In past years, I’ve been hesitant to make generalized resolutions, preferring instead to set specific, quantifiable goals that I can measure at the end of the year. Doing so afford me the opportunity to say, unequivocally, that I did or did not fulfill my resolutions. This year I have one of those, but the rest are general life improving practices to get into.
Read 12 books
In 2015 I set the same goal for myself, and tracked my progress via Goodreads. I completed ten books, and read half of another five or so. Unfortunately Goodreads doesn’t count two halves as one whole, so this year I’ll have to make sure that I actually complete 12 books. If I do, next year the goal will be higher.
Don’t overindulge on media
Anyone who knows me know that I am a media junkie. I don’t just watch TV shows and movies, I re-watch and over-watch. I have seen some movie and shows so many times that I know them from heart, and yet I continue to watch them when there’s a lull in my life.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve binge-watched seasons of Community, Modern Family, Dexter, Breaking Bad, LOST, Entourage, Sherlock, or watched The Social Network, The Pursuit of Happyness, Die Hard, Fight Club, (500) Days of Summer, Up in the Air…
All good movies, but they’re taking up so much of my time. I think that so far in my life I’ve never done or been doing anything that I would prefer to do more than watch TV. As such, my intention for 2016 is to find things that I’d rather do more than consume media, and spend my time more wisely than wasting it away on content that I have memorized.
Note: If there’s some new, hot show or movie that everyone’s talking about, I’ll consider watching it. But I’ll be pacing it out, and not wasting an entire weekend watching one TV season on Netflix.
Make healthier choices
This is one of those ambiguous resolutions that I’ve tried to avoid in years past, but I’ve gone too long without having this one on my list. Having been mostly unemployed over the last two years (long story) I’ve gotten lazy and gained a considerable amount of weight, and I wasn’t exactly skinny to start with. I need to turn myself around, and make better choices across the board; diet, exercise, sleep practices, etc. I don’t have a tangible goal set for myself, but it doesn’t really matter. Sticking to this one is non-negotiable, if I want to live as long as my peers.
Last year I read Chris Hadfield‘s autobiography, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. Not only was it very well written (which is important to me), but it told an amazing story of a boy who “… wasn’t destined to be an astronaut. [He] had to turn [himself] into one.” To summarize the book’s introduction, when Chris Hadfield was 9 years old he looked up at the moon and decided that even though Canada had no space program, or training facility, or manual to read, that he would do whatever it took to become an astronaut by imagining what a space explorer might do when were 9 years old, and emulate those decisions and behaviours.
“I could get started immediately. Would an astronaut eat his vegetables or have potato chips instead? Sleep in late or get up early to read a book? … What I did each day would determine the kind of person I’d become.”
Gary Vaynerchuk has a similar story, in the sense that he started his career earlier than people would have expected and hustled in secret before he finally, one day many years later, saw the fruits of his labour. Gary’s father, a former Soviet Union immigrant, opened a liquor store that Gary worked at during his teenage and twenty-something years. He spent years quietly working, listening, learning, and innovating to eventually grow the business from $3M to $60M annually. This did not happen overnight. Everything he did was one chess move closer to success. Everything he did was to further his business. He thinks long-term like nobody else; “Some people see long-term as 3 to 5 years. I see long-term as until the day I die.”
The following video explains Gary’s philosophy pretty well, and I watch it often for a motivation boost:
So why am I even going into all of this? To illustrate the power and importance of hustle. To explain (and remind myself) of my inspiration to work harder in 2016. To outline what’s possible by giving 100% and going all-in. I have to start focusing on the long term instead of just the here and now. I have to work harder and make better decisions to make my business, Modern Marketing, a success. And it is possible.
I can be honest with myself and admit the fact that in the past I have not worked as hard as I could have. Too often I’ve opted to do what was convenient or easy instead of what was necessary. That is something I really need to turn around in 2016. I’m not going to waste time watching movies and TV that I’ve seen before, I’m not going to waste time online when I could be calling clients, I’m not going to make excuses when I know I can do better.