I’ve been trying to decide how best to approach this post.
What’s the best way to look back, see what worked and what didn’t, make some plans for next year and then share it all with you?
I guess I’ll just start writing and see what happens.
This is not a list of 2017 regrets or 2018 New Years Resolutions. This is a list of things that has been on my mind all year that I want to do more or less of.
The overall mission? Align actions with goals.
And in keeping with one of my 2018 goals for this blog, I am going to keep it very short and sweet.
- Align actions with goals. Most of us have goals, but our daily actions don’t move us towards them. I have goals in life. This year, my actions were not aligned with those goals at all. This dissonance resulted in me not accomplishing most of my goals. For example, I want to record and release music, but I spent most of my time writing blog posts and making youtube videos. At the end of the year I have hundreds of blog posts and videos posted, but no music. This makes me feel confused and miserable. So moving forward I’ll pay close attention and make sure my actions match my goals. You can do it too. For example, if you wanted to lose weight in 2017 and didn’t, I bet your daily actions didn’t meet your goals. To lose weight your daily actions should be stuff like: “eat less, move more, eat better foods, drink more water”. But most of us set a goal to lose weight and then watch tv, lay in bed, eat junk food, stay inside and then complain that we can’t lose weight. When you align your actions with your goals, things will magically start to work better.
- Do Less, Make More. As I said above, I spent a lot of time doing things that don’t really matter for my goals. I spent all of my time doing ‘busy work’ as a way to distract myself from doing the work that really needs to be done. Moving forward I want output less crap and focus on making more things that matter.
- Release music. This is a big one. When I’m not releasing music (as opposed to writing/playing it at home for myself) I feel like I’m wasting my life. I have about two dozen songs that are good and need to be heard. The goal is to get into a regular routine of writing, recording, releasing and performing. You know… the stuff musicians are supposed to do. I am reminded of my Mom’s Dad, DJ Lafon who painted every day for around 60 years. Art was his obsession – and he worked at it every single day. When he died he left behind thousands of paintings, drawings and sketches that are hanging on hundreds of walls now.
- More time with best friends. This year I took two trips to Oklahoma. One for Thanksgiving and another for Christmas. I spent most of the time with some of my best friends from high school who I haven’t seen in years. A few of us have kept up pretty well, but the larger group hasn’t been in the same place at the same time for over 20 years. Being around them (almost) all again reminded me what life feels like when you have good friends around who you’d trust with your life. We all grow up and go out into the world trying to reinvent ourselves and make new friends, but in my experience the bonds you make later are rarely as strong as your childhood friends. The experience of seeing them all again was life-changing for me and made me happy. So I want to do it more and more, again and again.
- Spend less time at home. For many years, I have found it best to stay alone as much as possible. I just needed a long break from life and it’s worked out pretty well for me. But at this point, I think being alone has gone from being the solution to a problem, to being another problem and now it’s starting to hurt more than it helps. It’s an easy fix – I’ll just plan a few hours out of the house every day and stick to it.
- Be more hopeful and kind. This year I also spent some time with a long-time family friend. We met when I was about twelve years old and she quickly became one of several “soul moms” who helped raise me. In 1985 she was preached peace and kindness. In 2017 she is still preaching peace and kindness. When I told her that I thought peace was impossible due to the natural human desire to fight and conquer, she said something like “Ok I get that, but can we at least keep CONSIDERING a way it could be possible?” And that changed my mind about it. Hope is the first step to something becoming real – and my “it’s impossible” statement was me saying that, based on what I’ve learned over the years, I have personally lost hope in peace, so it is not possible. Her response made me rethink the possibility of at least keep considering a way world peace could happen. And that continued consideration and hope means that there is still a chance. This was a huge lesson for me. Thank you E.O.
- Ignore politics even more. After a year of Trump’s presidency, all that I’ve learned is that both liberals and conservatives are the same idiot. Neither side is right, both sides are wrong and everyone just want their side to win. The year we’ve also proven that the mainstream media is completely biased, horrifically fake and absolutely irrelevant. This was always my suspicion, but this year has made it clear that it’s true. I already stay pretty tuned out, but I want to work even harder to avoid reading/watching it and spending time with people who are hyper-focused on it.
- Improve MADSOCIETY. I have a really cool opportunity with MADSOCIETY. By sharing my personal experience with marketing over the years I’ve created a brand that is real – and that is something that is very rare in the industry. That part happened by accident, and it’s done. Now the goal is to turn MADSOCIETY into the most unique and helpful brand in the industry. Some plans are already underway and more will be coming in 2018.
- Be more minimal. My internal blueprint says I need to own little to no possessions and be able to relocate easily at any time. Compared to the average person I’m already pretty minimal. But for me, I’m still not at my goal. Recently I’ve been researching how to get rid of my bed and all my furniture. I think minimalism has been over-talked-about online, but possessing less and simplifying our lives is the future.
- Be Myself. When I look back at the last two years of blogging and vlogging, I see that, outside of a few really personal postings, I was highly influenced by other people. The thought was that “other people did ”X“ and got a million subscribers on their email list, so I will do ”X” too“. But what I found at the end of it all was that I can be much more useful by being my authentic self. And if being myself gets me less subscribers and attention, I’m ok with that. When I die I’d rather be remembered as an obscure artist than as a really famous version of someone else.
Looking back at 2017 and ahead at 2018, my goal is simple.
- Do more of the things that align my life with my internal goals.
- Do less of the things that do not.
My hope is that by doing this, my life will better match my internal blueprint. And when I share the stuff I’m doing online, maybe it will help you too.
Have a great New Year’s Eve.
I will see you in the future.