How are you Jun-te on

November 2023.

Audio Clip for the audiophiles =>
Happy November guys,

31 days to the New Year.

31 days to start the new year goal today and be 31 days ahead of your goal rather than waiting for an arbitrary date.

You are only as good as your last iteration.

I had a group of guys who started their weight journey with me last year but most of them have stopped. As either they reached their goal really fast or lost motivation. The ones that reached the goal first actually gained their weight back and are looking to the new year for inspiration.

It's not inspiration, discipline, or motivation you are lacking. It is a system. The system you are playing in a new year is an iteration once a year. How many goals will you achieve if you only reflect once a year?

I might fail my goal of 20kg weighted pull-ups of 10 reps of 10 sets which I set myself around May this year.

In January, my goal was to move more. I think I moved more thus I iterated and changed my goal to a mountain that I couldn't possibly see myself accomplishing.

Let's see if I crush that mountain.

Regardless, I'm sure I'll just fall to my systems.
Abundance and constraints in Relationships.
Readers of this newsletter know that I'm a big fan of optimising my time, money, and energy.

How does this work for relationships?

Ask your financΓ© to book time with you and you are scheduled for an immediate slap in the face. I will neither confirm nor deny if I speak from experience.

Well we, or I, become obsessed with money, time, and energy management the opposite becomes true with the people closest to you. In fact, the people closest to you will have the most friction.

When I asked my close friends and family members to book time with me, I had a lot of friction. But ask this to a new colleague, acquaintance, or business partner and they think it's cool. Why?

For the acquaintance, we broke their previous expectation of 'how to book time'. The same way our previous/close relationships expected us to schedule a time using the 'old' method of 'talking'. I broke their expectations.

I do one day want to talk about how implementing a simple booking system to my existing relationships has broken/made certain relationships. But for today I want to talk in regards to the paradigm of time, money and energy.

In fact, give anyone a system to follow in a relationship such as a set script or rules to engage and people will be hesitant. So how does one create intimate relationships efficiently and/or quickly?

I thought maybe the opposite was true. If I give my relationships infinite access to my time, energy, and money then me and Eden can go travelling, buy every home, and live the "dream life". This will improve my relationships right?!

I was wrong.

Giving all of my time and money doesn't mean Eden wants to accept it or needs it in the first place.

Note: I'm using Eden as an example here for intimate relationships as she is my life partner. Not an actual example of what we've done but she easily has access to my money, time, and energy.

I realized it is not giving of your time, money, and energy that creates more intimate relationships but shared time, money, and energy + constraint.

The nature of shared time already comes with some constraints. Even if one party gives all, access to the other party's resources is not a given.

Thus once shared resources are established and assuming both parties have healthy boundaries, the constraint becomes an interesting factor.

Constraint is anything that causes both parties to not share as much as they want to share. Assuming both parties do want to share their resources together. The constraint causes them to not allow them to share as much as they can regardless of the decision of both parties. The constraint also has to make sense for both parties.

For example: My older brother came to visit the UK from Korea for work. Because of work, it caused very limited time for us to see each other. I picked him up from his hotel at 21:40 and had to drop him off at the airport the next day at 11:00 am.

Was I glad to see him? Yes.

Was he glad to see me? I can't speak for him but hopefully yes. πŸ˜…

But my god... did we wish we had more time together...

More time to spend money on Sunday roasts where no place opens till 12 pm 😭, more time where we weren't sleep deprived for our game of Catan where we battled sleep to finish the game but succumbed to it. Personally, I also wished him to participate in a cold plunge and have time to workout together.😭

But did we both enjoy the little time we had? I certainly did. I definitely felt that we did everything we could with the little time we had.

It literally was short and sweet. Both of us wanted to spend more time but had to go. What's the alternative?

Having my twin brother over for Christmas and having arguments XD. But that's a different type of relationship building. Seems like without constraints we are a little more argumentive, a little bit less grateful, and a little bit more hostile.

As everyone starts to see family for the holidays. I would like to remind everyone that there is always a constraint.

