We are more than 6 months in 2020 (how did that happen!!) so it is a good time to reflect on the goals I set out for myself in the beginning of the year and keep myself accountable by making them public. This year has presented a big curveball in the coronavirus pandemic and that has impacted some of my goals but I think overall I have been able to make good progress and the shutdowns caused by pandemic have actually made some of the goals easier to achieve. In my previous post, I highlighted six resolutions I made and I'll start off by giving an update on those before I talk about others.
Start each day by drinking a glass of water - A-
I haven't been able to follow this to the letter but I have certainly achieved the spirit of this. Being home a lot more than planned this year, I have usually been drinking more than 1.5 liters of water a day. I don't start each day with a glass because I have been running a lot in the morning and haven't wanted to have to pee in the middle of the run so I usually wait to start drinking water during the run.
Limit social media to 30 minutes a day - C
While being home more has enabled me to drink more water, it has not helped me limit my social media consumption. I started the year strong with this track but with social distancing, a lot of IRL socializing has been replaced with social media even more than usual. I have also fallen victim to the doomscrolling trap that many have suffered from. I hope to be able to still use social media for socializing in a socially distant world while limiting my doomscrolling.
Read a book in Spanish - B
Spending a month in Colombia and taking private Spanish lessons there really helped improve my Spanish. Since then, I have pretty consistently been doing Duolingo every day and had my phone in Spanish which has helped me maintain. I still haven't made much progress on reading the book though so I need to start getting to that.
Reduce personal reliance on large tech companies - A-
I have made good progress on this: replacing Chrome with Brave and Firefox Mobile as my main browsers, using Duckduckgo instead of Chrome, and moving conversations from Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp to Signal. Because shopping has been happening so much more online, I haven't been able to reduce my reliance on Amazon as much as I would like but I do try to shop at company sites directly when I can.
Meatless Mondays - A+
Of the six goals that I initially highlighted, this is the one I've been most successful at. During lent, I started not having meat on Fridays as well and I have continued not eating meat on Mondays and Fridays. I have found good alternatives to meat including impossible burgers, tofu, quinoa, and egg whites. I have also been expanding my dairy alternatives. My fridge often contains pea milk, cashew milk, and oat milk now as well as eating vegan protein powder.
At least one blog post a month - B
This is another goal that I can be more consistent with since I missed a couple of months. I did write on other mediums in shorter formats though which I will continue. I felt that the gravity of a blog post was holding me back from writing more so I've been trying to write a few sentences every day on random thoughts.
That is the where I am at with the six goals I initially highlighted. As you can see, it is a mix bag but overall I am ok with where I am at and some of my energy shifted to other goals that I will mention.
- Eat less sugar, no desserts for dinner, eat less bread - A
With quarantine, I have been cooking a lot of home (5-6 days a week) which has made it easy to cook healthy and not buy sugary snacks are a lot of bread
- Track calories 3 times a week - A
Cooking a lot at home has also made it easier to track calories. The times that have been difficult to continue counting calories have usually been when I eat out a lot and have no idea how many calories were in what I ate.
- Deadlift 225 pounds - N/A
With gyms closed, this is a goal that I will probably not be able to make any progress on but I have been able to complete a goal I had for a few years that I wasn't able to accomplish which was to run a 5K with an average pace of less than 7 minutes a mile. My workouts have mostly consisted of a lot of running (40 miles a week lately since joining the Wolaco run team), peloton workouts every other day with my virtual workout group, and some dumbbell workouts with powerblocks I purchased at the start of quarantine)
- Complete a 5K, half marathon, and Spartan race
I have done all of these kind of! Although I wasn't able to do an in-person Spartan race, I was able to a virtual Spartan trifecta which consisted of a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon with corresponding workouts all in one weekend. A Spartan trifecta is something I had been thinking of doing over the course of a year and would still like to do an in-person real one at some time.
- Finish 2 master classes - B
I finished one so far which was by Malcom Gladwell on non-fiction writing. I love Gladwell's writing and storytelling ability even though I don't always agree on his takeaways. I'm currently reading his recent book David and Goliath. I also started the Master Class by Margaret Atwood but haven't made progress on it recently. I'm a big fan of the Handmaid's Tale Hulu series although I've been slow to finish it because I often need to take breaks when it gets too stressful which is often.
- Start a small business - C+
As I've talked about in other blog posts, I've made steps to starting a small business. I had been hoping to generate my first dollar in revenue by now. While in Colombia, I even created a dropshipping site on Shopify for Android cases. Dropshipping was an attractive small business to start because of its low capital committments and time investment but it is also very competitive and can be low margin. I had started to test out delivery times of the cases from different suppliers and build up a social media presence when the pandemic hit New York hard. Given the long deliver times I was seeing and a desire to focus more on the needs of small businesses dealing with the impact of shutdowns in the short term, I decided to pause on the dropshipping efforts. I've recently been ramping up my efforts to start a small business again though. I've been building up a new Instagram account called getthisbreadnyc to highlight small businesses reopening in New York. I've also bought a 3D printer that I hope to use to donate 3D printed face shields and sell some of them on Etsy with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
- Get an apartment in New York - A+
I spent February looking at over 30 apartments around the city and signed a lease at the end of February to move in on April 1st. This turned out not to be ideal timing with the pandemic reaching its peak in New York City around this time but I'm glad I was able to look at all the places I wanted in safety.
- Live in a foreign country for a month - A+
This was an easy one with my trip to Colombia.
- Get an accountant - A+
Since I worked at Intuit for more than four years and worked on some features that touched TurboTax, I felt a certain amount of responsibility to use TurboTax to do my taxes. This year, my taxes got more complicated with moving to a new state and having an investment property in a third state that I decided finally getting an accountant was worth it
- Review expenses monthly - B
I have done a pretty good job at reviewing this and created a recurring expenses sheet in notion so I had an idea of where my money was going and looking at anything that I didn't really need.
- Sell Atlanta home - A+
I've had an investment property for a few years now that I bought through the marketplace Roofstock. Late last year, my tenant stopped paying rent and was unresponsive to any attempts at communication so I was forced to evict them. It turns out they had not been in the home for a while and had trashed a lot of it. After spending money to fix everything, I decided I didn't want to deal with being a landlord at the moment and decided I wanted to sell. I started this process before coronavirus was big in the United States but we weren't able to put it on the market until March. I was luckily able to quickly sell it at the price that I was looking for.