A little while ago I posted my 2010 review where I looked back over the last 12 months and the goals that I’d set and how I’d measured up. This post is the counter-part, my 2011 plan.
Where 2010 was laying the foundation, I want 2011 to be where I start to build something great. I have a huge opportunity ahead of me this year as there is absolutely nothing that is preventing me from going after any idea or plan, and the only limitation will be myself. I have no employer that I’m tied to. I have no mortgage to pay. I have no children or other dependants. I have money in the bank. I have a roof over my head. I have a reliable cash flow. I have a computer and an internet connection. The world is my oyster.
When I listened to Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week back in 2008 and had my eyes opened to what is possible in this day and age I had dreams of Lamborghinis and endless travel funded by websites that bring in money on auto-pilot. While I still want those things, I now know that the goal is actually just to be able to do what I want, when I want. And I’ve pretty much hit that goal already.
Most days I:
- wake up whenever I feel like
- hang out with my friends, at any time of day
- have the freedom to go skating at 2pm on a Wednesday
- work as much or as little as I like, at whatever time I like
There’s another side to this though that most people don’t see. If something important is happening, I’ll still be working at 11pm at night, and I might do that every night for a week. Already this week I’ve done 4 nights where I’ve ‘worked’ until after midnight. But the difference is that I work on projects that I find interesting and enjoyable, so that for the most part it doesn’t feel like work.
It’s also quite challenging to stay motivated when you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck screaming about a budget report that is due in 83 seconds time, and that is something that I’d like to focus on more this year. And there are other challenges that come with this lifestyle but I’ll leave those for another day.
So, without further ado, here’s my plan for 2011. Just like in 2010, there’s a number of high level things I want to focus on.
- provide a meaningful contribution to others
- show generosity with my time and money
- improve my honesty with myself and everyone around me
- be open to new ideas, people and situations
- manage my time effectively, every day
- produce my best work. EVER
- be elegant
If you read my 2010 review, you’ll see that most of these carry over. But there’s a couple I want to discuss.
I don’t feel like I’m generous. After discussing this with a couple of other people, apparently I am perceived as generous from time to time. But it doesn’t resonate. I feel like the world owes me. So I’ve committed to doing 2 things for the next 6 months to get a better understanding of this area of my life.
Each month, I will donate $50 to charity and I will track the generosity I give and receive. For example, if someone buys me a coffee, I’ll make a note of it. If I help a friend move house, I’ll make a note of it. The idea is that by increasing my awareness I will be in a better position to decide if I need to take other actions.
Already by recording these things just over the last couple of weeks I’ve realised that I receive a lot of kindness from the world that I’d normally forget about almost immediately.
Again, this is simply a matter of awareness. If someone gives me a suggestion, or recommends that I check out some music or a website, very often I’ll decide that whatever it is that has been suggested is dumb and not worth my time. I usually recognise that I’ve done this subconsciously a few minutes after it’s happened but I’d like to stop it.
My preferred mindset would be to listen and regardless of how bat-shit crazy the other person might be, have the attitude of “I wonder why this person believes this” and try and understand WHY they hold the view they do, rather than get so caught up on WHAT it is they’re trying to convince me of.
I have a habit of over committing myself. I take on projects and agree to help people regardless of my capacity to do so. This needs to stop. Being elegant to me means working hard, but in a focussed and thorough manner so that the end result is the best that you can produce. It is having the time to do things right. It is being present and going slow. My friend Eddie recently linked at great post on how to say “No”. I’m going to try to do less so that I can do more.
These statements are all ‘big picture’ sort of stuff and it’s hard to put a neat check-box beside each one and expect to tick it off. They’re principles not targets. But I do have a number of things that I’d like to get ticked off in 2011.
- Learn 100 mandarin characters (simplified)
- Complete 2 short-term consulting jobs to complement my existing client work
- Book flights for my next overseas trip
- Monitor and improve my health
- Create 1 new source of cash flow
I wonder where I’ll be in January 2012.
Here’s to a great year!!