Public Commitment 2016 – Recap

2016: Where I missed out on connecting.

I’m very grateful for what I’ve been able to do this year. I’ve been to India for 3 weeks, hiked there and saw a very beautiful country. I make a living by doing what I love, being an entrepreneur. My schedule is flexible, I’m my own boss. And Max, my dog, is slowly becoming my friend.

Now that I look back on the goals I set for this year, I see that I am far from achieving most of them. Some were to do with external circumstances, others with a lack of throughput from my side. What I want to do now is look first at what were the right things that I did. After that, I will write shortly about each goal.


80/20 Analysis – More.

What were the 20% of X activities that led to 80% of Y outcomes?

Happiness. There were two situations in which I was most happy. Being together with people I love is the first. Laughing out loud is good for you. An example would be playing with my nephew. The second is ‘working’ on something important, but not urgent. Reading a book, running, fitness, financial plan, etc. The commonality between both types of happiness is that I was living in the ‘now’. I was wondering off to somewhere else, just living in the moment. They call it flow.

Productivity. Combining theory and practice is what was most productive. Thinking about what not to do is also what drove growth/saved time. Being alone/not disturbed for 3-5 hours resulted in my best work. And finally, being in a good mental and physical state works wonders. After meditating in the morning, having gone for a run, those were the best moments.

Health. Cooking, both mentally (calm) and physically (good food). Going to bed early and rising early. Challenging myself (e.g. obstacle run), pushing for something better each session.


80/20 Analysis – Less.

What were the 80% of X activities that lead to 20% of Y outcomes?

Happiness. There is a ‘Profaned Vase’ in our office and it might be my doing. I get most frustrated when things don’t go my way and when I run out of patience. Less acutely I think that I sometimes forgot to enjoy the moment. Being more mindful and just remembering how great work (and other moments) is, should become more common. Lastly, we had a conflict with a partner at work and that led to the most stress over the run of multiple weeks. In resolving the conflict I think we couldn’t have done many things differently, but in keeping my calm/sanity and still being happy with other aspects of life is really something that I could have done better.

Productivity. Most of my time was categorised as Marketing (Growing was a close second). The biggest time drain was making a new website, as compared to the impact it had. Less website fiddling next year. Cooperations with events/small companies were far from profitable. Adwords, which we try and outsource, is still not working like we want to, so have to do a good analysis of costs/benefits. A lack of focus on where I can make the most impact is also what crippled me a bit this year. I did a lot of things others could do too. Next year more focus on strategy and leadership.

Health. Binge drinking and eating. Hangovers, upset stomach, loss of a full day. Binging is really something I will consciously avoid next year.


The Goals I Set 364 Days Ago.

I spend 80% of my time on important, non-urgent tasks. To be honest I think I spend something like 30% on those really big goals, 50% on day-to-day processes (of which a big percentage were improvements, not only execution), and 10% on things that were really urgent.
I am familiar with the full start-up skillset. I’ve learned so much this year, but it’s not organised yet. I have trouble naming specific things, whilst having read 25+ business books, listened to 100+ podcasts about it and learning many things at Queal. Expect something related to this next year.

I make half a million (pre-tax). I earned enough this year to live from and save more than most people do. But it’s far, far, away from making that half million. Both a lack of the growth we wanted at Queal and the cancellation of another big project have hampered my money making plans.

I learn and blog about 11 (sub)topics. I still don’t know exactly what to blog about, but I do have a better idea. The subtopics are still things I’m very much interested in, but I will have to see what I will write exactly.

I play the saxophone twice a week. I have played the saxophone. Most in recent weeks. With a new work schedule, I will continue to make time for it. But definitively haven’t played the amount I wanted to.

I have optimised my weekly schedule. Multiple attempts at good schedules have been made, and all have had some flaws here and there. The most important thing I failed at was making time on Sunday to look over the coming week and making a plan where there is enough free time, time for thinking and sleeping.

I have read 50+ books. I should have made a list. But yes, definitively read (or listened) more than 50 books. Many were fantasy books (Discworld, Enders Game), business (Elon Musk Bio, 4 Hour Body), and other (thanks Lasse and Kawai).

I run a sub 3:45 marathon. With a time of 4:20 I was slower than I planned for. The second half, or particularly the last 7km were killing. New chances coming year.

I am under 12% body fat at one point. I did reach the related goal of <88kg, alas there was also a loss of water weight. I am now in the best shape I’ve ever been and next year will be even better. Sixpack here I come.

I finish the iron viking. YES YES YES!!! This was awesome to do. Amazing to do together with my brother. Something to do again, someday.

I reach the 1000 pound club. After the two marathons I decided to take it slow and although I’ve improved again with lifting weights, I didn’t reach the 1000 pound club.

I moderate my alcohol drinking & meat eating. I think drinking less hasn’t been a goal that I’ve achieved. Eating less meat I did reach. Never did I buy meat from the supermarket and more than ever whilst dining out I ate vegetarian.

I have a dog. WOEF (that was Max). It was quite the workload in the beginning, but the amount of ‘gezelligheid’, coziness or ‘hygge’ he brings is enormous. Still a bit of training to do, but he is very, very lovely.

I have 3+ social events per week. Looking back on the agenda, the average looks more like 4 social evenings per week. So yes, I got out enough.

I am offline&social for 1+ day a week. I think almost every Friday night to Saturday evening I was offline. But I could be more conscious about it.

I go on vacation for 4+ weeks. Yes.

I run/start the Rotterdam EA chapter. Together with Johan and Joeri, I help organise the EA Rotterdam meetings. We can be more active, but the start is there.

I 10x my giving impact. I know at least one confirmed story from our EA group that someone has taken the pledge, but I don’t think I’ve reached a 10X yet.

I donate 10% of my income. Done. Please support Against Malaria Foundation if you want to make the world a better place (and really have an impact!)

I spend less than 1200 per month. Definitively not. I spent way too much on going out and also on groceries. I do manage it now in AFAS online and I will be able to get a good grip on it the coming year.

I plan each week, priority every day. Most days I did make a plan. But the weekly plans I forgot to make. More weekly planning (and accountability) coming up shortly.

I review every 1 & 3 months. I did do a review end of Q1 and Q2 but didn’t do one after Q3 (not publicly). So everyone who calls me so goal-oriented, I also fail sometimes 😉

I buy a house. I have a house, and it’s bea-uuuu-tiful. It’s really becoming my place and although I want to still do a lot of things, it’s already my home.


Systems are Key.

The goals I failed to achieve we’re mostly a fault of ‘systems’. I mean that I didn’t plan ahead to make time to review my goals and planning each week. Or that I went on a bender without agreeing with myself to limit the drinking to a few consumptions. Preparing better habits and strategies is one of the things that will make 2017 even greater than 2016 has been.


Thank you for reading

– Floris