The One Year Project

A Personal Experiment in Deadline Transition

What is the One Year Project?

with 8 comments

Photo by auro

Photo by auro

The One Year Project is the title I’ve given this personal experiment of mine.  I’m an obese, self-employed 21-year-old college dropout who lives with his parents in the middle of nowhere.  I’ve given myself exactly one year to get my shit together.  I’ve started this one week ago today, thus the results will be in on Dec. 14, 2008.

What does it mean “to get my shit together” though?  Here are my goals for the year:

  • Lose Weight
    I’m roughly 5’6″ (kind of short for a guy so it really amplifies the fatassery).  I weigh 255lbs.  I should weigh about 150lbs.  Through healthy eating and exercise, I aim to slowly but surely melt off the extra padding.  I haven’t been and appropriate weight since probably 4 or 5 years old.  Having this weight problem likely means I don’t even know what it means to truly live, as it keeps me from doing things I’d otherwise enjoy and utterly kills any bit of self-confidence I might have.
  • Simplify my life
    My life is filled with clutter.  I want to clean it up and start living simply and frugally.  I want to get rid of all the unnecessary things in my life and keep only those things that are absolutely essential to my happiness.  Enough with this keeping things that only stress me out!
  • Get out of debt
    I don’t have a lot of debt really.  Probably no more than $5000.  I’m lucky!  But, debt is debt and it never feels good.  I think 2009 should be the year I really knock it out!
  • Earn $10,000 Per Month
    I’m a freelancer.  I do web design, WordPress design, and the occasional logo.  It feels more like a hobby, though.  I usually get one or two projects a month and come out of them with about $700.  I used to work as a janitor at a local hospital and was used to working 40-hour weeks for $7 an hour.  That’s about $800 per month.  So $700 for working about 10 hours is awesome, BUT it isn’t where I need to be.  I want to earn $10,000 per month through whichever methods I can find and successfully implement.  It’s an ambitious goal, but I believe it’s possible.  Which leads me to the next goal…
  • Start and Run a Successful Business
    I’ve already filed the papers to register an LLC.  More details about that when I get things rolling early 2009.  The purpose of the business will be to provide me with an incubator for my ideas and an automated income.  I love web design, but laying down the hours to get the kind of money I’d like to have is a bit consuming.  So, I need a location-independent business that provides me with money “while I sleep”, so to speak.
  • Move Out and Travel!
    I’m cheating myself out of some awesome experiences by living at home.  Why I haven’t left is common sense.  I don’t feel I make enough money to venture out on my own, or that if I do make enough money it just isn’t secure enough.  I never know exactly what I’ll make month to month and also because my weight drains me of the self-confidence necessary for doing any such thing.  This is also why my business must be location independent, as I’d like to travel and work.
  • Write a Book
    I’m not particularly fond of writing.  I only think that I am or people say I look like the sort of person who would be.  Perhaps this stems from my inability to finish once started.  I think it likely is, which is why in this One Year I’d like to write a book.  I don’t know what kind.  Fiction or Non-Fiction.  Just a book, any kind, from start to finish.
  • Read One Book Per Month (Non-Fiction)
    I want to expand on my knowledge and be able to better handle myself and my goals.  Therefore, I think it is important to maintain the habit of reading self-improvement type books.  Since I so poorly handle what needs done, for December 08 I’ll be reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done.  I’ve already implemented a sort of GTD system which I’ll elaborate on in a later post.
  • One Project Per Month
    Each month starting with January, I’ll take on learning one new skill.  For example, January will be Drawing month.  I’m primarily a designer.  I’ve never spent much time trying to sketch things I see, people, objects, landscapes.  I’ve always had the desire and never had the ability.  So I’ll spend January trying to learn to draw.  I’ll update the blog weekly with my progress.
  • Regularly Write Blog Posts
    I’ve already mentioned that I have an inability to finish writing projects, so this is a logical goal.  I believe this blog will play an important part in this transition I’m hoping to make and maybe even help some other people, too.  We’ll see!

So, that’s the project in a nutshell.  I’ll elaborate on how I plan to accomplish each goal in separate posts.  I’ll also be sharing any tips, tricks, sites, blogs or books I find incredibly helpful.  I’ll write new posts on Sunday and Wednesday at least but may choose to post 3 or 4 times a week or even daily.  It just depends on what I find and what I feel needs written.

There we have it.  The beginning!

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Written by J. Bentley

December 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm

8 Responses

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  1. I hope you will achieve what you set out to do. Good luck.

    leafless

    December 21, 2008 at 7:49 pm

  2. Thanks! I have a great start so far! Comments from others keep me motivated.

    J. Bentley

    January 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

  3. You can do it.

    I would love to talk to you about a possible free lance project. I have a new site going up and see that you are a Tim Ferris fan.

    Let’s talk.

    Shawn

    Shawn Frey

    January 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm

  4. Props to you! I just recently jotted down some very similar aspirations in my notebook the other day… Good luck!

    Ben Good

    January 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm

  5. Thanks! I checked out your site. We have a lot in common then. Seem to have a lot of the same goals!

    Good luck to you too!

    J. Bentley

    January 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm

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