Well… it happened. Just as the prophets predicted. The earth survived one more revolution around Sol, The ball dropped, and 2015 came, and went. I don’t remember brining in the New Year last year. Maybe I was working. Maybe I just went to sleep. Regardless, It was very uneventful. That’s something I won’t repeat this year.
Because this year, I have slaved away to build the Remembertron 5,000. My life is all set now. I’m on the fast lane to success and the good life. Anytime I make a mistake, I just tap a few buttons on the Remembertron, and BAM! I learn from it.
2015 was a very big roller coaster for me. My personal life went from pretty damn good to shit and back to pretty damn good again. My financial life went from “AWESOME” to “Holy Shit I’m Fucked” overnight. My writing went from just a hobby to something I take extremely seriously and plan to make a career out of. But in spite of all of that, 2016 is promising to be the best year of my life possibly.
How do I make sure that’s so? Well this morning I was wondering the same thing. So I climbed onto the Remembertron 5,000, I sat in its nice leather chair with back massage capabilities complete with 2 and a half cup holders, strapped in with its three independent seat belts (You can never be too safe) and I went down the check list: Seat Warmer: On. Back Massage: Yes please. Power: 21.1 Gigawatts. Nipple Clamps: Engaged. Probe One: Wet. Probe Two: Inserted.
I double checked. I triple checked. I pressed the button and after causing a power outage in 3 counties across 7 countries, it seemed the Remembertron 5,000 had performed magnificently. I waited for the smoke to clear, the smell of onions and gym socks to leave my nostrils, and I sat patiently. I must have waited for an entire forty two seconds. Then IT happened. The screen flickered to life. Not sure what it would say, I grabbed my pen and paper and I wrote down anything and everything it had to say with the vigor of my grandfather on Viagra, and hoped I could make sense of it after. Low and behold, it made perfect sense.
But what did it say?
I’m getting there. What it told me were a list of lessons to learn from last year. I’m a huge fan of learning the hard way. That’s how shit sticks. That’s how my sister learned to check that the toilet seat is down. That’s how my brother learned that cars do not, in fact, fly. That’s how my Dad learned that sometimes a small wooden ladder can actually hold up a huge dead tree. But this random assortment of letters that scrolled across the screen that somehow managed to give me lessons to learn from, I would be stupid to ignore it. So I thought to myself: Self, don’t hog this holy grail of knowledge all for yourself. Share the wealth. So now I present to you, my tribe, my lessons learned from last year.
- Do what you love. Seriously? That’s your big lesson learned? It’s one of them. Look. If you hate your job, you’ll never be happy. We spend anywhere from 20 to 40 to well over 100 hours a week (My oilfield/military brothers and sisters can feel me here) at work. If you do not enjoy it, you will never be happy. Do what you enjoy. You have one life. Don’t waste it dealing with shit you don’t enjoy.
- Money is not everything. Trust me, I know this from personal experience. Money is great. But if you’re making bank, but still hating your job, you will never put everything you have into it. And if you’re never putting everything you have into something, you’ll never be proud of what you do.
- Don’t waste your time. One life. Don’t sleep it away. You have to make opportunities appear. You have to constantly be pushing to better yourself. Get off your ass. Get out of bed. Read a damn book or take a class or seminar. Do something with your life and don’t be happy being the person behind the counter.
- Set some really ambitious goals. I’m writing a novel. Yes. One of those things with words that tells a story of fiction that you can get lost in. But because I started writing this novel, and because I wanted it to succeed so badly it replaces your parents’ bible on their mantle, other opportunities have come from my hard work and preparation. I knew that I might need to self-publish, so in order to start building my audience, I set up a twitter account. I also started this blog to get my writing out there, And guess what happened? My blog is a success. It’s reaching people all around the world every single day. I have people that read every post. I have people that provide feedback and input and invest in my writing. I also met some people this year that have entered my life solely because I started getting really serious about writing for a living one day. I’m thankful for them, and I’m better off with them in my life than without them.
- Take Action. Goals are nice. But it’s just the destination. The fun part is how you get there. And how do you achieve goals? You take action. Every day you should be reading, researching, practicing your craft, and doing something that gets you closer and closer to your dreams. I want to write for a living, but I’ve never made a single penny off of a single piece of writing I’ve ever written. Does that stop me? No. What do I do? I get my ass up every day, and I write. I did it before work. I did after work. My friend writes her manuscript at work. Do something. Don’t be all talk and no action.
There were a few other personal lessons I’ve learned that I’m not going to share with you today, but the result is the same.
So let’s talk about this coming year. How can we grab 2016 by the balls and make this year our bitch? I’ve been asking myself this long before I hooked up the nipple clamps and inserted the probes. And here’s what I’ve come up with: Quarterly goals.
What? No New Year’s resolutions?
No Fuck that. You know who makes “resolutions”? Overweight people going to the gym for 2 days in January and 8 days in December. Resolutions don’t work because it’s a year-long goal, and everyone says to their self “Oh… I have a whole year to do this. I’ll start later.” You need to feel the urgency. You need to be accountable for our laziness.
So below are my Quarter One goals for 2016 that I came up with while enjoying the back massage and surround sound of the Remembertron 5000.
- Finish 1st Draft of current manuscript. That’s right. This book is getting written if I have to write it myself. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
- Read/Listen to five (5) books that improve my writing. If you’re not a good reader, you’ll never be a good writer. It’s only after realizing what works and what doesn’t that you can implement it yourself. Everyone should study their craft. Especially writers.
- Write 3 blog posts a week. What? More blogging? You’re damn right more blogging. You guys want content that matters, and I’m the guy that’s gonna give it to you. Hold me accountable. Leave me hate mail if you didn’t get your fix in for the week.
- Write a minimum of 2k words per day. The road to mastery is paved with 10,000 hours. I will become a master of this writing thing, and I will have to write to do it. Not only that, but It’s also how you throw books onto shelves like rocks at a cat in a Follett novel.
- Host at least one interview. I’ve been rolling this idea around in my head guts for some time now. I want to interview people from across a lot of genres. Writers (obviously) and other writing industry people, self-employed success stories, entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, politicians, celebrities, the works. I think I can offer them interviews beyond the standard “What did you do to get where you are?” My questions are more like two people sitting over drinks and shooting the shit. Trust me. It’ll be a hit.
- Workout at least four days a week. I’m a huge fan of always being better than you were the day before. I just reached the ripe old age of 31, and I can say that I honestly feel every bit of 45. That’s about to change. I’ve been proactive in bettering my life in every other aspect it seems. Now that I have a lot more time on my hands, I have no reason not to start working out again.
Well those are my quarterly goals. I’m afraid it’s time to turn off the back massage chair, clean off the probes, grease the nipple clamps, and crate up the Remembertron 5000 until next year. We’ll see if it makes an appearance in 2017.
It is a pretty sweet invention.
You know we only needed one probe, right?
But I like the second one.
You’re so weird.
Now I want to hear from you guys. Let’s shoot for two lessons learned, and two quarterly goals. Post them in the comments below… Unless you’re scared.
They’re totally scared.
I know. But maybe someone will be brave enough.