Public Commitment 2020

This year I’ve started thinking about my goals halfway through December 2019. I wanted to combine what I’ve learned before, add some good new habits, and learn even more.

(recap of 2019 here)

As always these are the ‘goals’ and don’t fully reflect all the ongoing daily tasks/habits/etc. (but this year the overlap may be greater)

Without further ado, my goals for 2020.

Theme – Upgrade

In 2020 I plan to integrate what I’ve learned into new habits. My goal with this is to improve my life satisfaction and contribute more to society than ever before.

I plan to tackle several topics (see below) and dive deep into each one per 1-2 month(s). I will finish each one with an essay (which I will make during the period of time). I will also update/upgrade my habits or beliefs with regard to that topic.

Every two weeks I will check in with myself if I want to continue with this topic or move on to another one.

In the end, I will be happy (goal) if I will be able to tackle 6 of these topics. If I do more, that is of course also great.

One more note: A friend gave me feedback that most goals/themes are things only I can do/accomplish. By working together you can, of course, accomplish much more. So I’ve updated some goals/themes and should note that I should actively encourage working together/collaborating in achieving my goals.

The topics are partly replacing the goals (as per last year), but some goals are also mentioned separately below.

  1. Eat for Health & Energy
  2. Flexible Weightlifter
  3. Reason and Science
  4. Effective Altruist
  5. Dog Whisperer
  6. Financial Independence
  7. Writing
  8. Stoicism (Philosophy of Life)
  9. Making (electronic) Music
  10. Longevity
  11. Meditation
  12. Religion
  13. Entrepreneurship/Marketing

1. Eat for Health & Energy

I want to recap the books I’ve read about this and see what things I (and Lotte together) can make to have even better food habits. I think that some part of my food intake is too ‘random’ and that I can have some more ‘standard’ meals ready and know what is in each of them. Also, which ones give me enough energy in the gym (and during work). And how to still get enough protein whilst eating mostly vegan.

This theme will be done together with Lotte and during the month(s) I will share what I’ve been learning with her (and the other way around).

2. Flexible Weightlifter

For this topic, I want to learn (or better, do) more with weightlifting and being technically better at it. This requires flexibility and practice.

My plan for sports at this moment is to go 5 times per week. Three of these will be solely weightlifting. Two will be mostly bodybuilding (chest, back, abs) with one or two weightlifting exercises too. And of course, stretching every time.

This theme will be first done alone, but with help from a coach when I will focus on this one.

2. Reasons and Science

David Deutsch and Karl Popper will be my starting guides, but I plan to find out more from other sources too. I want to have a better grasp on what knowledge is, how to increase it, and how to think about some of those large questions (including consciousness). I understand that there is little consensus, but I hope to find some direction for myself.

Also here, discussion with friends is crucial.

4. Effective Altruist

Here I want to re-read some of the Effective Altruism (EA) books. Based on that I hope to introduce some new discussion topics for EA Rotterdam, and maybe see if I can find other ways to improve my impact (e.g. finding ways to motivate others to donate effectively).

Discussions with fellow members of the EA (Rotterdam) community will help my understanding and possibly also impact/reach.

5. Dog Whisperer

Max is already quite well-behaved. But I think we can do more. Learn new tricks, learn to walk alone more (and take more long walks through nature together), and be an even easier dog to sit for others.

This can be done together with Lotte, Onno, and other people who regularly interact with Max.

6. Financial Independence

Again, learn more about what I read, possibly implement some changes, update my financial model (message me if you want to have it).

7. Writing

As Goal 1 below states, I want to keep on writing for fun (and write quite a lot for work too). So why not learn better how to do this. Both with theory (and recapping what I’ve already read. As maybe a month of writing based on a prompt too (there is a subreddit for this).

8. Stoicism (Philosophy of Life)

I really like the works of some Stoic philosophers (both ancient as contemporary). How could it be if I could translate some of their work into my own words? (say 20 mini-essays? or just one long one after the month or so is over?). A good goal maybe for during vacation if I can find Kindle editions of all of them.

9. Making (electronic) Music

I really like electronic music (techno) and I think it would be a fun hobby to try and make some of my own. It would be awesome if I could find a style of my own (e.g. by using samples from movies/tv series as the ‘voice’ here and there). First, of course, I would have to learn the basics of FL Studio (editing program).

10. Longevity

I was really grasped by this subject, both in the summer of 2018 and again this year. I even started a small website but eventually didn’t do much with it. There is much happening there, much of it is just hype. It would be awesome if I could read more and draw some conclusions (and know where to look in the future to see ‘real’ updates).

11. Meditation

I think this might not become a full-blown month-topic. But I can imagine getting back to meditating more often (daily). And then also writing a small piece about my experience with it (I estimate that I’ve meditated for about 500 days now, so about 83 hours, not much – but it’s a start).

12. Religion

I didn’t have a religious upbringing and I fervently oppose much of what the organised religions say. But that is without understanding or knowing too much about their origins and having read the books themselves.

Subtopics I would be interested in are: talking with people from different religions, reading the books, looking deeper into the origins of religion (also from a more evolutionary/skeptic perspective), seeing also the positive things it brings to individuals/communities.

