None of us know what’s in store for us.
I mean, we’re only two weeks into 2016 and I’ve already been hit with surprises that affect the goals I wrote down for this year a few weeks ago. I’ve had some wake-up calls about some of my approaches and some of my behavior. I’m even more sure not that I don’t really know anything – I’m just figuring it all out. We all are.
But of course the lack of knowledge shouldn’t stop us from taking action, trying things, and to some extent, leaping without looking. We try, we fail, we learn, we adjust, and we try again. It’s all we can do.
So when I was reviewing my 2016 goals prior to to writing this article, I thought it important to make clear both to you all and to especially to myself) that our plans our impermanent. We don’t know everything going into a year, or a new opportunity, or a new project, or an adventure. We should go in with a plan, with some goals in mind. But we should be aware that unexpected things happen – both good and bad. And to adhere to our original plans instead of adjusting course when these unexpected things occur is lunacy.
With all that said, I still believe in goals. They’re still important to have. And I still believe that working in a specific direction is infinitely better than working without aiming toward something bigger. I just know that being dogmatic and inflexible in those goals can be equally harmful. So I will work toward my short-term 2016 goals with an eye to make sure that larger, more important goals like smiling, and having fun, and experiencing love and connecting with people, don’t take a back seat. (In fact my next article will be my “non-goals” for 2016. More on that later).
My 2016 Goals
These aren’t the end-all and be-all of what I want to do in 2016. They’re not all-encompassing. They’re simply the things that I’d like to shoot for in the few areas I was thinking about when I took the time to think about them. I’m including them here for some sense of accountability and to keep myself and others energized in following their passion.
One other note – these are my personal goals. I’m a part of some groups that have separate group goals that I’m not including here. I also won’t go into too much detail on why each one is important to me as I expect to write more about many of these as the year goes on.
- Publish at least 50 articles in 2016. This is about one week with a little fudge room, and potentially more if I meet my next goal.
- Get published in at least three other online publications. I love writing here but in order to get a larger audience and get more feedback on my content, I want to expand my reach a bit.
- Release one instrumental/rework/remix project. The barriers to this should just be my own willpower and abandoning my perfectionism, as they don’t require coordinating any other artists. The one I’m working on now is pretty exciting too!
- Get at least 5 beat placements. I’ve stopped sending artists beats in the last few years but I love working with artists and hearing what they come up with. I’ll ramp this back up this year.
- DJ at least 6 events. I’m keeping the definition of “event” fairly loose right now.
- Get a song played on Beat Haus radio. One of my favorite internet radio shows, I’d like to produce something of high enough quality to be featured on one of their episodes.
- Record at least one complete song in a studio. I love the convenience of recording at home, but miss being in the studio. I’ll return there this year.
- Get at least one paid DJ gig. Although I already technically have my first one lined up, it’s a group event and I won’t be paid directly.
- Release at least 5 DJ mixes. I released 3 in 2015, and with the events I’ll be DJing, this should be a piece of cake.
- Make some money from production. I don’t care if it’s $10, I’d like to experiment with charging for my production services.
Art and Other Creative Endeavors
- Complete one video project. I love working in video even though I’m not particular skilled, and I have tons of ideas. I’ll make sure to bring at least one of them to life this year.
- Complete at least three paintings.
- Sell one painting. Are you seeing a theme here? I’d like to start making some money from my creative passions – mostly to prove to myself that I can.
- Build a creative portfolio/CV site. It’s time to stop thinking of my creative pursuits as a “hobby” and start identifying myself as my ideal version of myself.
Note that I have some additional financial goals here but for whatever reason I’m not yet comfortable sharing the details on the internet. Here are the ones I am comfortable sharing.
- Eliminate credit card debt.I made a great dent in this in 2015 and expect 2016 to land the knockout punch.
- Sell my car. This will not only be a big win for my wallet, but also for my peace of mind.
- Increase my savings safety net. I won’t put my specific figure here, but this is a big thrust in 2016 for me. I’ll write more about the systems I’ll use to help meet this goal.
I’d like to take a deeper dive into the world of startup and determine my appetite for it. These goals are a bit fluffier right now because I don’t know what to expect – but I’ll refine them as I learn more.
- Attend at least 5 startup networking sessions. This will help me determine what I need to know or if this is even an avenue I want to pursue.
- Detailed write-ups of top 3 ideas. This is my “just show up” step to get the ball rolling.
- Run my ideas past a focus group. This is my “ask for help” step.
- Travel to at least 5 countries. This one is pretty simple, but will force me to travel more this year. That said, I’ll try to prioritize meaningful travel to a few places rather than frantic, touristy travel to many.
Health, Wellbeing, and Growth
- Make meditation a habit. Meditate at least twice per week in 2016.
- Make exercise a habit (again). Go to the gym twice a week (to start). Adjust this to include other activities as the year goes on and the weather improves.
- Attend one class or seminar on something that interests you. My post-collegiate education has been mostly self-directed, but I’d attend a class on something in which I’m interested.
- Improve your handwriting. It’s abysmal. Like, the worst. I’m not sure what the actual target is here but it’s something I want to work on, so I’m including it.
Is that it?
Of course not. There are areas of my life that are equally or more important than what is listed above – my happiness, my relationships with my friends, family, and significant other, seeking adventure, exploring, deep connections, peace and presence, and so much more. In my next article I’ll talk about these larger concepts, and how making them a bigger part of my identity in 2016 could trump some of these more specific goals – or, how it might make them easier to accomplish.
So although there are bigger things at play and I, like you, have no idea how the year will shake out, this is my starting point for 2016 in these very specific areas. If some monumental shift occurs in a month or two, I won’t hesitate to adjust or abandon any goals that no longer make sense. That doesn’t mean these goals aren’t important to establish. It just means they’re directional, aiming toward them as I barrel through 2016, until the target is hit, it becomes less important, or a (truly) more important target presents itself.