Happy New Year (yes, I’m a little late — there is a lot of stuff going on). Do you do the New Year’s resolution thing? I sometimes do but it’s usually something I won’t stick to or something that, if I’m honest with myself I really don’t care that much about. This year though I decided to do something that I wish I had figured out a long time ago, and I want to share it with you because it has been incredibly motivating for me. I’ve been more motivated and focused than I have been in a very long time. Especially more motivated than I was in 2018. Last year was just a complete dumpster fire in almost every way. Heading towards the end of the year, I decided that I was going to make some changes. Do some leveling up in this game of life. So I made a plan.

For much of 2018 I felt like I was just trying to keep my head up out of the water and just trying not to drown. At one point near the end of December I got so frustrated with myself that I decided I was going to have to sit down and figure this thing out. I felt frustrated because I wasn’t getting anything done. I had all these great ideas and opportunities, but I wasn’t doing anything with them or following through on them. If I’m honest with myself — there’s that phrase again — it’s probably a thing that’s just been building up for the last 5 years. After thinking about it for a long time I decided that I never have any real direction or purpose defined. Why was I doing the things I was doing?  What do I even want to be doing? I couldn’t really answer those basic questions. If I stepped outside of myself to take a look at me, I saw a mess. Unorganized, not training consistently, making dumb decisions, frustrating other people, frustrating myself, missing out on amazing opportunities and on and on and on.

I decided to have a brainstorming session with myself. Write down all the things that I care about and love doing. Put down on paper all the things that are important to me. It was a big list, but I started to narrow it down. Words and phrases like wife, skateboarding, running, coding, helping people, coaching, podcasting, among many others starting coming out on the page. I started to group these words and phrases together with things that were similar and cutting them down to a single list of 13 things. Funny enough, that’s my favorite number. The 13 things? In no particular order, Olive Branch CrossFit, Social Media/Marketing, Wife, Music, V(b)logging, Skateboarding, LHRL, Development Style/Design, Life Style/Design, Income ($$$), Podcasting, Fitness, and Friendship.

Once I had all of these things written down I could focus on them and make goals specific to each of these things. I took to my trusty Evernote app and listed each topic and put 3-4 goals under each one. Here are a few examples:

Podcasting

  • Help 3 people start and record a new podcast
  • Find 5 new podcasts to listen to
  • Start a new podcast of your own – topic TBD

Development – Style & Design

  • Get your personal website in order & running consistently (vonralls.com)
  • Learn a new programming language
  • Volunteer at least 3 times to help anyone with their project

LHRL

  • Surpass 200,000 downloads
  • Share the app with at least 100 people
  • Add at least 3 new & fresh ideas to the brand

Music

  • 10 Live Shows
  • String Guitars and keep them strung and clean
  • Listen to 50 complete albums that you have never listened to
  • Get a record player and speakers
  • Begin learning electronic music

A bunch of the other stuff was too personal to share, but hopefully you get the idea. I wanted goals that I could track, measure and make sure I was working towards reaching them. I folded a sheet of paper in half and stuck it to my fridge in my kitchen with a magnet. As I hit some of these goals I’ll write the goal on there and put a tick mark underneath it so that I can see it every time I walk through the kitchen.

I don’t know the right words to use to tell you the impact this has had on me, even just a few weeks into the new year. I have very clear and specific direction on what I want and where I want to be a year from now. So much so that there is no question about it. If I find myself questioning whether or not I’m on the right path I can just refer right back to my list. I can honestly tell you that if I’m doing things that get me closer to any of the goals on my list it makes me happy. At any moment I can stop and ask myself if what I am doing at the moment is getting me any closer to completing something that is on my list. If it’s not, I can just stop and refocus. It’s amazing. It’s such a simple thing, but it feels like exactly what I should have done years ago.

With all of this organization and purpose I am constantly finding ways to apply different things that I’ve learned over the last 5 years. I’m focused enough to stop, look at every situation and think, “why am I doing this?” If there’s no good reason I can just stop or say no. I’m super stoked to see how the year plays out. I’m not sure I’ll hit every goal on my list, some of them are pretty gnarly, but if I make it to 50% I’ll be super high on life this time next year.

Here’s my first “vlog” of the new year. If you aren’t following along please do. I think they are going to get good this year. If you need help reaching some goals or don’t know how to figure your shit out at the moment feel free to hit me up. I would love to try to help you.

 

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