Days Until 20

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

30 Days of Discipline (Again) Day 2

I actually feel like I did pretty good today. I got a lot more done today than I have recently. In fact, I'm in line to knock out one of my remaining 19 goals tomorrow! Will definitely be posting about that soon.

I also managed to find my state thanks to Mike and D&P. 

I feel good. Things are looking up. 

Let's see how I did today

Habit 1: No Snacking

I skipped breakfast this morning and ate only two meals. One was larger than it needed to be, but I ate no snacks today.

Habit 2: Get up at 5AM

I woke up at 7 today. I am still considering this a victory. I am going to get up earlier tomorrow.

Habit 3: Cold Showers Only!

The water is getting colder now that fall is here. Looking forward to gritting my teeth through the winter this year.

Habit 4: No Masturbation

I didn't even think about it.

Habit 5: 100 Pushups, Situps, and Bodysquats

Did all 100 today. I did half the workout in the morning, and I just finished the other half of it.

Habit 6: Dress Your Best

I dressed like I gave a fuck right after my shower this morning.

Habit 7: Finish Your To-Do List

I got it all done today. I kept it shorter than usual. Only 9 things today, as opposed to the 15 I usually have. I tend to overestimate what I can do, so I think I will stick to shorter to-do lists from now on.

Habit 8: Keep Prideful Posture

I kept this up all day! I constantly was up out of my chair doing the posture exercise that Mike shows off, and I made an effort to keep a straight back throughout the day.

Habit 9: Yes or No Answers to Yes or No Questions

I really want to say that I did this all today, but I cannot say it for sure. I have a sneaking suspicion that I lost this frame when I went to the store today and needed help finding some items.

Habit 10: Carry a Notebook and Pen Everywhere

Done. Even when I went into the store. Got a few more awesome ideas written down.

Habit 11: Move Towards Your Own Goal

I've been talking alot about these "business ideas" that I proclaim to be working on. I could totally be bullshitting you and just saying this to look good on my own blog. 

However, I have a goal to have finished my first tangible "product" for this business by this Saturday. I made good progress on it today, and if I can keep up the pace, I will be able to put it up for all 12 readers to see!

Hopefully by then you will trust that I am legitimately trying to do shit in my real life, not trust trying to gain face on a faceless blog.

So. How'd I do?

Overall Score: 10 out of 11

I feel good about this, but I am not celebrating. I must remain cautious. I feel like I have a lot going for me right now. My relationships are all in a good place at the moment, and I have forced out negativity from my thoughts for the time being.

But I know how quickly this can all go to shit. 

Tomorrow I might get dumped, my parents might kick me out, and I'll begin to hate myself all over again.

It seems like my ups are UP, and my downs are seriously down. I am feeling up, but I am only 2 days into this potentially 200 day 30 Days of Discipline run. 

The true test is to get this high a score on days that I don't feel like doing anything.

We'll see how far I get.

Monday, September 29, 2014

30 Days of Discipline (Again) Day 1

Today was an absolute shit 30 Days day. I was completely unprepared for doing anything productve. My shitty behaviours have themselves gained momentum by me allowing them back into my life unchallenged. 

I do not want to list the habits that I did and didn't do. It's embarrasing. But I'm going to list them anyways. 

Habit 1: No Snacking

I ate three times today, and while that is technically allowed in 30 Days of Discipline, most of what I ate were snack foods.

Habit 2: Get up at 5AM

I woke up at 7 today. This is technically the latest you are allowed to get up. Seeing as the previous day I had woken up at noon, this is a small victory.

Habit 3: Cold Showers Only!

Cold showers are all I take, even when I fuck up.

Habit 4: No Masturbation

I hardly even thought of this today. This is a habit that I more or less have under control in my opinion.

Habit 5: 100 Pushups, Situps, and Bodysquats

The extent of my workout today was 10 pullups.

Habit 6: Dress Your Best

I eventually dressed productively, but for half of the day I was in sweats. This was not a victory.

Habit 7: Finish Your To-Do List

I only got half way through before I allowed myself to indulge in sloth...

Habit 8: Keep Prideful Posture

I think I corrected myself more times today than in thepast week, but becuase I spent the majority of my time hunched over my keyboard anyways, I do not count this as a victory.

Habit 9: Yes or No Answers to Yes or No Questions

Surprisingly I actually managed this. I was asked multiple yes/no questions, and I gave immediate yes/no answers to them all.

