Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Corey Fradin. He runs his self-improvement blog called QuickBooost(with 3 O’s) that he started back in 2018. His passion for goal setting has led to him helping countless individuals finally achieve their goals.
Corey is a firm believer of living a deliberate life and being intentional about the little things he does, such as reading, spending time with his loved ones, exercising, and chasing the right goals. He makes thoughtful decisions to ensure he lives a life of meaning and fulfillment.
Corey is passionate about time management and self-improvement. On his blog, he shares his knowledge and learnings from the various personal development experiments he has done over the years.
Corey is married to his high school sweetheart, and they both reside in California with their lovely little daughter.
Check out his Definitive Goal Setting Success Program here.
Maxim: Tell me your story. What was it that prompted you to start writing? Why did you choose self-improvement among all the topics?
First of all, thanks so much for inviting me, Maxim. I am excited to be here. I think your site is awesome, so it is wonderful to talk to you and your audience.
I started QuickBooost, with 3 O’s, in April 2018 which was roughly 2 and a half years ago. I have always been drawn to self-improvement related content. I have gravitated around books, blogs, and articles around the topic. Back in 2018, I was looking to start something that I was passionate about, so I thought, why not write on the area that I love learning about.
I knew there were a lot of fantastic self-improvement blogs out there. I wanted to be part of that collective voice and help everyone be their best.
I started with generic tips back then. I occasionally write such list posts even today list because they are valuable and easy to read. With time, I started adding more of my voice into each post that I published. When I shared parts of my own life it helped me connect with my audience better.
Maxim: That’s wonderful. From what I understand, it looks like you experiment with a lot of self-improvement yourself. Tell us about some of the things you do regularly to improve yourself?
As far as self-improvement goes, the first area which I have found valuable is reading. When you read about the area of your interest or topics you care about, it adds a lot of value. Initially, you may not know your ideal domain, but you can find one topic that stands out and then let it guide you to the rest. I have found that tremendously helpful to be able to learn and apply to my own world.
In addition to that, goal setting has been valuable to me and I write a lot around the same topic. I started goal setting years ago to follow my interests. If I wanted to surf, I would set a goal that I must begin surfing. But, it didn’t feel that it wasn’t enough. So, I tried setting a monetary goal. For example, I set a goal that I wanted to make a specific amount of money, but that did not work for me either.
After reading about the goal-setting topic, writing many articles, and talking to different people, I now have a new philosophy. I believe in living a fulfilling life that has meaning and purpose. The goals I now set are spread across the entire landscape of my life. For example:
To nourish relationships, I go on a date with my wife once a month and I take my daughter out too
- For education, I read two books a month
- For Quickboost, I set a target of updating 5 articles last month to make them more relatable to my audience.
- By setting a wide variety of goals, I have been able to grow across each of those categories.
Maxim: So as a goal-oriented person, how do you track your goals? Are you more of a paper-based person, or do you use an app?
In the past, I have tried Evernote, excel sheets, and other apps. Today, I do everything over a Google Doc. I keep the format as simple as possible by mentioning the goal, the reason why I am aiming for it, and a short progress report to track the actions taken.
The reason I use Google docs is that I can access it across any device. Even if you’re traveling on a plane and do not have internet, you can use it to make notes. I keep things simple intentionally because tracking can get messy when you have a lot of goals. I have about 10-12 goals right now and as that increases, measuring your progress becomes a challenge.
Maxim: You touched upon an interesting topic of mentioning the reason why you’re chasing the goal. Many people pursue a target without a purpose. What are your thoughts on the importance of knowing the “why” behind any goal?
That’s a great question. The “why” is crazy important. When you know the reason upfront it helps you clarify your thinking. Writing the purpose enables you to know what are you trying to get out of it.
For example, I want to read more because it helps me further my education and growth. I want to go on a date with my wife each month because I want to strengthen our relationship. Now that we have a daughter, we want to grow as a couple.
