For 2018 I decided to make the theme “Action”. I chose this because in the past I felt like I spent too much time in analysis mode, and that prevented me from actually doing.
So this year ever project that I started was viewed from the lens of “how do I make this move forward”. The results were pretty good!
The bad stuff first
I don’t like to focus on the negative aspects of the past year. It is such a cliched and unproductive thing to do, yet everyone on social media will be the first to tell you how bad the year was.
Whatever. Bad shit happens to everyone from time to time. How did you respond to it? That’s what matters.
For me, the year started off rocky due to being laid off from my day job at the beginning of February. Not an ideal way to get things going, but it did open some doors I didn’t expect…
New projects, new ideas
As I started a job search it occurred to me that I should make a list of what my dream job would look like. Doing this lead me to (re)discover the idea of remote working.
I absolutely despise sitting in traffic. For me, it induces stress like no other activity can. Why should I do this if it causes me so much non-joy?
So I began to look for remote-first jobs. To help me do this I wrote a small web app that I quickly realized could be expanded to help others in a similar situation. Thus Remote Matcher was born!
Side note: I eventually found the perfect remote job for me! Sadly I did not find it though Remote Matcher. That would have been too perfect! 🙂
I continued to take action throughout the year and launched a few more projects. None of them turned out the way I wanted them to, but as was pointed out to me by a good friend: I produced a lot of things this year and learned a ton in the process.
As a family we decided that we needed to do a little more traveling now that the kids are older and can appreciate things more. As a result, there was a ton (for me at least) of travel over the summer. 3 major trips, and several smaller one helped us broaden our horizons a little bit.
This coming year will probably see more local/regional travel.
The goals for 2018
I started off the year by making several goals/objectives for me to achieve. As the year progressed I visited these often and in one case refined the goal a little bit to make it more actionable and measureable.
Here’s a quick run down of what this looked like:
One goal was to increase business revenue to the point that it was a stable secondary source of income. For a variety of reasons, this didn’t happen.
I learned a lot, but overall I am disappointed by my lack of progress here. Every day is a new chance, and I am determined to reverse this in 2019.
My health is becoming something I am paying more attention to as I get older. There’s a million benefits to this that I’m not going to go into other than to say this: Its easier to keep good health than to get it back.
To this end I significantly improved my exercising routine over last year. By the end of the year it was clear how I could take it to the next level, so that made setting a 2019 goal pretty straightforward.
(Of course right after I did that I caught the flu and was not able to do anything physical for the last few days of 2018. So 2019 hasn’t started as strongly as I would like, but hey that’s life. Adapt and move on!)
I also made a goal to meditate on a regular basis. This is one of those habits that gets dropped in time crunches, and after a year of reflecting on this I see it needs to be a priority.
Again, there’s a lot of reasons to do it, and for me they are pretty solid. Already this year I have been making the change to get mindfulness into my daily routine.
One of the main reasons I chose to work remotely was to increase my time spent with my family. My kids are at the age where a little bit of guidance and presence will go a long way in shaping the people that they become as adults.
I’m happy to say that while I didn’t hit the metric I set for this goal, I did come really close. And this is one of those things where any work is good work, so overall I am really happy with this.
Overall I did pretty well with my goals. I didn’t hit the numbers, but I was pretty consistent throughout the year in working on them.
Also, having the theme of “Action” really helped me. A few times a month I would look at my goals and see the word “Action” at the top.
As corny as it sounds, seeing that and thinking about it got me to take action more times than no.
And let’s face it, action is what we need if we are going to accomplish anything meaningful in life.
In 2019 my goals are still focused on the same areas, just with more specifics on the actions I need to take to achieve them.
I did add one more area, reading.
I have come to the realization that what I read makes a huge difference in my mood and motivation. So this year I am adopting the habit of reading for 20 minutes per day of non-junk information. My outcome for this is to become more curious and knowledgeable about the world around me.
So this year’s theme for me is: unstoppable.
In the past I have let things get in my way or even cause me to backtrack. This year, as I face challenges, I will tell myself that I am unstoppable.
Much like the theme of “action”, I look forward to being “Unstoppable” as I progress further on my journey to a better me.
Wrapping up: Take action
2018 was a great year. Don’t let others negative opinions infect your view of your world.
2019 is going to be a great year for me. I’ve already decided this, and I’m not going to let external voices change my mind.