Belated Birthday Resolutions

  1. Why?
  2. Thanks, previous years!

    1. Grow my revenue by 50% with future potential
    2. Treat my body with loving kindness
    3. Engage an audience of 1,000+ people
    4. Work and travel productively
    5. Treat my relationships with loving kindness
  3. What now?

    1. Live from the heart
    2. Mentor and write more
    3. Mental and physical growth through adventure and spirituality
    4. Build something
    5. Travel to new continents
  4. Onward, I say!

Why?

I learn so much about myself, and I check in on this list every month. Somehow, even if I do little out of my way to make these goals happen, I strive for them anyway because they are in the back of my mind. So, it gives me something to look forward to as well.

This is my sixth year doing this, and I really enjoy it.

Thanks, previous years!

What are the most amazing accomplishments of 2016?

  • Running a joint business with my brother
  • Forming amazingly deep connections and taking trips with them (Texas)
  • Learning about empathy, love, and the value of emotions, and how to work with my ego through jealousy and other insecurities
  • Teaching someone to kiteboard and doing several self rescues
  • Having the courage to move towards the kinds of relationships I want
  • Sending out newsletters
  • Balancing work and personal life really really well! This is no joke, I'm really appreciating myself for it!
  • Body/parasite cleansing
  • Moving to a new state (Colorado) and starting over (new friends, new business, exploring)

What adversities did I face?

  • Being more alone in Mexico than I've ever been (and yet not nearly as lonely)
  • Moving on from a quite healthy long-term relationship, because it wasn't for me (a hard decision to make)
  • Traveled often so it was difficult to establish a home
  • Overworked and overcomitted in relationships (thinking I have more time than I do)
  • Tension and pain in my body, I didn't maintain and stretch enough, but I did work through it mentally and kept a decent routine

In 2016 I aimed for:

  1. Grow my revenue by 50% with future potential
  2. Treat my body with loving kindness
  3. Engage an audience of 1,000+ people
  4. Work and travel productively
  5. Treat my relationships with loving kindness

Grow my revenue by 50% with future potential

Grade: B

This year, I managed to grow my revenue within shorter timespans (e.g. 4 months) through a combination of selling time and projects. This was a great feat and I feel much more confident in my skills to sell myself by the end of this year.

However, I didn't do so well at producing content (only stayed on track first half of the year). I also did not really niche myself or Uplift, but I did learn tons of new future-oriented skills (Docker, React, Heroku to name a few). I think by the end of 2017 I can sell my time for at least 20% more than I do today.

Here's what I did well:

  • Wrote 1 blog post a month the first six months
  • Always had contract work since first client (mid-April), and pipeline has been solid since
  • Took about 30 days to sign for work once I began looking. This can be reduced by constantly selling, and having a joint business with my brother will help shorten that in the future.
  • Updated our outreach copy and branding (team, Uplift, include React)
  • Improved my sales and negotiation skills

Not so well:

  • Created but did not launch any targeted landing pages
  • Research what our clients really want (although we did delight our clients at times)
  • Truly set myself apart (or Uplift)

Treat my body with loving kindness

Grade: B

By being kinder to myself and my surroundings, I put less strain on my body. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming is not doing enough yoga, and not getting enough massages, especially for my wrists and back. Massages are worth it.

Great:

  • I've been more patient and empathetic this year than ever before
  • I stepped back and treated myself with calm and kindness
  • Healed my back more and increased movement, hanging very regularly
  • Good maintenance on my wrists and arms, room for better
  • Started the year strong with lots of meditation. Probably helped healing and relaxing given I took a few months off.
  • Improved my stretching routine (mainly by trying things and doing what the body tells me feels good)
  • Standing often while working
  • Frequent gratitude and joy
  • Awareness of how my body feels
  • Even more improvements in my diet (fermented products, supplements esp ZMA and OmegAvail, cleansing, probiotics)

Not so well:

  • Flexibility. It's pretty much the same. Need more yoga
  • Meditation very inconsistent, going days or weeks without it
  • Inconsistent stretching
  • Still have tight hamstrings, back and wrists
  • Insufficient (core) strength exercises
  • Not enough back and arm stretching

Engage an audience of 1,000+ people

Grade: B+

This started and there's definitely room for improvement. Mostly, to write better content. And you know what? It was scary to send out that first email, but the world kept spinning and less than 20% of people unsubscribed. And the trend improved. I'm excited to continue building on this.

