#in2018, I will

This is my yearly post on things that I hope to achieve in the impending year. Most times I miss most goals but I still like the rigor of making lists. Plus once I have a list, it keeps me on track.

Here is the list of things that I will do #in2018.

Oh when I make this list, I consider the following.
  • Each bit on the list has to take me closer to my lifeGoals - a billion dollars (M), Mt. Everest (H), a billion lives (I). 
  • The list includes things that are tough enough that I have to work hard. And must be within reach. For example, while I may want to play cricket for India, I can not. I could on the other hand play Poker. Or Pool. Its not same as cricket but it is still a sport. 
  • Themes for the year. This year, the themes are health (stop doing anything that stops you from living to 120 - eating, travel, air, stress etc) and action (which should be a theme every year IMHO). And other smaller themes are positivity (get away from people / things / incidents etc that drag you down), challenges (need to get out of the comfort zone - need to do things that I've never done so far) and plant seeds for the long-term. 

So, #in2018, I will do the following. 

In no order,

[Work / M]
  • Make C4E amongst the best live entertainment businesses in the country. And subsequently, in the world. More about C4E is at https://medium.com/c4-entertainment. This has been on my radar since 2017. We made a few strides #in2017 but we suck at getting new business. Thats something that I need to fix this year. And I will.
  • Evolve AWSL into a brand consulting business. In 2017 I lost the plot with AWSL but I will get it back on track. 
  • Create a third revenue stream. When I say third, the first two are C4E and AWSL. In that order. Been trying to get a third stream for a few years now. Haven't been able to do a thing about it. This year. 

[Health / H]
  • Be 30" in girth. I am 36" as we speak. #in2017 I hoped to be 32. But I am still 36ish. In fact I've been wanting to be fit for a long long time. And even though I've wanted, I am unable to do anything about it. I need to figure out how. 
  • Finish a half-marathon in 2 hours. I cant even run jog for 3 minutes on the trot as we speak. One of the things I am doing is to ensure that I intake less calories and walk for 45 minutes at least each day. One goalpost will be 5K in 30 mins.
  • Be able to do an unaided Shirshasana for 3 minutes. This essentially means that I need to get back to doing yoga. And doing a headstand would require enough rigor and practise to ensure that I am attending classes everyday. Plus, now that my nose is fixed, I should be able to start with yoga.

  • Final table a poker tourney that has more than 50 entrants. Again, this is a thing that I've had since 2017. And I played very less poker in 2017. I need to work on this. In fact, between poker, pool and may be guitar, I could find all recreation I need after a long day at work. 
  • Compete in an amateur pool tournament. I know I cant hit a ball straight but I enjoy the game. I love the challenge and more often than not, you can control the element of luck. So may be its something that I can work on.
  • Buy a car. I have to. Been wanting to buy for ever since I can remember. This year I have to. 
  • Travel to 5 new countries. I got a third passport booklet (as planned #in2017) and I now need to get 5 new stamps on it. If all goes well, I may get to travel to Cambodia this year. Need 4 more countries. May be I'll drive through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos route? 
  • Make more friends that inspire me. Work on relationships that make me better. Thing is, most "friendships" happen because you and friends share a common interest and are at the same place at the same time. Most times, apart from the common interest, you dont get to evaluate the personality of people. And over time you learn to live with the goods and bads in the personality of your friends. As a result you end up with people who stand by you when you need them but they do nothing to improve you as an individual. While that's not a bad place to be at, its not the optimal use of the opportunity we have. I believe we are better off surrounding ourselves with people who may not back us up when we need them but push us when we need pushing. Makes sense? For example, you are a woman in India and you like writing and your parents instead want you to get married because "log kya kahenge?. Fuck them! Rather run away with a bastard that pushes you to write. Fuck the societal norms imposed on you. If your family drags you down, move on. If your spouse does not support you, move out. Ok, I am getting judgmental and preachy. Coming back. This year, I want to create more meaningful relationships where I get to grow. I want to be make friends with people who help me and push me to do better (and be a friend like that - if you are with me, I WILL push you to do more, do better). I will cut off ties with (have cut a lot already) people and relationships where I am dragged down. I need friends that support me in my pursuit of grand plans. When I say I dont want to do dinners because I want to sleep early to be able to wake up and write, I want my friends to understand. Get the drift? Or you need a blogpost for this?  