That constraint is life. Not everyone is here forever. We like to forget and think that we are invincible. Enjoy the shared pain, shared love, and shared time together. I'll do my best to share my thoughts as well.
I'm Lovin' it
At the end of last month, I got accepted for a full-time job at Mcdonalds. Which means I could work up to 42 hours a week if they so wish. I did tell my line manager that I wanted consistency. Whatever shift he gave me, I wanted to be the same next week. So far this has not happened πŸ˜₯.

I wanted to share some insights and lessons I've learnt by constraining my time with Mcdonalds ( or a full time job ) with my other obligation that I would like to do with my time.

To set the scene, my fiancΓ©e is a full-time primary school teacher. She comes home around 5 pm to 6 pm however mcdonlad usually starts around 3 and finishes late in the evening. Theoretically, we have zero time for each other. However, there is a 45 minute break given per shift where McDonald gives you a free meal. With this free meal, I do my best to run home ( depending on the time ) and try to share a meal with Eden. This constraint of time has also allowed Eden to get more alone time which is better for her in the long term but also value both of our time. The 45 minutes have been full of joy and conscience time spent together. Which was a lovely surprise.

The 40-hour varied schedule time did add a spanner to my calendar management. I wanted to do this because a lot of clients were also shift workers (doctors) and I wanted to emphasize with their situation more. Will adding a shift like this mess up my current calendar management and in particular not allow me to code MealCraft?

I was naive to think the uniform provided by McDonald's would allow pockets. There are none, which in Mcdonlads' paradigm, limits stealing and causes people to do work and not be on their phones. This was definitely an unexpected spanner in the works. My shift workers have access to pockets 🀣, be grateful guys. This was definitely more harder than I realised but I was definitely up for the challenge.

Thus, I was only with my mind and the work Mcdonlad provided me. What did I learn in the last 3 weeks of working there?

So much.

Firstly, an emphasis the shift workers don't get their shift till the Friday before the week commences. Thus I can't 'plan' the next week until McDonald's updates their system on Thursday night. Which based on the line manager can be any time during Thursday night ( depending how busy the day is ). This does not mean you shouldn't plan.

In this case, my system really helped me as it ignored Mcdonalds as it was 'data' I did not have and it fitted in Code, Exercise and my YNAB clients for me. Awesome, however, there was some juggling once I got the information on Friday night. Note: This is most likely why your shift worker's friends can't tell you if they can attend an event. This has not stopped me from networking as I just tell McDonald's I can't make a certain day due to a 'networking event' and it's their fault if they fail to plan properly. Especially when I gave such early notice for unpaid leave. So far, proactivity and prioritisation does win.

The first week of consultations as well as Mcdonalds was difficult. My consultations were still 1 hour per client and then I realised we fill up the 1 hour no matter what. However, with my veteran clients, who I spend 30 minutes with, I noticed something interesting. If the veteran clients need more time, I'll do my best to accommodate and/or schedule a meeting the next day to resolve their urgent problem. I then realized that all my meetings can be switched to 30 minutes with the option to increase 1 hour if need be. SUPRISE SUPRISE. People don't always need 1 hour and all the context gets absorbed in half an hour. Thus, I changed my calls to half an hour. If I had 4 clients it would have been 4 hours. Now I save 2 hours which gives me options to exercise! Health > Relationships > MealCraft.

My exercise was also further optimised. Before, I used to reserve an hour to do my calisthenics workout. Then I realised I just needed to spread the calisthenic workout throughout the day. I do a total of 100 push-ups, let's say. I can squeeze in 10 push-ups in between meetings and in fact, I also did squats and push-ups while my train was delayed to get to Waterloo. Yes, I did get strange looks when I started doing push-ups and squats at the train station but I got applauded by some and feedback on my squat form by a few individuals XD. I'll take it. This then made me realise that I should prioritize dips and pull-ups at home as I can't do that outside either. When telling my newfound insight to my 'gym friends' were worried that the workout wouldn't be intense enough. Which I told them that's because they are comparing the workout to 1 hour focused and spread out. The alternative is actually a spread-out workout or none at all. I'm pretty certain spread out is better than nothing. Move more, than last time.

Thus, by the second week. I had more time from spreading out the workout throughout the day and serving the same number of clients in half the time. Amazing.