Habit 10: Carry a Notebook and Pen Everywhere

Scraping the bottom of the barrell with this one. I had it within arms reach all day, and I even wrote down ideas in it... Still, this is a pretty "easy" habit to get into, especially compared to all the rest of the habits. I honestly don't feel like I deserve to cross this out on the list.

Habit 11: Move Towards Your Own Goal

I wrote some stuff down in my commonplace, but it was not the goal I had written down on my to-do list,so I do not feel I deserve to cross this out today.

Overall Score: 6 out of 11

That's bullshit.

There's no way.

If I can get this high a "score" on a day that I hardly did anything, there's absolutely no reason that I shouldn't be whooping this program's ass.

That's kind of embarrasing, honestly.

Maybe this really isn't as hard as I madeit out to be originally...

Fuck, man.

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

To date I have attempted 30 Days of Discipline 8 times. Every single 30 Days of Discipline run I have ever attempted ends up the same exact way. 

It usually happens very early, within the first week. I'll mess up just one day, get angry, upset, depressed, and totally shut down any semblence of productive behaviour I may have at one time possessed.

Instead my behaviour reverts to the disgusting neckbeard part of myself that I absolutely loathe. 

I lock myself in my room eating junk and playing videogames for hours on end.

The sad part? I had just gotten over a breakdown like this not more than 7 days ago.

It's exceedingly frusturating.

It feels like I'm driving through a fucking bog. 

After exerting enough effort I'll drive myself out of a rut, go forward a few feet, then get stuck in a puddle of mud. 

It's felt like this for the past 2 years.

I try my best to channel the awesome and inspired part of myself whenever I write my blogposts. Presentation is everything. I don't want to sound like the whiny boy I feel like most of the time. 

I also do not wish to display any sort of negativity to whomever might be reading this.

But I also said that I was going to spill my guts out on this blog. I'd be a liar if I didn't publish this post (though I am sorely tempted not too).

Alright, enough bitching.

What am I going to do about?

I figure the only way you can drive out of a bog is to keep on fucking driving.

I could analyze myself, try and figure out why I keep failing, and try to address that particular issue. But I've been trying to do that for years.  That's what has kept me from attempting 30 Days of Discipline relentlessly.

In 2 years time I've only attempted 30 Days 8 times. I could have attempted it 90 times since then. If I had even attempted it once a month I would have attempted it 48 times total. A measly 8 attempts is next to nothing.

From now on, every day is a 30 Days of Discipline day.

There are 233 days until I turn 20. If it takes me 233 days to finish 30 Days of Discipline, then fuck it - it takes me 233 days to finish 30 Days of Discipline.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

30 Days of Discipline Day 2

Today was much less productive than yesterday. Still, a much more productive day than how I had been spending my days before I started.

Habit 1: No Snacking

Ate 1 large meal. I did, however, eat it earlier than I did last night. I could feel myself slowing down... From now I plan on dinner being one of the last things I do in a day.

Habit 2: Get up at 5AM

Absolutely failed at this one. I let myself snooze until 10 today...

Habit 3: Cold Showers Only!

I actually took 2 cold showers today.

Habit 4: No Masturbation

I actually indulged myself in this today. This could definitely explain my lack of productivity.

Habit 5: 100 Pushups, Situps, and Bodysquats

Two workouts again, and in less total time than yesterday.

Habit 6: Dress Your Best

Dressed in my typical all-black attire.

Habit 7: Finish Your To-Do List

Once again I over-estimated my copy-writing abilities... Tomorrow I will reach my goal.

Habit 8: Keep Prideful Posture

I actually caught myself slouching today and corrected myself every time.

Habit 9: Yes or No Answers to Yes or No Questions

Again, I was not paying attention to how I was interacting with others today.

Habit 10: Carry a Notebook and Pen Everywhere

I had my notebook within's arm reach of me all day today.

Habit 11: Move Towards Your Own Goal

Even though I did not reach my copy-writing goal today, I added another gig on fiverr and expanded my "business" through that.

Overall Score: 7 out of 11

Better than yesterday, but I won't be satisfied until I knock them all out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

30 Days of Discipline - Day 1

For accountability reasons, I have decided that I am going to post a daily 30 Days of Discipline post everyday. I will include an overview of the habits I accomplished, the habits I failed, and brief commentary on the day.

Habit 1: No Snacking

Did not snack once. I ate 1 large meal at the end of the day.

Habit 2: Get up at 5AM

I woke up at 8:15 today... 

Habit 3: Cold Showers Only!

