I just clicked on a few goal-setting articles like this from Facebook, and they sucked. So I wrote my own.
For me, and a lot of other people I know, 2014 was a solidly mediocre year – some growth, some sales, some new experiences, but also a lot of mediocrity and boring stuff.
That’s not good enough for me.
I want 2015 to be the best year of my life – and yours too!
So if you’re trying to think of your New Year’s Resolution, don’t stop with boring crap like “Lose Weight” or “Travel More.”
Here are 15 things you need to do in 2015.
1) Make every day count
If you want to be extreme about it, get a Tikker watch, which counts down to your death, or use The Death Clock to find out exactly how much time you have left. (Based on their calculations, I’m going to die on Sunday, 27th January 2064, when I’m 84.)
You only have TODAY.
Today is always the only chance you get to make your life amazing.
Everything you do TODAY matters more than anything else you will ever do.
Time’s running out. You are the captain of your ship. Are you on course to the life of your dreams? Will you reach your treasure island or be dashed upon the rocks? Grab the wheel, align your course to the stars, increase velocity and get there already.
2) Develop mad skills
Skills are power. Knowledge is useful too, but nowadays we all have Google and Wikipedia.
New articles are coming out every day questioning the importance of a college education. Don’t pay for a fancy diploma. Invest your time and money in developing skills and being the best in your field. If you want to be a painter, a web designer, a language instructor, a beekeeper – take classes and then practice your fucking heart out. Put in your 10,000 hours. Work your fingers to the bone.
3) Make something new
Skill are valued, and they’re important, but there are a 2 billion people (mostly in China and India) who are probably better than you are. That’s OK – you have the freedom and flexibility to go a little crazy and have some fun. Bend the rules. Experiment. Make something revolutionary. Take standard production skills and make something novel.
Almost all art these days is simple novelty. The rest is formula.
Take something old and loved and appreciated, something popular and liked, and put a new spin on it.
Like those art installations that take a bunch of junk and turn it into a picture, but only if you look at it from a certain angle.
4) Be a visionary
You have the gift of seeing the future. Or maybe you don’t. Predict the future anyway. People won’t know that you’re wrong for a long time. Predict the trends and moods. See where traffic is heading and what people are talking about. Find a way to build something that intersects with those energies.
5) Plant your flag
If you want to grow a following, you’ve got to stand for something. Pick a cause to support, or start your own. Draw lines in the sand. Make provocative declarations of meaning and purpose. Call out your enemies. Expose their sins. Demand justice, change, or vengeance. Claim the rights you feel you deserve, for yourself and for others. Be righteous. Start a movement.
6) Finish your website
Your website is your seat of power, your influence, your fulcrum. Build it. Use WordPress. Use a professional theme and get a nice header made. Leave everything else alone – the more you mess with it, the worse it will be. Start blogging. Blog in categories until you figure out what you’re saying. Write at least 100 articles. Turn your posts into Powerpoints and YouTube videos. Share them on Facebook and Twitter. Collect your 25 best posts and publish them in a book. If you do that for a year, you’ll be getting enough traffic to figure out how to make money with it.
7) Build products of value
You could offer services, but I recommend digital products, like online courses or books. You can keep building more and more of them, and they will start earning income that is time-independent.
Hire someone to help you. Turn your knowledge into a useful training program.
Help other people do the things they are trying to do, which you already have experience in.
8) Quit your job
Once you have skills, a vision, a cause and a website, you can make money online and work from anywhere.
If you love your job, your life, your house, your neighborhood… fine. You can keep it. As long as that’s your choice and you’re not keeping it “because you have to.” Maybe you have responsibilities. But life is short, and for most people (including Leonardo DaVinci) working for other people instead of working on meaningful projects is insufferable. You deserve better. At the very least, take an extended vacation.
There are so many beautiful, amazing places to see in the world! Being in new, exotic territory is both refreshing and challenging. If you’ve quit your job, I really recommend living abroad. It takes about a year to go through all the stages of culture shock and learn a new language (if you are dedicated to full immersion, which means not using English at all).
There are many countries in the world where you can live for six months on a very low budget.
Take some time out, go somewhere stunning, and stop eating for 10 days.
Why? Because it’s challenging. Because it teaches you a lot about yourself. Because it may be healthy and increase the length of your life. Because it makes you slow down and appreciate your body, and food, and digestion. Because it makes you more peaceful, happy and aware.
11) Take Drugs
If you’ve never taken any illegal substances, then you have never experienced the peaks of human consciousness. Find a place to do Shrooms, or Ayahuasca, or other natural substances that were once at the epicenter of spiritual and religious ceremonies, appreciated as gifts from the gods, and have somehow become taboo and outlawed by modern society.
Modern society is broken. There is so much more going on.
12) Save someone’s life
If you come from a first world country, you may not feel “rich” by comparative standards. You may be struggling to pay off your student loans, or your mortgage, or your car, or your health bills. But there is someone, somewhere in the world, who you could save.
It might be a child starving or in need of medical care. It might be a teenager who just wants to go to school. It might be a father who’s trying to feed his family. It might be an inventor with a big idea but no backers. It might be a budding author or artist.
Find them. Love them. Support them. Be their personal patron. Be an unexpected miracle.
13) Be grateful
Appreciate everyone who’s ever had an impact on your life, and thank them, either publicly or privately. Start each day in gratitude. Send letters of gratitude to your family, your mentors, your friends. Let them know how amazing and inspiring they are, and how much they’ve influenced you.
14) Finish your “Bucket List”
Write down everything you want to do, ever, before you die.
Circle the five most important to you.
DO THEM THIS YEAR.
This year may be the last year any of us have. 2015 might be the year we get hit with an asteroid or another extinction event.
Map them out. Figure out what you need to do to complete the goals you’ve chosen. You’ve got 12 months, that’s a long time!
Get started, work hard, and cross off your list.
15) Buy a castle
If you’ve made it through 2015, and you’ve had a good year, come spend a few weeks with me in my castle (location to be determined).
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.