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Expat Argentina Life

2013 Goals Progress Report

In 2013 I set a list of ambitious goals. Its now end of July and it’s time to check up on where I’m at with those goals. Overall I give myself a 6 out of 10. I need to get my butt in gear in the 2nd half of the year.

Looking at what is left I honestly think it’s accomplishable but only with good focus.

Here are the original goals and a quick update on where I think I stand –

1) ) Record an album of 10 songs, originals and covers

In 2013 I set a list of ambitious goals. Its now end of July and it’s time to check up on where I’m at with those goals. Overall I give myself a 6 out of 10. I need to get my butt in gear in the 2nd half of the year.

Looking at what is left I honestly think it’s accomplishable but only with good focus.

Here are the original goals and a quick update on where I think I stand –

1) ) Record an album of 10 songs, originals and covers

I play my guitar for a couple hours each week so I have some natural progression on this goal as its something that I really enjoy. I do need to focus on recording the songs now.

  • Learn to sing and play 10 good songs – 10 of 10 learned.
  • Record songs – 3 of 10 recorded
  • Learn a little more about Garageband on the Mac – having trouble getting a good acoustic sound. I have a Taylor Acoustic Electric plugged into an M-Audio interface but am having a trouble getting a full sound from the guitar.
  • Edit songs – 0 of 10 edited

2) Fluency in Spanish

From March through June this year my girlfriend from C贸rdoba, Argentina came to live with me in SF. Living and interacting daily with a fluent speaker helped my Spanish fluency a ton. We did speak quite a bit in English since she was trying to improve her skills in that area. I will soon be moving to Cordoba, Argentina.

After 6 months surrounded by Spanish I think its realistic to accomplish this goal by year’s end as I’ll be interacting with fluent speakers on a daily basis. I also plan on taking classes while there.

My goal here is to be able to comprehend Spanish movies without subtitles. Also to Interact and understand group conversations.

3) Travel to 4 or more countries

So far this year I’ve made just one trip. It was to Guatemala where I saw Guatemala City and Antigua. My first time in that country. It was a work trip however I worked for 2 days and then took 4 days off exploring. It was great and it felt good to be aboard again. Especially in a Spanish speaking country.

I’m now moving to Argentina in September which guarantees my 2nd country. Since my visa is valid for 90 days. I’ll need to leave the country at least once so that will likely mean a trip to nearby Chile, Uruguay, or Brazil.

I also need to do a trip to Patagonia as I’ve been to Argentina 4 different times and have never ventured south.

4) Find Love

I don’t think I’m going to write about this one on the blog just yet. Suffice to say I have a girlfriend from Argentina. She just spent 3 months with me here in SF and I am going down to Argentina for 3 months to live and spend time with her.

5) Find a passionate job work

Each morning I want to wake passionate about the tasks I need to accomplish. I’m still in my current job which isn’t a perfect setup but still provides me flashes of passion.

Since starting to write about this goal I’ve taken some notes about activities at work that I’m engaged in when I feel most passionate.

  • Running project kickoff meetings and generating a feeling of excitement
  • Meeting clients for the 1st time
  • Planning projects / structuring and running software pilots
  • Giving product demos / pitches to prospective clients
  • Traveling internationally or working with international clients

In moving to Argentina I’ll be continuing to work with my current company albeit in a slightly different role but I’ll definitely continue to think about this goal and how I can move towards work which really drives me.

I also changed this goal to reword job to work since I’m working on becoming more entrepreneurial.

6) Get Fit – 6 pack, 165 lbs and 6% single digit body fat

I’ve been pretty diligent about biking and hitting the gym. I did some research on 6% body fat and that was a completely ridiculous goal. That’s way too lean for what I want. New goal is single digit body fat which still provides the washboard abs that I can do my laundry off of.

The area I really need to improve upon to hit this goal is – surprise, surprise – diet. I try to follow a Slow Carb Diet with one cheat day per week. I do well at home where I’ve stocked only good things to eat however when I’m at the office I find the bowl candies, chocolates, fruit, or cake that someone brought in too irresistible to pass up. How do you lose that desire?

It will be interesting to see how/if my diet changes with the move to Argentina. I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to get all the foods / spices that I use in my cooking today however that remains to be seen.

7) Help Others – Build photography business for Dad

I built a website for my Dad to display his photography. It’s also setup on a theme that allows him to upload photos relatively easy. I designed a print ad and put it in the local high school’s yearbook to get Senior Portrait business. I also listed him on several Wedding photography sites. We put together a pricing model for his wedding packages along with a physical portfolio with his best shots for demonstration.

In retrospect I should have added a measurable aspect to this goal to know if I’ve achieved it. Something like double yearly revenue. For now I’m considering this goal accomplished however I will likely continue to work on the website and do remote tasks towards this goal while I’m in Argentina.

8) Help Others – Build Spanish tutor business for Girlfriend

This one was fairly successful especially given that she was a little reluctant to give lessons. A very understandable fact considering she’s never given Spanish lessons before. I setup a website for her and posted well written, well formatted ads on Craigslist – which I found to be quite rare when I was searching for Spanish lessons myself.

I interacted with the people who responded, weeding out the scams, and setting the 1st meeting at a local coffee shop. My GF would take it from there. We got two clients who were both very satisfied with her lessons. One of the clients even got teary eyed when my GF informed her she would be moving back to Argentina.

As a side note, I think I could make a profitable business setting up tutoring business for Spanish speaking foreigners who are here in SF studying long term. I setup their business, find the clients, they teach the lessons.

As with the previous goal a measurable component would have allowed me to determine success a little clearer. However before she returned to Argentina we had 2 clients at 2-3 hours week each paying $25/hour cash which I chalk up as a success. In Argentina, I’d like to explore doing a similar business with the travelers in hostels.

9) Build blog with 50 posts

This is the 8th post. So I’ve got 42 posts remaining in 5 months – 2 per week. Which is a lot for me since I’m currently averaging just over a post per month. Need to get into the practice of daily writing. For the next month I’m going to try to write everyday. I’ve read nothing but great things about daily writing and hope that this is a habit that will stick with me.

10) Passive Income of $50 per month

Very little progress on this one. I have one idea for a site which helps guitar players learn songs easier however I haven’t put much work into it other than mocking up how it would work.

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