Success will come only to those who are willing to have a little blind faith–in themselves, in their art, and in their ability to stand tall and take the world by storm.
Ashley Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
With 2010 now over, a lot of people have been writing about their meditations on the previous year and what they have planned for the next (examples: Murray, Tristan, Steve Pavlina, Ingrid). I have spent a lot of time reflecting on 2010 myself, because it was a landmark year for me. My daughter was born December 31st, 2009, so 2010 was a full year with her changing dramatically. I had moved to a new city at the end of 2009, too, so 2010 was my first full year here experiencing the (hot) summer weather, exploring the city, adjusting to dealing with agressive idiots and morons. There have been many problems to deal with, too. It’s turning into a laundry list, and I write them here for me to remember in the future, and maybe some will find it unbelievable.
- January 2010, discovered black mold throughout our basement suite after having only lived there two months. Had to find a new place ASAP because of our newborn.
- March 2010, a month after living in our new apartment, my vehicle was broken into. Passenger side window smashed, GPS stolen, etc. The incredible thing is we have underground parking. It was someone within our building doing it.
- April, the transmission on my Jeep starts to act up and not shift properly. Not incredibly expensive to fix since it is just one part, not the entire transmission failing.
- June, make a road trip to see family with a side trip to see one friend. Said friend keeps delaying when to connect with us, and when we do connect, only has 30 minutes with us. Hotel + ferry + parking + food = $300 for a 30 minute visit.
- July, the month where I committed to sticking to the Primal Blueprint and setting up this blog. To date, I’ve lost 45 pounds and am under 200 lbs for the first time since University. The blog started off slowly, but I’ve learned a few things and reached 1,000 unique views in the month of December. Never thought I would get to that point after six months, so I’m happy.
- September, picked up a side gig for a week escorting a meeting group around the city. 70 hours during the week, and it was an absolute gong show of a job.
- October, mother-in-law lived with us for six weeks. An experience I hope I never have to go through again because it’s incredibly awkward at times – but we do get along so it could have been much, much worse. Also received a notice of a possible eviction from our place, for a few drops of oil in our parking stall of all things. To celebrate our first year in the Okanagan, we spent a few nights at the Sparkling Hill Resort, which I really should write up properly.
- November, turned 31. All downhill from here, I imagine!
- December, the most eventful month of the year. Vehicle was stolen this time (parked outside) and driven 5 blocks before being ditched because the transmission acted up on them. $300 for towing, $400 in repairs. I had three job interviews this month. With one of them, I had an offer at the end of it, but was told to wait a few days to think it through. When I called back, someone from another of their hotel’s had applied and they have a policy to hire internally first. That was a real bummer. I was short listed for another position, had a great interview, but never heard back either. Not even a courtesy email. Some people these days. In the last two weeks, there was my girlfriend’s birthday, my daughter’s first Christmas (spent with my girlfriend’s family), and my daughter’s first birthday on New Year’s Eve. It’s quite a whirlwind of a period and I will get to go through it every.single.year.
And that brings us to 2011. After enduring all the changes the past year and making some personal triumphs, how do I keep that up for the next year?
Don’t Move, Improve
It is tempting to move away from some of the problem areas in my life and start over, but I think the better solution is to improve upon the current situations that are problems. Moving away from them is, in a sense, quitting, and quitting is a negative experience in my opinion. Looking ahead to the new year, I am taking a cue from Meryl Evans who writes:
The experts’ suggestions for goal setting and planning overwhelm and paralyze many folks, including me. Rather than commit myself to particular goals at the beginning of the year, I watch my business and professional lives, do a little temperature-taking throughout the year, then make decisions based on what’s actually happening.
Here are my three simple steps:
- Figure out your passion.
- Create rules to support these passions.
- Make decisions based on the first two steps.
For 2011, I want to focus on three items that I know I am and can be passionate about 365 days of the year:
- My young family – daughter and girlfriend
- My health – mind, body, and spirit
- Four Sides blog
The first item is a no brainer. The second, is a common item for most, but I feel as though I’ve made huge strides with it in 2010 and can easily keep it up. I have read The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss (review part 1, part 2, part 3 is coming), and wish to focus more on body composition than fat loss. As I mentioned before, I have lost over 40 pounds through following The Primal Blueprint, but I want to improve upon these successes and make my body better than before. The diet is the main component of it, and now that my girlfriend is on board with it, I think both of us can go a long way with this.
The Four Sides blog has been growing, but isn’t at the level I would like it at. Here is the traffic summary from the stats provided by Squarespace.
I have discovered that my traffic remains consistent even when I do not post anything, and that my most popular posts are in regards to people/products, and not entirely my own ideas and opinions. Of course, my own ideas posts spark more conversation in the comments. I have been thinking about how to improve upon this mix, and improve the blog, without a major change in course (ie writing about a specific niche). Here are the three rules I want to stick with on this blog:
- Write one review (book, blog, product) a week, and one pensée post. Ideally, write at least one 1500 word pensée a month.
- Migrate the blog to WordPress when the contract is up in April with Squarespace for better control.
- Focus any inspirational reading on certain blogs and magazines to eliminate distractions.
I have decided that my overall motto for the new year is going to be:
Enhance the Personal
I want to make this blog more personal and passionate; make my life more personal and start living and working for my own needs, not to fill someone else’s.
If you have suggestions on how I should be doing things differently on this blog or want to share your own rules you are going to live by this year, please do share them. I have an insatiable curiousity to learn more.
And, because I simply can’t resist sharing this, here is my daughter, reading a book: