2015: HOLDING MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE


Personal & Lifestyle
piece written on the 6th January 2015 by  

When I sit and think about 2014 I find it hard to believe how quickly the year passed. It’s as though it came, saw and conquered right before our eyes. 2014 was a good year for me, it was my first year of being married which went incredibly well, my business has grown on many fronts including staff count, revenue and client base and just generally it felt like a good year. My aim for 2014 was to sustain and maintain, both in my personal life and business, and I’m happy to say that I believe that I achieved this.

2015

Although I don’t have a specific theme for this year, I do have a few things that have been bouncing around in my head thus far and I’ve decided to put them in a blog post so that I can refer back to this in 360 odd days time. This is absolutely not in order of importance.

  • I will no longer allow myself to have a computer in my room after 22h00 at night. The aim here is to prevent myself from falling asleep whilst watching something, to keep my brain unplugged with the hopes that I’ll enter sleep more relaxed and to ensure that I don’t check email before bed. I’m not sure how much of a difference this will make, but I know it’ll be a challenge, but an achievable one if I apply myself.
  • I’m also going to try and avoid checking email in the mornings before I get to the office. I spent a lot of time thinking about this and realised that if I check email whilst at home, I can hardly do anything about it (I prefer not to reply via mobile) until I get to the office and open my machine. So instead of filling my mind with things that have potential urgency, I can rather stay clear minded until I open my machine and then tackle matters accordingly in a more organised and level-headed manner.
  • A few years ago I decided that I would like to write a book and I spent some time drawing up a contents page only to later delete it. In the same light that 7 years ago I wasn’t ready to start my own company and decided to wait (which was a great decision), I now feel that the starts are more aligned and that 2015 might be the year that I do this. I’m not 100% certain yet, but once I’m back into the swing of things I am going to pursue this goal with the hopes that this time next year I’ll have a book on my desk that was written by myself.
  • Over the years I’ve realised that I like new ideas, I like to innovate and I like to move and shake. Unfortunately, a lot of the ideas I pursue require the assistance of someone else and unfortunately I don’t have a good track record of collaborating – I keep seeming to align myself with people who are all pumped up initially but then get too caught up in their other ventures. During 2015 I want to rectify this and one way that I’m going to do so is to focus on less ideas and use the saved time to rather carefully form some strategic alliances. I should say that there are people in my life who I work with that are brilliant, committed and trustworthy, so it’s not every idea ;)
  • At the beginning of 2014, my wife and I bought one of those massive calendars and drew up a social calendar. We did this by writing down all our incredible friends names and then contacting them to arrange social gatherings. This was to ensure that we could see everyone and enjoy spending time with our dear friends. It worked amazing for the 3 months that we mapped out, but at the end of the 3 months we slacked and the calendar was tossed. It didn’t prevent us from seeing everyone, but I found that the time spent wasn’t to the same level of quality as it was often last minute things without much planning. This year I want to try and set things up in another manner, perhaps map out 3 months and when it gets to the end of the first quarter, sitting down and committing to drawing up the next 3 months, rinse repeat.
  • During 2015 I want to launch a new business or a new division of iMod Digital with a partner. Fortunately I’ve got someone who is as keen to partner with me and we work incredibly well together so that’s very exciting. It’s going to be a lot of work with an extreme focus on delegation for both of us, but I believe it’s possible and I will push hard to make it happen. We’ve got a great idea which I think has strong potential in the vertical it exists, so watch this space.
  • I consume a huge amount of media on a daily basis, be it via websites, Twitter, Facebook or whatever communication platform. I want to try and change this somewhat and although I don’t have an answer yet, I realise that it needs to be more streamlined. Right now I’ve started listening to podcasts, specifically Tim Ferris and James Altucher with the hopes that this medium will be better from a focused consumption point of view. I listen in the evenings whilst I lie in bed, this combats the want for my computer to be with me. I’m looking forward to discovering some other great podcasts over the months.
  • If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I’ve taken a huge interest in investing and trading so there’s naturally a goal for 2015 around this topic. During 2015 I’d like to get into a position where I feel I have more holistic control over my finances. It’s hard to explain that because I have control, but I’d like to have a greater birds eye view of my portfolio to assist with diversification. Towards the end of last year, Simon Brown did a beginner webinar on JustOneLap which introduced the idea of diversification and the important glared at me. I’ll have to think about this and come back with my approach.
  • Last year was like many people’s years.. 12 months of graft and then a holiday. My opinion around this is that it’s not the correct approach, I think we need breaks more often as human beings and I’m challenging myself to figure out a better approach to taking breaks. Breaks clear the mind and allow you to return to work feeling motivated and powerful, if you can do that 4 times a year your productivity will be better and the results of your work will show. Stefan Sagmeister gave a Ted Talk about how every 7 years he closes his studio completely and takes a year off, I’m not suggesting something as drastic as that, although it’s fascinating to hear his reasons for this. Brad Feld did a Ted Talk (below) entitled Quarterly Week Off The Grid whereby he works 12 weeks, takes a week off, works 12 weeks, takes a week off and so forth, this is far more fitting in my opinion.We get 18 days of a leave a year or something to that degree so taking off 4 sets of 5 days is almost perfectly achievable. Anyway, you get my drift. This is something I think we all should be trying to achieve.

Here is Brad Feld’s talk:

  • I will not lie on my stomach on my bed and work on my Macbook during the week. This is actually damn important, having not done it during the holidays I can actually feel a difference in my back! Ironically, I’m typing this whilst doing so, oops!
  • TBC
  • My final goal is to achieve all the goals on this list ;)

Happy 2015 everyone!

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