Monthly Review: April 2021

May 2, 2021

My last one of these monthly reviews was 2 years ago!  

Unlike 2 years ago, we're now in the midst of a pandemic, and I'm in quarantine in Manila (and have been for the last year).  

We've not been allowed outside of our homes except for "essential needs" for large parts of the year and, even now one year later, a lot of my favorite sporting hobbies that bring enjoyment to my life such as football and crossfit (and gyms) are all forbidden.  

At this point I've pretty much forgotten what it's like to socialize with people face to face.

With all the suffering that this pandemic has caused, especially with the dreadful situation now in India, I remind myself daily to be grateful for the position that I'm in, that nobody in my family or close friends has been badly affected and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

It's been testing, but it's also been a chance to get my head down and get back on track with some of the habits that fell by the wayside due to other (mainly business) commitments.  I've been trying to turn this pretty weird situation into a positive.

Back on Track

This month was pretty decent, I managed the following:-

  • Read 4 pretty interesting books
    • How to Stop Worying and Start Living (Dale Carnegie)
    • The Like Switch (Jack Schafer)
    • The Infinite Machine (Camila Ruso)
    • ReWork (Jason Fried)
  • Did 223 minutes (3.7 hours) of meditation practice
  • Did 15 blog post writing practice sessions (one hour limit per post)
  • Completed 25 deep work sessions for my business
  • 2 sessions of weightlifting (started again from home)
  • 7 sessions of billiard practice 
  • Sugar free the entire month (by sugar free I mean no chocolate, candy, fizzy drinks etc.)
  • 14 healthy green shakes
  • Completed end of month personal financial report

Financial Milestone Hit

A few years ago, I came up with the goal of owning a certain amount of assets so that I could essentially live passively from the income it produced.  For this calculation, I used the four percent rule.  

I didn't actually expect to hit this target until I turned 40, however in the past year I found myself on the right side of the market in a pretty big way which fast tracked the whole process.  So, when doing my financial report this month I realized that I had actually hit and surpassed my goal.  

What's the significance of this and how will it change my life?

It's significant in that I have extra security.  If my companies blow up for whatever reason, then in theory I could still live a normal life from these income producing assets.  

It also means that I can take on more risky investments without actually risking quality of life; a strategy that's served me very well up until now.

In practical terms, though, it doesn't mean anything.  

I enjoy my life, my work, I like to keep busy and engage in challenges, I get excited by taking on projects, building things and working with my team. There's no way I'm going to retire.

I drink too much Alcohol

The biggest risk to my health right now is my alcohol consumption.  In April, I drank on 9 separate occasions.  Some of those nights were just a few bottles of light beer, others would definitely be considered binge drinking.

I've written in the past about how some of the best times of my life are sitting around a table outside with a few mates and chillin' with a few cold ones.  Even moreso if there's a pool table for us to play on.  

I even use these outings as a "reward" to motivate me.  I'll work really hard during the week because I know that I'll feel even better by the time Friday comes around and I can have a few beers with my mates.

So what's the big deal?

There are a number of reasons I'd like to reduce my alcohol intake:-

  • It screws up my sleep schedule.  I get up later the next day and I start the day on the back foot.  
  • I really struggle with my habits the day after drinking.  I've noticed my meditation and deep work sessions really suffer
  • I'm taking risks with my health
  • I make stupid decisions when I'm drunk.  Don't we all?

Towards the end of 2020 I actually stopped drinking completely for three months.  I even went away with my mates to a beach resort and watched them drink for the entire weekend, and still didn't even have a sip (If you've spent any time around drunk people then I'm sure you can imagine the ribbing I got from them).  

Life was pretty good, and I didn't find it exceptionally difficult to stick to it.  I definitely enjoyed not being hungover.  But I did have to try and steer clear of tricky situations and definitely missed the buzz.

Anyhow, rather than an outright abstention from alcohol, I'm going to set myself a target of cutting the number of sessions almost in half to 5 in May.  That's basically once per week: very manageable.

Keep on Keepin' On

The goal for May is just to keep working on my consistency and try to have another solid, positive and productive month despite the restrictions to our freedom here in Manila.

Very much looking forward to the days where I can use activities like football and Crossfit as an outlet again.  These things make you realize how much we took our old lives for granted.  

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