[Writing / I]
  • Complete #book2 and get it ready for publishing. Book 2 is late by 4 years. And I have had so many people ask me about it and I am sick of giving vague answers. I will do it this year. Also, I need to remind myself that books are tangible thing that you've "create"ed. You dont want to die a consumer. You know what I am saying? 
  • Make onWriting.in a key player in the Indian publishing business. I haven't been able to give time to it. Need to pull up socks. 
  • [20 Jan 2018] Write 202 blogposts on this blog. 

[Moon Shots]
These are the things that are way too tough and big for me to achieve in one year. Plus each will require superhuman effort. Enough to take you to moon!
  • Empty my Asana dashboard each month. This will require super-human effort. I will have to get things done. Which to me is tougher than climbing the Everest! 
  • Ship one "project" each month. A project is an idea, a thing, a piece of output that is part of my interest area but is something that I know will not make commercial sense. May be it does eventually. But not at the stage of initiation. For example, onwriting.in. 
  • [H] Work towards The Everest
  • [I] Find out ways to impact a billion lives. Make a list. I am not sure if I can do this in this year but nothing prevents me from trying. Or at least making a list. Oh, I love lists. 
  • [M] Get to Rs. 5 crore in bank. Last year I wanted to end the year with a crore. I ended with about Rs. 3 lakhs. Sucks that 35 years of your life amounts to all of Rs. 3 lakhs. I mean if I were to die tomorrow, all my family would get is Rs. 3 lakhs. Funny no? So, rather than trying to get 1 crore again, up the ante. Get 5 crores. Shoot for the fucking moon, baby. How? I dont know. Will find a way. Or as they say, beg, borrow, steal. But then I am not someone who can beg or borrow or steal... 
  • [I] Make TUAP a must-listen podcast for entrepreneurs. More about it is at www.tuap.in. P.S.: This is a project. 
  • Meet one of my heroes (Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Chris Sacca, Tim Ferriss, Jason Calacanis, SRK, Lucky Ali, Prof. Sanjay Bakshi, Priyanka Chopra, Will Smith, Rabbi Shergill, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and so many others). Lets see who all do I get to meet. May be the pi.co clone (that I've been planning for a few months) helps me reach there? P.S.: Another project.

[Daily Habits]
#in2017, I did this interesting thing. I picked a few "actions" and I performed those everyday. At least I tried to. These are essentially tiny tasks that do not take a lot of time. And over time, these add up.

For example, like this guys explains in his TEDx talk, he would do two pushups everytime he peed (and he increased the number to, I think, 8 pushups everytime he peed). It did not amount to much when he did those but the collective benefit of doing 20 odd pushups a day helped him get in shape. Its such a powerful idea - that small things can bring about tsunami of change. I was first introduced to this by Hemant but then along the way he and I lost the plot. Anyhow.

