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An Unstable Year – Goals For 2015

Having gone over 2014 and judged it to be good, our attention turns to 2015.

What do I want to accomplish with this year? My 35th year of life?

I’ve always liked goal-setting because it involves setting priorities. Priorities don’t tell us what’s going to happen – you could succeed, you could fail, you could come down with a life-threatening tropical illness. Goals don’t protect you from the unexpected, the unavoidable, the unlikely.

What they do accomplish is a setting of the sail – all part of an inherent idea that we might not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control what we focus on, what we work towards.

For me, goals are revealing. Your life is, at least partially, beyond your control. What you choose to focus on isn’t.

Anyway. Here’s my list of goals for 2015:

1. Maintain my three day work schedule.

This year was the year I cut my work schedule to just 3 days, allowing me to be home with Oliver on Mondays and Fridays.

It’s a struggle, still; work has a pull to it that can bring you back into it’s orbit when you least expect it. It’s hard not to work, when you love what you do, when you’re invested in it.

But I love being home with Ollie. I love being home, in general – it keeps me loose, keeps my thinking fresh. Keeps me excited to go into the office each week.

I want to keep that. I feel like if I don’t put deliberate effort into keeping that up, I’ll lose it; I’ll drift back into working too hard.

2. Double my take home pay.

This is the big one. My major business goal last year was automation – this year, it’s growth.

Because I spent more on help to keep my workload down, more of the money I make went to overhead. That’s fine. But now that I’ve invested in building our capabilities, I need to step up in the sales and marketing department.

Sales, in particular, doesn’t come naturally to me; I still struggle with asking for premium prices or talking about money in general. But if a company can’t sell, it can’t grow – hell, it can’t even survive, long-term.

I know this. So I need to buckle down and get better. Be Better.

3.Install pull up bar and do pull ups whenever I leave or enter.

I struggle with fitness goals, I really do. I struggle to maintain a consistent schedule, to eat right, whatever. I just struggle in general.

Instead of taking my usual, end-results-oriented approach (“lose ten pounds!”), I’m going to focus on just building a habit: doing pull ups whenever I enter or leave the office.

I can install a pull up bar in the office side door. Anytime I get up to use the bathroom, check the mail, whatever (this is a surprisingly high number of times) I’ll just do as many pull ups as I can. No set number. Just do some pull ups.

I’ve read some interesting articles on how long-term, low-impact exercise is a lot more valuable and effective than the short bursts I tend to pursue. So we’ll try this out.

4. Get ollie to sleep through the night.

Ollie currently wakes up every hour during the night. Not only that, around 2:30 he wakes up for 2 hours or so, just completely wide-awake.

This has far-reaching effects on Thao and I: besides the stress and the actual inconvenience, it destroys any sense of relaxation in the evening, since we’re always waiting and listening for his cries. It really takes a lot out of you, and I’m sure it makes me shorter-tempered, foggier-headed, etc.

Sleep training, it is. I don’t care what it takes – we need to get this done. For us, for the family unit.

5. Eat cleaner during the week – cut out carbs and sugar except for weekend.

I’d like to adopt a better mode of eating – maybe a very carb-limited diet during the week, with more relaxed rules for the weekend. Not really sure where I fall on this one yet.

6. Take trip with my brothers; provide a vacation for my family.

I’ve always had the fantasy of paying for a vacation for my family; of taking everyone on some awesome trip. Usually, in my head it’s the Swiss Alps, which I loved the first time around.

This year, I want to do this twice: I want to arrange a “Bro Trip” for my two younger brothers, both of whom are getting married this year.

I also want to rent out a lake house in the summer and invite anyone who wants to come – just have an open invitation to come, hang out, watch the sun set, etc.

To me, that’s what being rich really is – being able to do these things for the people that are important to you. But why wait until I have millions of dollars? I can start small, start cheap, and still put together really great experiences I’ll remember forever.

7. Have a completely automated investment system set up and funded.

This is a big one. I sort of woke up last year and realized….being self-employed means no one’s doing this for you. You need to invest for yourself.

You can’t earn your way to life-long wealth – I know that, intellectually. But my personal drive and focus has always been on more clients, more work, more sales.

That will only take me so far. I know, if I wan to have a source of income around when I’m older, I need to invest now. And I need it to be automatic – invisible. Otherwise, I’ll never stick with it.

I bought the books, I have the plan. Just need to follow through, which is the boring, and thus hardest, part.

8. Define and finalize the giles corey batch of songs.

I have, like, a million Giles Corey riffs and bits and pieces floating around. There are some that are obvious includes; there are others I don’t even remember writing.

I doubt I can finish recording the entire record, so let’s set a better, mid-term goal: I want to organize, polish, and essentially know these songs, back to front. I want to be able to perform the entire new record live, if need be. And I want that done this year.

This will be the year’s biggest challenge, because it’s very challenging for me to work on music now. But I have to push through. It’s who I am – I can’t give it up.

9.Publish the black pyramid.

Another reach goal. I have this idea – this crazy, sprawling idea. Part memoir, part self help, part fantasy, part comic, part novel. A lot of parts. No clear idea on how they fit together.

But I can make it happen – I just need to work at it. Make it consistent. Make the time. I want to. But do I want to enough?

10. Start and run a podcast; put the Legrand society on a better system.

Legrand Society (our record label’s subscription service) has been great, but I’m still running it on the janky system I hacked together two years ago. It’s time to make it official, and focus on treating it like the fun, intriguing, amazing thing it’s been since we started.

The specific are boring – publishing podcast feeds, moving to ecommerce/membership platforms, etc. The end result will hopefully be awesome.

11. Build a brand around my personal coaching.

I’ve done personal coaching for a while, in the online marketing space. I’ve never focused on it or really promoted it, but I really enjoy it – it’s the closest thing to teaching that I do, and I miss teaching.

Thing is, it’s a great way to pick up extra money – there’s little to no overhead and it’s very time-efficient when I do it well. It makes sense to treat it like a real business – to give it a dedicated site, some content, etc.

So, that’s what I’d like to do. Again, not focusing on the end result – I don’t need a certain number of clients. I just want to do this really well, provide a lot of value for folks. That’ll be enough for now.

So, there you have it: My goals for 2015. This is what I’m focused on, what I care about – my family, our future, my health. Pretty basic.

But it’s important to me, this life I’ve built. I want to keep building it.