Why I Don’t Set Myself Up For Failure(March Goal Review)

I’d love to say that I completed my goals for the month, but I didn’t. The only one I actually accomplished was finding a new vehicle, which I would of had to do anyways. It came down to various instances for each one.

As far as the prototype, it ended up being far more complicated than I had suspected. I had originally planned on just using the SAX XML parser built into python. Unfortunately, it ended up not being a viable library now I have to build a custom parser which will take much longer than I originally planned.

As far as posts a lot of them I ended up cutting due to my own shortsightedness on using short term posts. I thought I had a lot more posts set aside but I began cutting them do to no longer being relevant to you guys. Falling back to quality over quantity I ended up killing a lot of my posts and haven’t been thinking much about topics to write about. The blog is now a place for ideas I can’t condense into a few tweets.

And as far as my stack goes I got up to 8k and then I got cocky and started playing with my emotions and not with my brain. This occurred even when I knew I had a losing hand I would shove all in. Stupidly, I did this over and over to the point that I hit 1k by the end of the month.

All of this goes back to me not being able to deal with failure. I have a tendency to either be perfect or just laze around. The only time I fail is when I don’t try which is far more often because I find a reason that it can’t be perfect and I’m not saying that everything I attempt comes out perfect, it’s not, there is always more that can be done. If it’s something that I only have a short time to do, I’ll finish it but it won’t be of the quality that I’d like.

Because of this I try to remain aloof and allow myself the time to adapt to any changes that may occur. If I need to implement something better I don’t mind stepping back and taking a little more time. I’m averse to failure and it makes me even more prone to failure. Maybe I need to just start trying more and failing only because I didn’t succeed and not because I didn’t try.

Goals For March ’09

So this is something that I was inspired to do by Erik Kastner over at his blog Meta|ateM. He did it last month and was fairly succesful and it also goes along with something that I have thought about and possible written about, providing people public knowledge of what your goals are so they can hold you accountable. So here is my list for March.

Get a working prototype of my Main project finished.

This might not get done but I’m really hoping that I can as I spent the past month working on the algorithm and design of the system. I think I can get the base down in 2 weeks but some of the higher functioning algorithms will take a bit longer but I have to build a working test body before I get to them.

15 posts

I know I was lacking last month, in fact this is the first post in over 2 weeks. I’ll be finishing a bunch of posts I’ve been working on and should be able to hit 15 fairly easily.

Find a new car

This is new as I just totalled my car an hour ago, at the time of writing. I was planning on looking more towards the end of the month but looks like that clock was stepped up a bit.

Build up my chipstack on Full-Tilt

Lately, I’ve been playing more often I haven’t reached a point where I’m able to sacrifice money from my daily life so I just play  for fun and intellectual challenge. Right now, I’m at 3,000 and I want to reach 10,000 by the end of the month.

I’ll update you guys on how I did at the end of the month. Oh and for those of you that subscribe and visit the site I’m wondering if the new design is more pleasing to you?

Killing Time Sinks

Just over a week ago, I started playing World of Warcraft(again) and I was have a great time getting back into the game.  Unfortunately, for you guys it completely knocked out my time for blogging and also some of my other things that I enjoy. My estimate for in-game time is over 40 hours for the week, that’s a full time job, what the hell could I have been thinking. So I’m going to write down a list of ways to seek and remove time sinks.

Do a Weekly Analysis for 1-2 Weeks

You don’t have to over thorough with you tracking, but every couple of hours write down what your doing. If you do something that could take a few hours write before you start and when you end, including the time for each. At the end of the week, compile all that information and look for stuff that appears rather excessive and see if you can cut it out; for me excessive would be anything above 6-8 hours for the week. Obviously, you can’t cut sleep, dining, or commuting out completely, but it is possible to cut back.

How to Cut Back

If say reading too much(though I don’t think that’s possible), you could cut the number of books available to you so that you read them more slowly and cherish them, or maybe it’s a social activity, you can cut your funding so that you have to stay home. Find a way to either make the time have more value, rather than desaturate it with over use, or put a flow valve on it so that you can constrict it. If it’s possible you could also just go cold turkey and cut it completely, this was my choice in canceling my subscription and removing the software from my system.

