least a few thousand dollars with my web development business, make reliable contacts and help others.
- Organize my massive list of resource links into a website that others find helpful.
- Be adept with Vue.js, WordPress development, and able to administer my own web server.
- Be a proficient freestyle FPV drone pilot with some awesome flight footage online.
- Be a skateboarder with higher pop and more consistent tricks, with plenty of recent video clips to show for it.
- Have a set of designs drawn up ready to be put on apparel and skateboards for a new brand.
- Finish a solo instrumental progressive rock/metal album.
This isn’t some New Years’ resolution. No ‘new year, new me’ mumbo-jumbo. It’s all the same thing I’ve been working on for a long time now, step by step, taking my failures and learning from them, running with my successes to get the most of them. Yet, the turning of the year offers a unique opportunity to see how much can get done before next year if I stay consistent in my routines and find newer better ways to do things. That way I can challenge myself to do more the year after that and so on.
In a previous blog I talked about 7 main focuses in my life I’d like to perfect:
- Study – WGU, CEH, PluralSight, FreeCodeCamp, Khan Academy
- Creative Research – Fantasy themed textbook, Telepathy/Future Novel, and Neurology
- Business – Flip websites, Indicium, Learn React.js, WordPress dev, Set up a server
- Video Editing – Learn editing, Tutorial Videos, Youtube videos (vlog, review, spotlights)
- Reading – 50 pages per day, book reports
- New Hobbies – FPV drones, Magic, D&D
- Passion Routines– Play music, Ride skateboards, Draw, Workout
Over the last couple of months since then, I’ve felt out this new set of concentrations and experimented with different schedules I could fit into my weeks to maximize my time spent. Getting better at managing my time and reducing distractions that throw me off the mark. I uninstalled most of the video games from my computer, I’ve resisted watching shows and movies in trade for stuff that, at least vaguely, follows these topics, and I’ve stopped talking about what I’m going to do in trade for what I am doing.
The next step then is to pour the concrete slab of a schedule for myself. A foundation to build the structure of my days. I can brainstorm and theorize all I want about the things I’d like to focus on – but without a set of days and times with which to work on it, it’ll all be up to what I feel like doing and when I feel like doing it. That’s what I’m trying to get away from. I feel like there’s a better way than that.
Every day I’ll wake up as early as I can. Let’s say between 4:00 am – 5:00 am. This gives 2-3 hours to get ready and work on something a little bit before I leave for work. Studying and taking a lesson or two online, along with doing some push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups will be perfect – my mind and my body can get a little exercise before my day starts.
After work, I’d be getting home around 5:30 pm-6:00 pm. That’d leave about 3 hours before I should start cleaning up and relaxing for bed. Each day I’ll fit in at least an hour University study, then jump to one or more of the other categories depending on the day, and start rotating through the subcategories each week – and get my reading done between audiobooks in the car on my commute and actual reading before going to sleep.
So here’s a starting point for a schedule this month:
Monday – Friday:
Morning (4 am-7 am):
- WGU school work OR PluralSight/Freecodecamp/Khanacademy (1.5 hours)
- Free research (read articles, watch videos) & Work on wforbes.net (1 hour)
- Get ready for work (30 mins)
Evening (6 pm – 9 pm):
- WGU school work (1 hour)
- Daily Focus (2 hours):
- Monday: Creative – Work on textbook, novel, or study neurology.
- Tuesday: Business – Work on Websites, Organize Indicium, Learn Vue.js, Learn WordPress, Set up a Server
- Wednesday: Videos – Practice editing, Plan/Film tutorials, Plan/Film Youtube Content
- Thursday: Business – Work on Websites, Organize Indicium, Learn Vue.js, Learn WordPress, Set up a Server
- Friday: Hobbies/Passions – Practice FPV drone flying, Skateboarding, Music, Drawing.
- Read – 50 pages or one chapter, until sleep.
Saturday and Sunday:
- 4-6 am: PluralSight, Freecodecamp, KhanAcademy (2 hours)
- 6-10 am: WGU school work OR Free research & Work on wforbes.net (4 hours)
- 10-12pm: Creative category (2 hours)
- 12-1pm: Lunch, chill (1 hour)
- 1 – 4 pm: WGU school work OR Business category (3 hours)
- 4 – 8 pm: Video/Editing AND/OR Hobbies/Passions (4 hours)
- 8 – 10pm: Relax/Free time
I doubt I’d be able to stick to this schedule 100% all the time every day. There will be blocks of time, or even days where I give myself a break – do something else, hang out with people, or figure something else out. I won’t beat myself up if I’m not perfect and I can’t expect to keep track of every little thing. Like this Reddit post, where a user tracked the time he spent doing everything throughout 2019. You’ll notice that only 2nd to Sleeping, his ‘Waste Time’ category of activities ended up taking the largest portion of his time (some 990 hours), just as I assume mine would too if I wasn’t at least TRYING to meet schedules like the one I laid out in this post. I’m really inspired by stuff like that Reddit post though, I like the idea of keeping track of how I spend my time all year to come out with exact numbers, but I seriously doubt my ability to keep it up.
This is just a guideline. Something to use to keep myself moving in the right direction. Along with all of this, in every activity, I’m going to work to keep better and better notes in my Journal and record snippets of my activity to add to my video content. I’ll be doing at least pushup/situp/pullups every day, and possibly starting to devote an hour to the gym every day with my girlfriend. Things will change, the schedule will need adjustment, and I’ll probably always be doing other extra things in the margins and on the sidelines.
It’s my hope that, along with my previous blog articles, this is giving you ideas. Inspiring someone else out there to start getting their shit together too. I’ll keep posting here, and working on content for this site on different topics … and this time next year I’m sure I’ll have made some serious progress toward being that better version of myself and meeting these goals. Thanks for reading, Happy New Year 2020!