April 2014 In Review

In April, I read both of Darren Hardy’s Success books: The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever.

Thanks to some of the advice from these books (as well as some I’ve read in David Allen’s Getting Things Done), I’ve determined that it’s a good idea to set a limited number of goals at different levels. Here are mine and what I’ve done to work on accomplishing them this past month:

Year (30,000 feet):

  1. Bodyweight Exercise – make it a Habit
  2. Publish, Market, and Sell my first eBook
  3. Pass TOPIK Level 4
  4. Pay off my third (of four) student loans at $12,000 (originally)

Month (20,000 feet):

  1. Focus on publishing Korean grammar Posts 
  2. Design the ebook and build a Landing Page for it
  3. Do more non-book Korean practice (as detailed below)

April’s Monthly Goals Successes and Failings

Last month, I wrote out some new goals for April. These are shown below. I’ve crossed out the areas I didn’t do anything in, but as you can see, I still made a little progress, which is good.

NEW Habit Goals for April (made in March):
  1. Reading: TTMIK’s Iyagi, short news articles
  2. Vocab: 3x daily vocab review sessions (audio – join with exercise)
  3. Grammar: Daily blog posts + sentences
  4. Speaking: Morning YouTube video? Evening dialogue with wife? Lunch with Koreans at work? (during my lunch break – not yet regularly)
  5. Listening: Once/weekly Korean TV – Running Man or something + audio vocab (TTMIK’s Iyagi MP3 audio podcast)
  6. Daily: eBook design for 1 hour (morning)
  7. Weekly: Podcast work + YouTube work

While I did work on the design of the ebook this month, it’s only about half finished yet, and the Landing Page – though started, isn’t complete. I’m working on the artwork and design for the Landing Page right now.

But my Korean grammar posting was a little more successful. It wasn’t exactly regular – as in every day, but I did manage to get 17 new grammar points posted to the blog in April.

Yearly Goals Successes and Failings

Below: GREEN = new or improved, RED = worse or less, BLUE = more or less the same as previously

#1 Bodyweight Exercise:

  1. Pullups: 625 reps (326 in March)
  2. Pushups: 1,255 reps (996 in March)
  3. Squats: 1,410 reps (1,010 in March)
  4. Ab work: 510 reps (1,770 in March)
  5. Biking: 272km (224km in March)

I didn’t weight myself this month, but the last time (March 31), my weight stood at 84.6kg.

#2 eBook:

  1. Typesetting: up to chapter 23
  2. Editing: up to chapter 15
  3. Artwork: sketching in progress
  4. Landing Page and mailing list: not yet begun

A lot of work yet to do. Looks like I’ll be moving the Launch Date for the ebook back from my initial goal of Monday, June 9 to Monday, July 7 to give me an extra month to work on it.

#3 Korean:

  1. Grammar: 17 blog posts (8 in March)
  2. TTMIK Iyagi: 2 articles (1 in March)
  3. 한국어 Diary: 11 entries @ 4,100+ characters (20 entries @ 8,000 characters in March)
  4. Speaking: <10 times

The reason for the reduction in entries in my Korean journal this month was because a good deal of my time was spent concentrating on writing new sentences for the 17 blog posts on grammar.

#4 Debt:

Debt really holds you back from doing the things you might want to do. I don’t want this monkey on my back for the next 20 years, so I’m paying it off as quickly as I can. I want to build the discipline of budgeting and paying off this student loan debt, so that after it’s gone, I can take that discipline and apply it to investing or saving.

So far this year:

  1. Transferred: $2,206
  2. Paid: $2,542
  3. Total (#3): $8,050 (from the initial $12,000)

Additional Habits and Goals

Personal Development:

  1. Podcasts: 9.6hrs (11.5hrs in March)
  2. Audiobooks: 8 hours (The Compound EffectLiving Your Best Year Ever) (3.5 hours in March)
  3. Reading: 14.5 hours (Morning 8 hours, Afternoon 6.5 hours) (6.75 hrs in March)
  4. Blog writing: 20 posts (estimated at 12~20,000 words) (22 published in March)
  5. Transcription: Est. 6,000 words
  6. Design: 1 project (eBook) (4 in March)
  7. Habit: Making a Weekly Schedule & Menu (still working on it)


All previous Habits remain intact, no new Habits yet developed.

In April, my tight goals schedule started to wear on me a bit and I really needed to push myself to persevere. There were times when I started getting behind schedule, and then it was difficult to fully catch up (I still haven’t). So, I definitely learned the value of STICKING to your plan and Habits.

In May, I’m interested in advancing in my Korean and getting the eBook as done as possible.

Goals for May:

  1. Reading: TTMIK’s Iyagi Tuesdays and Thursdays between classes
  2. Vocab: before this, I need to get organized. Looking into David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology and planning now.
  3. Grammar: Daily blog posts + sentences
  4. Speaking: Call my wife from work – in Korean
  5. Listening: Mondays – Textbook audio, Wednesdays – TTMIK podcast, Fridays – TOPIK audio
  6. eBook: Get up Landing Page and start building a mailing list. Finalize typesetting of all 40 chapters (though not editing).
  7. Podcast: Make a plan, simple script, find audio intro, make a recording schedule for June

Let’s see how April turns out! Wish me luck!~