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As 2013 comes to an end, I have been reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014. My last post focused on what went well and what didn’t in 2013, and today I will focus on my action plan for 2014.

Similar to last year, here are the guidelines for the action plan:

  • No “resolutions.” Too often resolutions are good intentions that are broken after two weeks. Health clubs thrive on these good intentions: people signing up for a membership, going for a week or two, and then stop going.This is an plan of action on what I will accomplish.
  • Measurable. I don’t want something vague like be happy or get fit. That isn’t measurable, so I will never really know if I made it. Plus, everyone wants to be happy, be fit, and make money. My goals are measurable and specific.
  • Worthwhile. My action plan is working in conjunction to achieve something greater. I don’t want to pursue and waste my time on things that don’t matter.
  • Fun. Life is short, and I want to have as much fun as possible. While not every moment of the journey may be the most fun I have ever had, I will legitimately enjoy pursuing all of these activities.

Personal

Meet Awesome People

I will achieve this by getting lunch, coffee, or dinner with one new person each week. I have a tendency to be a bit introverted and this sometimes causes me to hold back from meeting new people. I’m not setting a goal of getting 5 lunches a week with 5 new people, but starting slow yet consistent. Meet one new person a week.

5 classic books

I will read 5 classic books in 2014 that I haven’t read before. The 5 are The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, and For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway. I’ll definitely do a lot more reading than just these 5 books, but I want to get a few more classics under my belt.

8 classic movies

Similar to above, I want to see 8 classic movies that I should have seen before but haven’t yet. The eight are The Great Escape, There Will Be Blood, North By Northwest, The Big Lebowski, Dirty Harry, Last of the Mohicans, The Prestige, and the Patriot.

No cell phone at meals with others

I’m excited for this and (gasp) am going to cheat and start this one early. Whenever I am at a meal with someone, I’m silencing my phone and putting it away. I am going to give people my complete attention rather than check my phone for needless social media updates every couple minutes.

New business clothes

I want to freshen up my business wardrobe, so I will get a new suit, a pair of shoes, a pair of pants, two new ties, two new pocket squares, and two new shirts.

Fitness

Learn Krav Maga

As I wrote in my annual review, in the last few months I have started taking Krav Maga classes. This is a skill I have wanted to learn for a while because I want to be able to protect loved ones and myself in any situation. It also happens to be a tremendous amount of fun and a great workout. I am signed up with Beach Cities Krav Maga and will be going 2-3 times a week to train in 2014.

Outrigger Canoeing, Round 2

Last year was the first year I did outrigger canoeing and I had a blast. It was great getting out on the water 3-4 times a week, working out, and getting tons of sun. I also got to meet some awesome new people and got to compete, which I love. I am excited to do it a gain this year, learn more, and have fun.

100×100

Inspired by this Facebook page and my buddy Sean, I am going to do the 100×100 challenge. Basically, this means that you do 100 pushups a day for 100 days in a row. No excuses. Sick, tired, hungry, you do 100 pushups (technically this is a 2013-2014 event since January 1 will be day 6 for me).

50 pull-ups in a row

The title is pretty self explanatory. This is another challenge I want to take on. I haven’t started this yet but anticipate starting in the near future. This one is going to be a beast, because I can get 18-20 right now, so I have a long way to go. I’m going to use the plan at www.50pullups.com

Travel

One Awesome Trip

I have the same goal as last year, and that’s to take one crazy trip. Last year I went to Panama for ten days, and that was quite the adventure. While taking an international trip would be fun, I have a feeling my travel will be much more US-based this year due to visiting family (which I’m totally excited for). I would love to drive route 66 (or what’s left of it) from LA to Chicago, catch a Cubs game, and visit my family. This would be an amazing experience to see a lot of America that most people don’t otherwise see, meet some cool people, and (my personal favorite) eat at a ton of diners.

Microadventure

Microadventure is a term coined by Alastair Humphreys, who is an insane adventurer, author, and motivational speaker. Basically, a microadventure is an “adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective.” I don’t see too much extended travel in 2014, but I do know that’s not going to stop me from going on adventures. They’ll just be smaller. I am going to take a lot of short trips (probably on weekends) and explore new places, try new things, and have a ton of fun. Not by coincidence, I am the master of turning 2 vacation days into a 5 day trip. I wait for a holiday (3 day weekend) and then take two days of vacation and BOOM! 5 days to go travel. I did that this year with trips to Hawaii, Northern California, Indiana, and New York

Blog

Launch a product (finally)

2014 is the year that my dad and I launch our first product. This is definitely an area where we failed last year, but I came to terms with it. I was trying to do too much last year and I didn’t have balance in my life. While it was cool to do a lot of stuff, I didn’t have enough quality time to myself and with friends and family, and this caused me unneeded stress and anxiety. That being said, I know we are getting closer to releasing the first product. More on this later.

Consistent posting

This isn’t the craziest goal, but I want to continue to produce a minimum of two quality posts each week.

Themes

I didn’t choose a theme for 2013, but I like having a couple words that will define the upcoming year (again, I took this idea from Chris Guillebeau. Really, he’s awesome. Check out his stuff). The three words for this year are balance and kick ass

Balance

I didn’t have balance during most of 2013, and for that matter, for much of the latter half of 2012. That’s almost 18 months where I felt out of sync. It sucked. Fortunately, during the last month I have felt much more in equilibrium. A key issue is what I wrote about in the Annual Review about The Good Life and lack of sense of purpose. This resulted in me trying to pack too much into each day, and as a result I did a lot of things poorly or always felt rushed. This year I am committed to continuing this “balance momentum” into 2014. I’ve felt better in the past month than I had in a year and a half and that’s because I’m following the wise words of Kunu and doing less. For 2014 I’m not trying to do a billion different things. I’m simplifying and going to focus on a few key areas.

Kick Ass

I have some big plans for my life and that’s going to take some work. While I did a good job in 2013, I know I can do even better in 2014. It’s going to require discipline and turning down some fun opportunities, but in the words of Goldman Sachs’ Gus Levy, I want to be “long-term greedy.” I’m going to do great work, kick ass, take names, snap necks, and cash checks (shout out to everyone who caught the Stepbrothers reference.

Putting it all together

Guys, I’m pumped for 2014. 2013 was a big transition year, and while I accomplished a lot, I didn’t always feel like I was headed in the right direction. 2014 is different. I have excellent momentum headed into the New Year and I’m ready to go.

I also want to say thank you to all my friends, family, and readers out there. You guys are the ones who make life worthwhile and I’m excited to see where 2014 takes us.

I’m off to Santa Barbara to bring in 2014. Let’s be great this year!

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What are your goals? Do you have an action plan for 2014? I’d love to hear about it!

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