13. Entrepreneurship/Marketing

It’s something I think about/do most of my days. But I think a systematic review of what I’ve read/done could also be a good topic (maybe even one that spans 2 months or more).

Goal 1: Write Nova (and possibly other short stories)

I’m working on my second novella. This time about a couple that wants to have a child. They are contemplating why (to have kids), how (genetic upgrades), and live with the consequences.

I really like the writing process and I think that after this one I will also write some other stories. Suggestions are welcome. I like to combine something tech-related with a character-driven story.

Goal 2: Improve this website

  • Add Book Review specific page
  • Add essays (based on themes)

Goal 3: Do something crazy for love

Just like in 2018, I want to organise a nice day or do something else (unexpected, so you can’t guess honey) for Lotte.

Goal 4: Write essays about 6 topics

As per the above.

Goal 5: Start a new and successful venture

Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on this for quite a while. I’m not yet ready to release something, but when I do I will be contacting people in this field of study to learn more and collaborate.


Lotte and I will be taking a long trip around Asia. She will be away for 4,5 months, I a bit over 2 months. So that will also be an important and fun part of 2020 (and gives me plenty of time to read (and possibly write too)).


A last thing I was thinking about is that I shouldn’t want to be always working or ‘being on’. So just like with the number of themes (6 is good), I think that a target of being productive for 4 hours per day is also a good thing to keep in mind.

Public Commitment 2019 – Recap

This year my theme was Connection. To follow along with what I’ve been reading, learning, listening, see the Timeline.


Just like last year, marketing hasn’t been our strong suit. So, we’ve decided to stop doing ‘new’ marketing. We are now focussing more on our current customers and ‘just’ making great products.

So far, this had been going quite well and we plan to keep humming along this path. /marketing And the new bars are really good! /marketing

I’ve also started with a new project I hope to launch at the beginning of January.


In 2020 I’ve read 60 books. If I look back on which one was most influential, I would stick with one from 2019 and that is Triggers. I was keeping track about every second day (Did I do my best to… (habits)). But after a conversation with a friend, I track it every day now (with the help of a simple google form).

I also really enjoyed The Beginning of Infinity and The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch.

For fiction, I would go with Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky as a very interesting sci-fi book with good science.

With sports, I’ve learned quite a bit about weightlifting and did online coaching for a month. Now I will focus on the lessons learned there, and do coaching again in a few months.


Another great year. Lotte and I are now living together and that has been going swell. Lots of time for friends, boardgames, some parties, and relaxation.

Next year I would like to see some old friends some more, but I wouldn’t say I want to change much about my personal life at this moment.

The Goals

So without spending too much time recapping, let’s take a look at the individual goals I set for myself, and what I made of it (and what I plan to do with it the coming year).

Goal 1: Make this website a true personal knowledge hub

The timeline is going well. Still, no time for essays, although I did make a draft for eating plant-based. And I plan to add a better overview of the book reviews soon.

Goal 2: Eat good meals that support my well-being 90% of the time

Still going well. For next year I want to focus on fine-tuning this. Maybe making some more vegan spreads for on bread and things like that. Normally I do eat 2 Queal meals during the weekday. Maybe I will experiment with replacing one with more ‘fresh’ foods.

Goal 3: Keep on improving my house

The hallway was upgraded (painting on the wall).

Double-glass is requested, but the company that would do it has not responded, so I need to call them again.

Goal 4: Achieve my fitness goals

I’ve made the 90kg Clean, alas I’m now having some pains with the Jerk. My highest Snatch is 62,5kg, but I think I might even be able to do more at this moment (did 60kg in normal training day).

Goal 5: Write Spero

Done, so now onto new stories.

To Conclude

Another great year, heck even a great decade. I can’t wait for the next year and what new things it will bring.

Public Commitment 2019 – Update 3

This year my theme is Connection. To follow along with what I’ve been reading, learning, listening, see the Timeline.

Over the last three months, I’ve been reflecting on the theme by looking back at some things I learned and read. I have started the Three Body Problem series again (almost finished within 2 weeks) and reread ReWork.

I would like, in the coming three months, to upgrade my website some more. So that I can better search back and rely on the site even more.

I think that that I can also use the theme with a new venture I’m exploring, by going back to the knowledge I had before, and to connections (ghehe) I have made throughout my life (now at 29 years and counting).

Here is my analysis of the goals and various updates:

Goal 1: Make this website a true personal knowledge hub

I didn’t find time for writing essays (as I would like to have done) and I think that this quarter I might not make them, but who knows.

What I do want to do is work on the book part and make a better overview of that on the site.

I like how the timeline is going and enjoy writing down my notes of important/valuable things I read/listened/discussed. The pace where it’s at now (2/3 updates per week) is good for me.

Goal 2: Eat good meals that support my well-being 90% of the time

Last quarter I experimented with intermittent fasting (IF). In relation to doing weightlifting, I stopped doing it. But since this week I started again. I do weightlifting in the afternoon now (at 2 pm) and start eating at around noon. So far, so good.

Other food things are going well and Lotte and I cook almost every day (and I eat leftovers for lunch/brunch).

Goal 3: Keep on improving my house

The house is going well. In the coming quarter, we want to make the hallway a little nicer and I think that’s it for now.

