Public Commitment 2017

Just like last year, I’m taking a slightly different approach to setting my goals.

This year I will be looking at them as a series of experiments. Each experiment has a:

  • Clearly defined outcome
  • Side-benefits that are inherent to the experiment (not dependent on the outcome)
  • Roadmap with at least 3 (initial) steps
  • And set timeline when to have the (final) evaluation

Without further ado, here are my (first batch of) goals experiments for 2017!


Become financially literate – April 1st

Why: To free myself from the pressure of the ‘unknown’ and map what actions I need to take towards financial freedom

  • Become more literate in money matters (interest, taxes, etc)
  • More grip on spending habits and what ‘buys’ happiness
  • Closer link between work activities (also: spending time) and their outcomes (money, growth, fun)

Success: Knowing exactly where I’m spending money, what steps I can take to improve both expenses and income

  1. Re-read the Early Retirement Extreme
  2. Monthly analysis of spending habits (in conjunction with time-management)
  3. Find a Course(ra) or other material to study (10+ hours)


Hire a part-time Personal Assistant – February to March

Someone will help me for 5-10 hours per week with tasks that are not specific to me. For example organising a few articles around a topic, arranging meetings, summarising information.

Why: To give myself more time to focus on important things

  • Force myself to do weekly planning
  • More insight into my own hours (now already tracking them)
  • A second pair of eyes looking at (specific) things

Success: When, after the 2-month experiment, the freed up time/outsourced tasks lead to a positive (financial) outcome

  1. Source PA from De Kleine Consultant and personal inquiries
  2. Find out how to best hire and compensate PA
  3. Make a system for sharing information & tasks


Run the Rotterdam marathon in under 4 hours (10th of April) and finish a half Triathlon (Q3 2016)

And run the half marathon in Iceland with my brother (and mother who will do the 10km).

Why: To challenge myself both physically and mentally.

  • Increase stamina and grit
  • Reach 12% body fat at 1 point (now 14.8%)
  • Have a well-rounded athletic ability
  • Learn more about food and performance

Success: When physically in the best state (fittest) that I’ve ever been and healthy throughout the year (and finishing the events)

  1. Keep following my training schedule (now at 20km)
  2. Find a friend to run with / get coached by every second week
  3. Research and implement food plan (for long runs)


Organise my knowledge in a private search-friendly environment – April 1st

Writing allowed mankind to keep some of its knowledge outside of our heads. Over the centuries we’ve built on this. There are ways for us to improve the knowledge we can store, but as far as I know, they rely mostly on ‘tricks’, that have little long-term real-life benefits. Storing on the other hand, and making retrieval (recall) very easy, should be beneficial. Especially if I want to further study things I’ve already gathered information about.

Why: Free space in my own brain but still have it readily available

  • Force myself to index information every day
  • Better ‘recall’ of events, people, facts
  • Make more connections between disparate pieces of information

Success: I use the knowledge centre on a daily basis

  1. Find the system that I want to be using (Tiddly wiki has been chosen)
  2. Make organisation graph of types of knowledge
  3. Finish ‘The Organized Mind‘, implement tips from the book (almost there)
  4. (think of cool acronym for system)


Read 50 books – 31 December

Why: Never stop learning.

Reading (or sometimes audiobooks) allow me to gather information in the most efficient way (Podcasts are a close second). I love just sitting down and taking something in (and annotating, highlighting). Topics will be diverse, and the number of books is there to make it a daily thing.

  • Learn something new every day
  • Better understand the world around me
  • Focus on long-term versus short-term

Success: Inspired by multiple books (10+) to take new/different actions than before

  1. Make a list of books that I want to read in order and order books beforehand (can be on Kindle)
  2. Write a short summary of each book right after finishing (already done for first 3)
  3. Catalogue in Knowledge System


Talk to 50 entrepreneurs – July 1st

I love meeting new people, but I don’t always go out there to meet many fellow entrepreneurs (or at least not as much as I really want). So, therefore, I will make a direct effort to meet two new entrepreneurs each week. Just to sit down for coffee, interview them, or have a chat over drinks.

