2013: less is more
We’re already seventeen days into the new year, and I probably should have made these resolutions long ago. After the best year of my life in 2012, though, it’s taken me a while to figure out exactly how I’m going to top it.
Oh, and a theme. I needed one of those too.
Last year it was building. Relationships, businesses, experiences and income, I built on them all. The building is going to continue in 2013, but the focus and approach is going to change a little…
If there’s one thing that I really didn’t focus on last year, it was my fitness. I ran a half marathon in Melbourne just before leaving and a 10km road race in Chiang Mai just after arriving … and then barely moved faster than a brisk walk for the next 12 months. Excuses, I had a bucketful – the tropical heat, broken pavements, travelling too fast, working too much, whatever blah blah. They all seemed valid at the time. The best excuses always do….
There’s only one problem with that – making excuses doesn’t burn many calories. A year of great food and minimal exercise can only end with one result.
So I’m doing something about it. Last week I bought a copy of Impossible Abs, an eight-week nutrition and exercise challenge from my ass-kicking friend Joel Runyon. It’s going to be damn hard work, especially while living in hostels and moving every few days – but that’s ok. Hard work never killed anyone, even though it’ll probably feel like it’s going to at the time.
My goal? A flat stomach by the time I see Joel again in July. Should be a piece of cake, right? Or in this case, perhaps a piece of broccoli.
Growing my business
Even though last year wasn’t bad as far as income goes, it wasn’t great in terms of building a business. A lot of what I do to is (a) time-consuming, (b) reliant on factors I can’t control and (c) completely dependent on me. None of that screams "sustainable business" as far as I’m concerned.
That needs to change.
This year, I’m not planning to launch any major new websites. Instead, I’ll be throwing the bulk of my time and energy into helping make Too Many Adapters the most awesome travel technology site in the world. The site turns a year old today, and is starting to kick ass – but it needs more love and attention to really grow into something wonderful.
In 2013, it will be getting that love. If that means postponing, slowing or stopping other things, so be it. I need to be doing a few things amazingly well, rather than doing lots of things badly.
My goal? For more than half of my income to be coming from Too Many Adapters by the end of the year, and for it to be measured a huge success by any metric that matters.
On a related note, it’s time to stop getting involved in stuff that doesn’t matter … which, In the online world, is most of it. I’ve already removed myself from most of the Facebook and other groups that suck my time, in favour of speaking regularly with real friends and mentors. It’s infinitely more valuable.
My RSS subscriptions dwindle by the week, and I only follow a small group of (great) people online. More signal, less noise.
I don’t have the time or energy for circular conversations, petty arguments, turf wars or anything else. At best, they’re just a distraction standing in the way of doing what really matters to me – which certainly isn’t any of those things.
No more. I’m done.
My goal? To disappear from anywhere I don’t need to be online.
Plan less, slow down more
I’m a huge advocate of slow travel and not having plans. I tell anyone that asks that they should move as slowly as possible, not to book in advance, don’t buy round the world tickets and all the rest.
So why have I been so bad at doing it myself? Twenty-something countries across four continents in the last twelve months is anything but slow.
This year, that’s going to change as well.
I’ve just got to New Zealand, and I’ll be here for a couple of months. I’m heading back to SE Asia after that that, and I’m already scaling back any plans I had. There’s a conference in the US in July, so I’ll hopefully spend a month in Portland … and after that, for the first time in 18 months, I don’t know what I’m doing.
I can’t tell you how happy I am about that.
At some point this year, I’ll probably end up in Central America. I can’t tell you when, where or for how long I’ll be there, and that’s just perfect. It could be three months. It could be three years. I might see every country in the region, or I might find a little shack on a beach somewhere and never leave.
Who knows? Not me.
My goal? To have no flights booked and no onward plans made after August this year, and move as slowly as possible in the meantime.
So, less planning, less haste, less fat, less distractions, more money.
I think it’s pretty easy to figure out what my theme for 2013 needs to be.
Less is more.
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