Double-glass at the front of the house might be the next thing, but it’s not a high priority thing.

Goal 4: Achieve my fitness goals

I’m now almost in the middle of the 13-week strength cycle and that has been going really well. So off to the gym in a few moments.

With regards to the Clean & Jerk of 90kg, I think I will be able to make that. But let’s focus on the training and max out later. Or just give it a little try tomorrow, I will see. And maybe I will try doing an Overhead Squat Press today, just to test if I can even do it with the bar.

Goal 5: Write Spero

Yes, I’ve done it. Version 0.2 is out and you can find it at the link above. Feedback is very welcome.

Soon I will start writing other stories too.

That is it for now. Next quarter I hope to share some good updates (and the reflection for the whole year) again.

Public Commitment 2019 – Update 2

This year my theme is Connection. Just like in the second half of 2018, I’ve been keeping up my updates on the Timeline.

I haven’t thought too much about the theme itself for the last three months. I have been thinking about what to do in the future, and in a way still want to bring together the concepts I’ve learned across a wide range of topics.

Spero is one of the projects where I want to apply this. First in writing with some AI information, some storytelling experience, and then some more to learn about marketing it.

Here is my analysis of the goals and various updates:

Goal 1: Make this website a true personal knowledge hub

This quarter I’ve improved search on the Timeline. Next to that, I’ve been cutting down a bit on listening to podcasts. I found it too much, non-just-in-time, information. Now I try and listen to more books, more music, and more time without anything blaring into my ears.

The next quarter I will hope to find some time for essays. And in some free moments, I would also like to improve the structure a small bit, but this is a very low priority.

Goal 2: Eat good meals that support my well-being 90% of the time

Food has been going very well. Together with Lotte, I’ve been eating very healthy meals. We don’t snack a lot and I keep the alcoholic drinks to 0-2 on weekdays.

I’m currently experimenting with intermittent fasting (IF), eating only between 11-19. It has been going very well and I’ve adjusted to not eating in the morning.

The trouble/difficulty is sports. I normally go to the gym in the morning, but I feel less energetic without some sugars running through my veins. So I’m testing to find out the best time to do sports. One good time (that I’m testing now) could be 12-14.

Next to that, I would like to know some more about the effects of some foods and have more structure/standard meals per week.

Goal 3: Keep on improving my house

The last quarter we’ve done quite some improvements (and bringing two households together). And I’ve made a bar for the balcony. There is a leak somewhere in the bathroom/pipes, so that is something the installer will look at this Friday.

But next to that, I have no immediate plans to do something for the house. I will maybe take the lead in double-glass (at the front), but we will see about that in a bit.

Goal 4: Achieve my fitness goals

The last few weeks I’ve been cutting down on calories and it’s going pretty well. I will see how long I can hold this pattern, and then move to a 13-week strength cycle (with enough food to help the muscles grow).

My maximum for the Snatch is now at about 50kg, but my max of 6 reps (x4 sets) is at around 40kg, so that is of course way too close. I will try and see which things I can focus on to become better under pressure/weight.

Goal 5: Write Spero

In contrast to the last quarter, I’ve written quite some parts of Spero and will continue to do so for the next quarter. My goal is to have a first draft finished by then, and to maybe also have some friends critique it by then.

That is it for now. Next quarter I hope to share some good updates again.

Public Commitment 2019 – Update 1

This year my theme is Connection. And for this, I’ve started laying the groundwork. Just like in the second half of 2018, I’ve been keeping up my updates on the Timeline.

One big thing I’ve done is to follow a course on ‘The Molecular Mechanisms of Ageing‘. The course was quite detailed and I’ve learned some more fundamentals of ageing. I hope to use this knowledge further in a later part of this year.

I’ve also followed a course on JavaScript from Codeacademy. The course was quite enlightening, now I should/will start using it (and future courses on PHP and other tools) to upgrade my website, workflows (e.g. toggl-google calendar link), and Queal Dashboard/website.

One other actionable was to start using more ‘book’ knowledge in real-life and at Queal, we’ve been implementing two books into our routines. One about Building a Storybrand, and the other about usability testing (Rocket Surgery Made Easy).

Here is my analysis of the goals and various updates:

Goal 1: Make this website a true personal knowledge hub

I’ve added almost all of my back-catalogue from before moving the website over. I’ve also done the same from another wiki-like system I used. Of course, I haven’t yet written all the blogs/reviews I wanted to write.

The goal stays the same and in the coming quarter, I hope to improve search and continue to add new things to the Timeline, reviews, etc. Maybe I will write a long essay, but no guarantees.

Goal 2: Eat good meals that support my well-being 90% of the time

Yes and no. For most meals I eat at home, I’ve made them myself and have put some effort into it. I do see that I eat quite a lot and that includes quite some yoghurt with toppings at work.

I will keep being conscious of this and with Lotte moving in, I think my food will be very good. I might even bring some more to the office (and have some variety next to 2-3 meals of Queal per day).

Goal 3: Keep on improving my house

Yes. I’ve done quite a lot since last writing here. The bathroom is finished (for which I only did the door and painting). I take a bath about once a week and of course it’s very convenient to have a toilet upstairs.

