Mindset – How to get things done.

Mindset, how to get things done. Whatever that may be! Well I have done a lot of experiments with what works for me and what I should improve when I want to get stuff done. It consist of a few key ingredients. First and foremost is planning. Have a goal , break it down into steps and plan the time, resources and order and start stepping.

Well that’s easy. No it’s very hard. When I first started using weekly planning sheets it was out of sheer necessity because I would otherwise forget everything. It was in place for me to get by on a day to day bases.

Then after a lot of trial and error I got my day to day in order and got myself thinking what do I want challenge myself with. And make a plan. Then I started falling into some traps. First and foremost I planned way too much , too much tasks and too much goals.

Which brings me to ‘rule’ rather recommendation number 2. Plan too little. There will always be something that takes up more time or an unplanned event will destroy your carefully set to do list.

Have no more than 1 great goal at any time in 3 categories. Max, why ? Well otherwise it will get muddy and stuff starts drifting. You can only focus on so much. For example , set a work or learning related goal, one physical fitness and one personal life goal. Learn how to program , run a 10K race and plan a trip. Or whatever you want. There will be lots of other stuff needs doing besides those goals.

It’s also divided into 3 categories for a reason, one is demanding on the brain, one on the body. You can keep those two nicely balanced , your brain needs time to digest newly learned stuff and exercise helps a lot (as does sleep) , the third must be less of a braindrain and more in the way of relaxing.

You have only about 4 hours worth of intens brain work a day anyway. If you trained yourself right.

So keep to do lists small, and allow yourself much needed rest in between. Recovery is key. Only make new to to lists when old ones are fully done. Don’t put notes and reminders for future tasks on existing to do lists , it will distract.

Makes a nice bridge to the last tip for today, when doing work that needs a of your brain power , make sure you get rid of any distractions. Put away your phone, disconnect the internet, don’t open your mailbox. Make sure you fully focus on the task at hand. Make sure everyone knows you cannot be disturbed. Make sure you have a way of letting people know they cannot disturb you during those hours , only for emergencies. And let them know what an emergency looks like.

Make sure you don’t stretch yourself too much in those intensive brainpower consuming sessions. Set an alarm after an hour or two and take a real break. Jus eat something or enjoy a good coffee. Do not let your distractions in, no phone no email no internet. Just time for recovery. Limit the total amount of time to a max of 4 hours or so per day. Start with a half an hour and build from there. It’s hard focusing with such intensity.

I have made all the mistakes having way to many goals , too much on the to do list and every distraction possible at hand. It leads to frustration and anger because nothing gets done within the time frame you planned for it. Not even close. It’s not easy getting razorsharp focus. It needs a lot of training. The mindset isn’t just there the moment you decide it is. It needs training , consistency and rhythm to cement itself.

And for now , rule or recommendation 3, don’t be too hard on yourself. There will be days when everything goes easy , and there will be days, weeks even when nothing works. Just trust yourself and stick to it. You will get there and it will get easier to get your focus back. Make sure you evaluate your goals over time, is it still the right goal and does it need adjusting. Are the steps still the right ones. Have no fear of throwing goals in the bin if it’s not achievable for you. Just start a new one. I have trashed more than I finished. But made sure I learned from my mistakes. That’s why it’s important to evaluate.

And have fun, it’s not always fun, nor should it be. Some goals will be a necessity in order too get forward. But make sure you have fun along the way. And set fun goals, stuff that you know is fun from the beginning. And never give up on yourself and the process.

Under 3 – A new attempt

While preparing for my last marathon I set a goal , running under 3 hours. At the time it meant a 18 minutes discount from my personal best. Quite a bit, and a reach. But the effort of chasing this goal was a new Personal best , 3:09:25. Excellent progress, and thus proof that setting goals is a very rewarding activity. Now it’s time to try again.

The goal remains the same. A sub 3 hour marathon, the same location, Dusseldorf. What will be different this time is my training method, amongst other things. I have been training with a schedule for running a marathon and getting across the finish line in one piece. Which was a feat in itself 3 years ago after suffering my brain damage. Running saved my life when I got ill, simply because I had an excellent fitness level. Ever since it helps me function within my new boundaries to the best of my ability. So largely because of the running and the discipline it brings I am were I am today.

All the more reason to set this goal and get cracking. So the training schedule will be different. So the first step is figuring out what it takes for me to be able to run under 3 hours.
In the meantime I will keep training as usual. until I am largely confident of my new direction.

The second step will be nutrition , I already eat as healthy as possible without overdoing it. Om my longruns I always bring food and drinks , mostly gel and bananas for the food part. Only problem is I mostly don’t eat it. I simply forget when things go smooth, and when things get though, only then I start eating. Which means I am always too late.

When racing a marathon I never forget, simply because all the stations which can’t be overlooked.
But in order for me to get the most out of the nutrition I need to practice more. I am now looking into simply setting alarms on my watch so I don’t forget. Also the recovery food after my run can do with an improvement. So lot’s of work on that front as well.

