The Action Plan

Every Sunday I will schedule the following week. I will use 9 blocks of time when doing this. These are: Rituals (i.e Morning Ritual, Evening Ritual etc), Workouts, optional (cardio or weight lifting), Create/Research (my most productive time blocks in which I will work directly on my life project, by creating or researching),  Excitement List (these are activities or events that are exciting to me and make me happy),  Catch Up Block (whenever I do not finish something I wanted to finish during my Create/Research block, I will continue with it here, usually takes time after 6PM), Work/Job (anything related to my current job, which as you may already know I work from home in my father´s business, and I have a flexible schedule so this does not take a lot of space for me, not until I find my next job), Renewal (anything that brings piece of mind and reduces stress, such as meditation, yoga, a walk in the park, a massage etc), High Priority (anything that needs to get done that same week, such as paying my credit card debt), and Other (anything that does not fall into any of the above categories, such as lunch, or a particular social event).

Following, is the Action Plan for each area of my life (my current Big Projects included). Basically, what I will be doing on a daily and weekly basis for now:

– Physical/Fitness: After battling with weight loss for the past year (especially these past few months), I have decided that an aggressive approach to losing weight is causing more harm than good. It is making me want to binge more, so I will take a more Relaxed Approach to it. I have calculated my TDEE to be approximately 2700 calories every day. This means that taking into account the amount of exercise I do on a weekly basis (at least 3 intense cardio sessions per week, plus my body´s natural ability to burn calories through energy to keep me alive), I COULD eat 2700 calories from Monday to Sunday without gaining any weight, but without loosing any weight either. The more exercise you do and the heavier you currently are the higher the TDEE. If you want to find out what your TDEE is, google TDEE CALCULATOR and do as many as you can to reduce that margin of error. I still do not know if this calculation is very accurate or not, I will have to experiment with it before coming to a conclusion. So basically, I will be ALLOWED to eat to maintenance every day (2700 calories) as long as I make sure I do 3 intense cardio sessions per week, which should be easy since I am playing tennis three times per week, and Tennis is a really good workout for me. Also, since tennis is easy for me to do (since its fun) I do not feel like I am really stressing myself a lot to get a workout done, which brings me piece of mind and also motivates me to workout on other days as well (although as mentioned above, this is not mandatory).

Back when I was doing a more aggressive approach (forcing myself to only eat up to 1800 calories every day and doing Intermittent Fasting 16/8) I was putting way too much pressure on myself, and not only did this affect my emotional state on a daily basis, it also did not provide me with consistent progress. Basically, I would have a couple of good days, but then I would not be able to take it and just binge (for stress reasons, or plain hunger). With this new approach I assure I will not gain weight (because it is hard for me to go OVER my calories if I set my upper limit to 2700, since it is a lot of food for me, especially if i do not eat a lot in the morning time), and besides I will have days in which I will not be as hungry and end up eating less not because I am forced to, but because I am just not hungry. So as you can see, worst case scenario I just do not gain weight, which is still good, plus I get a break from the stress that is dieting. Best case scenario I loose weight slowly at a healthy pace, and will achieve the results I have wanted for a while now, in no more than a year. I will aim to loose about 2kg per month, at least. This should be a manageable task with a Relaxed Approach, since in the past that amount was what I tried to loose in a week, at least! This means that by October 30th 2018 I should have lost about 22 kg getting to my  goal weight of 63kg. Now I do know that some times weight loss stalls, meaning we do not loose weight even if working out and eating less. If this happens at some point during the next year I will force myself to eat to maintenance and pause the weight loss for about 2 weeks, and then restart this Relaxed Approach again. So 2kg is the minimum weight loss per month, HOWEVER, I expect that by having a not so aggressive approach I will naturally want to push myself more and eat less, not because I have to, but because I want to, as long as it does not make me feel miserable. So even though I am giving myself one whole year to get to my weight goal, I embrace the possibility of getting there sooner, maybe in 5-6 months by May-June 2018. In fact, I hope and EXPECT this to happen, I feel really positive about this. Just remember, do not feel guilty if you eat more than you would during a traditional diet, if you are hungry eat, if you have cravings eat, as long as you do not go over your TDEE calories.

– Social: My social goal is to have a healthier relationship with people (strangers included). To be more confident when talking to people and have better social skills. To make new friends. I recently started following Brendon Burchard on social media, and his take on social interactions is that we should be the ones bringing the positive energy always. Throughout my entire life I have had a selfish take on this and always asked what I could gain from interactions, but rarely did I seek things I could provide (except with my family). I am now trying to be as positive as I can with people, and focus on serving others. This will be how I contribute to the world, I want there to be more laughter, joy and positive energy because I was here. I want to be UPLIFTING, and make sure I leave interactions better than I encountered them. I want to be unique and memorable to strangers, I want to create a positive impact on the lives of people, whether I care for them or not. I want to be a beacon of light, because by doing so I will also be much more confident when talking to people, since I am not expecting nothing from them, I am only focusing on what I can give. This does not mean I am going to be a pushover, there has to be a balance. It only means I will bring positivity into people´s lives, as well as playfulness and presence.

I do believe that the best way to get better at socializing is to go out there and actually socialize. Having said that, I believe that one can still learn a thing or two about social interactions that could turn out to be helpful, such as common social etiquette. Me personally, I am planning on reading some material I have downloaded over the years which talks about the subject. Some of it is material directly targeted towards talking to women (or what some people in the dating world would call PUA, a term I discovered back when I went to college in the USA in 2011), while the rest is just about how to have really good interactions in general. Also there is a lot of information online about the subject.

