If you are like most people I know, you’ve probably been thinking some about this new year and how you’d like this year to be the year that some things change. I know I have.
Last week in my “year in review” post I said that I didn’t make any specific goals or resolutions at the beginning of last year. But this year will be different. I am going to make some goals. Not only that, I’m going to publish them here for you to read. (I do reserve the right to have some goals that I don’t publish here…)
In the past I’ve kept my goals to myself, after all they are personal things. However, I’ve heard from several sources that being public about what you are going to do increases the likelihood of you actually doing it. Besides I wish more people were honest about how things are going. We are all struggling through life. No one is perfect, even that person who you think has all parts of life figured out.
In general, living each day with the future in mind, and the “where are we going” point of view, gives you reason for doing what you’re doing right now, today. For instance, if I know that I want to walk across a continent… well, I need to be walking every day.
As a Christian I believe that everything I do here on earth should ultimately be for the furthering of God’s Kingdom. Living life with that in mind each day can be difficult because it’s not something that we can actually see. It’s a bit of an “out there” idea. However, having a simple reminder of how that should affect my day to day life… well it helps me remember why I’m here and what I should be doing.
So, now that I’ve somewhat established some of my “why” for setting goals, lets go ahead and get into them!
I like to think of myself as a creative person. The truth is that I am not classically “artistic.” What little creative prowess I do possess has come through much trial and error.
I learned more about photography in the year I did a 365, photo a day challenge than I did in any other 365 days. I still look back at that project and remember how difficult it was, and how rewarding it was to finish.
I’ve done a whole lot of “consuming” over the past few years, to the point where I would even say its almost unhealthy. In 2019 I want to create more than I consume.
Video / Cinematography
I’ve had a crush on the art of cinematography and beautifully telling a story through the video format for a long time. I’ve dabbled a little in it, but I am nowhere near the point where I’d like to be.
As more of the world comes online and the attention spans of people continue to shorten, one of the communication mediums that will continue to grow very quickly will be video. At least that is my opinion.
I want to be able to communicate via this incredible (and potentially beautiful) vehicle. To do so, as with most things I have reached any sort of competency with, there is a lot of “doing” between where I am at, and where I want to be.
This year I will be creating and publishing one video each week.
Fortunately for me I have plenty of opportunity. I can create something personal, or for my families farm, or for a little project my brother and I have been fiddling with for the last year or so.
Writing / Blogging
I love reading a well written blog post or a good book. There is something special about the written word. Writing well is also the basis for good communication in many situations, perhaps now more than ever.
In the past I’ve written a lot. I enjoy the process of starting with a blank screen and ending up with an article, blog post, letter or personal journal entry.
This year I will publish at least one blog post per week.
As I’ve discovered over the past year and a half or so, I really enjoy designing websites. Although I am semi proficient at this point, there is always more to learn. There are so many great designs being made/built these days.
Although I don’t have a specific measurable goal for this one, I do want to continue to do more web design and become better at it from a number of perspectives.
I also plan for web design to be the pillar “offering” for NodleStudios. (More about that in just a bit.)
This year I will continue to grow as a web designer.
Oops… did I mean to put this one here? 🙂
Yeah, I guess I did.
I really enjoy listening to podcasts. I am subscribed to a lot of different ones. They range from business, to financial independence, to deer hunting, to design, to photography. I don’t listen to all episodes, but if one looks interesting I’ll definitely listen to. I’ve even found that listening to a podcast is a great way to go to sleep.
I’d like to start a podcast. However, there are a couple of road blocks on this particular goal. What would the podcast would be about? Would it have guests or just be me? You know, little details like that. 🙂
This year I will start a podcast. Even if it’s not very good.
Business / Work
For years I’ve been doing all of my “moonlighting” simply under my name, or a simple DBA. Recently I decided it was time to create an actual business around my side projects.
After a lot of consideration I decided to return to where my journey into the web started. The name I chose to use is NodleStudios. The main reason being that this is the name that I built my first website under.
So, all of my side work and side projects will happen under the NodleStudios LLC brand. Speaking of which… my goal for NodleStudios this year is the following.
I will build out the offerings/branding/website for NodleStudios.
I already know one of the cornerstone offerings of NodleStudios will be web design. But I’ve got a few other little ideas as well.
Habit Tracking App
The main project I’ve decided to tackle this year is a habit tracking app. I already have a very rudimentary version of the app built, but its not ready for any “real users.”
Why would I build a habit tracking app in 2019? There are tons of such apps, many that are really, really great.
Here are a few reasons.
First of all, it is something that I personally need. I have a few ideas for how to approach the “check in” process that are a bit different than any apps I’ve used.
Second, I’ll be building the app out using Laravel (a php framework). Although I’ve used Laravel in the past I want to get better with it. The only way I know to get better with a particular tool is to spend the time and energy diving in and building actual projects with it.
Third, this gives me a great playground to design a great user interface and experience.
