2018 has bolted away like a space probe blazing past Ultima Thule. Cue mass introspection. Sure, dates and years are universally accepted ‘imagined realities’ and, yes, it’s just as fruitful to reevaluate and assess in May as it is on January 1. 1/1/19 ain’t nothing but a number. But, even if we resist, this time of year is still when we think the deepest about our next steps. I believe the general lull of the last two weeks of December is partly to blame: we end up with a lot of time on our hands — time to think for extended periods free of most work distractions — and we’re spending a lot of it in close contact with our families. Reflection and contemplation come naturally.
I’m not any different. My week in the sticks afforded ample time to go over my strategies moving forward, where my goals lie, how I’ve veered off track in 2018, and what else I can do to increase joy in my life. Some of these thoughts are deep — I don’t feel I have a firm grasp on my goals and what they mean to me — and some are tactical. In the latter category, I’ve done another (!) redesign of my daily work routine, a bunch of Omnifocus tweaks (new perspectives and constraints, oh my), and am going to experiment with more incorporation of a calendar in the workflow. I need the discipline that scheduling and time blocking encourages, and I aim to exercise this discipline as if building a skill.
My friend (and fellow altMBA’er) Dean Caravelis has a plan. He publicly listed his 2019 goals for all to see. Dean’s also printing these out and putting the list in a place where he’ll encounter it each day first thing in the morning. I like this.
I’m still thinking about my own goals, but I do know that I’d like to write every single day (and post the result on this blog, but no pressure); I’d like to get at least six new 8D Industries releases in listeners’ hands within a year; I want to read at least two books a month; and I plan on regularly writing and recording new music once again. I know there’s about five more I can come up with and I’m giving this some thought. As I said, it’s that introspective time of year.
Dean has also listed his ‘word of 2019:’ Intentional. The first thing that comes to mind for my 2019 word is ’transitional.’ That might be a cop-out as every year I feel like I’m in transition. But, for some reason, 2019 feels more so — not just for me, but for everyone.
I’m also going to return to my ‘album a day’ practice, which I wrote about here. I’ll do it a little differently — not as strict, and I doubt I’ll regularly post my listening habits on social media — but I think it’s important that I keep my mind fresh with new music daily.
To start, today’s soundtrack is apt: a thoughtful ambient album by Utah’s Grizzly Prospector. Titled dream story, it’s out on the intriguing Japanese label White Paddy Mountain. It’s bright and ringing, recalling vibrating strings, and there are some lovely vocal tracks (nearly a cappella) towards the end. The music gives off an air of future hope, just what the doctor ordered.
Here’s a tip: ‘follow’ your favorite labels and artists on Bandcamp. Then you’ll receive an email when there’s a new release. Create a rule in your email client so that those messages skip your inbox and are automatically archived and grouped into a predesignated folder. Then, when you’re looking for something new and tasty to listen to, open the folder. A list of new releases will be waiting for you. That’s how I ran across Grizzly Prospector.
Cheers to 2019. Let’s make it as good as we can imagine.