Firdaus Tarmizi

Archive for the ‘Self-Improvement’ Category

My 43 Things

In Self-Improvement on July 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

After my entry of “The Plan“, a friend left a comment recommending the usage of a 43 Things.  In short, the site allows you to make a list of 43 things you want to achieve, share them with others, see if there’s anyone else going for the same goals, and perhaps share and learn how they did it.

I hopped directly to the site, and lo and behold!  I found out that I actually did know about the site, and had an account since March 2010.  I guess I’ve just never reviewed my goals -_-.

So now, I would just like to share my first draft of my 43 things.  I am also a believer of SMART goals, so, as much as possible, I try to make them SMART.

If you would like to view and comment on my goals, you can go to my 43 Things page.


Newbie BodyRocker Firdaus: Team Malaysia

In Health and Fitness, Self-Improvement on July 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

1.  I have been working out throughout my college days, but I restricted myself to weight training.  At that point, I foolishly dismissed the importance of cardio.  Who needs to be able to run straight for 2 hours, when you can look like a heavenly ripped Christian Bale in American Psycho?  Right?

Christian Bale (from

Yummy. Umm err that's what my wife said *cough* *cough*

WRONG!  I found out the hard way how cardio is the lifeline to overall fitness when I agreed to keep my wife (my girlfriend at that point) company in one of her aerobic sessions.  I started confidently enough, puffing up my chest and flexing my muscles to the beat of the music.  15 minutes into the 1 hour session, I nearly blacked out and had to be carried to the side of the gym by a small elderly aunty, who then continued with her aerobic session as if nothing happened.

2.  Somehow, I stopped working out after I got married.  Maybe that’s what comfortable, happy living can do to you.  Luckily, stories of young friends (30 something) dying due to heart attack, stroke and raptured blood vessels managed to convince me that I’ll die in a few years if I don’t change my lifestyle.  Friends like Hazwan, Faiezy and Farah who are active in joining marathon, mountain climbing etc, also served as my inspiration.

3.  Since then, I have been slowly building up my fitness level through running and light aerobics.  I have to admit that cardio workout, for me, tend to be monotonous.  You just got to spice it up with great music along the way.  Recently, however, I found a great, fun alternative and addition to my exercise set list :  the BodyRock home workout movement.  Of course, you have to realize that it is mostly High Intensity Interval training, but that’s why it’s so awesome: you spend just around 10-15 minutes a day to get the same amount of sweat as a 1 hour run.

4.  It also doesn’t hurt to admit that part of the reason I love BodyRock is because I dig the instructor: Zuzana.  She’s adorable, with her unique accent and wide sweet smile.  Go ahead watch this video and tell me you are not entranced with her.

5.  So now, my normal workout week includes running, some weight training, with BodyRock workouts sprinkled in between.  You fill definitely see a steady increase in strength and fitness level when you continue your exercise plans diligently.  For the exercise above for instance, I only managed to get 15 repetitions (!) the first time, and around 30 reps the next few times, but now I am at the range of 50 reps each time I do it.

6.  Lastly, I would have to say how I am a great believer of no shortcuts to fitness and health and fat loss.  I do not believe in Herbalife, Premium Beautiful or any of these bull crap slimming tea as alternative to HEALTHY weight management.  You are just kidding yourself if you think that any ingested product or something that you simply put on can actually make you healthier and fitter without any real effort and sacrifices.

7.  On that note, let’s all get off the couch and start to BodyRock!

The Plan

In Self-Improvement on July 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm

My plan is simple.   I’ll be using Covey’s 7 Habits as my platform.  Since embarking on this self-improvement by itself is part of Habit 1 (Be Proactive), I’ll use Habit 7 (Sharpen the Saw) as my basis of setting my Habit 2 (Begin with the End in Mind).  If none of these makes sense to you, you can try to pick up the gist of it here.

The book that I have looks like this:

7 Habits

OK maybe it looks worse than this due to heavy usage

So, the targets that I have for myself are based on 4 criterion below.  The details will be discussed in future entries.

1.  Physical

a)  Achieve a BMI of around 22 by the end of 2011.  I am currently at 25.8 (overweight).

b)  Maintain the BMI of 22, and body fat percentage of 10% until I am 40 years old through consistent moderate/vigorous exercise 5 times a week, and healthy diet.

c)  Run my first 10k in 2011 and my first half marathon in 2012.  We’ll see where to go from there.

d)  By the end of 2012, I’ll look like this.

I will then have no problem to date Scarlett Johansson. Or maybe Julie Woon. Yeah.

2.  Social/Emotional

a)  Meet and hang out with at least one friend each week (harder than it looks for someone friendless like me), starting in maybe August 2011.

b)  Be involved in at least 1 or 2 days of volunteer/social work each week in 2011.  Maybe we can up the # of days in 2012?

c)  Do something nice for my wife each week.  The details of this will be kept secret.  Sorry.

3.  Mental

a)  Read 1 book a month.

b)  Learn the basics of Penang Hokkien within 2012.  Effectiveness will be determined by my ability to strike up conversations with neighbors and random people I meet in Penang.

c)  Start my Masters in 2012.  Finish by 2013 or 2014.

4.  Spiritual

a)  Start to consistently perform the full set of prayers daily starting now.  I have to confess I am VERY weak at this.

b)  Reread the whole Quran within 2011.

So this is my current draft.  Based on feedbacks and circumstances, I expect the list might be elongated and revised a few times.  I will need to think of the best ways to keep track of all of this.

Any ideas?