However, eating took a hit. I'm cooking fries, it's hot. I'll drink that sprite. I'll drink that sprite makes me want sweet stuff so I go over and make myself a mcflurry... If only I had more will power... If only I had more discipline...

As I've said before will power and discipline is an emotion. If I plan myself around emotion I am doomed to fail. I have to make a plan...

What suppresses appetite from the self-learning I've done so far?
  • Increase hydration
  • Increase protein
  • Eating breakfast and lunch and not skipping it due to intermittent fasting.
I then proceeded to do my research on Mcdonalds based on the food I saw cooking. I was shocked to find out, that the beef was cooked from frozen and zero oil was used. I then looked up what was in the beef and was astonished that McDonald claimed it was 100% beef. I thought that was bold. Usually, branded stuff does 99.9% and never 100% as they might get sued if they are lying. The fact that they claimed 100% beef caused me to investigate further. I first YouTube some videos on their processes on how they process their meat. Squeeze meat into a grinder and freeze. That's it. 😲😲😲. I then did a taste test with just the beef and McDonald and Sainsbury and they taste surprisingly similar. This gave me the confidence to work out the economics of McDonalds.

If I order two double quarter pounders. One standard and the other with no ketchup, no buns and no cheese. I can then stack the two burgers onto the quarter pounder. I thus will have a pound of meat in burger form... This comes up to 100 grams of protein with only 1204 calories. Yes, it tastes like McDonalds, Yes it's a lot of meat, Yes it's easy to eat, and Yes it makes me full. Add a fruit bag or a salad instead of fries and now you are in for a winner.

Due to the employment discount, this meal costs Β£6.60. (each double quarter meal costs 3.30 when you are an employee). Thus, ignoring the free meals I get in McDonalds, if I eat them every day for a month (31 days). This costs Β£205 a month!!

I'm happy to report, that whenever I count my calories and follow this diet, I lose weight and get stronger. I know you guys are skeptical. I plan to do this long term, I hope the result and my health will speak for itself.

The added benefit to this is that since I'm eating food from McDonald's, I just need to have protein shakes ( roughly 4 scoops ) and I get 180 grams of protein for about 1700 calories. I have room for a ramen πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€. It also saves time on cooking and cleaning, as well as the eating time being in 'work time' and thus doesn't take it from my personal time.

After 3 weeks, I finally mastered my time management, exercise, and diet. It was hard. But I'm happy to report my calendar looks like this at the moment. 😭😭😭
The final win was the realizing to do code first before exercise.

I would normally do exercise first then code. This is because of my rule of Health -> Relationship -> Freedom.

However, exercise causes a lot of mental fatigue more than physical fatigue and thus concentration for coding becomes difficult. After I moved coding to be first, I can now do both. Furthermore, I realized that after a McDonald work day, I had examples of me doing my workout and finishing it at 2 am to ensure I hit my goal for December. ( Don't worry I prioritized sleep too, on this particular day. MealCraft would have not been coded ).

This took 3 iterations to fix which was 3 weeks of time but I've done it. 😭😭😭😭😭 I truly love my calendar management system and worked out how to squeeze everything in. This was obviously a purposefully added chaos. There's a lot to learn from chaos, I'm sure this will soon become my new 'fine'.

Mcdonald has been the best 8-hour cardio session I've ever had. McCardio it is what it should be called on my calendar. We strive for jobs that don't move as its physically demanding. In this day and age, where obesity is becoming the norm. I'm trying to find work that allows me to move as one day, I won't be able to. Might as well celebrate it while I can.
Feeling tired...
I'm embarrassed to admit. Even with my optimisation of sleep, exercise, and diet. I still feel tired when I wake up.

I first thought it was my medication, however after being off my medication for a year now. It isn't as intense but the tired feeling hasn't completely gone away.

After Mcdonalds, which made me fully awake, I had a theory.

The theory was, what if the job of sleep is to make you feel tired? Here is me improving my sleep, exercise, and diet, and yet I still feel tired which results in me not being able to jump out of bed. What if the result of effective sleep is that you feel tired?

I then thought about what sleeping results in the body:

  • 8 hours of not moving
  • 8 hours of no access to food/water
  • 8 hours of no sunlight
  • No mental stimulation
  • heart rate is low
  • temperature is constant
This is what I theorize the body is doing when sleeping. Except for repairing muscles and memory. I then realized the body is starved of resources.