The only kind of shower I take.

Habit 4: No Masturbation

I didn't think twice about it.

Habit 5: 100 Pushups, Situps, and Bodysquats

Split up into two sets - one in the morning, one in the evening.

Habit 6: Dress Your Best

Qualified: In the book Victor's instructions are to dress suit-and-tie, every day. While I do have a suit, it is ill-fitting, and wearing it reminds me of my days stuck behind a cubicle (I had my first office job at 18...). Instead I wear form fitting v-necks, slim-fitting jeans, and a watch that all go well together (hint: they're all black). Dressing like this gives me the same psychological boost that dressing well does anyways, since before I would ounge around in nothing but a pair of sweatpants.

In short, accomplished.

Habit 7: Finish Your To-Do List

Finished everything but one item... I seriously over-estimated my copy-writing abilities, and thus my goal for writing  today was not met. 

Habit 8: Keep Prideful Posture

I did not notice myself slouching today, but that does not mean that I accomplished this goal. I need to keep track of this.

Habit 9: Yes or No Answers to Yes or No Questions

My interaction with others was at a minimum today. I cannot recall how I answered questions that may have been directed at me, so I cannot claim to have accomplished this goal today.

Habit 10: Carry a Notebook and Pen Everywhere

Damn straight I did this. I even wrote down a few business ideas in it.

Habit 11: Move Towards Your Own Goal

I have decided to focus on creating an online business for myself. My copywriting goal was a reflection of that choice, but I did not reach it. A no-go for this goal.

Overall Score: 6 out of 11

I can do better.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Only Way 30 Days of Discipline Won't Work

30 Days of Discipline is designed to kick your ass up and down the calander for an entire month. At the end of your month, you are guaranteed to have achieved more self-discipline than you had before you started. In fact it's likely that you will have more self-discipline than you've ever had before!

But here's the catch:

 It only fucking works if you make it work!

The only way you get your discipline is by earning it. The only way you earn it is if you do the damn program.

My behaviour this last week was a farcry from what is required from 30 Days. 

The first day was great. I only missed one or two habits.

Day two I missed five habits.

Day three I gave up.

The entire rest of the week I spent in a langour brought on by my own thoughts "you're worthless" and behaviours "Just stay in bed". I got depressed.  I started to binge, eating whatever processed shit I could get my hands on. I walked with hunched shoulders. I stayed in my room. I spent the next three days sleeping and dicking around on the internet. 

Then - finally - I took some advice and stopped digging my hole.

I woke up at 7 this morning, instead of at noon.

I stopped eating. I haven't eaten in the past 20 hours.

I broke my isolation by spending time with my girl, which cheered me up considerably.

Tomorrow I'm taking another swing at it. 

And this time I'll remember.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keep Your Plans to Yourself

I just got back from lunch with an older friend of mine.

He gave me a call earlier today. 

We've known eachother since highschool, and I rented a room from his parents after I hastily decided to move out of my parent's house after graduation at 18.

We meet at a Taco Bell (my stomach is still churning from that processed "food" I allowed into my body).

He asks what I'm doing now.

"I've actually started doing some freelance writing," I say rather excitedly.

Shocked, he replies "you need a degree for that!"

"No, you don't," I assure him."I'm doing just fine without one." 

"Well, you need to get one. It will make you more hire-able." He grins at me, pleased with his argument.

I change the subject. I don't want to hear anymore. 

Wanna know the sad part?

This is how most of my conversations end up.

When I ever dare to disclose how I personally feel about jobs, careers, and most post-secondary schooling to my peers, I am always met with confused looks and panicked outrage: 

"But you NEED to go to college! How else are you going to get a good job?"

"You don't WANT a job? How else are you going make money?"

Most people's reality is so narrow that they cannot even imagine doing anything else other than what they were taught in school - busywork.

If ever I attempt to explain another way to make money, it's as if I am speaking a foreign language. My friend at Taco Bell was a bit more enlightened. At least he knew what freelancing was.

Keep your plans to yourself.

99.9 percent of the time you will be disappointed in people's to them reactions.  

Nobody is going to congratulate you on trying to make your own way.

You will be met with endless doubts and arguments on why your plans won't work. This can only discourage you, esepecially when it comes from close friends and family members.

The best thing to do is to just shut up and execute.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Personal Blood Work and Testosterone Levels

Getting my testosterone levels checked is one of my goals. I can now officially cross it off my goals list.

