When Sir Winston Churchill was asked, “Sir, to what do you attribute your success in life?” and he said without hesitating: “Economy of effort. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.“
I hadn’t heard of this quote before until I rewatched The Pacific. In it’s seventh episode the Marines chant an expanded form of this quote in unison.
Never run when you can walk.
Never walk when you can stand.
Never stand when you can sit.
Never sit when you can lay down.
Never lay down when you can sleep.
There is a time and place for this quote. Combat Marines in the Western Pacific during World War II or serving as the Prime Minister of England during World War II; both are exceptional examples. Unfortunately, what I see large parts of society doing is exercising this Economy of Effort in all things; their entire life.
I find this exceptionally disappointing and it often can be extremely frustrating.
Well the first quarter of 2015 has come and gone; time to assess my progress on my 2015 annual goals. Time to face the music…
- Educate and Develop my children. ON TRACK! We have done several Lego projects; AT-AT Walker, the X-Wing, and we’re working on the Imperial Shuttle. I’m very impressed with how my older one has a great aptitude to build! The little guy will get it. He just needs to learn to sit in one place for longer then 5 seconds.
- Enjoy 75 Books. ON TRACK! I was able to completely enjoy 17 great books in the first quarter of 2015; here’s my current reads. I followed Bill Gates’ advice and read a few of his suggestion. The Snowball, Warren Buffett’s biography, was a tome of excellence! That tome slowed my pace a bit, but it was well worth it. Click the image of the books to see my library of books I’ve enjoyed over the years.
- Run 2 Ultra marathons and 2 marathons. NEEDS WORK. I have one Ultra marathon scheduled in April, a 50K. Additionally, I’ve got a marathon scheduled for late Fall, the Marine Corps Marathon (it will be my 4th year in a row). I’ve struggled to lay out the exact race plan for the remaining two races. I’m toying with a 50 miler, but it will be quite a leap. I’m waiting to see how the 50K goes before I layout funds for the race I’ve got my eye on in June. I entered the lottery for the New York City Marathon, but alas didn’t get selected.
- Make a new Sous Vide Recipe Monthly. ON TRACK! I’ve made quite a few Sous Vide recipes in the first quarter; several sets of Ribeye’s; soft boiled eggs; pork chops; and corned beef. Everything has been excellent. It’s a lot of fun to explore the possibilities of Sous Vide.
- Family Trip. NEEDS WORK. No plan yet.
- Lead Effectively. NEEDS WORK. We’ve got a major inspection coming in May. This has taken a lot of effort and focus off of other things which need attention.
- Teach Effectively. NEEDS WORK. I took action on this by teaching two courses this quarter, one at University of Maryland University College, and one at Tidewater Community College. The one at Tidewater Community College is still going. Starting both of these at the same time was a BIG stretch of my focus and effort. Things weren’t perfect, but I learned a lot about myself, my students, and how formal education is functioning in the United States.
- Be published two times. NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet.
- Invest 100 hours in learning new languages (Life goal – 10,000 hours). NEEDS WORK. 2.57 hours accomplished. This has fallen off a bit due to the inspection at work.
- Invest 100 hours in coding (Life goal – 10,000 hours). NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet.
- Invest 100 hours in Robotics (Life goal – 10,000 hours). NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet.
- Increase my income by 10%. ON TRACK! Referencing what I’ve earned teaching off last year’s earnings, I’ve increased my earnings by 5% from teaching in just one quarter.
- Reduce debt. ON TRACK! Continue to pay down debts and get closer to eliminating the vehicle loan as the first priority.
- Live within Monthly Budget. NEEDS WORK. We have a budget, but it needs additional refinement. I’ve focused on reducing the extra costs of eating out as I work as a geographical bachelor.
- Tailor/Verify/Diversify Investments. NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet on tailoring, verifying, or diversifying. Definitely continue to max out investments but haven’t met with dedicated advisor.
These are how my 2015 Annual Goals are progressing. How are your goals coming?
2015 Annual Goal, Quarter 1 Review.
I’ve struggled to put my 2015 Goals together; in fact my 2014 Goals were written down but only made it onto an ever-rewritten 3×5 notecard which I kept in my pocket. I was pretty satisfied with what I accomplished in 2014, but I missed some of the life goal building blocks toward the 10,000 hour expertise mark.
- Educate and Develop my children. I plan to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). We’ll start with a large dose of Legos.
- Enjoy 75 Books. I was able to completely enjoy 61 great books in 2014.
- Run 2 Ultra marathons and 2 marathons. I was able to accomplish 1 Ultra marathon and 3 marathons in 2014. I’d like to move from the 50K (approximately 31 miles) I accomplished this year to the 40 or 50 mile ultra marathon distance. This will be an extremely challenging stretch goal. Additionally, I’d like to accomplish 2 marathons along the way. A couple of the options are the Marine Corps Marathon (it would be my 4th year in a row) or the New York City Marathon (if I don’t do the MCM).
- Make a new Sous Vide Recipe Monthly. One of the gifts I received this holiday was an Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. I’m looking forward to the numerous different things to prepare via this cooking method. Some of the different things I plan to try are available at Anova, Serious Eats, Polyscience, Williams-Sonoma, and Chef Steps.
- Family Trip. We enjoyed a couple of great trips in 2014; I escaped to bear hunt with my father and brother and enjoyed Florida with my family. I’d like to continue to ensure the family enjoys exploring the world of travel.
- Lead Effectively. I shall continue to effectively lead Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT) Detachment Hampton Roads which includes the Unified Atlantic Region Network Operations Center. At the same time, I plan to continue to develop as a leader within the Information Dominance Corps, Information Professionals, and overall as a Naval Officer.
- Teach Effectively. I’ve developed my expertise and truly enjoy developing expertise in others. I will put that into action by teaching at University of Maryland University College and Tidewater Community College.
- Be published two times.
- Invest 100 hours in learning new languages (Life goal – 10,000 hours). I will use Duolingo and start with Spanish.
- Invest 100 hours in coding (Life goal – 10,000 hours). I used and completed several courses in 2014 from Codeacademy. I’ll continue to use them and other MOOCs to enhances my abilities in 2015.
- Invest 100 hours in Robotics (Life goal – 10,000 hours). I will use Lego Mindstorms to continue to develop this knowledge while educating my children.
- Increase my income by 10%. Maintain/Increase performance in the Navy and teaching will be the methods to further this goal.
- Reduce debt. The only debt we hold as a family is our mortgage, one vehicle loan and significant student loans. I plan to eliminate the vehicle loan and focus on knocking out a large portion of the student loans.
- Live within Monthly Budget. We’ve lived within a budget for several years, but I’d like to continue to refine and maximize the available money toward meeting the financial goals. This will be reviewed quarterly to ensure we’re spending responsibly.
- Tailor/Verify/Diversify Investments. We will review our investments and plans with a financial advisor to continue to refine and maximize the family investment plan.
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