Great:

  • Mailing list created, emailed 800+ people via newsletter several times

To improve:

  • Newsletter can be more thought out and content better organized
  • Establish credibility: why should you listen to me?
  • Increase audience engagement and write content that they care about.

Work and travel productively

Grade: A

Outstanding work, Paul!

I have successfully:

  • Lived outside the US a few months (Mexico)
  • Thought about where I might live, South America comes to mind.
  • Experimented somewhat with productivity, but mainly focused on work when I needed to
  • Worked less when I wasn't overcomitted
  • Maintained my body and worked standing often
  • Met lots of people professionally (Boulder Startup Week, Fort Collins networking, Denver tech)
  • Got a new kite, sold my old kites

Improve:

  • More planning for next workday(s)
  • Barely used forcing functions
  • Increase spending on my health (massage)
  • Get a new kite bar and a big kite
  • Get fins or new board

Treat my relationships with loving kindness

Grade: A

I practiced a lot to:

  • Listen. Listen. Listen.
  • Be patient. Be kind. Be graceful with others. When I need to step back, do so gently.
  • Learn what to give others to be respected and revered.
  • Find a highly gratifying (for both sides) way to give. Ideally as surprise to people.
  • Be patient and grateful to those that choose to enter my life.
  • Approach any potential relationship with honesty, curiosity, patience and tenderness.
  • Create or enter a new community of friends, preferably somewhere else in the world than the Bay Area.
  • Let go of much fear and guilt, and a bit less for anger and frustration.

More for next year:

  • Learn about humor. Actually worth researching this via books.
  • Let go of frustration and anger even further.
  • Find another community of friends since I moved away and half of them disbanded... :(

Going back another year: 2015

Looking back two years again, but really high level, here's what I'd like to remind myself from 2015, for 2017:

  • Travel to a new country (South America?), or live in Maui Hawaii for at least a few weeks
  • Go to Romania (and maybe Africa from there)
  • Continue building a network for business leads
  • Join a mastermind group
  • Stretch, strengthen (yoga and weight lifting)

What now?

In last year's Resolutions I asked this question: If it was December 2017 today and I looked back on it, what would I want to celebrate?

Last year, I wanted:

  • A Being more patient with my mind, my body, and other people. (of course, always room for improvement)
  • B Healing and recovering from my back injury so I can continue my favorite exercises. (didn't do enough stretching and yoga)
  • A Continuing to be self employed and earning a living through it
  • B Starting an online business and making a first sale (started an online business, but the sale is for services, TBD next year for products)
  • A Creating (and maintaining) a social life of healthy relationships (I moved to CO, and created an awesome life!)

This year, to save me from tears:

  • Deeper spiritual inspiration / inclination
  • Stretch and strengthen: get more massages, do more yoga, do weight or bodyweight exercise
  • Deeper understanding of (universal) love, while having naughty fun
  • Build something with my brother
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate (hire an office assistant or something)

Live from the heart

I'd like to live more fully (wholeheartedly) and feel the beauty of life all around me.

  • Laugh more. I've surrounded myself with folks that laugh more recently, and my life is all the better for it. Now, I'd like to do more of the same myself.
  • Learn about humor. Actually worth researching this via books. (carryover from 2016)
  • Feel more. I want to live more from the heart, to let feelings grow in there more before I brain them to death. I think this will also help with my spiritual path.
  • Listen and empathize more. I've learned to empathize more. I even wend to a TEDx conference where a talk about compassion made me ball. Feel more love, compassion, patience, and listen.
  • Adventurously connect with people.
  • Explore new communities (kitesurfing in other places, e.g. Hawaii, Europe, South America; couchsurfing anywhere; poly)
  • Be more patient

Ultimate goal: Get more into my heart and out of my head. Feel more connected to the life and world around me. Continue to empathize and value feelings.

