Yearly Focus

2023 Focus: Three Quarter Year Update

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me.

With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention.

In 2023 I set out to learn about Strategy. You can read more about my intent here.

2023 Theme: Strategy

In terms of reading, here is my progress

  1. Good Strategy Bad Strategy
  2. HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy – IN PROGRESS
  3. Blue Ocean Strategy – IN PROGRESS
  4. The Crux
  5. Playing to Win
  6. Understanding Michael Porter
  7. The Art of Strategy
  8. Competitive Strategy
  9. Your Next Five Moves
  10. Measure What Matters
  11. Your Strategy Needs a Strategy
  12. The biggest bluff
  13. Carl Von Clausewitz – On War
  14. Art of War
  15. On grand strategy

I’ve also unintentionally listened to a few audiobooks that had a pretty strategic angle:

  • Shoe Dog – About the founding of Nike
  • Sapiens – about human history, which is essentially a review of evolutionary strategy that worked
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – which so far has focused a lot on the political strategy of Adolph Hitler

2023 Challenge: Become a Chess Expert

My chess game has plateaued. After reaching 850, I’ve sort of stalled.

Part of that is because I decided to start using a new opening. I’ve been transitioning to use the English, but I haven’t yet learned it well enough to be on par with my play of the Italian game. Part of it is because summer was nice and sunny and I didn’t play as much. I suspect the cold weather of fall and winter will make it easier to hunker down and practice.

My puzzle ability has continued to progress a bit, so I think I’m still getting better, I just took a step back on the opening that will hopefully unlock two more steps forward soon.

To get to my goal of top 10% I’d need to get a rating of around 1,000. I think I can can do that, especially if I get a bit selective about how I play in December, to maximize score instead of practice.

2023 Habit: Weekly Strategic Analysis Reading

I put some more rigor into tracking this but haven’t done much better at it. I’ve had a few solid weeks, but not many.

2023 Exemplar: Genghis Khan

The only thing I’ve done in this category is continue to read ‘The Mongol Art of War’.

2023 Bucket List Item: SUP Adventure into Untouched Wilderness

I put this idea on hold for this year. I felt my 70 mile paddle was a significant adventure and decided to devote more of my energy to other things. I did recently have a chance to present to a group about that race, and some of my other adventures, which gave me a nice chance to pause and reflect. More from that will likely make its way here soon.