My Grade so Far in Barcelona is a B

After surpassing 50 days living in Barcelona early this week I got to thinking how would I grade myself and my experience so far. So I started thinking about the following 5 areas:

1) Spanish,
2) Community,
3) Health,
4) Business,
5) Family. 

As I was assessing my overall grade in each area, I took into account that I had an advantage because of my connection to Entrepreneurs Organization. Before I got here David Rich provided me with a wealth of information including the neighborhood to live in, what school to send the kids to, and most importantly he introduced me to several key people.

One was Christian Rodriguez from Barcelona Guest, who made the transition to moving and settling in Barcelona seamless. The second was Andy Rapkin, who moved a year earlier and is a fellow EO member. Literally the weekend I came to Barcelona to find a place he took me to an amazing party where I met more ex-pats and awesome individuals. And he continues to connect me to this day. 

So as I judge my grade in some areas, it is based on knowing I had a head start. And most importantly, when I found I fell short of an A (which was everywhere), I put the an action step I could take to improve in that area.

Spanish: B-

My Spanish Class

I started off very strong in this category. I came to Barcelona with 15 hours of private tutoring under my belt, I signed up for a 2 day a week class, and I found an online program with tutors I could converse with and great online flashcards with which to practice.

However, the past two weeks I stopped applying myself as much as I was earlier in the trip.  I am night and day from where I was when I arrived, but I know it I will only improve if I work at it every day. That is what I want to do. 

Action Step: On Sunday nights, schedule an average of 1 hour a day for the upcoming week of studying spanish/ or speaking spanish.  Put it in my calendar and book online tutoring sessions for 30 minutes for those times when possible. 

Community: B+

Hanging with new friends!

Considering we did not know anyone before we got here and have met so many people in such a short period, we feel very grateful. Everyone has been open and easy to talk to. We have already traveled with friends and had many family events and dinners.  I have joined two entrepreneur forums, one inside of EO and one outside.

The one area that I would like to push myself outside of my comfort zone is doing more things with locals and international families. I do not know if it is us or them, but for whatever reason, the only people we have truly made strong connections with outside of school is American ex-pats. I get why and it has been great. However, we need to push ourselves to get out of the bubble. 

Action Step: Actively reach out to make plans with kids, couples, and solos with more people from other countries and Spain. Create one plan with a non-American per week. 

Health: B+

View from one of my favorite runs in Barcelona on the Carretera de les Aigües.

Since I have moved here I have put a lot of energy on my health. That was part of my vision to have more time to take care of myself. To workout when I wanted. To run more often. To get in the best shape of my life. 

Well so far I have run over 100 miles, joined a gym, and I work out 3 to 4 times per week. We hired a chef to eat healthier at home as well. So overall I do not have much complaints. The biggest area I need to work on is my eating. When you exercise more you become hungrier. So I have either been starving or I overeat. 

Overall, I am happy, I just know if I want to “get in the best shape of my life” I have to keep pushing myself on how I eat and remaining rigorous at the gym and running. 

Action Step: Sign up for a half marathon in early December if one exists nearby.

Headed up the mountain to Tibidabo

Business: C+

Over the first month or so it just seemed I could not get my schedule straight and I kept missing meetings or not letting the team know when I would be away. It has also been harder than I expected to participate in our strategy meetings that sometimes can be a full day. That is 8 hours staring at my computer and being on camera up until 10:30pm. Not ideal. 

I generally have this picture in my head as a superhero, thinking I can do it all. Of course reality always has a way of stepping in and letting me know when I am pushing it. In fact, I do not really think I am pushing it at all, I am just adjusting, and need to be more organized for focused time and meeting time. 

Action Step: Similar to Spanish scheduling, schedule out my week ahead on Sunday night so I am clear what is focus time for work and what is meeting time. 

Family: B

When we arrived at Tarragona.

Overall I have been very proud of my kids and how they have adjusted at school. And as a family, how we have adjusted well to living in a different country. On a regular basis we keep saying to our kids, “Can you believe this is actually where we live right now?” With their response being, “Why do you keep asking that?” 

The biggest challenge for us has been our kids constant fighting with each other. Then on top of that, our reaction to their fighting. It got so bad, we were lucky enough to get help from my long-time friend and coach, Kim Ades, founder of Frame of Mind Coaching. She is currently working on a TEDx on parenting and had a lot of great insight to provide that helped us a ton. 

I get why it happens, phones for the first time, new environment, smaller home, 3s a crowd, 2 boys and 1 girl, a 5 year age difference makes it tough, twins, and the list can go on. The thing is, it just constantly feels like we are doing something wrong. Should we be tougher, less tough, friendly, more rule based, more laid back?  All in all, it is part of the challenge of this journey. With all the easy stuff there is of course some tough stuff. That is what makes life interesting! 

Action Step: Try a new coaching technique I learned at the EO retreat the next time there is a conflict between the kids. 

To sum it up my grades are below:

Spanish: B- (80)
Community: B+ (87)
Health: B+ (87)
Business: C+ (78)
Family: B (85)

Average = B (83)

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