in2020, I will...

This is an email that I sent to a select set of friends and family. Reproducing it here in full. In an attempt to live a more open and accountable life.

I know I know.
I am late.
Terribly late.
On both things - the monthly email that I send to you (so late that I did not even send it in Dec 19) and on the yearly plan for 2020. Will send both today in this one email. And I am publishing this on the internet (on my blog) so that others may use this, should they want to. And hold me accountable. As some of you have done so far! 

Recap of 2019
So, 2019. Not the best year of my life. Funnily, neither was 2018. 
In Jan of 2019, I wrote this post and made a list of things that I'd do in the year. For ease of reading, here is how it looked like...

I thought hard about each goal before I articulated it. Each goal had a specific reason for inclusion in the list - if I achieved the goal, I would change who I am as a person.

But I missed all of these.
By a large margin. To a point that when I was doing the review, I realized that I aimed way too high. As they say, I shot out of my league. 
Which is a good thing. 
And a bad thing. 
Good - aim for the moon and land among the stars. 
Bad - get depressed about the non-achievement.
I'll come back to this.  

On the tangibles, the biggest #win would be that I survived a tough year. I don't know if it was evident from my lifestream (on the blog, twitter, etc) but it was tough as hell! Multiple reasons - clients did not spend as much with me, some projects failed to take off (Jamoon, Hop197,, Titan Consulting), as an individual I could not deliver on few projects where I was the DRI and so on and so forth. And yet, I survived. 

On the upside, I did make a film (and met some of the icons of the performing world), met some really really kind people that now take an active interest in my career (and keep me sane), opened doors to opportunities (that hopefully would get monetized eventually) and (like I said), survived. Oh, and I learned that when the times are tough you are often left to fend for yourself. Everyone is struggling with so much in their lives that they simply do not have the time to think about you!

The biggest #fail would be that I could not grow C4E. It's stagnating. I could've grown the business but I clearly could not. The growth of this one is important because the core business (events and brand) is what gives fuel to all the exciting projects that I am a part of (and allows me to fund those experiments). I need to accelerate that #in2020. Staying on that, the thing that keeps me up is that C4E and all the allied things I do are merely taking things from 1 to 1.3 or something. I am not doing anything in the 0 to 1 space. Or even 1 to 100. I am not adding any tangible, real value to the world. I am not making any dents. All I am doing is doing a different take on what others have done before me. If I were to disappear tomorrow, not one person would miss what I do. Imagine if Apple were to disappear, would you miss what they do? That! I want to do what people at Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other such places are doing. They create new things. They create a 1 from 0. They make that ding in the universe. 

Moving on. 

Thanks to YearCompass, I did a structured recap of the year gone by. Which was good. I now know where I was fucking up. I did not have a process to achieve the large goals that I was chasing. I do know about systems vs goals thinking but I never implemented a system. 2020 on, I would. You'd see it... 

So, in terms of themes, if I were to list a set of reasons for my inability to reach those goals, I would say they would be...
  • I plan for things out of my league but I do not put in place the processes to deliver those.
  • I overestimate my ability to do things.
  • I overestimate my ability to get things done.
  • Once I solve the problems in my head, I do not want to actually do the hard work of solving those IRL. Thanks AS for helping me articulate this.
  • I am a great starter. And I like to finish things as well (my finish rate would be mid 20% - which is low and I want to work hard to finish 100% of things that I start). What I suck at is the messy middleAgain, thanks to AS for helping me identify this. 
  • I am more of a 'react to situations' person. Rather than being proactive.
  • I am easy on myself. If I miss a goal, I do not reprimand myself. I do not seek accountability from myself. And if I work with (or for) someone, I do not want to disappoint them and feel accountable for their money / time / inputs. And thus I work harder. Maybe I am not fit for being an entrepreneur?
So, I just need to fix these!

To end the 2019 piece, I'd say the same thing that I've been saying all this while - there were a few hits and a few misses but I could've done 2019 better!

Now, the part that you've all been waiting for ;P 

The YearCompass that I used to do a recap? It also gave me a framework to think about 2020. Along with that, I used the TinyChange Planner. And between the two documents, I think I have a pretty decent hang of how I want to spend my 2020.