So, here's a list of things I started to do everyday #in2017 and I hope to continue #in2018. And a list of things that I hope to start to do everyday #in2018.
  • Post a pic a day on Instagram everyday. I started this 35 days ago and I am so proud to say that in the last 35 days I've missed it just twice. This happened when I met Anusha on one of my trips to Bangalore and she challenged me to post a pic each day. 
  • Play Peak and Elevate each day. As we speak I am on 3 weeks unbroken streak with both. I am this close to buying em. Lets see. This happened when I realized that I can no longer remember a lot of things that I could. I, well, Googled and I realized that either I am not focused, or under stress, or am in premature stages of those brain diseases that affect us humans. I hate old age and the reason I hate it is the it leaves people incapable. I never want to be that. And hence these games. Honestly, I am not sure these games help but I like to know that I am doing something about my memory loss.
  • Use The Brain. Been using it for over a month now. Related to point above, I want to retain all that I have in my head. I want to use a tool. Nothing like The Brain. I dont see the advantages as yet but once I do, I will probably buy it. 
  • Maintain a daily journal of sorts. Been writing one since May 23. It started with this. My journal is on Google Drive (on the sheet that I use to track my life - goals, ambitions, hits and misses and other things). I want to jack this up by writing using a pen and paper. Helps me catalog my thoughts. 
  • Write every day. Last few months, I've been terribly busy and haven't been able to write much. This year I plan to write everyday. Even if its like 500 words. #in2017, I tried multiple times but I failed. This time I will not.  
  • Walk for 45 minutes. Or do a session of Yoga. Again, I made multiple attempts to walk / run everyday but I failed. This time I will not. One of the things I did was to try and walk home from work (about 10 KM) and it was fun. The only fuck up was the road. Mumbai is not the place where you can walk. I need to find an alternative to walking. Lets see.
  • Rather than reading, listen to a podcast everyday. I realized this after I heard this podcast where Naval talks to Shane about his life. And among other things it changed the way I think about books. While there is a merit in learning by reading, to me, at the stage of life I am in, I am not sure reading books is anymore as efficient a tool (reading blogposts is!). More on this some other day. And I did listen to a lot of podcasts. I can club this with walk everyday. 45 minutes is enough to feed your brain with new things. Need to do more of this in the year. 
  • Ensure that I get in at least 2 maker days every week. Read more on maker day and manager day hereI promised myself that #in2017 I will have 3 maker days per week but I dont think I had 3 maker days in the entire year! I need HAVE to do this in2018. Thing is, the day we realise that we are better off as creators (makers) and not consumers, the world becomes a better place. We are no longer worried about opinions of people but we are about putting our head down and getting back to our work. You know what I am saying? May be more on this in one of the blogposts this year. 
  • Everything I say must carry weight and must have gravitas. That means I cant talk frivolous. That also means that I need to improve the way I talk (self-deprecating humor, exaggeration and other innuendos). In fact thats the word of the year 2017 for me. Vanita talked to me about this #in2017. I need to ensure that I live the word. Or as Rajesh Sir says, zubaan ki keemat honi chahiye. 
  • Keep a tab of all my expenses. I was doing it till I moved to Android. I will start it again. Today on. Also, while editing this, I realised that I no longer consider saving or spending less as important enough to include in this list. Which is a good thing. I've either internalised being thrifty. Or I have come to peace with myself that I am happy with misery? Dont know. 
Phew. This is a long list. To do everyday. 

Even if I remove the walking for 45 minutes and yoga bit, other things will require about 2 hours (at the least). And the best time to do these things, if you ask me is the morning. Because its impossible during the day. And if you try to do this at the end of the day, you never know how exhausted you are. And I know I am not a superhuman that I will keep emotions at bay and get things done after a day at work. So, may be I need to start earlier. Good thing is that I am anyway a morning person. In fact as we speak, I am at a Starbucks. Since 725 (and its 1040 right now) - I can get 2-3 hours of good work done in the morning, before the world wakes up. That, could be my unfair advantage.  

So all I need to do is get up at 4 AM. And get to work. Just that no Starbucks is open then ;)

Dont know what categories to put these in. These are good to have, not MUST have. And this implies, others are MUST have.
  • [H] Attend a 10-day Vipassana session. Wanted to do this #in2017 but could not. 2018 looks like a perfect time. May be as soon as Feb. 
  • Teach at a business school. #in2017, I did teach at an events diploma college. But I need to up the game and teach kids that already know lot more than I. It would get me out of my comfort zone. Read on themes for the year above. 
  • [H] Stand while working on a computer. That means I need to invest in a standing desk and a great pair of footwear. Oh that reminds me that may be in2018, I will finally get around to wearing shoes and getting dressed well. After all if I have to make money, I need to be presentable. No? Plus dressing up is so out of my comfort zone that I am willing to jump off an airplane!

That's all. Look a lot but it ain't not too much if I remain focused and act on things. 'If' and 'Act' are the key operatives here.

What are your goals? Do you have a list? Lets work together and make this the best year of our lives?

Thanks for reading. Feedback? Inputs? Help?

Saurabh Garg
1 Jan 2018

P.S.: For the record, here are similar posts from 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

P.P.S.: #in2017 I wrote 41 posts. This year I will write more than 202 posts (number of posts I wrote in2008). This is #1.

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