Post 15: January 31st – The End of The Road

Date: 31st January 2017

Hello People,

Suddenly, January has come to the end, and although 30 days have passed since the 30 Days to Conquer Challenge started, I can say this is only the beginning. It is now time to evaluate our performance, set new strategies and achieve new goals.

Personally, this was a very productive month, and today I am feeling inspired and motivated – this month gave me that little push to keep working, to enjoy the ride and put in the effort.

Let’s check this months results.

  1. Read Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

It is 6:29pm on the 31st of January and the last line of Tools of Titans says ‘you are not alone, you are better than you think’.

This book took me through this month with the most positive attitude, made my heart feel full of admiration and desire. Desire for being better, for giving it all. This book not only gave me tools to improve my discipline and productivity but also showed me that this is worth it – working on being better is worth it.

The profiles I enjoyed the most are Chris Sacca, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins and Justin Boreta. I also admit I really enjoy the Psychedelics talk. Highly recommended.  I will definitely keep this book in my library to go back to it every now and then.

Reading is not a problem for me, I actually enjoy it, and this is one of my ‘favourite plans’. The challenge however is to make time to read. Especially a 674 page book.

Best strategies:

I spent about 20 more minutes awake to read this book. At least three times a week I was going to bed 20 minutes later, so I could read a couple of pages. (20 minutes that usually became 30 or 40)

Save the time in the calendar. For example I set time to read 30 minutes every Saturday and Sunday after gym.

I took the book with me at all times, so I could read when I was waiting in a line, or on the train.

2. Make 1% Profit in Trading Account

This month we followed and monitored our trading account with discipline. However, this time, a year after opening our trading account, we have learnt to be more patient, to stick to our plans, and keep our feeling and emotion under control. Although we were monitoring the market and our portfolio daily, we did not take as many positions as previous months, and we respected the take profit and stop loss we established from the beginning.

Even though we closed two negative positions in week three; the other positions have compensated and surpassed the losses. Today we have a made a total of 2.1% profit after commission in our account. Not bad for 1 month.

Best Strategies.

We set positions the first week of the month, and we considered all the possible outcomes. After a year of investing we are thinking probabilistically. It means we don’t think anymore ‘is this going to be a wining position?’ Yes or no? This time we were thinking ‘what is the probability for this stock to go up or down?’. And we hedged our positions accordingly.

The positions we took this month were the result of the analysis from last year. Do you remember how I was writing a Stock Market Journal everyday on November? Well, our asset allocation this month was according to those observations, plus the previous analysis Pat and I made.

3. Save $4600 AUDshoes

We were so close, however we missed $100AUD to reach the goal. I consider this a success, this month we had many expenses we hadn’t contemplated. For example, although we knew we had to pay the car’s registration we did not plan to change the tires.

Our lifestyle makes the ‘saving money’ goal much easier. Firstly, because we plan our meals in advance, we do not spend money on snacks. Second, because our diet is pretty clean, we do not buy sauces, soft drinks, chocolates or alcohol. And finally, the best way to break the routine for us is spending time at the beach, which is free, or just seeing our friends for a nice chat, which is also free.

Saving is a very important goal for us – we do not save just to save, we save to invest. We have big plans for our future, you can read a bit more about us here, and those plans require the best of our financial skills.

4. Be more thankful

This was one the biggest challenges to me. It is embarrassing to admit it but I am very thankless person. In December I got this message from a friend of mine, who supported me in one of the saddest moments of my life where she said ‘I shared with you the failure and the sadness, but I have not been part of your success’. And that message just hit me in the middle of my heart. She was right. I wasn’t making time to call her, or to message her. Sometimes I am so involved in being productive that I forget that there are people who deserve my time.

At the same time, one my goals in life is to be a more positive person, and I am always looking for strategies, because being positive does not come naturally to me.

So I decided to try gratitude as a means of happiness and positivity. I sent 20 messages this month. It was not 30 as I was expecting, but the 20 people I sent messages can be sure they receive sincere words from the bottom of my heart.

This exercise made me contact people who influenced me in my childhood, or people I do not talk very often. In a certain point of this challenge I had to put some effort and think who else can I thank? And then I found a list of ten more people, and then other ten. In doing so, I dusted off a lot of memories that also made me appreciate the position I am in today. In conclusion, this strategy worked, after remembering and sending those messages I was in a better mood, I was seeing the world in a more positive way.

5. Improve Aerobic performance: Beep Test Level 8

In a nutshell, I didn’t achieve this goal.

I could give thousands of ‘reasons’ but only one is valid, this goal was not my priority. The question here is: if this wasn’t so important for me, why did I decide to set it as a goal for this month?

Although, as you may know, I do an hour of training at the gym every day, I want to improve my cardiovascular and aerobic performance. This lifestyle – this fitness life – is not only about definition and toning. This lifestyle is about being healthier, stronger, faster, is about living longer. So one of the factors that allowed us to do so is breathing deeply and properly expanding our lungs.

Because I have never really practised any sport, or even tried to run, I never learnt how to breath, and I didn’t know what my level in terms of cardio was. I didn’t imagine I would be in the lowest level of this test. I started in level 3.1 and I finish this month in level 4.8.

I realized I need to start from zero: breathing exercises and jogging before running. My goal, at the end, is not to pass a test, is to improve my cardiovascular performance for good. I will keep training, developing strategies, measuring my improvements so by the end of this year I would not only have passed this test, but  I will also be in course of have a longer life.

Some lessons this month has left me:

Before setting any goal ask myself: how important is it? What am I capable of sacrificing for this goal? And how will this contribute to my bigger purpose?

There is something else: It does not matter how much people say inspiration and motivation is everything. I really think that those two things are not constant. And you cannot rely in something that is not constant. You can’t force inspiration or motivation, you can search for them, and I highly recommend doing so, but if you are lacking motivation stick to discipline, because;

work will work when nothing else works – Shay Carl

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