Mentor and write more

This year I've done a lot more mentoring and teaching. A lot of it was personally, e.g. relationships or friends. Professionally, it was around working with my brother on our business.

As the year is approaching its end, I have opportunities to mentor subcontractors and to hire an office assistant.

So here are the itemized thingies:

  • Subcontract projects and continue down the path when it works well.
  • Collaborate with more people and develop a stronger network (professionally and personally)
  • Mentor my subcontractors, and my partners in business and in life. And help my friends.
  • Delegate more responsibilities to an office assistant (and to other people if appropriate).
  • Write about business and life (so many topic ideas all over the google docs)
  • Join a mastermind group and guide and receive guidance

Ultimate goal: Do more of what I like. People skills and ideas are so rewarding. The real goal is to feel fulfillment and gratitude for the accomplishments and growth associated with the process of mentoring and writing.

Mental and physical growth through adventure and spirituality

So this is a bit overlappy, because travel to these new countries I'm considering counts as adventure.

Mentally, I'm looking to:

  • Relax my mind and increase my focus
    • Continue meditating regularly
    • Practice focus-demanding activities (kiting, being totally present in a connection or an event)
      • How can I do this more/measure?
  • Explore tantra and new sexual opportunities
    • Increases focus as well.
    • Practice patience.
    • Better understanding of how to channel sexual energy.
  • Add spiritual elements to my meditations, perhaps do group meditations, share in energy together
    • Feel shared energy and act to shape it.
    • This may lead to becoming more extroverted.

Phyiscally:

  • Reduce the overall tension in my body
  • Do some cleanses and diet experiments (especially removing grains and dairy--aka back to paleo)
  • Stretch and strengthen: get more massages, do more yoga, do weight or bodyweight exercise
    • One massage a month would be great, and worth the cost.
    • Yoga once a week, minimum.
    • Weight exercises once a week, minimum.
  • Cleanse toxins from my body, experiment with diet and more
    • Do one or more cleanses
    • Experiment with short-term vegan diet, gerson diet, short-term seafood diet, and other potentially healing diets

Ultimate goal: Push the boundaries of my mind and my body's healing and strength. I really feel big changes coming in this area. And they are very interconnected, mind and body.

Build something

I want to build a product with my brother. In whatever shape and form.

Here are some goals:

  • Market validation: validate an idea by asking people
  • Learn sales: convince people to use the product
  • Launch something, even a trial or beta or launch page with ideas behind it
  • Get 10 users to try it out

Ultimate goal: Learn about birthing a product and raising it, especially the parts of it that don't have to do with what I'm already good at (engineering), and more to do with the market, the sales, the psychology, and the luck :)

Travel to new continents

I want to set foot on South America and Africa this year.

  • Travel solo in a new and non-English environment (Brazil)
  • Learn about a new culture in depth from the locals (amazing stories to recall later)
  • Do something I wouldn't normally do on a trip (out of character)
  • Make the most out of my trip to Romania (by setting foot in Africa, hopefully)
  • Explore joining a new community of sorts. Any sorts. Perhaps couchsurfing.
  • Continue work/travel balance.

Ultimate goal: See more of the world. Meet and connect with people and feel a deeper sense of community. Live in the present. Continue building a business on the road.

Onward, I say!

As before, I'd like to express gratitude for so many things in 2016:

  • Amazingly deep, honest, and wonderful connections with new people as I moved to Colorado. Thank you for all your support and expereinces, I feel so loved and loved so much this year!
  • A growing fondness and appreciation in my relationship with family (brother, parents)
  • All of the clients and referrals for my business, without you life would have been much harder!
  • Amazing growth in my business (and starting a brand in the first place)
  • Discovering that I actually value feelings and defending emotions ... something I never would have done before.
  • Traveling to previous (Bay Area, Mexico) and new places (Los Angeles, South Padre, Texas) and meeting sweet people along the way.
  • So much internal growth
  • My body, for hosting me and continuing healing, kiteboarding, and rock climbing
  • Several relationships beginning and ending this year!
  • By far, a year of big change, albeit with less travel (unless you count living in Mexico for the first 2 months as travel, hehe)

Warm wishes and a wonderful new year to all!

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