Before I come to specific goals, here are the large themes per se... 
  • I need to put systems in place for each goal. 
  • Like I said, I am more of 'react to things and situations' person. Need to fix this. I need to get over my inability to make things happen. 
  • Get more social. And become a magnet. While I do that, I need to become a super-connector (which is a large #sglifetheme) and become reliable (you know, the guy that gets things done, just like The Transporter). This means that I need to become that guy that knows a guy that can get things done. For sure. And while that happens, I need to become that guy that you like! 
  • I need to ACT on getting healthy. May be, start eating meat (this is a touchy topic and more I read about this, more I am indecisive). Start with a workout for sure. 
Further, I don't know where I read but it said that you need to identify that one-word mantra that you could remind yourself time and again about (especially every time you slack). The mantra must make you jump out of the bed when you are in the mood to snooze. I have one for #2020. 


That, ladies and gents is my mantra for 2020. Act.

Every time I am bored or uninspired or not motivated or lethargic or in the mood procrastinate, I would look at this and move to the task at hand. And act.

Armed with all these, coming to specifics, like the previous years, I will chase goals under certain categories - wealth, health, relationships, writing, and others. Of course, I do have a long list (and its almost similar to what I had in 2019), this year around thanks to Tiny Change, I will focus on three goals and three goals only (other things will become side projects). Caveat. The very core of these documents is the tenet that you would focus on a few things. Now, this is unlike me! You know, I am not just a petty thief?

So the three large goals for 2020 are... 
  • Book 2 
  • Complete a marathon in under 5 hours
  • Make a business that has a topline of 50 crores 

Each of these is daunting, exciting, tough, out of the league and so on and so forth. And each of these is definite, measurable, have a binary outcome and is of course timebound. And each of these is in line with what I want to do in life! If I get these, I would be close to the #lifeGoals.

Again, thanks to Tiny Change, I have further divided these three in key initiatives that I must take to achieve. For example, for the book, I need to... 
  1. Write 100K words before Jun 2020
  2. Build a community of 100 beta readers that are interested in reading my book 
  3. Build my understanding of the art and craft of writing by reading 10 books on the topic
And each of these has further bifurcation (systems!). For example, to build a community, I need to learn by doing multiple experiments. And I have done similar bifurcations for all three large things. And

So, three goals for 2020. Let's see how they pan out.

And yes, I do have a few other things that I will work on, you know, side hustles. Things like Poker, 100 Rejections, SoG Volume 1, meditation, guitar, etc. And I do have a long list of those - see this. But they will remain what they are - side hustles!

While I will track these closely, I also need to put some dashboards and metrics that I can use to understand how I am doing. For example, AS (from above) says that if things are working out, there has to be an uptick in the chart. Say, through the year, my weight must reduce, the money in the bank must go up and so on and so forth. I will chase. RB has been asking me to get access to communities that are closely guarded. This is a binary goal (just like the Marathon is) and it's either happened. Or not happened.

So that's that.

End Notes
In the end, like I was talking to a friend, I don't regret the decisions or the path that I've taken in life. But I do regret the ability to act and make things happen. Going forward, I hope to change that. You know, act!

So yeah. That's 2020. I hope 2020 is where things start to fall in place. Hope the same for you. May the year is full of love, luck, and happiness. May you live long and prosper.

Thank you for reading.

Over and out.
Saurabh Garg
04 02 2020

PS: In case you need help in planning your time and all, happy to help. Please do let me know.

PPS.: In case you are curious, here are similar posts from previous years: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

PPPS: Tools I used to arrive at these...
  • TinyChange Planner. Some 800 bucks on Amazon. 
  • YearCompass. Free.
  • A few homegrown excel sheets, Asana lists, notes, and notepads. I use free versions of all these apps. Except for GSuite. Happy to share templates. Please do let me know.

PPPPS: The yearly list that I wrote for 2018 was the best ever I think.

PPPPPS: In the words of a friend, I hope we all slay in 2020.

No comments:

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?