Next to that, Lotte is moving in soon (in a few days of writing this draft, and on the day of publishing) so we’ve been making the house even cooler in the meantime.

The plants have multiplied, we’ve painted some walls, there is a new couch, new bookshelves/library, etc. I like how everything looks and Lotte will take some time to sort out her things.

One other addition is ‘Anne’, the robot vacuum (from iRobot) and he is working quite well. Today I put away all cables he was messing up, so he should be all good to go.

Goal 4: Achieve my fitness goals

The last few weeks I’ve been following my own new plan and that is going very well. I don’t know yet what I can do best in terms of weight-loss versus muscle-gain, but everything looks good for now.

I’m still learning the Snatch and better my Clean & Jerk. I haven’t measured my max yet (will do so in about 7 weeks) and who knows I will be a bit closer to the 90kg.

Goal 5: Write Spero

No. I have this on my daily checklist. Who knows if I will be able to incorporate this in my routine somewhere in the coming months.

Alright that is it for now. I don’t have any new goals at the moment, let’s just be happy with the ones I have and there is enough to be done already.

Public Commitment 2019

It’s the first of January and unlike other years I’ve been quite productive already. I’ve read for about an hour. I worked for an hour or two. Finished my recap of 2018. And spent time with Lotte and had coffee with my mother.

Now let’s see what I will focus on for the rest of the year. As always these are the ‘goals’ and don’t fully reflect all the ongoing daily tasks/habits/etc.

Without further ado, my goals for 2019.

Theme – Year of Connection

In 2019 I plan to find connections between the different parts of information that I’ve gathered in the last 28 years. I want to think more about how my goals are interconnected and can support each other (a thing I realised when reading The Early Retirement Extreme).

One very specific thing I want to do for this is to make my website more easily searchable, make more links between books, and keep on adding knowledge here. Less directly I also want to find more links between books I read and reality (like work). But also between different aspects of life like sports to health, or eating to sports.

Goal 1: Make this website a true personal knowledge hub

In the abstract, I would like to come here every few days and look something up. Concretely, I want to have all the books I’ve read (that I found interesting) summarised here. And continue to add new knowledge the Timeline every few days. And finish moving everything from the old site here (that should be done in a few days time). Another sub-goal I might introduce/work on, is to make 5 essays about topics like longevity, but not at the moment.

Goal 2: Eat good meals that support my well-being 90% of the time

Ok, I think I need to define these terms to keep myself accountable (and explain it more clearly to anyone reading). The ‘good meals’ are meals that I’ve made myself that are not just warming up a pizza or getting something else pre-made. The can also include everything we make at Queal.

The 90% of the time practically means that of the 28 meals (counting small snacks etc as a fourth meal) I can ‘cheat’ 3 times per week. I’ve added this goal to my daily checklist (see Triggers).

Goal 3: Keep on improving my house

Just like last year, I want to make my house even more ‘cool’ and nice to live in. One upgrade I haven’t really talked about is a Roadmi vacuum that is cordless, highly recommended.

In the next few weeks I will get a bathroom upstairs and I have some secrets plans for further improvements to my house too. After that I want to keep looking into automation (e.g. smart lock).

Goal 4: Achieve my fitness goals

The main one here is the 90kg Clean&Jerk. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I think very much achievable. Secondary to that are the following mini-goals:

  • 10% body-fat
  • 52kg Overhead Squat Press
  • Touch my toes
  • 450kg combined on Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift

Goal 5: Write Spero

I just bought Scrivener and plan to take a moment to write every day. I’m not yet familiar enough to know how much and in what way, but I think it’s a good commitment for myself to write every day.

For now, that moment (trigger) will be when I get home from work. And fairly early in the morning during the weekend. I might also take Sunday to not write but plan/work on the plot/do other things related to the book.

And here are some things I want to do less of:

  • Watch YouTube ‘without thinking’. I do want to watch some to relax, so I found a new blocker that still only allows me 5 minutes for Facebook/Reddit/News/etc, and 15 for YouTube. (WasteNoTime)
  • Spend money without benefit. This applies both to the supermarket (think energy drinks without having to pull an allnighter) and the ‘going-out’ category. One implementation towards this goal is to only go to the supermarket when I have a plan what to buy. Otherwise, it will just be Queal for dinner.
  • Do ‘good’ things instead of  ‘great’ or nothing. By this, I mean doing things for Queal that have no large benefit or committing myself to something which won’t make me significantly happier. I value my own time too much for that and really like doing things in the ‘nothing’ category (e.g. reading a book).

That is about it at the moment. I might revisit the goals in the near-future, but I’m quite content with what I’ve written down.

Public Commitment 2018 – Recap

This year my theme was Curiosity. I’ve done quite a few things this year and here I will recap on the trends. To follow along on what I’m intellectually consuming, see my Timeline.


With Queal, we’ve grown quite a bit both in knowledge and in revenue. We’ve worked on helping our customers better (e.g. with a new product, dashboard, premium shaker) and on getting the word out there.

The main challenge is marketing, and I mean that in the broadest sense. Not only paid marketing, PR, or the like. But even more about how to tell our story, about what we do and how it benefits others. I hope that next year we become even better at that.


