My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions [OKRs Included]

My new year's resolution
My new year’s resolutions?
The time has come. After mapping the mistakes I made in 2012 and creating a checklist for better new year’s resolutions, the time has come to reveal the plans for the coming year. So without further ado – here we go:


 Inspiring Innovation Magazine

Objective: I’m making the Inspiring Innovation magazine an even bigger success in 2013. (Notice the positivity + present progressive tense.)

Key Results:

  1. Grow my subscribers base to 30,000 (65% monthly growth rate).
  2. Interview all top 20 leaders of the solo-preneurship world.
  3. Get listed in Apple’s top #5 Business & Investment magazines ranking of the US Store (see how detailed that is?).
  4. Get 2-3 sponsorship deals summing to $100,000.

Personal Brand

new year's resolutions
Soon to be launched…

Objective: I’m creating my personal brand in 2013 by maintaining an active blog, two weekly podcasts and social media outlets.

Key Results:

  1. 50,000 podcast episode downloads for each podcast.
  2. 30,000 addresses in mailing list (including mag subscribers).
  3. 10,000 Twitter followers.
  4. 5,000 Facebook fans.

E-commerce Book series

Objective: I’m co-authoring an e-commerce how-to book series to help people create their first passive income stream while still working at their day job.

Key Results:

  1. Release at least one book each quarter.
  2. Reach a total of 50,000 book downloads from Amazon.
  3. Create an e-commerce business generating an income stream of $1000 per month as proof of concept for readers.

Inspirational App

Objective: I’m creating a social app that will encourage hundreds of thousands of users to take massive actions every day to reach their highest human potential (credit on the term goes to my friend Phil).

Key Results:

  1. Find a partner in crime for this project by the end of January.
  2. App should hit the App Store by June.
  3. Reach 200,000 users by the end of the year

Time management

Objective: I’m drastically improving my time management. This December I created a system to make sure I have a working process,  instead of just putting off fires all the time. It combines the pomodoro technique (to make sure I’m being efficient with my time), monthly planning, and simple measurement of the performance.

This also defines the actions that I’m taking throughout the week for all of my objectives, and guarantees I’ll always have an action plan.

Key Results:

  1. I will be held accountable by creating a section on the site that will be updated daily with my KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) results: How good was my time estimation, and how many pomodoro units have I completed.
  2. Complete an average of 70 pomodoro units per week.
  3. Have an average of -10% – 10% estimation error.
  4. Complete less than 300 pomodoro units on Fridays and Saturdays (that means working less than an hour and a half on weekends) — representing both sanity and successfully completing tasks during the week!

Gaining Health

Beautiful sunrise caught on my morning walk
This is what happens when I talk a walk during sunrise!

Objective: I’m gaining health by keeping better eating and living habits.

Note: Key results could be an improvement in heart rate or loss of weight, but I’m not doing this for a specific result. Instead of results, here are the actions I resolve to take:

Key Actions:

  1. Walk an average of 15,000 steps per day.
  2. Avoid white carbs (sugar, white flour, potatoes, etc.).
  3. Go through the 10 minutes daily invigorator routines every single day.
  4. Take a 1-hr walk outside every day.


Objective: I’m maintaining my inspired, optimistic and positive massive-action-taking attitude this year.

Key actions (mindset is not measurable):

  1. Listen/watch/read inspiring & professional content every weekday.
  2. Attend 3 conventions and connect with similar minded people.
  3. I will not share my dreams too early (why not?)
  4. Take at least one massive action every day.
  5. Get a business coach by the end of Q1.




Objective: I’m dedicating more time to my loved one, Julie.

Key Actions:

1. Tuesday = date nights.
2. Go on a trip once a month.
3. Spend quality time together every day.

Experiences & Good Times

Photo of the Sydney harbor at Sydney Circular Quay

Objective: I’m making sure that I enjoy my life and not dedicate it solely to my hard work.

Key Actions:

1. Check 20 things off my bucket list this year.
2. Spend at least 1 weekend each month with friends and/or family.
3. See 3 great music performances.


So there you have it! These are my resolutions for 2013. What do you think?

What are your resolutions? Share some in the comments section. It’ll keep you accountable!

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

I always hated my name. Meron. I remember myself as a little child, sitting with my mother going through the book of names, looking for a “better” one. I must have been five years old. Maybe six.

I never found one, but also never made peace with mine. I obsessed about this for almost 20 years, until I accepted the fact that I’m unhappy with it. After all, there are worse things in the world than hating your own name, right?

During the last 90 days, I travelled more than 60,000km. I’ve been to Israel, Denmark, Australia, the U.S.A. and back. With such a non-global name like Meron, you can guess people had trouble pronouncing it correctly.

I got called Melon, Maron, Miron, Ron, Aaron, Mario and more. Most people would be bothered, but I was almost relieved. I never liked the sound of my name, and Melon was at least funny!

From the business point of view, I was taking a hit. Nothing I did or achieved had my clear signature. How can I brand something that I’m proud of, with a name I hate?

Things changed a month ago.

I was attending (together with 350 other people) the ePub conference in Los Angeles. I met a lot of people and repeated my name over and over again to the ever-changing faces.

