8 Principles I’m Focusing On (More)

January 22, 2022 · 7 minutes

During the last 4-6 months, I slowly realized that I grew up. Not strictly in terms of my age, rather my mindset and how I approach life. This process was a result of multiple, completely unrelated events and the way I interpreted those.

Just to clarify, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions and this list is definitely not one of those. The things I mention below are the main pillars of my upcoming months – and hopefully years – in no particular order or priority. I wanted to write this post to keep myself accountable.

Improving my Spanish

I have to admit I didn’t spend a lot of time learning Spanish. Most probably because I felt like there were more important things to focus on and I didn’t really need it. I speak with my girlfriend in Hungarian, with my colleagues in English, with friends & family either Hungarian or English. My current level is okayish, I can manage to do groceries, order in a restaurant, have a super basic conversation with someone. Although, I definitely understand way more than I can speak. Even though people in Spain don’t really speak English but with the help of technology – Google Translate became my best friend – I managed to express myself. Thankfully, my girlfriend speaks pretty well, so most of the time I rely on her as a fallback. So far I only had one situation when I suffered from not speaking Spanish.

We really like living in Spain and plan to stay here in the long term. This means that sooner or later I’ll hit more walls with my limited knowledge, so I have to get my shit together. My plan is to continue using my favorite language learning app, focusing more on consistency and making that a daily habit. At the very same time, I'll try to force myself to not immediately ask whether someone speaks English and practice my Spanish more. The goal is to be able to read news in Spanish by the end of summer.

Building a side income

Previously, I've been thinking about this topic as building a “passive income” stream, but I quickly found out that this phrase doesn't really exist. Sooner or later I have to put work into it and invest my time/knowledge to create something valuable. But I'm not complaining, I really enjoy spending part of my free time building my ideas.

Currently, I’m building bankliday (I summed up my thoughts in my previous post) and planning to launch it in May, or at least finish the development by that time. In case it doesn't work as I expected, I still have other ideas to explore.

Ideas screenshot

Writing

Well, it’s a bit meta because partially that's what I’m doing right now. I explained the why, how, and what in my first blog post.

The goal would be to publish at least 10 posts this year.

Exercising

Like most of the people during the last 2 years, unfortunately, I also gained some weight. Even though I played football, basketball, and padel time to time, I still lack a proper schedule. According to my  watch, my cardio fitness level is slightly below average – and sometimes I kinda feel like that.

I’m planning to go swimming at least 2 times per week and leave some space for ad-hoc team-related activities (basketball, football, beach volleyball). I don’t have a strict number in my mind that I want to lose X kg, rather focus on my overall health and energy level.

Eating healthy and consciously

Related to the previous point, although we already do it pretty well. Last year, we participated in the Meatless May challenge, going vegetarian for an entire month. To be honest, I really enjoyed and I could feel the positive impacts even after 1-2 weeks. Since then, we didn’t really go back to eating meat but I still think we consume a bit more than we should. At the very same time, we got rid of processed food, white sugar & flour, products of animal origin and replaced those with healthier alternatives. We make our own hummus, press juice from fresh fruits, and try to buy everything from local, small shops. Ohh and of course don’t forget about brewing specialty coffee at home!

To sum up, I truly think that we’re on the right path and we just need to fine-tune a couple things, especially when it comes to ordering vs. going to a restaurant vs. cooking – believe it or not, it’s a difficult decision when you work at a food delivery company and you live in Spain. Our goal is to order and/or eat out a maximum of 2 times per week. I can't stop thinking about this tweet from Felix Krause.

I distinguish between 2 kinds of meals: - 25%: Eat for the experience / taste - 75%: Eat clean/healthy, following my macro intake nutrition plan I think separating eating for joy VS health will be more of a topic in the next years. Unhealthy sandwiches for lunch break will stop

Practicing minimalism

We've reached the phase when we have every essential that we need in our life and even things that we don’t (of course not talking about that cool bicycle-pizza-slicer).

Bicycle pizza slicer

We realized that we contributed a lot to the consumer economy which is definitely not healthy. We don’t want to strictly follow all the principles of minimalism but we want to be more mindful and less impulsive about our purchases. Quality & timeless pieces over quantity & temporary, repairing instead of replacing. Funny thing, these were my parents' advice when I was younger and I always thought that they were too conservative and “old” to understand how the global economy works. Turned out that they were right all the time.

One of the side effects of spending less on useless things is that we can increase our savings, which leads to…

Investing

This area was – and slightly still is – a scary topic for me, mostly because I feel like I don’t have enough knowledge and the amount of conflicting information/opinions. This is my weakest point, I feel insecure whenever I get the impression that I don’t know enough about something. I immediately want to research, read, collect info to reach at least a minimum level of understanding. Well, basically that’s what I’ve been doing lately and I’m not saying that I’ve become an expert but at least I have some plans where to put my money. Not saying that this should have been thought in schools, but..

I’m not yet comfortable sharing my ideal portfolio but it’s highly influenced by this book. At the very same time, I’m consciously trying to stay away from crypto or any financial assets related to blockchain. Call me a boomer, even though I understand the technological innovation and the potential world-changing aspect, I'm still not okay with the environmental footprint.

Reading

Last, but not least, reading. Not surprisingly, mostly about the things I mentioned above. My current read later list has 24 books and 30 articles about

  • building an indie business
  • investing & personal finance
  • writing well
  • productivity & time management
  • software engineering
  • leadership

Ideally, I should read 1 book per month but I don’t want to create unrealistic expectations for myself. I’d like to dedicate 2h per week to cleaning up my reading list or starting a book.


Let’s get back to this post in December and see how many things I’ll have accomplished. In the meantime, feel free to follow my journey on my Twitter account.