In 2019 I’ve read about 50 books. I can’t say specifically how at this moment because I haven’t tracked it perfectly. That is something I’m doing now with the Timeline and also something I want to use to apply spaced learning (go over my notes after 1-3-6-12 months and then every year again – and maybe open the book if it’s particularly interesting/timely).

I’ve learned more and more about understanding the world. The book I’m reading now The Beginning of Infinity is maybe one of the best for this. I think David Deutsch defines knowledge there as ‘information that is causal’.

Another great book I read was Triggers by Mark Reiter and Marshall Goldsmith. It looks at how you can use triggers (duh) from your environment to shape new (good) behaviour. It acknowledges that behaviour change is one of the most difficult things to do. To this day I still reflect on the ‘goals’ of each day (Today I did my best to … ). The goals change over time (and for weekdays vs weekend) and it has been a great way to keep myself on track.

Then without going too much into detail here, I also enjoyed the following books very much:


It has been a great year for me personally. I enjoyed most of my work (aka the place I spent much of my time), I loved being with Lotte and with my friends. I enjoy how I can spend my time and how I have ‘engineered/planned’ my life.

One highlight of the year was the trip to Jordan with Lotte. We enjoyed the hospitality, the amazing Wadi Rum desert, Petra and more. Although we have nothing planned for the coming year, I do plan on seeing a new part of the world again.

The Goals

So without spending too much time recapping, let’s take a look at the individual goals I set for myself (in the 2018 Update), and what I made of it (and what I plan to do with it this year).

Goal 1: Write a Sci-Fi novella

Although I started doing this fairly early on, it never got into my rhythm. I still have the main storyline and do think it’s very interesting to do, so this will be one for 2019 too

Goal 2: Assemble a personal board

I didn’t do this and although I can see the value in it, I don’t feel comfortable doing it. Who knows I will do this somewhat formally later on in life, for now I will just do my thing and ask advice here and there where needed.

Goal 3: Consistently share what I’ve learned on my website

The start was a bit rocky but in the last few months, I have been doing this very well. Most are updates around podcasts and books and I think that is the right way for me to keep track of learnings at the moment.

For next year, I want to deepen this by combining more of the topics and making it more searchable.

Goal 4: Improve my spending for happiness with feedback loops

I didn’t look at this very precisely, but it’s incorporated in the tracking of finances. One thing I do something think/worry about is spending money together with friends, I do see that I’m more frugal than most and maybe I can be stronger in expressing my preference for doing fun and cheap things.

Goal 5: Cooking basics level 2

I continue to enjoy cooking and have gotten another good vegetarian book this Christmas. One of the ‘improvements’ I want to do next year is think more about good vegetarian and protein rich recipes.

Goal 6: Hit my fitness goals

I’m not at the stated goals of:

  • 52kg Overhead Squat Press
  • 90kg Clean & Jerk
  • 10% body fat

I haven’t measured the Overhead Squat Press, but with the Clean & Jerk I’m at 72kg and I’m very happy with that. For the last year I’ve been working on my flexibility and I can now do Overhead Squats, so I think that next year I will continue to improve on these exercises.

Another thing I measured (and want to keep measuring/improving on) is the Big Three power-lifting moves. I improved quite a bit over my 2014 (when I did quite some fitness) scores:

  • Squat: 120kg
  • Bench Press: 90kg
  • Deadlift: 190kg

Goal 7: Share about Effective Altruism

I did do some for EA, but again not as much as possible. One thing I do believe is that it might be better for someone else to take over since I also have other things I want to be working on (and thus don’t have the drive/energy to organise EA Rotterdam). Yet at the same time I do know a lot of the things that need to happen, so for the foreseeable future I will continue to work on it. (and I got my donation to AMF matched, so that is really cool).

Goal 8: Make my house even more beautiful

In the last month or maybe a bit longer I’ve made quite some improvements to my house. I made two sliding doors for the bedroom and future bathroom. This was quite a bit of work and I’m really proud/satisfied with the outcome.

Goal 9: Do something crazy for love

Lotte and I had a great day in Rotterdam. Although my surprise eventually didn’t pan out it was still really fun together.

Goal X: More slack in the system

Yes and no. At work I feel that I’m not too hurried or feeling overwhelmed. And at home maybe also not, so yeah there is a bit of slack in the system.

I do see listen to quite a lot of podcasts and don’t have many ‘do-nothing’ moments. And in other moments I do watch quite a bit of YouTube. One lesson I think I want to take with me for 2019 is to think about what ‘slack-time’ things I can do (e.g. write Spero).

To Conclude

This was my recap of the last year. I really enjoyed my year of Curiosity. Onto 2019 for a year of Connection (at least that’s what I’m calling it now).

Public Commitment 2015 – Q4 Recap

Welcome back to an overview of my goals. Today I will look back to the last 3 months of 2015. Tomorrow I will present my goals for 2016. And the day after that you can find my goals for the first 3 months of 2016.

In the last quarter of 2015 I made the goals listed below. They also represent a revised vision of my 2015 goals. It’s been a fun three months and I have learned many new things. It also has been an interesting time and I’ve (once again) learned that communication is the most important aspect of work (or actually everything). So here is to communicating my goals.