2 days ago I bought a blood test and got my blood drawn. 24 hours later (a pleasant surprise) I had my results waiting for me in my email's inbox.

Here's what my levels look like:

Seeking a more accurate range to compare myself to, I found this site (linked from a useful article on The Art of Manliness). According to Normal Testosterone Levels in Men (Non-Diabetic) table - measuered in nanograms per decilitre (ng/dL) - I have the testosterone of a 55 year old man.


In fact, I actually have a testosterone count that is a bit lower than the average 55 year old man's. 

Of my age group (<25 years old) I suspect I am in the bottom 20 percent as far as my levels go - faaar from optimal operating levels. 

My luteinizing hormone as well is at the low end of the range provided.

 Estradiol, too seems comparatively low. On the same site, healthy E2 levels are cited at 20-30 pg/ml. But because estrogen in males is produced via manipulating testosterone that has already been produced, I suspect that my E2 level is low because my total testosterone is low, which means that my body is not overly producing estrogen - a good sign!

My Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is surprisingly high compared to the rest of my numbers (I think...), but I suspect that this is simply genetic. As has been pointed out by many, I have some hairy-ass legs, along with thick eyebrows and head hair that grows out quickly.

I am also not fully physically mature (which I honestly think is generational/environmental - I know 25, 26, 27 year olds that look like they are still in highschool) and thus these levels may be elevated due to physiological changes associated with puberty.

The sum of the parts?

I have low testosterone.

I have suspected this for awhile.

Since I've turned 19, my overall wellbeing has been detoriating relative to how I felt when I was 18. Feelings of fatigue have followed me for awhile now. My libido has definetely suffered since I was 18, and I have been experienced some symptoms of erectile dysfunction...

I have also been retaining much more fat around my stomach than ever before. Typically rather lean, I have attained a noticeable pot belly when I take my shirt off (noticeable enough that others have commented on it). I've also had more pronounced memory problems.

Emotionally speaking I've been much more prone to stress and anxiety. Even during the course of this blog, my motivation has been fleeting at best, and I have been easy prey for my black dog as of late.

These are all symptoms of low testosterone, and while I may be falling prey to hindsight bias, the bloodwork speaks for itself.

So how do I expect to combat my low testosterone?

5 of the 12 habits directly contribute towards increasing natural testosterone.

I also plan to expirement with posture exercises and artificial sunlight over the 30 day period.

At the end of the 30 Days, I will order another bloodtest for myself to see how my levels have changed, and I will dedicate a post to the experience and my bloodwork. 

I will officially start this 30 Days of Discipline this coming Monday, the 15th of September.

Curious about your own testosterone levels?

I literally followed this post at Danger and Play step-by-step to get my bloodwork done. The total cost for the test was 55 bucks and 20 minutes in a waiting room.

 After that, all it took was a little help from Google to interpret my results. Mens Hormonal Health has some great, free, useful information. 

This procedure is specific to the U.S. I do not know how one would attain such tests abroad, but I doubt it is impossible.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Are Others Holding You Down?

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Take a good look at whom you consider your closest friends and family members, and to your co-workers and spouse.

Who are they?

What are they like?

What are their goals and aspirations?

Are they motivated and ambitious?

Are they positive people? Are they negative?

The people that you closely associate yourself with are the anchor-points for your self. These are the people that you share experiences with, people that influence how you percieve your life's experiences, and ultimately create a large portion of your reality.

While you are more heavily influenced by the five people you are closest to, the list does not stop at five. There is a cognitive limitation of 150 personalities, give or take, that your human brain can handle. Notice I said personalites, not persons. This list of 150 includes fictional characters, celebrities, and even brands of a product.

What does this mean for you?

This means that you need to be very picky about whom you choose to spend your time with. You need to be actively managing your inputs for information.

My previous circle of friends did nothing but play videogames, eat junk, and complain about their lives. Their ambitions were not much more than reaching the next prestige level in Call of Duty.

If the people you are spending time with prioritize leveling up their Destiny character, it's time to cut the cord. They are deadweight to you, and can only hold you back.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Should You Read This Blog?

This is a selfish blog.

I started this blog as a way to record my journey as I reach for an ideal self, for myself. By the very nature of the subject for this blog - my OWN goals - I was not expecting a serious, loyal readership. However, I now understand the significance of retaining an audience.

The measure of a blogs value is in their audience. The reason blogs like SGM or D&P have such a large following is because the blogs themselves are valuable. The authors focus on providing value to their readers; every post is designed to give something - knowledge, advice, insights, whatever - to the audience for the relatively small cost of time it takes to read their post. This is also how reader loyalty is established - consistently providing value. 

