Affirmations

Affirmations.

They're easy to create and recite. They can be unlimited and cover a variety of topics. The concept is easy and makes sense.

The hard part is actually believing them. 

Because no matter how many times or how long you say them, until you believe them, they can't help you.

Tax Day

 

Today is tax day here in the United States.

Ironically enough, the IRS is experiencing server issues making it difficut for people to electronically file their taxes.

I filed last night, so thankfully the Internal Revenue Service had no difficulty taking my payment.

Anyways, tax day.

It's a day I tend to loath. Mostly because I always end up owing the government money. In more than 10 years of paying my taxes, I have yet to receive a refund. It also forces me to take stock of my finances. Which is just about the worst thing you could make me do.

I've never really talked about my finances publicly. It's pretty embarassing. Mostly, because I don't practice what I preach. I know what to do. I know why I should it. I just don't. And it's all really been catching up to me recently.

Which sucks, because I've finally reached the point in my life where I would actually like to do things like start a family, buy a home, take vacations. You know, things that cost money.

Sleep Procrastination

I'm a chronic sleep procrastinator.

Dutch researcherers have defined sleep procrastination as "failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circmstances prevent a person from doing so."

Some people put off sleep because of work. Others sacrifice sleep because they want a little bit more time for themseleves in the day.

I sleep procrastinate because I feel like the earlier I go to sleep, the sooner I have to wake up and do it all over again. I've made no secret of how my daily routine has been stale and discouraging because of my work and commute. I follow the same schedule almost everday.

Wake up, commute for an hour, sit in front of a computer for 9 hours, commute back home for another hour, watch a few YouTube videos, go to sleep. Wake up and do it all over again.

As I continue to value time and how little of it we have, I despise having to wake up and do the same thing day after day. Instead of maximizing every day, going through the same routine seems like a waste. I'm not against work, I understand that for the majority of the world (including me), it's a necessary evil. It may even be possible to enjoy your work, but I don't at the moment.

Which is why I envy YouTube vloggers. The ability to control your days, what you do and how you do it is my ultimate dream. You can work as hard or as little as you want and your success ultimately depends on your productivity and output. And that's what I"m trying to get to.

I should probably sleep on it.

Facebook

It seems that my data was spared from the hands of Cambridge Analytica.

Still, it's quite likely that I will leave the platform almost entirely. I say that because I will still maintain a bare bones profile for work purposes (you know Digital Marketing stuff.)

This has been a long time coming, and I had already started to make the move before the Cambridge Analytica scandal even hit. However, the breach of privacy and data have finally pushed me over the top.

I'm not naive. I understand that I give up a fair amount (or maybe a lot) of privacy and data by using web services like Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook. It's a trade off I've agreed to make in order to use these services for free.

Unlike Gmail and Twitter however, Facebook lost it's utility for me long ago. For as long as I can remember, my Facebook Newsfeed has been an endless stream of advertisements, business pages, and sponsored posts. I can't remember the last time I saw a genuine post from one of my actual friends.

Mark Zuckerberg claims he built his company with the intent of connecting people across the world, but it increasingly looks like his real purpose is to establish an internet monopoly without regard for it's users or their private data. His empty apologies have rung hollow and it's time for Zuckerberg and his company to backup those apologies with actual action.

Maybe then, I'll return. Maybe.

 

Ichiro

I wanted to be a professional athlete my entire life and as I've gotten older I'm starting to realize more and more that it was because it would give me a singular focus to work on. 

No distractions, nothing to grab my attention. Just tunnel vision and working on being the best possible athlete I could be. 

But Ichiro, takes things to a whole other level:

The first time he went on the disabled list as a major leaguer was because of a bleeding stomach ulcer. That year, he’d led Japan to a victory in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, winning the final game with a base hit in extra innings. The stress ate a hole in his stomach. Weeks later, a Mariners team doctor told him he couldn’t play on Opening Day. Ichiro refused to listen, his teammate Sweeney says. Before the team ultimately forced him to sit, the doctor tried to explain that a bleeding ulcer was a serious condition that could actually kill him.

Ichiro listened, unmoved.

”I’ll take my chances,” he said.
— ESPN

Incredible.

2018

I've been staring at a blank text box for most of today. I want to write something, but I don't know what. I don't have anything terribly interesting or intelligent to say. I don't typically do anything "cool" or "fun." And quite honestly, the highlight of my New Year's Eve weekend was the couple of minutes I spent with this pup (no offense to anyone, but puppy beats people every time).

Me + Stark

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting on the couch next to my Mom, who's not been feeling well since yesterday. It hasn't exactly been the best start to a new year. I've refreshed YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat more times than I'd like to admit, all in an effort to avoid life. 

I've already talked about what I'd like to accomplish this year, but I'm willing to trade accomplishing any of those things if it means my Mom can finally start feeling better. It's been a long four and a half years for everyone, and her most of all. So I'd be more than happy to...

Sorry, I just took another "break." 

Spend your life living.

More than anything, I just want her to be better. Because she deserves it. And when she's better, I know everything else will be better. 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Objectives & Key Results (or 2018 Resolutions)

Another year coming to a close means another week of seeing everyone on the internet declare their intentions for the new year. So, why not add my two cents.

But, before we get into 2018 goals, a quick note about 2017. It sucked. It was worse than 2016 and I didn't think anything was going to be worse than that year. But here we are. I've learned my lesson.

When it comes to 2017 goals, let's just say it didn't really go as planned. And that's all I'll say about that.

So, here we are on the verge of 2018 (isn't is kind of crazy that it's almost TWO THOUSAND EIGHTEEN?1) and I'm taking a little bit of a different approach to things. For 2018, I'm setting Objectives in key areas of my life & Key Results to measure my progress. And I'm putting it all on the internet, so I can keep myself accountable...to myself.

Now, without further ado...My 2018 OKRs

Finances

2017 was the year that broke this camel's financial back. Finances are that thing that you tend to ignore until that moment comes and you can't ignore it anymore. I can't ignore it anymore, so here's how I plan on attacking it:

 
2018 Financial Objectives
Key Results
Pay Off A Large Chunk of Debt
Pay off $10,000 by year end*
Establish an Emergency Fund
Save $3,000 by year end**
Invest Every Week
Invest $50.00 per week***
 
  • *This is a minimum. If I'm able to pay off more, I certainly will.
  • **Starting from $0. If I save weekly, it comes to around $60/week.
  • ***I used to really care about picking individual stocks. Now I'm more into index funds and I let Wealthsimple (Insert Link) take care of the heavy lifting for me.

Personal

 
2018 Personal Objectives
Key Results
Read Read 1 book x month minimum; with blog write up to confirm
Exercise More
Lose 12% body fat minimum
Take More Photos
I like my camera, I should use it more often
Stoph Caring About What Others Think
Stop Comparing Myself to Others
 

Professional

 
2018 Professional Objectives
Key Results
Blog Consistently
Post 3x per week
Start My Freelance Business
Sign ONE client for the year
Earn More Income
TBD
Expand My Professional Network
 

When it comes to prioritizing, the ideal order would be personal, financial, and then professional. Unfortunately, in my case finances HAVE to take the top spot.

You never really understand the kind of burden finances put on you until it's too late and you're struggling to keep from being crushed by them. You also don't realize how much they hold you back from moving forward with your life. It's a really crappy feeling and it honestly is one you should avoid if you can.