Career 2 Queal is worth €1 million
Goal-setting is in Beta and we have a plan-of-attack
I have launched 3 side projects
I spend 80% of my time on important & non-urgent tasks
Personal Development 1 I learn for 2 hours per day
I spread my knowledge for 1 hour per day
I have 2 senior mentors and 2 peer coaches
I have improved my speaking skills
I know the basics of tango dancing
I play the saxophone better than ever before
I can play basic songs on the piano
Finances 4 I have an investment plan
I have the perfect company/tax structure
I spend <1000 per month
Health 3 I have a basic understanding of human longevity and what it implies for me
I have visible abs
I have participated in two obstacle runs
I am in the 1000 pound club
Relationships 6 I meet with friends at least 2 times a week
Spiritual 5 I have discovered which Global Goal fits the best with me
I have learned more about Stoicism/philosophy of life
I donate 10% of my income
I run a fundraiser in December
I meditate 3x30min per week

Goals Q4 2015 Recap


+ Queal is worth €1 million

The most important aspect of being an entrepreneur is being able to choose what to work on. I’m (totally) free to spend my time according to what I want to spend it on. Of course, this statement can be nuanced, but this is actually the reason I’m an entrepreneur. That being said, I wanted to have a goal that was more easily measurable (more SMART). I can be glad to say that Queal is worth more than €1 million. How much more depends on how you (e)valuate companies, but it’s safe to say that there is a margin. If you want to calculate the value of your own company, please consult Equidam.

(short note: does this mean I’m a (half)millionaire? Nope. This means that in a perfect market, with the predictions we have about revenue, with a willing buyer, someone might be willing to pay the valuated amount. Onno and I plan to keep managing Queal ourselves and, therefore, this valuation can be seen as ‘virtual’ money)

+/- Goal-setting is in Beta and we have a plan-of-attack

Over the last few months, I’ve been working behind the scenes with Julian and Gabriël on something really amazing. It has to do with goal-setting but is actually much more than that. From this month, we will start to launch the business and expect some great things, especially if you are already working at a (big) company. This doesn’t mean I will stop working on, I have some ideas to make the website more valuable (more help with making and executing of goals) and those will be on the website in Q1 of 2016.

– I have launched 3 side projects

The side-projects goal was not the best one to have. It distracted from my main career goal (valuation of Queal) and divided my attention without having a real focus. Under the guidance of a coach Onno and I learned more about focus. At the same time, I’m a person who likes to do multiple things. For myself, this means that I want to keep doing multiple projects, but more structured and with an overarching goal (improve lives).

+/- I spend 80% of my time on important & non-urgent tasks

The biggest leap I’ve made for this goal is by installing BatchedInbox for Gmail. This plugin only lets email through at 12 PM and 5 PM, and yes those are the only moments I will be looking at my email. This prevents me (and my monkey brain) from looking at emails in the morning.

Personal Development

+ I learn for 2 hours per day

I can say that I’ve been learning for at least 2 hours per day. On average I read 30 minutes in the morning, listen to 1 hour of podcasts and take at least 30 minutes to learn new things on the job. Does this mean I already have a perfect system to store this knowledge? No, it doesn’t. And that is something I will continue to work on (on this website).

+/- I spread my knowledge for 1 hour per day

This goal links back to the last goal. I want to keep on blogging about the things I learn. I have also helped 2 of my friends with the first steps towards their own businesses and I really loved doing that too. I haven’t blogged as much as I wanted, but keep expecting the blogs to be coming in the coming year.

+/- I have 2 senior mentors and 2 peer coaches

At Queal, we have had 3 senior mentors (via BrownCow). We will continue the coaching with one of them next year. I haven’t made any peer coaching commitments yet, but I want to (read: will) make them with friends for the coming year.

+/- I have improved my speaking skills

On two occasions I gave a training. The first was during the Venture Cafe (everyone welcome, each Thursday in the Groothandelsgebouw). The second was for InTheMaking. I really loved giving workshops and I will continue doing these kinds of engagements. What I want to continue to improve on is storytelling. I think I have a good understanding of a variety of topics, but that only through storytelling you can really get others to experience (and understand) it with you.

– I know the basics of salsa dancing

I planned on keeping dancing, but to be honest, I didn’t like doing it alone. So I’m dropping this one for now and I’m glad that I know the basics.

– I play the saxophone better than ever before

I’ve practised once every two weeks. This wasn’t enough to learn to play better than I did back in the days. The main reason for not playing enough is that I scheduled it on Fridays, the day that you also want to finish a whole lot of other stuff. I do really love playing the saxophone and in my planning for the coming year, I will make sure to find a moment each week to play.

– I can play basic songs on the piano

When I didn’t make enough time to play the saxophone, I prioritized it above playing the piano. Since I might be moving soon I think I will stick to the saxophone (focus) and maybe learn to play the piano some other day.


+ I have an investment plan

I know where (and when) I want to invest my money. With the current plan, I will save enough per month to provide for a royal retirement. Next to the automated (I guess this is the most important aspect of it, that you don’t have to think about saving) deposits I don’t know exactly where I will invest any extra money, but for now, I will stick to Index Funds.

