I suspect that you know by now that I am kind of obsessed with putting together a list of goals at the beginning of the year. I have always been a list maker. My mother used to kid me about it when I was little, my wife and kids think I am a little silly about it, my employees over the years have all dreaded my lists. But it is kind of fun and helps me level set for what should be important going into the year. Of course we all want to be successful, or at least get ice cream for desert. I have missed the ice cream of late, so I am planning to go a little more minimal and down to earth with my list this year.
My strategy in the past was to put down a lot of goals. I had an arbitrary number of 100 in the past. I kind of felt that if there was a lot of them and some of them were really simple, then you would have a better chance of getting to success with some sort of ratio on the list. I learned that from my boss, and it seemed to work for him. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work for me. I found that a ton of goals had me lacking focus and not working on what was really important.
So, for this year we have a new strategy. Just a few focussed goals that I want to make good on. Not 100, not 50 but just 12. These are all big.
1. Live life like my dog would. My friend Art posted on Instagram a nice little promise to Lucy, his lab that passed away this past year. That promise had some of these same themes and really struck a chord with me. I am stealing those as I really like them.
My dog Marti just cannot wait for the evening when I can take him for a walk or throw a toy with him. He lives for dog parks and chasing a ball. I think it is a great way to think of your life overall. Dog’s do not get stressed about what isn’t going right, they just make sure they focus on what is going well and what they can control (except squirrels, they obsess over those but cannot control them).
I did have a tendency this past year to focus too much on what I couldn’t really control. So this year I am going with this attitude every day:
- Every day is a new adventure.
- Play time is not wasted time.
- Sleep when you need to, as you will want to be ready for the next adventure.
- Go fast, because you can.
- Go to the bathroom outside (not every day, but sometimes)
2. Visit Hanna + Adam in Utah. We managed to do that this past year, and it was one of the big highlights of the year. Life is just too short to wish that you had seen your family more. No one will talk about the great days at work on their death bed, but you will talk about the family trips that you took.
3. Help Ali + Thomas be ready for the baby. The grandbaby is coming. I remember how nervous and excited that made me feel when they were my kids on the way. I also know that there is a ton of stuff to be done on their house before baby time. Kitchen that needs to be enhanced, baby room that needs to be finished, bathroom work that needs to be finished etc… I am not the greatest at all of that stuff, but I can learn and I can hand Thomas tools. I think I will get started at that next weekend.
4. Visit my family. Brother, Sister, Father, Mother. The years go by and sometimes it is hard to find the time to get to visit everyone. I have time now, so I am going to make use of it and make sure that I see all of my family this year.
5. Get better connected to my friends. Last year I worked so damn much, that I really did not connect well enough with my friends. My friends in Wisconsin, my friends in other parts of the country/world, my friends at work etc… Friends and family are all that really matter, and it is easy to forget that when you are flying around the world multiple times every year and working 75 hours per week. My near and far away motorcycle friends, bicycle friends, coffee friends etc… can all expect I will be trying to interact with them a ton more this year.
6. Get involved with a good local cause. My old boss used to say to those given a lot, there is a responsibility to give a lot back. I had a great first career (nearly 30 years), but between that and my family there were a lot of things that did not get the attention that I should have been giving. I am a little bit embarrassed by that. No excuses, just looking forward to getting involved in something worthwhile that helps others.
I am taking my time about this one, because I really hope to find the thing that I am most passionate about. Something in Madison, as I want to be part of the community.
7. Start my business, cultivate a client base. I had an awesome first career helping to build the best bicycle company in the world. I am proud of the work that I did there and the brand that we built. In my 2nd career, I want to figure out how to help others build a great company and brand.
I will start up a little professional assistance company and cultivate a few clients that hopefully I can help them further their brands and companies. I am not done creating and being an asset to someones business. Much more to come on this later.
8. Get rid of a bunch of stuff. Sell it, donate it, throw it away. One of the things that I really think we all do too much of is consume stuff. Your existence can all become so much about stuff, the stuff you have the stuff you need etc… Life really should be about experience. I plan to reduce the amount of stuff that I have during this next year, and focus on experiences. My closet is full of clothes, my garage is full of bikes and motorcycles, my house has plenty of furniture. There is so much stuff in my life, I need to get rid of some, and I certainly do not need more.
When I moved to Colorado in the early 1980’s, I could fit everything I owned into a small Uhaul trailer and my car. I do not know if I can get it all back to that, but I know I can live with a lot less stuff. My rule going forward is if I acquire something, more than one something has to leave my life.
9. Ride my motorcycle more than 40 hours. When you are riding your motorcycle, you are not doing something else. You are only there doing that. You are truly there. No part of you, including your mind, can be somewhere else. I have had a problem for the past couple of years with not really being there (If you cannot tell, that is a statement about issues way bigger than just my motorcycle). I plan to ride my motorcycle more, and be in the moment more at whatever I am doing. Live in the now!
Wherever you are, there you are. (Oh but seriously though, I am not kidding, that motorcycle needs a lot more hours on it.)
10. See PJ and at least 2 other live music events. I had to act like an adult this past winter. Pearl Jam announced a 14 city tour in Europe, and I made the adult decision that I could not spend the money to go to a few shows. That is a really big decision for me, as I do not want to miss what could always be the end of their era now. I missed seeing Chris Cornell a couple of years ago, and he is gone now. I will not let that happen again with other artists. I am banking on a NA PJ tour with a few dates in the fall, and I will definitely be booking a few nights worth of tickets.
I will fill out the other shows with Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield or something in Madison or who knows maybe something bigger.
11. Ride my MTB in 3 states that I did not last year. Last year, I only rode in Wi, Mn, Mi, Ut, NC. I am happy to ride in all of those states again, but I want to add some other places as well. We are considering a trip to UT/AZ in the spring. I figure we will get to Texas and Arkansas in the spring as well. There should be a trip at some point to NC and although riding there doesn’t solve the 3 different states point, we do have to drive through other places to get there and I WILL find other places to ride. Lastly, if we can make a few PJ shows happen (are you listening guys?), then we will put some bikes on the back of the car to add some riding.
12. Take Liz on a trip that isn’t about MTB riding. I have been saying this for a few years, so it is time. NYC, Boston, California, Seattle… something needs to happen this year.
13. Bonus goal. Lastly, I am going to learn to ride a wheelie (Dammit). I have had this on the list for a while now, and I keep failing. I was going to let this drop off the list this year, but then I saw this video. I am going to start building this apparatus next week. Looks like you just need a few pieces of wood, and some time. I got this.
Using the manual machine –
Building the manual machine –
That is it. Goals.
- Live life like my dog would.
- Visit Hanna + Adam in Utah.
- Help Ali + Thomas be ready for the baby.
- Visit my family. Brother, Sister, Father, Mother.
- Get better connected to my friends.
- Get involved with a local cause.
- Start my business. Cultivate the first clients.
- Get rid of a bunch of stuff. Sell it, donate it, throw it away.
- Ride my motorcycle more than 40 hours.
- See PJ and at least 2 other live music events.
- Ride my MTB in 3 states that I did not last year.
- Take Liz on a trip that isn’t about MTB riding.
- Learn to ride a wheelie on my MTB (because god knows it will not be happening on the motorcycle)