Two things surprised me. First, the genuine effort that people made to learn how to pronounce my name correctly. The second surprise was Kamal.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It
Cover of Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Kamal is the author of the Amazon bestseller Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. The book became an amazing sensation after #1 Entrepreneurship-Guru Tim Ferriss recommended it – effectively shooting it up to the top of the charts.

Kamal is one of those people you can’t help but notice. His kindness, charm and humbleness reminds me of Leonard Cohen. His smile shines from the inside out and his heart must be at least the size of a watermelon!

I was eager to share Kamal’s amazing story with the readers of The Inspiring Innovation Magazine, so as soon as he went off-stage, I rushed towards and made a quick introduction.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name. Could you repeat that?” he asked.

As I repeated my name, his reaction caught me off-guard:

“Wow, I love Hebrew names!” he said with a big smile. “They always have such a deep meaning. Tell me yours!”.

I was baffled. I never thought that anyone would care about my silly name! Its meaning never even bothered me, and I only found it out by chance less than a year ago.

“According to the Tractate,” I told Kamal, “at the end of each year, the entire mankind stands in front of god, waiting for him to sentence them for the coming year. Like innocent sheep standing in front of their shepherd, humans helplessly face their creator. The Tractate describes this as ‘standing like Merons’ – hence my name.”

“I LOVE it!”. Kamal said, excited. We discussed the interview, exchanged details, and parted.

As the days went by, more and more introductions were made and consequently, less and less people could actually recall each other’s names.

One of the days, I was walking the hall on the way to the conference room, when I stumbled upon Kamal. He saw me, smiled, and greeted; “Hey! The new-born!”

Was he mocking my young age? That didn’t seem right! My face must have given away my confusion.

“Your name!” he explained. “The people! standing at the new year’s eve, like innocent sheep!”

He was reminding me the meaning of my own name!

The morning after the conference ended, I was sitting at the hotel’s lobby drinking coffee. Suddenly, the host of the event – Ryan Diess – passed by.

“Ryan!” I exclaimed. “This was terrific man! Thank you for putting this together!”

“Thanks!” he answered. “What was your name, again?”

I didn’t even have the chance to open my mouth before someone else, standing behind Ryan, answered: “It’s Meron. The new-borne” I smiled. That’s some personal branding at work!


The rear end of a commercial airplane in LAX

As we took off LAX, I took out my iPad and read Kamal’s book. Since I used to have a very, very, VERY low self-esteem and self-confidence, Kamal’s calling to love yourself hit me at a soft spot. Finishing the book, I realized that I will never truly love myself, until I’ll learn to love my name as well.

I was looking back at the days of the conference. “If my name resonated with Kamal strongly enough that he remembered it – out of the hundreds of people he spoke to this weekend” – I thought, “there must be others out there that it will touch them too!”

In addition to this life altering realization, for the first time in my life, I had my personal branding. And it was me all along.

For this very reason, I will be soon moving this blog to This blog, “Denting My Universe”, has accomplished its goal within less than a year.

Kamal’s book is short and clean of fluff: I started reading after takeoff and finished by the time beverages were served. Let me see any therapist that gets you similar results in such a short time! I urge you to read this book.

It made a dent in my universe, who knows what kind of dent it will put in yours?

Yours truly,

Meron Bareket

The Fire In Kibbutz Amiad

Hi gang,

Sorry I didn’t publish anything for a while. While working on my next post last Friday, my plans took quite a turn. This post tells the story. Nothing about copyright infringement today, hope you’re not disappointed.

Story starts here

It was Friday at noon. I enter the house and mutter to Julie, my girlfriend: “Do you smell smoke? I think someone is having a BBQ under our window!”. I get so irritated that I storm outside, ready to yell at whoever was stinking my house up. The smell is too strong for a barbecue. I look around.

Smoke. Lots of smoke.

“Julie, It ain’t no Barbie! I shout through the door. It looks like a conflagration!”. I see huge clouds of smoke just over the hill outside my house.

While trying to decide if we should call 911, a firefighter plane goes above our heads. “Well, I guess they already know”, we agree.

I go back in, and get my camera. By the time I get outside, the wind changes its direction. Smoke scatters. Instead of cool shots of smokey sky, I take nice macros of some scenery.

A nice macro shot as the smoke went away

Once I was done with the camera, I went back in, closed the windows and switched the air conditioner to circulate indoor air instead of its default outdoor settings. Nothing else required, all taken care of, right? I sat down to work on my next post, as I promised here.

A phone call

Just as I was getting some momentum going, my cell phone rang. It was my dad, who lives ten minutes walk away.

“Strange”, I thought. Dad always sleeps between 2:00 and 4:00 pm on a Friday, (which is like a Saturday anywhere but Israel). Why is he calling?

“Hi dad, I’m kinda in the middle of something” – I answer the call. “Did you hear? We are ordered to evacuate immediately. Open the door and you’ll hear the firefighters calling”.

I open the door. Siren comes and goes. Then another one, and another one. A fire truck, a police car, and another police car. Then I hear them calling on their megaphones:

All citizens must evacuate their houses immediately“.

