2011 was an unexpected surprise. I didn’t know what to expect from it at the start, but by the time it finished I had worked for nine months, had the most inspiring weekend of my life, saved as much money as I could and moved to Thailand.
Not a bad year for someone who had no plans on January 1st. Not a bad year at all, really.
But 2012 is going to blow it out of the water.
I make no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of Chris Guillebeau. One of the things that he does at the end of each year is perform an annual review – dissecting the previous twelve months then setting goals and choosing a theme for the next twelve. It is apparently one of the most helpful exercises he has ever done.
So I thought I’d do the same.
My goals for 2012 are many and varied, but they are much more specific than last year. I am back in control of my life and that gives me the freedom to dream big and do what it takes to succeed. An employer does not get to dictate how I spend this year. I do. There is nobody else to hold me back and nobody else to blame.
Committing publically also makes me more accountable. A resolution written on a scrap of paper and stuck in the bottom drawer isn’t much of a resolution at all.
So here goes, in no particular order. These goals all play into and against each other in some way, and I suspect my biggest challenge will be finding the right balance of time, energy and money to make them a success. Only the next several months will tell.
They will be a serious time commitment both to start and to grow, but should give me a much better platform to write about all of the things that interest and inspire me. Hopefully they might just interest and inspire you as well.
Keep an eye out for the first of those announcements coming in a couple of weeks.
I plan to leave Thailand after songkran in April, bound for the cheaper parts of southern and eastern Europe. A trip to the US for another World Domination Summit beckons by the start of July, then I’ll be back in Europe slowly making my way towards Turkey. September holds the promise of a sun-bleached couple of weeks sailing around the coast with friends there.
Things get very vague after that – a road trip down through the Middle East to Egypt is a possibility, and perhaps continuing all the way through Africa after that. I’d like to do something epic with a group of like-minded people this year. Hands up if you’re interested.
More time with those who make my life better, less time with those who don’t.
I think those aren’t a bad set of plans for the next twelve months. Many scare me and they all require a big commitment. Perfect.
After thinking about these goals the theme for my year quickly jumped out at me.
During 2012 I will be growing new businesses, travel experiences, relationships and maybe even my bank account. I will be taking some things that have existed for a while and some that exist only in my head, and attempting to make them all something more than they are today
My theme for the year is building.
If you have managed to keep reading this far you might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned my plans for this site at all. That wasn’t an accident.
For the next few months I don’t intend to change things too much. I’ll still be posting three times a week, with the same mix of travel stories and random thoughts that I have written for the last two years.
After that things are up in the air. As my other projects gather speed and I spend more time in the world of long travel days and shitty internet, my focus might need to change. Or it might not. I really don’t know.
So to that end I have a question for you. Well it’s really two questions, but they’re related so close enough.
1. What one thing do you like most about coming here that you wouldn’t want to see change?
2. What one thing do you like least about coming here that you’d be happy to see disappear?
Please let me know, as I’d love you to help shape what this site becomes in 2012. I’m more than happy for you to leave your thoughts in the comments – it’s that whole public commitment thing again – but if you’d rather send me a message privately that’s fine too.
Just say something, ok?
Here’s to 2012. Let’s make it incredible together.
[Holy man image via Dennis, question mark image via alexanderdrachmann]