So if I:
  • move by stretching
    • Heart rate increases
    • body moves
  • drink water
  • eat something
  • see sunlight
  • mental stimulation ( talk, see things )
  • Cold plunge ( temperature change and vessels moving )
could result in making me feel not tired.

If you are going to take anything from this newsletter, I recommend you stretch in bed. Stretch as far as you can before you get up. Jumping out of bed is worlds easier. Which then makes you go for a glass of water, talk to someone, and in my case, do a cold plunge -> just because.

I no longer feel tired due to the stretch, surprisingly easy and effective. If I share a memory, I remember as a kid the first thing I did when I got up was stretch as my mum told me that was the secret to getting taller. I am tall and thus forgot this rule. Tried it as an adult and I don't feel as tired and more ready for the day. Added bonus that you can do it in bed 🀣. Happy to report after a week of trying this, I no longer feel tired when I'm out of bed. I have also reduced my caffeine in take because of it but I'm pretty sure that's because of the cold plunges.

Sometimes it's not just one thing but the summation of everything. In this case, I think it literally is just stretching before you get up so your body is primed to move. Let me know your thoughts by having a go :)
What makes a good tool for productivity?
I use google calender, YNAB, google keep and who knows what other apps on my phone. These are all tools but I wanted to quickly talk about why I use YNAB first and what attributes of the tooling I had implemented to ensure my success in this chaotic month.

The quality of good tools I believe has 6 key attributes:

  • It gives me clarity on my choices
  • It allows me see trade offs
  • It has ways to share and quickly share information coherently. This is needed as to have communication with yourself you first need to make it easy to have communication with other people before you can start a convo with yourself. In my opinion.
  • It has some form of history of what decisions you made in the past
  • It facilities you to plan for the future
  • The history and planning can be done automatically without the user lying.
The beauty of YNAB in my opinion, is that it offers this 6 key features bundled together with the BANK ensuring you don't lie about your income amount.

I then applied these principles to Google Calender where the lie can be done by me but I do by best to keep it accurate as it facilitates better planning for not just myself but with other individuals. Since I also budget every hour, it also allowed me to see trade-offs very quickly. Especially when I can't do a certain activity. Being made by google it also has very easy sharability features where if I show anyone my calender they know how I spent my time.

I believe these 6 items allow for great Software as a Service products too. If MealCraft can facilitate a place where it does all 6 of those features then I have succeeded more than my wildest dream.

With my exercise plan I can lie to myself but I do my best to record my blood pressure, weight and pull up progress with my exercise coach and also measure my fat percentage, and calories in and he also does blood work for me but I'm a bit meh about that at the moment. All this to ensure I'm not lying to myself and make a plan accordingly. We then have a shared format to review this data and progress that I'm making and ensure we noticed any trends that are not going the direction we would like. This keeps me incredibly accountable.

My MealCraft Accountability calls (MealCraft Update 26/11/2023 - A new insight - YouTube), leverage all the benefits as well but are not efficient on time, money, and energy. SaaS usually allows you to get all the benefits of the tool with minimal time, money, and energy and hence the value.

My calls with Rowen, is expensive in time and energy but currently it is our only way to ensure I don't lie to myself, helps me facilitate a plan to improve the agenda, see a history of what has worked and improve clarity within my progress in MealCraft. If someone has a way to measure SaaS success through software, please do let me know.

Can you make a tool, that might not be efficient in time, money, or energy (TME) but helps you keep accountable?

The best way I have found if you can't think of a way is to record and do it publicly. Don't worry at the start, no one will watch. Not even your parents I bet. Just learn, embarrass yourself, try stuff, and iterate.

Good luck and have fun with your tools guys.

If you made it up to here thank you again for taking the time to read my newsletter this month.

This month was busy, so busy.

I didn't have time to write the newsletter until 28th November. I hope the quality didn't suffer but I'm very happy I managed to get something in writing.

Proud of myself and the fact that I know that some of you do make to the end of the newsletter.

Thank you as always for giving me your attention, I'll love to know how you guys are doing to so feel free to drop me a message.

Much love

Jun-te Kim
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