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.

And

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)).

Ps.

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.

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