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Operation Hamilton – The 98 Day Challenge

October 11, 2009

I started the original Operation Hamilton, a 100 Day Challenge, 2 weeks ago. However, my goals were set too high, since I could only fulfill my challenge if I finished all my homework, wrote a blog post or 1,000 words, commented on 3 people’s blogs, studied my notes from class for at least a half hour, meditate for 30 minutes, rewrite the Code every morning, do my chores, monitor my mood to make sure I’m always feeling good, and still go to bed at 9:15 so I could get 8 hours of sleep. It was absolutely insane and I’d end up kicking myself for not doing my homework faster, for not doing my chore, for not reviewing my notes, for not drinking enough water, for doing just about anything in my list. It was stressful since I was trying to cram everything possible into my days – except my days didn’t have enough hours in them. After school, I have about 7 hours of free time – that’s not enough to do all my homework, review my notes for a half hour, write 1,000 words, read all my blogs, workout, and so on. This week was really bad, since I had massive amounts of homework to do just about every night. I was just happy to finish my homework this week, but I only crossed off a “day” for my challenge if I fulfilled everything on my list. So, as such, my 100 day challenge looked like it was never going to end.

So I’m revising my challenge into a 98 day challenge. Why 98? There are 98 days in 14 weeks. And since my biggest sticking point with my previous challenge is that I couldn’t fit in many of the things I wanted in a day, I’m shifting a lot of my goals (not all of them, mind you), to being weekly rather than daily goals. Hopefully, in that way, I can make all my goals for the day without stretching myself too thin, yet using my leisure (read: non-homework/workout) time for extraneous things, like blogging and reading.

I’m also going to “grade” myself differently. For day-to-day things, it’s still going to be a winner-take-all sort of scenario where I don’t get any reward if I don’t complete everything on my list. However, weekly goals give rewards on a goal-by-goal basis. I’ll cover that after I lay out my goals.

Without further ado, here are my daily goals:

-Rewrite the Code every morning, after a shower, but before breakfast. Follow its tenets throughout the day.

– Feel good, all the time! Focus on the feeling of being alive at all times and this goal will be easy, though it requires a lot of presence of mind.

– Be social; say hi to as many people as possible.

– Have positive, authentic expressions and words.

– Have fun.

– Bed by 9:15 every school night; I have more leeway on the weekends.

– Eat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. (Weird goal, I know, but important).

– Every day that is not Thursday, I have to do tabata style burpees (more on those in another post) or play hockey.

– Did my chores (so I can fund my trip to Europe).

– Meditated for a half hour, preferably from 8:30 to 9:00.

– Took my supplements and medications when I needed to.

– No browsing the internet or watching TV needlessly. Focus on my weekly goals whenever I have free time. This is what I call “rapidfire living” – I’ll always be doing something that I actively enjoy.

– Started my homework by 3:00 on weekdays and finished it

– Drank 5.5 L of water (only water counts)

– No excuses to not do anything; I must do the things that I think I can’t do

– Stretch out my back 3 times per day

And now for weekly goals, which are fairly simple:

– Read 250 pages minimum

– Commented 20 times on at least 8 different blogs (and 3 that I’ve never read/commented before)

– Wrote 5 posts or 5,000 words, whichever one comes first

– Stickhandle in my basement (for hockey) for 180 minutes

– Record at least 10 entries in my notebook and have a “notebook dump” every Saturday, which entails writing everything into my “universal notebook” on my computer.

– Eat a maximum of 4 cheat foods, which include sweets and fast food (including pizza)

– Complete the 3 unique weekly goals that are set at the beginning of the week (determined based on what I have on tap for the week)

Grading Myself

I’m going to be using a points based system that is really simple to understand for my own sake (and ease of calculation). Here’s how it’s going to break down:

– 2 points for each day that I meet all my daily goals

– 1 point for each weekly goal I meet by the end of the week (Saturday night)

Since I have 7 weekly goals, that means I can earn a maximum of 21 points in a week; since I love blackjack, I’ll call those weeks “blackjack weeks”. Blackjack weeks are going to be the most important, since, after each blackjack week, I’ll draw a random card from a deck (I love elements of chance). The card will be kept face-down until the end of the challenge. The cards will have point values as follows: 0 for 2-6, 1 for 7-10, 3 for J/Q/K, and 4 for aces.

The absolute highest score I can get in this challenge is 348 points, assuming I have amazing luck and draw every ace, jack, queen, and king and have a blackjack week every week. That’s not going to happen. Not counting blackjack bonuses, I can get up to 294 points (21 points per week times 14 weeks).

When all this is said and done, I’ll check my point total to see how I stack up. My goal for success is 275 points, which is attainable by averaging 19 points per week with 4 blackjack weeks mixed in. Since I love being creative and giving cheesy names to these types of things, I’ll label my tiers of success or failure thusly:

0-120 points: Words Can’t Describe How Awful I Fail At This Challenge

121-200 points: Peter Keating

201-245: Boromir

246-274: Walt Kowalski

275-299: The Man With No Name/Luke Skywalker/Maximus

300-320: Alexander Hamilton, Reincarnated

321-348: The Greatest Man That Ever Lived

The challenge starts now. The next 98 days will be consumed by this challenge. Nothing else matters to me.

Wish me luck, kids. I’m sure to evolve quite a bit along the way.

I’ll report back on my mission in 4 weeks.

Reporting for duty,
The Prince

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2009 5:14 am

    ThePrince, I’m fascinated by the originality of your projects. I admire your desire to improve yourself and to feel good all the time! I find your list of goals ambitious, and I have taken inspiration from them.
    Here’s one kid definitely wishing you luck. 🙂

  2. October 17, 2009 2:16 am

    Muse!

    Actually, this challenge will have to be scrapped, as I reached my breaking point this week. I think Operation Hamilton v. 3.0 will be the one that sticks, as I’ll have actively defined everything that I need to do in the next X number of days, where X is a fairly large number. Recent experiences have shown my blind spots, so I’m moving to correct them.

    Not that this plan was wrong, it’s just that its focus was in the wrong place.

    See tomorrow’s post for reasons!

  3. October 30, 2009 5:05 pm

    Awesome list man, I have no doubt that you can wreck it and get everything you want out of life. Just being even making this list you are taking steps that nearly no other person on this planet does to making their life one of THEIR own, and not just some bullshit cookie cutter.

    Keep up the good work

    • October 31, 2009 4:52 pm

      What’s up Gabriel,

      Cookie cutter lives can work for people, as long as they consciously choose to live a cookie cutter life (which I think is close to an impossibility). My goals have evolved even since I’ve made this post – now it’s less rigid, much more flexible, and much more *fun* to complete my goals, now that I’ve redone my goal system entirely. Hell, I’m knocking my goals right out of the park this week, with the new edition.

      Keep up the good work too man, I love your style.

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