Not only is the why important upfront, but it also becomes more useful after spending a few weeks or months when the goal isn’t as shiny as before, and you have trouble staying motivated. That’s when it is nice to go back and find your why. Maybe it sounded really good to do 5 pushups a day back in January, but it doesn’t feel the same in March. When you can go back to your why you remind yourself what was your intention behind the goal.
Specifying the purpose helps you gain clarity and stay motivated.
Maxim: That’s right. Often, we chase fancy goals without knowing why we’re chasing them. Having a purpose helps us understand if we’re pursuing a meaningless goal and prioritize our time accordingly.
Speaking on that topic, I’d like to add that I am very flexible about my goals. Earlier, I used to have a habit of setting goals in January for the entire year because that’s the month we’re pumped up to do things. But, by October my life would be in a completely different direction.
Now I am flexible with my goals. I started a 24 hour fast once a week since June and I have still been going with it. I dropped one of my goals from April because it wasn’t helping me anymore.
When you revisit your why, if you feel engaged, you must keep going. If you don’t find it resonating as much as you expected, feel free to adjust it, drop it altogether, or pick up something new. You do not have to lock yourself into your goals. What matters is, that you keep moving forward.
Maxim: Exactly. Now that it’s been 2 years since you started your blog, you must have written a lot of articles. If you had to pick a favorite, which one would it be, and why?
It’s funny that my favorite article is always the most recent one that I have written. Each time I write a post, I get better at connecting with my readers by writing a story or making it actionable. I feel every post I publish gets a little better.
Do you feel the same?
Maxim: I feel so about half of my articles, but not all of them. Some posts are my favorites because I have put in a ton of effort to make sure it offers immense value.
That’s a fair point. For me, every time I write an article, I somehow feel like that’s my best post. I recently wrote an article about my July goal report mentioning what was going well and what wasn’t. Before that, I published a post on creating a goal tracker called “Do you really need a goal tracker? Use this one.” Those two are my most recent posts and because of that, they’re my favorites.
Maxim: That’s very interesting.
When it comes to self-improvement, it covers a wide array of topics. You have time management, goal setting, productivity, and so on. If you had to pick one piece of advice, what would you suggest?
If someone was just starting, I would suggest going to Amazon and picking a book they like. While reading the book, try to pick a few learning areas from the content. In the beginning, the takeaways may not always be clear and easy to grasp, depending on the genre you’re reading. Books on self-improvement, psychology, or mindset have more straightforward lessons. But in any case, keep reading.
You can choose audiobooks too if you like. By the way, it can get expensive after a while when you read a lot of content. You can check out Libby where you can find digital and audiobooks for free. I started using it this month and I am listening to an audiobook now. For anyone concerned about price, I recommend checking out that app.
Maxim: That’s handy news. I never knew about Libby.
By the way, I am not affiliated with Libby in any way. My wife and sister use it a lot, and they recommended me to try it. Some of the books you intend to read are on there for free. Sometimes you might have to wait for a week or two depending on the book. Audiobooks are not usually an issue for them.
Maxim: I will check that app myself for sure. Thanks for sharing.
You already spoke about how should a person new to self-improvement approach the problem. Do you have any tips on the common mistakes to avoid when starting off?
I think most people do not know where their time is going. For example, if you write down what did you do since you woke up like staying in bed for 30 minutes, checking your phone for 15 minutes, freshening up for 30 minutes, breakfast for 30 minutes, replying to emails for an hour and so on.
Most people don’t realize how much time they spend on social media, irrelevant tasks, or low priority items. By tracking your time, you realize what’s going on.
Parkinson’s law states that the amount of time you give to a task is the amount of time it takes to finish the job. If you’re new to time management and give yourself 3 hours for a task, say design for a client, you will take up all that time. If you allow yourself only an hour, you’ll get it done in an hour.
I can keep going on about different tips, but tracking your time is an excellent place to start.
Maxim: Absolutely. A person new to self-improvement will benefit from that advice.