+ I have the perfect company/tax structure

Over the last few months, we’ve spent some money on getting everything fixed for Queal and our other projects. Everything is in perfect order now and I’m happy that even the bank has a feature to see multiple bank accounts at one time.

+/- I spend <1000 per month

To be honest, I haven’t been tracking my spending as closely as before. I do know that I haven’t spent any strange amounts of money in one area or the other. I did enjoy a very fun weekend in Dublin with my fellow board members. Aside from that, I think I’ve had no ‘big’ expenses.


+/- I have a basic understanding of human longevity and what it implies for me

Reading about AI, quantum computing, radical life extension and other ‘singularity’ related topics can leave your mind ‘blown’. I really like how many fields are converging and that even psychology makes an appearance every once in a while. From what I know now, I believe that we (relatively rich people in the Western world) can live (a healthy life) for far beyond 100 years. Technology is improving exponentially and we will be able to take advantage of that in the coming decades. Before I go on too much, please stay tuned for more blog posts about longevity.

– I have visible abs

I’m really close to hitting my physical targets, but sometimes life gets in the way. I need to lose about 4kg more to get to the percentages I want. With a marathon (Rotterdam) and 42km obstacle run in sight, I think I have the proper motivation to reach my goals. I’m not there yet, and I might blame my knees a little bit, but at the same time, I’m really happy with how I look, my endurance and power.

+ I have participated in two obstacle runs

Next, to the two viking runs (13km and 19km) I participated in the harbour run (11km) and also did the first (normal) run in a long while, the bruggenloop (15km). And yes I really enjoyed each one of them.

– I am in the 1000 pound club

No, this goal isn’t about becoming really fat. This goal is about being able to do a lot of weight on the big exercises. With my knee in mind, I haven’t worked towards these goals and I will only be actively pursuing this again after the marathon.


+ I meet with friends at least 2 times a week

It’s still difficult to put a specific goal for relationships, at the same time it may just be so because I take this category for granted (which then, of course, is a good thing).


+ I have discovered which Global Goal fits the best with me

In line with where I donate (Against Malaria Foundation, AMF), I most strongly identify with the third Global Goal: Good Health. One of the sub-goals is making malaria a negligible disease by 2030, how great would that be!

+ I have learned more about Stoicism/philosophy of life

I continue to read the classics and get a more complete philosophy of life. I also really like talking about these ideas with some friends and learning about philosophy has really made my life more interesting. Highly recommended!

+ I donate 10% of my income

If you consider donating too, please visit GiveWell to see where to donate.

– I run a fundraiser in December

I’m sad to say I didn’t do a fundraiser.

+ I meditate 3x30min per week

With the help of HeadSpace, I’ve managed to meditate for almost every day in the past month. I really like the guidance it provides and I will continue to use it daily.


Ok, that’s it for 2015, let’s get this 2016 party started.

Public Commitment 2015 – Q4

In the coming three months I will focus my attention on the goals listed below. These are slightly different from the yearly goals I made 9 months ago. What differs most is the change is categories. Since the last update, the ‘fun’ category has been replaced by ‘spiritual’. Of course, I will also have fun, I hope a lot, but that is less easy to define in a goal-oriented way.

As always I can use your help:

  1. Do you know of a programme for (public) speaking (preferably in English) that you want to share, or do you want to teach me specific skills?
  2. Have you done some (informal) investing yourself and would like to share the lessons with me?
  3. Are you a friend of mine and have nothing to do for lunch or dinner?

Call me.

Career 2 Queal is worth €1 million
Goal-setting is in Beta and we have a plan-of-attack
I have launched 3 side projects
I spend 80% of my time on important & non-urgent tasks
Personal Development 1 I learn for 2 hours per day
I spread my knowledge for 1 hour per day
I have 2 senior mentors and 2 peer coaches
I have improved my speaking skills
I know the basics of tango dancing
I play the saxophone better than ever before
I can play basic songs on the piano
Finances 4 I have an investment plan
I have the perfect company/tax structure
I spend <1000 per month
Health 3 I have a basic understanding of human longevity and what it implies for me
I have visible abs
I have participated in two obstacle runs
I am in the 1000 pound club
Relationships 6 I meet with friends at least 2 times a week
Spiritual 5 I have discovered which Global Goal fits the best with me
I have learned more about Stoicism/philosophy of life
I donate 10% of my income
I run a fundraiser in December
I meditate 3x30min per week

Public Commitment 2015 – Q3 Recap

Technically this is only the second update, in the summer I wasn’t blogging that much, so let me start with an overview of the goals I had the last 3 months:

Career 1 I have transferred my blog into a braindump + review site
I have written 1 guide + goal-poster website (launched) on goal-setting
I have grown Queal 20% per month
Fun 6 I have discovered a new country
I visit a museum 2+ times a month
Personal Development 2 I study leadership and related topics 9 hours per week
I have read and reviewed 12+ books
I have completed 2 online courses
I have a solid plan including A/B tests of time-management, energy levels, and activity management
Health 3 I have participated in 1 obstacle run
I have visible abs (<12% BF)
I have kept my strength levels
Relationships 4 I have got to know Kris even better
Finance 5 I have written a mini-guide (possibly website) on investing for young professionals
I invest 20%+ of my income
I spend <1000 on expenses
I donate 10% of my income