I will also try to get out of the house as much as possible, to be in contact with people more often and become more approachable. Also I will do whatever is in my power to get a car this year, or drive my mom´s car to lose my driver anxiety and become more independent. I will also get into classes (related to my career or non-related) to learn a thing or two and/or to meet people. . The important thing here is IMPLEMENTATION. It is good know come across social skills and etiquette, but without implementation then it is no good. You have to experiment and see what works for you and what does not. This is why whenever I know I will go out and be in touch with people, I will have specific intentions and goals for EACH interaction. Going into conversations with a plan is much better than improvising, at least if you are struggling with small talk.

Professional: I majored in Economics, have taken post-grad courses in Finances, and I am currently working in the Operations department in a Maritime Agency here in Peru, and I am already thinking about making a career change and finding a job which I enjoy. I have recently finished reading the book called What Color Is Your Parachute which has given me more clarity as to what sort of career I want to have, and more importantly what skills and knowledges I want to have in that new career/job. It has also provided me with tips on how to have great job interviews, and how to apply to business in the most effective way. You see, the book has you create a FLOWER with all the skills you love to use, as well as the knowledges you enjoy having, the people you want to work with, the ideal location, level of responsibility and salary, as well as the purpose of your life. By doing this self-inventory you find out more about YOURSELF, before you find out more about the job market. I will begin practicing what I have learnt in the book (for optimal job hunting) including doing a weekly job-interview simulation, record myself doing it to check for body language, etc.

Apart from this, I will also be learning more about the contemporary world, stay updated with the important news, what is going on and how it affects the career I want to work on. I will be looking at online articles, news sites, blogs etc to keep on learning about anything that could come up in a job interview, or just when chatting with people. Learning about trending subjects and talking more often to people will prime me for my next job interview.

FINANCIAL/INDEPENDENCE: I have a Mac App I use called Home Budget which helps me keep track of my income and expenses. I also have a Financial Planning tool on Excel (still in the making) in which I can plan for future bigger expenses, such as traveling, getting my own apartment, starting my own business etc. This goes hand in hand with the independence goal, since I can only be independent by getting finances to sustain myself. I will create rules and limits so I don´t spend too much on a monthly basis based on these long term goals. I will project my finances into the future to make an effort at planning ahead for these expected expenses so I can start saving up from now and know exactly how much I am allowed to spend on a monthly basis.

OTHERS: I will be implementing a morning ritual. I also tried this before, I did it for an entire month last year starting as early as 7-8AM, and it was the most productive and ALIVE I felt during the morning, ever. I stopped doing it because I changed my whole routine a bit, also got into other commitments that took out some of my time. For me, my morning ritual will be as follows:

1- Hit the bathroom to wash my face, drink water, make my bed

2- Workout in the gym (if it is a workout day) then shower

3- Remind myself of my life purpose and how I want to FEEL everyday. Also remind yourself of your intention with people in general, and also specific types of people (friends, lover, work colleague, strangers etc).

4- Remind yourself of your current big projects, WHY they are important, why you EXPECT THEM TO HAPPEN, and what are the big project deadlines

5- For each of these big projects, go through the main 5 moves that you must do to succeed with the projects (for weight loss it is: workout, follow a nutrition plan, drink lots of water and sleep well, etc). Basically it is the plan on how you will complete those projects, in 5 simple moves. Then schedule those moves into your calendar.

6- Ask the 6 big questions (as stated by orator Brendon Burchard):
a) PURPOSE: How can I serve greatly
b) PRESENCE:How present am I right now both emotionally and physically, am I aware I am part of a life journey or am I distracted by junk?
c) PSYCHOLOGY: Am I acting like the man I want to become? Am I showing my intentions with people?
d) PHYSIOLOGY: Am I rested and fully hydrated? Am I sleeping, eating, exercising and hydrating enough to be energetic today?
e) PRODUCIVITY: What is my mission for today? What must I accomplish today to progress in my life?
f) PERSUASION: Am I changing the energy of people and uplifting them with my positivity?

7- Ask 3 questions: How can I surprise or bring happiness to one specific person today? What obstacles could arise today and how could I overcome them? What am I grateful for?

8- Make sure you are maximizing your happiness by: check if you are getting excited about stuff, what thing inside your calendar is making you excited? Also make sure you do one of the following 5 tools of happiness: be Grateful, bring Novelties into your life, Challenge yourself constantly, use Creative Expression more often, Connect with people and the present moment, believe you are doing something meaningful.

9- Take a look at your bucket list and other motivational sources you have to get excited about this project. Then start with your first productive block of the day.

Following. is a screenshot of one of my weekly schedules (keep in mind I am in between jobs so once I get a new job it will change and I will have to prioritize):

Rituals (purple), Create/Research (dark green), Excitement List (light green), Other (orange), Workout, although non mandatory (dark grey), Catch Up block (light brown), leisure time (light blue), High Priority (red), Work (blue)

Rituals (purple), Create/Research (dark green), Excitement List (light green), Other (orange), Workout, although non mandatory (dark grey), Catch Up block (light brown), leisure time (light blue), High Priority (red), Work (blue)

Remember to stay focused on the project at all times. Whether you are about to go to bed or you just woke up, whether you are taking a shower or in queue at the grocery store, or at the mall, you will always remember the life changing journey you are on, the adventure you are a part of. Be present on this life journey.
I will go to bed by 11PM (although in time I will push this earlier to around 10PM) and have a good night sleep, so I can be ready for another productive and exciting day!

This page will be updated whenever a new set of projects are defined every 3-5 months.

Andrew I.


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Things to be excited about this year!

  • Tennis tournaments!

  • Trip to London, Scotland, Egypt and maybe Paris. Mid year.

  • Expanding my post-grad education, learning more and making connections!

  • Getting my 1st car, being more independent.

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