This was not a drill, or a joke. They where dead serious, and spot-on. Minutes later, while I was standing outside my house, staring at the ever-growing number of police cars and firetrucks, I started coughing. The smoke was becoming very thick.

You have five minutes to evacuate your home

I went inside. My phone beeped. SMS message from the emergency services – “All citizens must evacuate their houses, with no exemptions. The local council has sent a bus to take all people who don’t have a car”.  Oh my god. This is for real.

What do you take with you, when you have no idea if the house will burn down and what will remain?

Julie and I take out me little trolley. We throw in our iPads, laptops and cameras. Something’s missing. “Clothes!” Julie says, and we throw in some underwear and some tops. “Passports! IDs!” I shout back. That’s it, we take another glimpse, I snap my iPod and key chain, and we’re out the door.

Julie starts the car. “Where to?” she asks. “Out of here!” I answer.

Pedal to the metal

We leave the Kibbutz and drive up north. Go through a smokey cloud. And another one seconds later. We realize it’s a huge conflagration and wonder what’s gonna happen, and if our home will survive. It’s surrounding it from three different directions at the same time.

We decide to stop debating about what we left behind, as what’s done is done. We stop to eat something, and settle in a friend’s house, waiting for news to come.

Rumors, that’s all we have. One channel says the firefighters got it under control. Another reporter on a second channel says it’s completely out of control and there is a serious danger that all of the village houses will be burned down to ashes. We open the web browser at our friend’s place, and check out for news.

“All roads leading to and from the area are closed”.

Getting better information

I call the radio station I used to work for. “Hey, do you need someone to operate the news desk? I’m close to the studio and don’t mind to pop in and help”.

The station usually broadcasts recorded shows on Friday and Saturday. But now, many people might be looking desperately for some news while driving their car away from their (soon to be) burning houses.

And from another angle – if I operate the news desk, I get access to people who actually know what’s going on. The beauty of journalism, right? Sadly, they already have someone on standby, and I am left with the rumors.

Time goes by, so slowly

An hour passes, then another one. My parents only got two kilometers away before the roads were closed down. They’re with my grandpa, standing in a traffic junction seeing it all in action. My grandpa, a holocaust survivor, being urged again out of his house, with no time to pack without a clue if he will have a house to come back to. It’s painful for me to even try to imagine what goes through his mind.

At 5:45 PM the phone rings. It’s the radio station’s manager. “Can you get to the studio by 6:00?” she asks, and I answer with no hesitation. I rush Julie and Chloe (our dog) to the car and off we go.

A confused and worried Chloe

First think I do when I arrive is to call the spokesman of the fire dept. “There is no longer any danger of the fire reaching the houses”. Phew. Breath in, breath out. I can calm down a bit.

Back home

We were back home as the night fell. We could still see roaring fire, and at 2am one fire truck was still at work, tens of meters away from the house.The fire kept on burning during Saturday, Sunday, Monday and even Tuesday dawn.

At the end of the day, the house was saved. None of the houses in our Kibbutz (read: village) suffered major damage. The conflagration was brought to a halt just about 50-100 meters away of our home. Same goes for my parent’s house, just 200-300 meters away from theirs.

The ground left after the fire.

Everything smells now like one big cigarette, and everything outside is covered with soot. Most of the trees and flowers are gone, and the ground has basically become coal.

Flowers covered with black soot

Still, it could have been so much worse! Yes, I lost a day or two worth of work, and had some cleaning to do, but that’s nothing compared to losing the house or god forbid having anyone injured.

Still, going through this experience, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you were in my position. What would you pack if you had only five minutes to evacuate your home? How would you handle it?

My First Post

Welcome Welcome,

I’ve been planning to start this blog for ages. Actually, this domain is owned by me for almost two years now, if I’m not wrong.

Today, I decided it’s time to change the “Hello World” post, despite my fondness of classics. To do so, I had to figure out what to write on my first post. As it turns out, I know what I want to write on my 5th, 10th and 100th post, but have no clue how to start. As they say – lets start from the beginning.

Who Am I? Why am I doing it? What is this blog for?

Ah, all good questions, I say to myself. OK. I’m a 23 years old man, with kind of crazy life story (well, up till now). I’ll dive into more details in later posts, but as a summary: I left school at age 15 in order to attend college, went through a car accident on my last semester and never returned, and since then started my own business and now I’m a technologies & projects manager for some company whose name I shall not share. Glamour you say? Nah, not really.

As a result of my car accident I’m very limited in amount of hours i’m physically able to sit, so that combined with my entrepreneurial spirit and love of technology naturally drives me to learn the world of passive income. I’ll share the story of how I first heard of this concept on a later post, too. Let’s just say that the “4 Hour Work Week” by T. Ferris sure as hell changed my life.

What is this blog going to be about? Anything, basically. My goals, trials, failures and successes, stuff that I find interesting, stuff that interests me, and stuff that my girlfriend can’t hear about anymore <I do talk a lot about technology :)>. Niche websites, Music, Apps development, Ruby on Rails, Books, Rants – all may live together here.

This is the first post. By the end of 2012 there shall be at least 99 more. Mark my words!

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