Why: Build meaningful connections that will benefit both parties

  • Share knowledge both ways
  • Find like-minded, but diverse, people who I don’t know yet
  • Challenge my assumptions & work-habits
  • Overcome/reduce anxiety when talking to new people

Success: Having met (20+) interesting people who also help further my endeavours as an entrepreneur

  1. Plan at least two conversations each week on the Friday before (or earlier)
  2. Experiment with the best moment and format to meet (revise the first week of March)
  3. Catalogue meetings and people in Knowledge System


Share the stories of 50 entrepreneurs – July 1st

On a platform (making it now) I will share stories from entrepreneurs. Together with a friend I will design the platform and gather the first stories. How the stories are shared, who can share the stories, etc, are things we still have to figure out.

Why: Inspire others to become an entrepreneur

  • Share knowledge and become a platform for stories
  • Connect to others I wouldn’t meet normally
  • Learn storytelling skills
  • Highlight Entrepreneurship in Rotterdam

Success: Stories are shared organically and people give feedback that they have taken action because of the stories shared.

  1. Gather first 10 stories
  2. Connect with launch-partners to boost the stories when launching
  3. Set go-date


Travel to another city for a week-long workation ever month – July 1st

I travel to another city every month to work there for a week. I will find a workplace and at least 2 people I can work together with (and/or interview for the stories). In the afternoon/evening I will see cultural sights and not forget to enjoy the travels.

Why: See more of the world whilst working

  • Put myself in new environments
  • Explore cities in Europe
  • Meet people from around the world

Success: Productive weeks in which I gain both business and cultural knowledge

  1. Book workation at least 1 month in advance
  2. Connect with local entrepreneurs and use network in Rotterdam to find shared connections
  3. Share experience on blog


Make at least 26 qualitative blogs for personal website – December 31st

Why: Deeply explore topics that help me live a productive and effective life

  • Really take time (5+ hours) to research and write blogs
  • Help not only myself but also readers of the blog
  • Use information from workations and other entrepreneurs
  • Share finished thoughts Knowledge System

Success: Every blog helps at least 2 people make a better decision

  1. Write about first topic (Storytelling), second topic (Brainfood)
  2. Make list of interesting topics (combined with book list)
  3. Get proofreader & publish second research in w6


Build a strong base for Effective Altruism Rotterdam – December 31st

Why: Get more people to donate to good charities

  • Direct money to a good cause
  • Better help the world become a better place
  • Connect with like-minded people

Success: Get 10 people involved in EA in a way that they themselves become ambassadors

  1. Have a monthly informal drink where we can meet new people
  2. Have 2 meetings per month with individuals who are interested
  3. Plan fundraiser for Marathon run that aligns with EA


Learn Max all the things for a well-behaved dog – July 1st

Max sometimes is a bit too enthusiastic and therefore can be a bit too much. He also, sometimes, pulls too much on the leash. And he can definitively learn some more tricks (which he is very good at). I just need to take the time to train him more.

Why: Have Max be perfect for the office and for sitters

  • Build a stronger bond with Max
  • Use knowledge from books and videos
  • Take time to train him

Success: Max never jumps on people, follows commands and keeps his joyous attitude

  1. Plan 2 moments in the week for training Max
  2. Keep a journal of current training
  3. Once every two weeks do training together at the office


Improve the looks of my house with ‘hygge’ (gezelligheid) decorations – July 1st

I love my house but there is more that I can do there. Therefore I will take one room at a time and improve the looks. Of course, nothing is permanent, the goal is to have a basis for each room that can organically change over time.

Why: To make my house even more a place I love to be and to add a more personal touch

  • Good use of my free time
  • Learn hands-on building skills
  • Enjoy finding great buys

Success: The house is totally personalised and every ‘room’ has an own personality

  1. Make order-list of which rooms to improve
  2. Buy/find things for decoration
  3. Plan bi-weekly moment to work on the house
  4. (Share photos on instagram like a boss)


Experiment with food and the cognitive effects thereof – April 1st

I’ve read a lot about food and the effect it has. But I haven’t done very good research into what is effective for myself and how I can better use this information for making food decisions. Things I will be testing with are fasting, nootropics and the balance in macro-nutrients.

Why: To better manage energy levels and improve cognitive output

  • Learn about fasting
  • Learn about nootropics
  • Design personal experiments

Success: I know the (personal) effects of multiple well-researched changes to my diet

  1. Plan first two, two-week experiments
  2. Find out what to measure
  3. Document experience on blog


That’s it 🙂 All the experiments I have for the coming time. Each quarter I will evaluate and update where necessary.