Fourth, although there will be a free tier, there will also be several tiers that will not be free. Although I don’t expect to get rich off of this particular app, the building of an income around a project is something I want to practice and learn more about.
Fifth, this isn’t the only project in my mind. I’ve got several other ideas that I keep adding notes to as I think about different functionality that I would love to have. This habit tracking app will be a learning experience for other future projects.
This year I will launch my goal tracking app by June. After that I’ll continue to upgrade and market it.
The earth is huge, and is filled with many different types of natural beauty, many of which can only be fully taken in in person. The cultures that are spread across continents and countries are also beautiful things to see and experience first hand.
I love to travel and am incredibly fortunate that I can work from anywhere in the world. Sure, it might make meetings a bit more difficult to schedule, but having an occasional meeting outside of normal working hours (on my end) is a small price to pay to be able to go anywhere in the world.
This year I will travel to at least one country that I’ve never been too before.
P.S. I basically have this particular goal in the bag already. I’ll be heading to Budapest Hungary in February and spending a month living, working, eating, exploring there. You can definitely expect to see pictures and read posts from my time there.
As most people I have a small laundry list of things that I know I could do better at in life. I guess in a lot of ways that is what this whole blog post is, but there are a few particular personal areas that I’d like to especially work on this year.
Weight / Health
One of the perennial things on my “new year new me” list is to get myself to a better physical/health state. I don’t necessarily want to be jacked with a six pack, although that might be cool, but have plenty of room for improvement.
A big part of my job is done behind a desk. Believe it or not that makes it very easy to not do very well on the health side of things.
For a lot of reasons I need to loose some weight. I’ve already been working on that thus far this year and things have gone somewhat well. However, there is more that I could do.
This year I will reach at least half of my goal weight.
Why only reach half of my goal weight? Well, unfortunately I have a lot of weight to loose. If I can reach half of my goal weight this year I’ll be doing very well.
Busyness / Intentionality
This year I want to spend less time being busy and more time doing important things that actually matter.
I think that’s all I need to say here.
I’ve talked some about writing and how much I actually enjoy it. At the other end of the pendulum are these things called “books.” There are tons of good books out there written by people who I respect and who have “been there” for a lot more life than I have.
There is also fiction. I tend towards the business line of books, but having a healthy injection of fiction seems like it might just be a good thing too.
I will read or listen to at least one book each month. Who knows, maybe what I’m reading will find its way into future blog posts.
I don’t have a ton to say for this one either. However, the older I get the more sure I am that I want to pursue a life that is free from stress about money. No, that doesn’t mean that I want to be filthy rich. However, it does mean that I want live without spending more than I should, while at the same time saving money for the future.
It is far too easy to allow myself to make dumb decisions when it comes to money. Money is a tool and I want to use it that way.
Being a good steward of what I am blessed with means a lot more than just “saving / spending less” it also has to do with giving and blessing others. None of these are new thoughts, but they are things I spend less time considering than I should.
I will be more in tune with where my money is going and what I’m doing with it.
Become a Morning Person
I love mornings. Sunrise with a cup of coffee, after having been up for a few hours is an incredible feeling.
I should have probably prefaced the previous paragraph by saying, “when I go to bed at a decent time…”
I go through periods of time when I do well at going to bed on time and getting up at an early hour. When I am able to do that I find that I am able to get more things done. A side benefit is that I generally feel much better about life in general.
I will become a full time morning person.
P.S. This doesn’t mean that I won’t sleep in occasionally. Being rested when facing the day trumps getting up early.
A good relationship is a good thing. I know I surprise very few people when I say that.
Working towards deeper and better relationships is hard.
Over the past few years I’ve gone from a handful of close friends to very few. This year I want to focus on investing in the relationships that I do have.
Grow in Faith
In some ways I’d have to say that I’ve been on a loosing streak with my faith through the last number of years. Life is complicated. Faith is complicated too. Add those two things together and stir it with a stick and its downright difficult to put one step in front of another some days.
I won’t go into all the details, but lets just say that the past few years have been tough ones.
As a Christian I believe that regardless who comes or goes, or what happens, God is faithful. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Regardless of what is going on around me, or even within my own mind…
Practically this means spending more time being quiet, in the scriptures and in prayer.
Phew… thats a lot of stuff that I plan to do this year. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be able to do “all of this” and be less busy than I have been in previous years. Fortunately a lot of these are not new things added to my day, but rather a focusing of things that are already part of my day.
Still there is a very practical question that I should probably address. How on earth do I plan to do this? How do I even plan to keep track of it?
Well… remember that goal tracking app that I mentioned somewhere above. That will be the core of how I track this in an ongoing way. Beyond that though I’ll set up a recurring weekly task in my “to-do” software that will remind me to read over my list of goals/resolutions.
2019 promises to be a year. That is all. I am a firm believer that you don’t need a new year to start new things or to start on your goals. However, it is a good cut off and beginning if it happens to coincide with your decision to move towards something.
Wherever you are today or whatever day it is… have a great day!