If you had a chance to go back in time, what self-improvement advice would you give yourself?
Ten years ago, I was excited about the future and nervous as well. I wasn’t sure how things were going to pan out. If I had the opportunity to go back, I would tell my younger self to stop worrying, be patient because everything will work out. Sure, I could give myself other advice like plan better, follow the 80/20 rule, and so on, but assuring myself that things would work out would be the best tip.
Maxim: Through your journey of blogging, I am sure your writing has improved. Every blogger goes through that cycle. But, with regard to self-improvement, how much has your writing influenced your own growth?
Tremendously and in a lot of ways. I was reading a quote earlier this year which stated that you become good at what you teach. For example, if you want to become a good chef, teach others how to cook. If you want to be super productive, teach others how to be productive.
From starting Quickbooost and writing articles, talking to people, exchanging thoughts, having conversations like the one right one, I have understood different opinions. In the realm of self-improvement, I have become a lot more productive by writing articles, learning from others, and sharing my knowledge. My methods have become streamlined and I have found new ways to overcome my obstacles.
I have also improved at setting and chasing my goals. When I share that information with my readers, they benefit and share their thoughts. Overall, it becomes a win-win situation across the board.
Maxim: I agree. I have had a similar experience with decision making. I write about cognitive biases often and that helps me deeply engrave that idea into my mind. When I get an opportunity to apply the principle, I do not have to think about it because it occurs naturally. Writing does help a lot.
What makes you happiest as a blogger? What drives you to wake up in the morning and go out to blog?
For me, I love writing itself. I am not sure if that’s due to the instant gratification of publishing a post and getting feedback right away or due to the fact I’m sharing my story in each post. But, I love creating each piece of content.
I generally write for about a month and then focus my attention on other aspects of blogging. That way, I am not burning out on writing. I give myself breaks because I like variety. But, I enjoy the process of improving writing by making it better, actionable, and providing free things for people to use.
What’s your favorite part of blogging?
Maxim: I like writing as well. I also love it when people share their thoughts. When people subscribe to my blog, the email that goes out to them asks them to reply to me mentioning their goal. I am excited to read what other people intend to achieve in their lives. Some others send me a mail or drop a comment saying how my content has helped them. Every time I know that my articles and self-improvement challenges have provided value to people, it drives me to write some more.
Absolutely. I like the correspondence too. When people add their thought or have a conversation, that’s rewarding as well. I completely agree with you.
Maxim: As a self-improvement blogger, do you have any favorite books and blogs?
There’s so much. One of my favorites is Tim Ferris. I loved the 4 hour workweek which speaks about creating a business that allows you to live a life that you’ve dreamt of. I recommend it to everyone. His podcast offers valuable advice too. James Clear is another blogger who has a neat website with fantastic content. I have friends in the personal development space like Jari from The Personal Growth Lab and Nadalie from It’s All You Boo. They both have excellent stuff out there.
As far as books go, I have a long list. Think and Grow Rich offers new perspectives. I recommend How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett for networking, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the biography of Walt Disney by Neal Gabler, Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Maxim: Those are excellent blogs and books. I like Tim’s content myself. I have interacted with Nadalie as well, and her content is valuable.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Corey. Is there anything you’d like to add?
First of all, thanks for having me here. I love the design of your site and the content. I am grateful to be here.
One final advice from my side is, consider what you can do to live a more deliberate life. Pay attention to who you are, the things that you do, the people you interact with, and evaluate if they’re helping you develop a more fulfilled existence. Ask yourself if you’re living a life of mediocrity vs that is something more rewarding and meaningful.
If you’re not walking down the path you want, consider what you can do to change it. Maybe set some goals or draft a plan to move in a more meaningful direction to create a more purposeful life across the board.
Maxim: That’s valuable advice, Corey. It was lovely talking to you. Your insights were beneficial to me too. Knowing how other self-improvement bloggers think helps me improve myself and write better content on my blog.
Thank you, it was a lot of fun interacting with you.