It’s that time of year again! Put down the refreshing pint and pick up that green tea, switch those boozy binge sessions for gym sessions and get your bloody shit together! This sentence may sound awfully familiar, and it is, because I wrote nearly the exact same thing a year ago.
To say last year didn’t go according to plan would be putting it mildly. I virtually made zero money on poker, I gave up on yoga and sign language and my study into stocks and shares started, and finished, with one measly book that didn’t really teach me all that much.
The problems were numerous. Not enough space for yoga, not enough motivation for sign language, too much information on stocks and shares. Looking back on it it is no wonder that many of my ventures failed, I completely overloaded myself and set myself for inevitable failure.
Or did I?
As mentioned in previous posts, my first 9 months of last year were really a lesson in how to go about things if you don’t want to succeed. Ridiculously late night sessions watching wrestling or playing a boardgame, smoking copious amounts of weed, thrown in with a couple of cheeky beers and it creates a recipe, not for disaster, but a recipe for stagnation.
The simple truth was just because I could work when I wanted and and for how long I chose, it didn’t give me the right to think that I could constantly abuse my mind and body and think that I’ll be in a better state for it.
As soon as I decided to quit the daily notion that I was rewarding myself for a day’s work by heading off to a friends house for some ‘much needed’ rest and recuperation, the benefits came thick and fast.
- Increased motivation
- Earlier mornings
- No weed/drink hangover
- Clearer mind
- A sense of direction
- Improved social interactions (as they became less, the sense of enjoyment increased)
And it’s those benefits that I hope will see my 2017 progress at a much quicker pace than that of 2016.
I still have similar ambitions to last year. I want to make it as a professional poker player, I want to learn a language, I want to improve my business knowledge and so forth. But this year will see me starting off the year with a much better sense of what it will actually take to achieve my goals and how my own lifestyle can hinder progression in those areas.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. – Neil Gaiman
The Morning Routine
One of the best things from last year that I didn’t keep up with was my morning routine. This was a list of around 10 things I needed to do, ‘have a green tea’, ‘have a shower’, ‘10 minute meditation’ etc.
I’ve decided to bring this back into my life but much more refined and less time consuming. What you see below may not seem like a lot, and that’s exactly the point. Habits are built up over time and it’s detrimental to long-term success to suddenly throw yourself into the deep end and go from 0 minutes of meditation to making yourself sit still and concentrate for a whole 10 minutes.
After my initial time doing my simple morning routine I then sit and focus on what it is that I not only want to achieve, but what I CAN achieve for the rest of the day. In the above example I have plans to meet 2 friends during the day and have made plans for the evening so I know that I really can’t fit too much in. What you can’t see is also my ‘daily habits’ section which currently consists of 2 exercises.
1. Read for 10 minutes
2. Do one activity in Duolingo (online Spanish language course)
It’s no surprise that I’m treating this year as my make or break year for my pursuit of poker glory. To make sure I put myself in the best possible position for success I have given myself certain goals and targets which should keep my progress heading in the right direction. Although I now have reservations about whether or not I can actually achieve my goals, there is also something deep down that refuses to quit. Only time will really tell how this will all pan out but one thing is for sure, it couldn’t possible be worse than last year, could it?
The above is a generalisation of what I would like to achieve but that in itself is simple not good enough. To have a real fighting chance of success then my goals would have to be more distinguished and focused. To help me achieve that I set up monthly goals that would help me get closer to to all my poker ambitions.
One thing does not define a person, and my poker certainly doesn’t define me. If I can take a positive from last years disastrous results was that it really opened me up to failure and therefore made me inherently stronger. Whether or not I become a poker professional suddenly seems unimportant because I have the feeling I can do nearly anything if I really put my mind to it (That may sound like a contradiction but poker is a funny old game and maybe isn’t built for long term stability and success).
So with that comes my alternative goals. This ranges from reading 24 books this year, learning Spanish and improving my website and writing ability. I also aim to start looking into alternative sources of income. IF poker isn’t going to work out for me, or even if it is, then I still need some sort of back up plan for long term stability.
And that pretty much sums up my 2017 goals. I will keep you guys updated into how they are all progressing one way or another!