Overall the last few months have been good to me. I’ve had a wonderful trip to Costa Rica. We moved offices and the view and atmosphere here are very positive. My knee is finally getting a bit better. And I feel that I am both learning and contributing to the world. Here is a full recap of all the goals:


Goals Q3 2015 Recap

Career – I have transferred my blog into a braindump + review site – I have written 1 guide + goal-poster website (launched) on goal-setting – I have grown Queal 20% per month

It took a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my blog. First I thought about dividing it into the topics I found interesting and making separate blogs out of them. But in the end, I decided that focussing on this one blog is the best thing to do. For the last few weeks, I have been blogging once a day. I will keep this up for a few more weeks (for a total of 30-40 days) so that the habit of blogging is engrained in my system. I’ve also chosen to make the reviews of books shorter and to focus on what I learned from it, instead of giving the less personal/more boring overviews of the books.

It’s not officially launched, but please take a look at Together with Onno and Julian, I’m working on making the website your go-to place if you want to work on your goals and start being committed to them. Our final deadline if during the next In The Making event (21 November in Arnhem). Before that date, I will probably have informed you about us going live already! Stay tuned.

Queal has been growing steadily in the last few months. It hasn’t been exactly 20% but we’ve come pretty close. Behind the scenes, we’ve worked on making everything streamlined and we now have everything set. The coming months will also focus on the expansion of our sales so expect a similar goal for Q4.

Fun – I have discovered a new country – I visit a museum 2+ times a month

Two countries to be precise – Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The trip with jaarclub Steen was amazing, I loved every day of it.

In my free time, I’ve been to a few museums this summer. If I also count the museum in Nicaragua I exactly hit the target. Earlier I spoke about the Keith Haring exposition, I still highly recommend it.

Personal Development – I study leadership and related topics 9 hours per week – I have read and reviewed 12+ books – I have completed 2 online courses – I have a solid plan including A/B tests of time-management, energy levels, and activity management

In retrospect, I think the first two goals of personal development could have been combined. On average I listen to books/podcasts for more than 2 hours a day (at 1.6 or 2x speed). I also read quite some articles and take 30 minutes most mornings to read. If everything is related to leadership, I guess not. What I mean to say is that I’m learning a lot in diverse fields, not only leadership. So I would say yes to learning, but maybe that not everything is related to leadership.

In the past months, I’ve read about 20 books. The one I liked best was Start With Why by Simon Sinek, it explores the topic of ‘your life purpose’, something I will be learning more about in Q4.

I’m sorry to have to say that I’ve not completed any online courses. I started one but didn’t make the time to commit to it. What I could have done better is allocate a specific time slot to it and work on the course material at that time. At Queal, we might introduce a specific time to do just that. What I did do was watch the videos from Crash Course, I now know a lot more about Astronomy and Economics.

Health – I have participated in 1 obstacle run – I have visible abs (<12% BF) – I have kept my strength levels

The obstacle run is this Sunday, wish me luck! And in about 3 weeks I will do one that is 19km long so that knee of mine better behave.

At the beginning of September, I lost about 3kg in no time. After that, I hit a plateau. The main problem is that other habits (i.e. drinking with friends) that are fun interfere with this goal. For the next three months, I will first think about how I can best combine these types of goals.

In relation to strength, I think not much has changed. My legs (of course) are a lot weaker, so when my knee if fully restored I have quite the workload in front of me.

Relationships – I have got to know Kris even better

Kris and I had a great time together. She’s a great person and I enjoyed every moment with her. But we’re not together any more. And as much as I like to share with you on this blog, if you want to know more you have to ask me in person.

Finance – I have written a mini-guide (possibly website) on investing for young professionals – I invest 20%+ of my income – I spend <1000 on expenses – I donate 10% of my income

Why are finances so boring? It’s something every one of us has to live with, learn to manage and can help us greatly. I haven’t found the right motivation to write about investing for young professionals. What I will do is write more about it on the blog here and use that as a basis to figure out what I really want to do with it. I still think a lot of my peers (and I) don’t know exactly what to do with our new-found wealth, so more information is always welcome.

Investing is going well. I automatically set aside some money and everything goes into a basket of global stocks. I can write about this process in the next month.

With regards to spending, I think I’m spending a bit more than the 1000 euro per month. I’ve bought some new clothes, went out to eat sometimes. At the same time, I eat Queal a lot, buy things when they are discounted and try and limit spending whenever not necessary. The next two months will probably see me spending less, December will be a bit more expensive.

And yes I’ve made some more donations to the Against Malaria Foundation. Read more about effective altruism on .


Final Notes

I recently heard a podcast in which someone speaks about ‘systems vs goals’. With this ,he means that he prefers to make a system in which he will learn, no matter the final outcome (goal). I like the approach, at the same time I think that is also what I’m kinda doing with my goals. They are dots on the horizon and sometimes I end up somewhere else, but they do challenge me to go towards that direction in the first place. Also more about this in a future blog.

Stay tuned for my new goals in tomorrows post!