Now that I am thinking about attempting to provide value, I know I cannot provide value of this nature. For one, I'm 19 years old. My life experience is limited. I lack the maturity and wisdom to give any sort of advice, let alone the hard-hitting stuff that comes from the more experienced spectrum of the self-help blogosphere.

So what can you hope to get out this blog?

Most bloggers write about challenges and obstacles they had to overcome in order to get to where they are at. They have reached point B, and are looking back at the path that brought them there from point A.

I am at point A, and I want to share in real time the dips and turns, the ups and downs I am facing to get to my point B

I want to provide an intimate look at what a journey of this type looks like. 

My end goal for this blog is to provide a go-to example for those wishing to start on their own path, what pitfalls to expect and avoid, and to prove that this sort of self-maturation is possible and attainable, even at a (relatively) early age

I am going to spill my guts out on this blog. 

I aim to be as honest and authentic as possible. 

Hopefully you will find value in my writings.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Making Goals Efficient

I have goals.

I have a lot of goals (20 to be exact).

With only 259 days left until I turn 20, I need to accomplish one goal every 13 days if I want to successfully accomplish everything on my list. 

What exactly is the best way to do this? By
lining them up and knocking them out one by one. By focusing on 1 goal at a time.

But how will I know once I've accomplished a goal? Each goal needs to have a very defined end-point, so I will know exactly what successfully accomplishing a goal looks like. 

For Example

Goals like "Get Big" have no definite endpoint. Even if I added just 2 pounds of muscle, I would technically have gotten bigger. How big do I really want to get? And what actions can I take every day that will get me closer to this goal?

For one, the body is actually very measurable. Muscle size can be measured with a tape measure, muscle mass is measured by simply standing on a scale, and even body fat can be measured (somewhat accurately) with body calipers.

I have decided that gaining 20 (see what I did there?) pounds of muscle is my endgoal.

What daily actions, what habits will get me closer to gaining 20 pounds? Getting to the gym and eating like horse. 

Every day, for five consecutive days per week, I will get myself into the gym to throw some iron around. I will not worry about breaking personal records or keeping track of 1 rep maxes. I need simply to focus on getting in the gym and exerting effort. The goal here is a solid month of 5 days per week in the gym.

Every meal I eat, I will eat until I am full, and then eat some more. I will drink only milk at meal time. I will eat at least 3 solid meals a day, take 10 1000mg fish-oil pills, and drink 1 pre- or post-workout protein shake every day. 

Every Sunday I will measure my bodyweight, muscle size, and (eventually) bodyfat, and I will take a picture of myself to put into my workout log.

I am currrently going through this process with each of my goals, and determining the best course of action to take. Expect changes in the progress page.

What about 1 goal at a time?

While I am focusing on 1 (maybe 2) goal(s) at a time, there are many habits that I could still be nurturing that will help me reach a goal. 

For example, I love eggs. I eat 4 everyday with my breakfast, as well as usually putting one or two in my protein shakes. Every time I crack an egg, I use only one hand, as one of my goals is to learn to crack eggs one-handed. 

Is 1 goal every 13 days feasible?


Even on steroids, I don't think anyone could gain 20 pounds in 13 days.

Trying to accomplish this seems like a quick way to burn yourself out.

However, some goals are much easier to acheive than others. Again, with the one-handed egg cracking goal, I could likey knock this out in a day if I watched some youtube videos with a carton of eggs to practice with.

Simalarly, the ideas I want to add to my commonplace are finite. I could likely knock out this goal by focusing on it during a weekend. 

Other goals can blend into eachother with regard to their daily habits. 

Once I update my commonplace, I will make a habit of spending 15-30 minutes on it, addding the day's thoughts/ideas and pruning/reorganizing as I see fit. The habit of writing daily (for my "getting paid to write" goal) gets fed directly for every minute I spend writing in my commonplace.

Many of my goals are also money-centric. This means I can focus on generating income from my job/businesses, and once I have income, I can pay off/purchase whatever to accomplish said goals.

As long as goals are being accomplished at a steady pace, there is no need to fret about accomplishing X goals every Y days. That's a good way to stress yourself and burnout. 

That being said, 20 goals in 9 months is quite ambitious for me... I am more than slightly intimidated.

But I know the key lies in focus, determination, and above all, consistency in action. Doing a little everyday is what causes change and builds momentum.