Third step is a more efficient resting method. I already need lot’s of rest because of my brain damage. So I am not really sure how to improve this bit. I will need some research. Anyway I will update as much as possible on my progress and process. Until next time !

June 2019 Dividend

Dividend update June 2019, the eight miracle of the world, compounding is taking a hold on my dividends. Another significant increase in dividend payouts for my retirement. Whenever that will be. Anyway, most comes from the usual suspects. Some from newer positions but mostly existing ones. Comparing with last year it’s another nice increase of about 36%. Which is very nice indeed.

It only becomes real when you start accumulating real assets. In theory it’s all very clear. But you have to have a bit of faith in the long term plan. Which can be pshycologically challenging , and at times it is. But when you look at the growth and the numbers , it all makes sense. So just start and keep at it, remember showing up consistently is all it takes when talking about achieving your goals. In this case showing simply means keep investing.

So without further delay the overview :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
21-06-2019

AegonEUR15,00
20-06-2019Icahn EnterprisesEUR1,77
20-06-2019Vanguard dividend appreciationEUR1,26
18-06-2019HAL Trust EUR53,14
14-06-2018DOW incEUR1,86
13-06-2019Deutsche PfandbriefbankEUR100,00
13-06-2019MicrosoftEUR8,14
05-06-2019UnileverEUR8,21
TotalEUR136,24

Option trade diary #3 – NN

Another edition of the options trading diary , in this case other insurance company. Nationale Nederlanden. This insurer is an investment for the long term, yielding an excellent dividend and has been optimizing on multiple fronts. The low interest rates will remain a problem however , but for now this has not been a factor in the growth and the flow of dividends.

As I am planning on owning the stock I have written a put option, one that ends next month on the 19th of July and has a strike price of 34 euro’s.

Just a quick reminder of what this means, when the share price dips below 34 euro’s I have an obligation to buy 100 shares NN at 34 euro. Which is a discount of 3,8% on the share price on the moment of writing the option.

For a period of 3,5 weeks I received 35 euro’s. If the price of the stock stays above 34 euro I will get too keep this. It’s a very short running option so you always have to be aware of the risk of getting assigned.
You can always buy back the option and write another one which expires further in the future. Or let the option run it’s course and get 100 shares at 34 euro’s.

So far so good , at the time of writing this post the option has lost 50% of it’s value.

May 2019 Dividend

May has passed , summer ahead and so it’s time for another dividend report. As usual May is a busy month for dividend. This year there has been an increase in dividend yet again, due mainly to new or additions too existing positions and some increases. As well as Munich Re , a large part of the total dividend any month they pay out. This month it was in May, but last month it was in April. A one on one comparison is a bit tricky so therefore I am not doing that. But it’s sufficient too say it’s up. When we look at the year as a whole we already have two thirds of the total dividends of last year in the pocket. And were not even half way yet. Al is going very well indeed.

The rundown :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
02-05-2019INGEUR44,00
02-05-2019Bayer AGEUR14,00
06-05-2019Munich ReEUR212,75
07-05-2019JungheinrichEUR5,00
08-05-2019ASMLEUR21,00
09-05-2019Amsterdam CommoditiesEUR36,00
15-05-2019NSIEUR13,44
16-05-2019AppleEUR10,41
20-05-2019K+S AGEUR10,00
21-05-2019BMWEUR35,00
28-05-2019ASM InternationalEUR30,00
28-05-2019DowDuPontEUR1,26
EUR432,86

Option trade diary #1 – ASML position 1

New series, as I stated in my option article newsflash post. I am going to mix it up. Talking about positions I take and why I take them. These posts are by no means advice , and should not be taken as such. It’s merely me taking you through my thought proces. Do your own homework and risk assessment at all times before doing anything !

ASML is a leading company in chip machines. Which is a highly cyclical business. It’s also one that is highly complicated and very expensive too enter. Hence when your at the top changes are you will be there for a while.

ASML has been one of my favorites for a lot of years now. I have bought the stock at first and as volatility is common I started writing put options. This time things are no different. Given the global trade war and attack on Chinese technology by the American president these are trying times. But in the long run this is only a minor hick up. As everything nowadays is technology driven it’s only a matter of time before things get back too business as usual. With these sort of ‘cyclical’ stocks the price fluctuations are always a bit over the top. Which has it’s direct influence on the option prices.

As I am long in any stock I own, I have written (sold) a put option for december 2022 with a strike price of 140 euro’s per share at a price of 19,05. Which means I received 1905 euro’s for taking te risk of having too buy 100 shares at 140 euro each. Why 1905 when the price states 19,05 ? Well 1 option contact always has the underlying number of 100 shares. So option prices should always be multiplied by 100.

I will sell this when it hits 25% profit, which means buying the option when the option price hits 14,27 (Rounded and including all transaction costs).

Why 25% ? , well what I have done is checking my historic options trading profit percentages and they on average run around the 25% mark. Which means that is psychological my comfort zone. I am not really good at letting my profits run, also these profits tend too be made in shorter time periods than my larger profits. Mostly in a matter of days instead of months. So my conclusion is I am a bit impatient and therefore this is my threshold for now.

