The One Year Project

A Personal Experiment in Deadline Transition

Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

The Year I’ll Get Everything I Ever Wanted

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Photo by andreakw

Photo by andreakw

Man…  Unbelievable.

I’ve been freelancing for over a year now.  It doesn’t seem like too long ago that I was slaving through 9-to-5 drudgery, hating life working at the hospital.  I’m in a transition phase of my life so I’m having year after year of huge changes (and I kind of hope that doesn’t stop.)  2008 left me with a legitimate web design business (http://www.jdbentley.com if you’re interested), a system of organization for getting things done, my first legally owned copy of Photoshop (to know you make enough money to buy the pirated software you use is quite a good feeling), a brand new aluminum MacBook, a Canon Rebel and two Moleskines.  It’s a short list, but this is literally all the material things I’ve ever wanted.  It enables me to make money and art.  If 2008 was the year of acquiring material necessities, 2009 is the year of getting everything else, namely those things which can’t be bought:

  • Financial Stability (Okay, maybe that one sort of can be bought.)
  • A Successful Business
  • A Thin and Healthy Me
  • The Ability to Travel Freely

I’ve listed the goals in more detail  in the earlier post defining this little experiment of mine, but this pretty much sums everything up.

2008 was a great year of personal and professional development for me.  As someone who used to be crippled by shyness, I found myself routinely calling clients and potential clients on the phone.  I started earning money on my absolute own with no employer, however modest my income was.  I developed even more skills to make even more money.  I completed a business plan and registered both a Doing-Business-As name with the state and more recently a full-blown LLC (More about that in a later post).

On the opposite side, 2008 saw an unusually high rate of deaths among family and friends.  I felt almost guilty that while all these horrible things were happening I was doing so well personally.  It also served as a huge motivator.  I felt like with each bit of bad news I was knocked a little further up the line.  Faced with your own mortality, you begin to see what matters and what doesn’t and you start doing what you need to do.

I’ve listed all my personal goals this year.  But what about goals for the blog?

By the end of this year I’d like to have 100 subscribers.

100 subscribers is unreasonable enough to make this a very worthwhile goal.  So help me out!  Click here to subscribe or click here to subscribe by email!

Today is a beautiful day.  The sun is shining so bright, the frost on the grass sparkled like specks of glass in the sunlight.  2009 will be a great year!

Here’s to the last year I’ll ever be fat and broke!

Written by J. Bentley

January 1, 2009 at 11:35 am

What is the One Year Project?

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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!

Written by J. Bentley

December 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm