This is just a quick reminder to myself about the 10 things I will do each day. Nothing fancy here, and nothing new. All stuff I’ve written about and explored before. This has actually become a new tradition I do around this time of year. Because, well, the new year is always a good time to revisit and recommit to things like this.
And as always, I hope they give you something to think about too. Here goes:
10 things I will do each day
1. Move slowly. We all move too fast. Try to do too much. Try to move at a quicker pace. I will concentrate on moving more slowly, with everything. I will read more carefully, I will eat more thoughtfully, savoring every bite and sip. I will slow down in trying to move through a list of action items. And I will stop trying to be in a hurry to arrive somewhere.
2. Read. Most people don’t read enough, and I’ve been advocating more reading for a long time. I will remain committed to reading as much as I can, working to create time to do this every day. I have no doubt that because of my reading, I am more creative, I am a better business person, and I am smarter.
3. Meditate. I’ve been meditating for a long time. But I still want to improve my practice of the craft. Doing this has helped me immensely. And I will continue to enjoy this time to and for myself. Meditation is the best thing I do to remove stress from my life.
4. Do something I am afraid of. Despite building a company and a brand about being and living intrepid, I still put off things that frighten me, or make me uncomfortable. I will focus harder on this in 2016. It promises to result in some unpleasant outcomes. But these are things that need to happen for life to go on.
5. Move. I need to be much more active in 2016. I get to cheat a little bit here, in that my family is moving to Chicago in February. And it is our sincere intention to explore the city on foot in a big way. In fact, we will be getting rid of our cars with the move. Here’s to excitedly getting in my daily 10,000 steps!
6. Be nicer. I am a cranky old man. I know what I want, and I get mad when I don’t get it. I like my business to move at a certain pace, and I get frustrated when it doesn’t happen. I get really mad when people break societal rules and expectations. And I get really really mad when people mindlessly disrupt me. Being mad all the time isn’t healthy, and isn’t conducive to building lasting, loving relationships. I will be nicer in 2016.
7. Be patient. Piggy-backing off of being nicer, a lot of my stress and venting comes from a lack of patience. When someone crosses me (knowingly or unknowingly), I lash out. This results in my swearing, banging my hand on my desk, or armrest if in my car. Sadly, I can almost feel my heart ache when I lose my patience with someone or some thing. Controlling this will be the hardest thing I have to work on. But my lifestyle (and those around me), will be much more grand!
8. Be grateful. Since I’ve been running a company that produces media (2010), this past year was my best ever. But I have a long way to go. But I will be grateful for what I have, and what I am doing. I am very lucky. I get paid money to talk to cool people, doing cool shit. How great is that? And soon, I get to move to a new, exciting city with amazing architecture and lifestyle. I will be fulfilling a childhood dream of living in a Chicago highrise with a view of the skyline. Most importantly, my marriage has never been stronger. Point is, I have lots of things to be grateful for. But you still have to take time each day to reflect and appreciate those things.
9. Focus on one thing at a time. My biggest stressor is when I have so much to, I get paralyzed and can’t focus on anything. Then, in a panic because I can’t focus on anything, I revert to bad habits and try to do everything. Which only induces more panic. With the help of slowing down, I will strive to become much more disciplined to focus on ONE THING at a time. And whilst I am doing that one thing, to do it well. To be excellent at it. To be in the moment doing that one thing. And getting it done. And once it is done, to put it behind me, appreciate the quality of my work, but then freeing my mind of it. Which will enable me to pick the next thing, and turn all my focus towards that.
10. Stop worrying. Despite my long efforts to improve on all items listed above, like many, I still worry all the time. I worry about making more money. I worry about whether people I associate with are meeting expectations. I worry that I am not the man my wife thinks she married. You get the idea. Well, in 2016, I plan to stop worrying. I will try to NOT look back. [Sorry, that’s why I am NOT reading your “Best Of 2015” listicle…] I will certainly think about planning and preparation for future actions, but I will try to NOT worry about the future. A mindful, intense focus on the present should eliminate most worries.
Enjoy your 2016! Good luck…
P.S. In case you are curious, here is what I wrote one year ago on this subject.
He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist.
Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.