Not very scientific maybe, bit then again it’s what I tend to do. So in order not too make things overly complicated I simply put the order in and don’t check it anymore.

First post on options and trading options new style. Will be interested too hear your thoughts and comments.
I will be making more of these as I am opening and closing positions, hopefully you will find my thought process interesting !

Under 3 – Tenth week of training

Another week of training is done, one less run but all the others were a bit longer. With some build in speed parts and hill training. I was a bit tired at the beginning but at the end of the week it all went better. Lot’s of rain and wind as well all week, I don’t mind a bit of rain but every training gets a bit too much.

This is the first week of a serie of weeks where the amount of kilometers gets too an all-time high. In order too get me into marathon mode if you like. The long run was especially cold , wet and even some hail too accompany me on this 32 Kilometer long run. I started out early and after a few km’s in, I was already soaked. So I decided too ditch all the watching the hart rates , speeds etc on my watch and just focus on running and enjoying a nice pace.

After the first half the rain got a bit lesser, and even the sun showed up sometimes. It went very well and also my gel intake was up too par. I wasn’t really fatigued at the end and my muscles were not sore after and not the next day.

It also was pretty fast, I did however got some rain damage along the way but it wasn’t too bad. A very good week again despite tired me starting out.

Onto the next one !

Fear

Fear, my biggest fear ? Losing control, or more accurate losing the illusion of control. I have always wanted too have as much control over my life as possible. More often than not pushing it too the extreme. Combining this with setting high demands for myself and big goals, I made it quite difficult for myself to really have control. Not in ways of getting towards my goals but controlling myself.

Eventually my biggest fear became reality, I now only have limited control over my life. The daily condition of my brain determines what I can and cannot do that day and it makes for a lot of unexpected moments. Offcourse I do all I can controlling this. It’s my nature.

The difference with the past is I am not trying too force this at all costs. All I can do is plan well , exercise and train well and rest. Controlling everything simply costs too much of my valued and scarce resource , energy.

It had taught me that living in the moment is very valuable, you simply cannot control every aspect of your life. You can work on creating the conditions and environment too increase your chances of achieving your goals, and thats an attitude I recommend too everyone. But in the end you are reliant on so many factors and moments that there is a point at which it simply does not make sense trying to control more. You end up in an illusion, and you keep pushing for more influence on a increasingly smaller effect on the outcome of events.

Energy better spend on fun things in life, or activity’s which you can do in reaching your goals. Not just trying too control everything.

It’s strange how you always fall back on old instincts , which have taken me far in life and still my discipline , controlling nature and perseverance take me far today. But in the past these attributes were in my way a lot of the time. It backfired numerous times when achieving my goals. Controle became a goal in itself. There was no more logic.

Now there is more acquiescence, frustration about my failing brain is still there, and also acceptance is a long way down the line, but this has given me the insight in the simple fact you can better put your energy in little steps towards a goal , the using it too control stuff you can’t. Or obsess over details. Problems will arise anyhow, and when they do , I will deal with them.

My life has a lot more direction and focus , and is more relaxed than it used too be. Everything is a bit smaller, at a lower pace. Unnecessary fear is bad guidance , and working at overcoming this fear is a very valuable side effect too my brain damage. I doubt if I would have ever gotten it otherwise.

Februari 2019 – Dividend

Oops , almost forgot to write this post entirely. The Februari dividend update. This month only 1 position that pays it’s dividends. Apple being the one. My Februari dividend income has always been the worst month of the year. Probably the reason I forgot about writing about it. But in stead of combining it with March, I decided too report Februari separately. Quick one this time.

Anyway Februari did indeed produce dividends. A bit less than last year, exchange rates are against me , taking it down 14%. But exchange rates are just a fact. I am not doing anything in the way of compensating for these fluctuations , the portfolio is simply far too small. Well see you in March for the next dividend update.

The numbers :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
14-02-2018AppleEUR9,77
TotalEUR9,77

Under 3 – Ninth week of training

Week 9 , time flies. This week was relatively calm in the way of training with a half marathon run as the piece the resistance if you will. Not a road race but a bit of trail run. Apart from a few patches of hard surface the track mostly went via horse trails and forest lanes. With the added bonus of a few climbs along the way.

The start was a bit slow, it was pretty busy and it took a while finding a free zone and picking the right pace. Ahead of the race the warning was too save a bit of energy in the first part , because the hard bits in regards too climbing were in the second half of the race. I took this advice , and didn’t go too fast in the first half. Retrospective , this part could have gone faster. But because I am in the buildup towards a marathon this isn’t a bad thing. It’s good not to go all out and exhaust yourself.

The second half of the run was easier then expected and I could keep my pace without a problem. Didn’t force anything towards the end and ran the remainder quite relaxed. Net finish time 1:29:59, just shy of 1,5 hour. Excellent result, and a happy me.

The usual Yoga strength training and the rest of the runs also went excellent this week. No complaints there either, all in all a good week. Hopefully this will continue in week 10!