Every January, I post my goals for the upcoming year.
This is a useful exercise, even though I come back to these goals very rarely.
For one, I think of it as setting a general direction – pointing myself towards somewhere I want to go. I may wander off course, but at least I’m heading in the right direction.
Secondly, starting off some of the processes I use to pursue these goals begets a certain amount of momentum, and that momentum is often enough to get me where I want to go.
So. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
1. COMPETE IN A JIU JITSU TOURNAMENT.
I recently started taking jiu-jitsu and really love it. It’s an incredible stress reliever, confidence-builder, and will (hopefully) help me overcome some of my fear of conflict.
I have found that having some public display of skill on the calendar does more than anything else for motivating me to train (see the half marathon I ran a few years ago). It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it.
2. TAKE A SOLO VACATION. PAY FOR THAO’S.
This year Thao and I decided to take one solo vacation each – some time apart from our “family” identities. They won’t be super long, but there’s something about “coming back” to your life that makes you incredibly grateful for what you have.
Not sure what they’ll be yet, but I want to make sure I provide the money for both and that we make this happen.
3. THREE LIVE PERFORMANCES.
We already have one scheduled, for HAVE A NICE LIFE. I miss performing, so I need to make this happen. I’ll probably try to do one performance of new Giles Corey material, and maybe one for the potential side project I’m working on with my friend Fran.
Who knows? The details aren’t really important, but I’m looking forward to this.
4. ONE DAY A WEEK FOR CREATIVE WORK.
Pretty sure this goal has beeN on this list before. It’s always fallen off, because the business has devoured any time available to it.
This year, I’m doubling down. I have the team in place, people to help me get things done. I simply need to protect the time and make sure that boundary is protected.
The theory is that with time given over to creativity and nothing else, I’ll be more productive. It’s already started to happen – I made some major progress on an old HANL demo I’d been sitting on – and I have the calendar days blocked off. I want to keep this up this and see what comes out of me when I give myself permission to pursue whatever comes to mind.
5. CLOSE RATE ON THE PHONE UP TO 40%.
I do sales calls on the phone, and over the last few months I’ve really gotten in my own head about it. My close rate dropped off hard, and I let it rattle me.
It’s not really a problem financially, but it’s a mental obstacle I’ve found it hard to get over. Plus, if I solve this problem I’ll massively improve my income, which is quite the incentive.
I’m going to attack this problem from as many angles as possible. If I can hit 40% my income goals will more or less take care of themselves.
6. LAUNCH TWO NEW SERVICE LINES.
Another way to directly address income goals. If we launch our Facebook ads service and our new “Partners” program, either one of those has the potentially to massively shift the nature of the business and bring in a lot of new business.
Both are exciting, and both will require us to grow our skills and capacity in the process, which makes it exciting.
7. PROVIDE HEALTH CARE FOR THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH.
Let’s be honest – Obamacare does not seem long for this world. As a freelancer, Obamacare gave me my first-ever opportunity to actually have health insurance.
Now, as the “boss,” I can see the people that work for me in the same situation I was in. It’s important to me, from both an ethical and business stand point, to make sure people get taken care of and feel secure. That means finding a way to provide some kind of coverage and, ideally, retirement plan.
No idea what’s involved or if that’s really possible where we’re at, but it’s something I care deeply about.
8. BE IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE.
Towards the end of last year I got my shit together and am now in roughly the best shape I’ve been in since college.
But that’s not enough. I want to far surpass where I am and be in truly excellent shape.
I don’t really know how to quantify that goal, yet. I wanted to lose ten pounds or so, and I’m essentially there already. I’ve built the habit of working out and now need to think about optimizing my time in the gym, rather than just ensuring that I go.
I’ve never really been at this point before, so I’ll need to readjust. I’m not so concerned with the specifics right now, as much as I am with making sure that I set my sights high enough. Great aspirations lead to powerful actions.
9. ADD A NEW, SOCIAL HOBBY TO MY LIFE.
This was a late addition, but I need something to do. I work, I work out, I play music, I spend time with family. I feel like I need something that’s a pleasurable distraction with no expectation of “productivity.” Idle pleasures, and preferably one that expands my social circle (which, as you get older, begins to naturally constrict).
Don’t know where that’ll go, really, but I’m adding it.
Well, that’s it. Some goals for 2017. May next year be better than the last. Thanks, everyone.