There are only 24 hours in a day. There is no way for you to change that (daylight savings, maybe). We each have the exact same amount of time each day/week/month/year. I’ve come to realize that I don’t use much of my “free” time to the best of my abilities. I want to change that in the next year.
A friend of mine turned me onto something he is doing inspired by http://www.powells.com/blog/?p=24630%3Futm_source%3Dfacebook. He said he could not afford graduate school at this time, so he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of self-guided learning opportunity. As soon as I saw what he was doing, I told him I was in. My wife also said that she is in, at least for some parts of it. Here is the program that I am embarking on with him for one year’s time. I will be updating my blog each week to report what I’ve done, what I’ve learn, and what I failed at doing. My attitude through this will be I want to try each item on my list, and if I fail, at least I tried.
- Memorize the names of every country, world capital, and current president or prime minister in the world.
- Read the basic texts of the major world religions: the Torah, the New Testament, the Koran, and the teachings of Buddha. Visit a church, a mosque, a synagogue, and a temple
- Subscribe to a language-learning podcast and listen to each 20-minute episode five times a week for the entire year.
- Loan money to an entrepreneur through Kiva.org.
- Acquire at least three new skills during your year.
- Read at least 30 nonfiction books and 20 classic novels.
- Join a gym or health club to keep fit during your rigorous independent studies.
- Become comfortable with basic presentation and public speaking skills.
- Blog, create a basic posting schedule, and stick with it for the entire year.
- Set my home page to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Randompage. Over the next year, every time you open your browser, you’ll see a different, random Wikipedia page.
- Learn to write by listening to the Grammar Girl podcast on iTunes and buying Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
- Instead of reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, read The Know-It-All by A. J. Jacobs, a good summary.