Find Something Productive to Fill the Time

This is the big one anytime you try to stop a habit, you need a distraction to prevent you from going back to your old ways.  You need something that you find interesting and will add value to your life. Here are a few, some that I plan on using

  • Blogging( I know I already am, I want to do it more frequently)
  • Freelancing
  • Programming
  • Reading
  • Focused Topical Learning
  • Get A Job
  • Head Back to School

Blogs, Books, and Tools For Money Management

The majority of what I’ve learned about managing my finances I have learned in the past few months. I’m going to list some of the major sources that I have used and are solid sources of personal finance information. So I’ll list some blogs that are good for this, some of my favorite books on the subject, and some sites that can help you manage it.

Blogs –

Get Rich Slowly – This is the best blog on personal finance that I have found. J.D. goes over so many different topics and various projects  that this is one of the biggest repositories for personal finance tips, tricks, and information.

Wise Bread – This blog is written by multiple people so there isn’t the same connection as with J.D. The topics can range widely from the writer’s experience and the quality is sometimes lacking. Good information it’s Lifehacker for finance.

Books –

The Richest Man in Babylon – This book is astoundingly in how simple it is too understand and it’s approach of using a story to achieve an osmotic effect with it’s information and your mind. It teaches multiple lessons in how to handle your finances while also having an underpinning in humility. A great read and also a classic from the 1920’s

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – This isn’t necessarily dedicated towards personal finance so much as street wise thinking on finance. This book isn’t to be taken literally but it does off plenty of good advice for business, and investing outside of the stock market. It makes it on the list because of these facts.

Hackers and Painters – I recommend this book not in it’s entirety, but for one essay that is contained within. You can read this essay entitled “How to Make Wealth” at Paul Graham’s website. A much different approach than what we have been ingrained with.

Tools –

Mint – My personal web tool to help chart my monetary flow. I find it fitting for my lifestyle in that it is simple, it easily connects, and implements multiple security measures. Pluses, SMS, nice tagging feature, allows you to break down bills into their subsequent parts, and handles almost any form of monetary trade, from checking, credit cards, and savings to stocks and loans.

Wesabe – This in the personal finance blogging arena comes out on top. It has community support, allows your to set goals, and update manually to keep it balanced. * I had issues with it miscalculating my credit card and telling me I had $245 on the black rather than $70 in the red so it was screwing the debit/credit balance of by $300 .

Geezeo – Another community connected online management tool. This comes out on top in the user happiness it seems. As far as I can tell, it lets you do what the other two do but it seems to be a more complete package haven’t actually used this but I may look into it.

Spreadsheets – Nothing like handling all the pertinent details yourself. Though this isn’t as easy as the others and will take some time out of your day I would at least recommend knowing how to do this either by hand or using software such as Excel, Quicken, Google Spreadsheets, etc.

Motivation Through Over-Extension (A Pragmatic Approach At Decision Making)

I find that I’m either completely open or completely self repressed, complete bipolar personality. If I crack the door to possibility and opportunity, slightly ajar to the point of all or nothing. I’m going to follow through even if it effects something else I’m doing in a negative way. So, recently I developed a way for me to find a middle path that gives me some flexibility in what I do.

I make a decision early on that is an over-extension of what I’m capable of doing at this time. However, I allow myself time to achieve this over-extended goal with any problems that may arise(not so good for large short-term goals).

“Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again”~Harry Truman

I follow Truman’s outlook very pragmatically. I make the decision, but I allow my self to make shorter term goals as I advance toward the larger goal. This provides a less stressful approach to completing a task that doesn’t have a rigidly defined deadline.

One large thing that this could help with would be a Bucket List. Your not going to go running out and have all of these things planned to happen; you just want them to happen and along the way you find ways to make them happen. It is perfect example of pragmatic decision making is that you can still change the order of the smaller goals to slowly overcome the larger goal of things to do before you die, or some age limit.