Almost time to turn the heat up again.
Last year, 2017, the theme I set for myself was Turning Pro.
At 26, I wanted to leverage my past work growth and momentum into professionalism. Showing up and doing the work.
So I dedicated my year to channeling my inner-Pressfield.
2017 was one hell of a year: I moved to LA. Moved in with my girlfriend. I split with a business partner. Ran a Half-marathon. I drastically reduced my stress. I learned how to lead myself. And as I’m writing this down, I’m feeling like the list should be longer…
See the intention played out, just… not how I thought.
What I didn’t expect was the twists and the turns and the shift from a focus on work, to a focus on working on me.
Despite the new ocean view, 2017 was a year mostly abundant in internal changes. This means that the public scoreboard hasn’t drastically shifted.
And I’m underselling here, but as Warren Buffett said:
Would you rather be the world’s greatest lover, but have everyone think you’re the world’s worst lover?
Or would you rather be the world’s worst lover, but have everyone think you’re the world’s greatest lover?
The question is, what type of scorecard you keep? External or Internal?
I’m much happier now, much more creative, and ultimately much more effective. I feel a new confidence in my abilities. Which means the internal scorecard is feeling pretty good. And that’s what really matters, but despite knowing that, you want to see that translate more visibly.
Self-improvement is a solo sport and honestly, no one else cares, which is why I won’t go into detail. But 2017 ended up taking a huge amount of energy, and endurance to make this shift. So, capping the year with an improved mindset and perspective, with an urge to bring more to the world.
And why is it that 16 years old me is still showing up with his interests and desires? I swear there’s work I still fantasize about accomplishing that relates to my earliest days on the internet, browsing Tumblr and writing some of my first blog posts. I’ll take it as a positive sign for now.
The hard thing is, you can’t do everything at once. That’s one of my pitfalls. When I have an idea I want it done right away. So one of the goas for me is to better schedule myself out into the future to allow for things to be done in the proper timing and process. So I’ll try and be more patient, and I’ll try and bring creative inspiration back from every age.
Theme for 2018: Simplicity and Efficiency.
I want to maintain a strong perspective of my impact and abilities, and reduce complexity whenever possible. This means staying focused on what’s important, asking “what is this for?” removing clutter and asking the right questions. High impact work, over wasted movements.
Reading – No strategy to this, new books and articles are consumed in a constant flow. I’ll pick up and put down different blogs every day, no real change just continuing.
Whole 30 – Shame me all you want, but clean eating clears your head and keeps you sharp. I’m starting the first of the year off with 30 days of real food, and hopefully no cheats.
Email – My only “productivity hack.” On the holiday I set up a new email system with a goal of keeping inbox zero and checking once a day. I used this outline and I’ve messed with my settings for a simplified inbox, and I have a clear method for responding, organizing, and taking action.
Social Media – Still a bit stuck here; Instagram is less inspiring and my time on twitter is hanging by a thread. Maybe something else will come along. Maybe I can tie it more to this community, which would help me get flowing again.
Leading indicators –
666, AKA the Kobe Bryant method.
6 Workouts a week
6 AM wakeups
6 Deep Work sessions per week.
If I hit these many of my other goals should have some solid ground to stand on.
Priorities – Still pondering, and should have been the first thing I got to, but you can’t force them into perfectly clear view.
Once again, I see these emails as an ongoing discussion, a weekly conversation that happens over virtual coffee. Thanks to the wifi and email plumbing that’s connecting all of us, I’m grateful to be having it with you.
So I’m curious:
What did you think last year at this time?
And what are you thinking about this next year, right now?
Or, maybe you’re just happy to see 2017 in the rearview and you’re letting the time flow without too much thought.
For that, I say kudos and Happy New Year!