Well, as it seems to be customary here, it tends to take me some time to post about my annual review and yearly goals.
I actually do work on these around December and January—there’s just so many other items that take priority (or shiny!) that prevents me from sitting down and typing these out. But hey—we’re still in the first quarter, so at least there’s that!
A quick review of what’s going on!
Current Projects, in some stage of “active”:
- Premium Online Services for clients: websites and marketing
- Audiobook Narration and marketing for authors
- The Working Actor’s Journey podcast
- A Beginner’s Meditation Course book
- Training/life with the dog
- Board member for San Diego Shakespeare Society
- Volunteering with Bridge Hospice (just started this—social visits with patients)
I’ve been feeling a bit more stressed lately, mostly of my own doing, because I’m involved in SO MUCH (also a recurring theme). One of the big desires for this year is to simplify my life in terms of projects and work, and to clarify my main focus.
I’ve also been doing some helpful work around simplifying lately too—so the seeds are being planted.
Ok, so let’s get into the review!
So how did 2018 go?
I continued swimming, bread-baking, learning, traveling, exercising, and meditating. Didn’t do as much pleasure reading as I would like, and I posted 6 times on this site, so below my goal and less than 2017.
I may just need to let the “posting” goal go—I like to keep people informed, but I also put pressure on making these decent vs. just posting a quick line about something on Facebook or Twitter.
Of the 12 goals I did write down, I completed six. The rest were either postponed or I decided not to pursue. I also added and completed a goal of publishing a Kindle version of my meditation course in Q4.
On the travel front, I was in Mexico, Aruba, Peru, Panama and also did a cross-country road-trip in the US.
Not to be content with just one approach, I actually used three different methods for reviewing and planning
- The annual planning blueprint from my friend Ben Whitehair (join his email list to get it)
- The past year review from author Tim Ferriss (a different approach and very strategic)
- The better way to plan goals from entrepreneur Noah Kagen (very complete notes along with this one).
I’ve also been using the Weekly Planning Chart I learned about from a long-time friend and mentor, Kristine Oller. I took her concept and created a digital version so that I could quickly duplicate weeks and move things around without erasing/striking-through, etc. (If you’d like a copy, let me know.)
Highlights from the exercises above
- Releasing podcast episodes and interviews (and moving the show to a monthly format, which initially caused me a lot of stress)
- Training the dog
- Sourdough starter, bread-making, and baking
- Meditation Kindle book
- Volunteering @ La Loma in Panama; creative projects with Medical Electives in Peru
- Being involved with San Diego Shakespeare Society
- Trip to Florida to see family
- Living in San Diego, and meeting up regularly with friends
- Publishing my Uncle’s book
What didn’t work…
- Hitting income goals
- More audiobook work (to be fair, I didn’t put a TON of energy here)
- Obsessing over how much to post on social media for the podcast (it’s never enough!)
What I learned…
- Want to be more pro-active about building out my income
- Want to do more audio (more below)—I can also direct and produce this
- Really enjoy baking and sharing with others
- Paz (the dog) and I do pretty well together—thank god for training!
- People are excited about my engagement—since it’s the first time, this was very new, to be getting so much attention about this.
- Want to volunteer in person (and started doing this)
Peak positive experiences…
- Getting engaged (!), though I’m not planning to repeat that this year… 😉
- Snorkeling with baby whales in Aruba
- Hiking with group in Peru
- Morning coffees with Kevin in Peru
- Exploring Lima, Peru
- Teaching a Romeo and Juliet speech to a 10-year-old
- Audiobook recording with locals in Panama
- Visiting with my brother and his fiance more often
- Dinner at Alinea in Chicago
- US road trip (Chicago-Tahoe-San Diego)
- Working Actor’s Journey interviews
- Skyping with podcast listeners
- Hiking in the Cleveland National Forest
- Seeing Improvised Shakespeare in SD and John Mulaney in Chicago
Peak negative experiences…
- Being ripped off by a Mexican car rental company (but got the money back!)
- Calls with potential clients that were unclear and a bit awkward
- Several other personal experiences (that I won’t get into here…)
So, here are my 2019 goals:
I definitely want to make AUDIO a much bigger focus in my life. I’ve gotten great feedback from my narration work, and I want to ramp it up so it’s representing a larger percentage of my income. There are a number of related services I can offer, and I’ve included those on this site.
I also really want to make READING more of a priority, and part of this is about feeling like I have time for extra things like this. The clarity/simplifying work will really help here.
A few over-arching items I’d like to keep doing and improve:
- Bread-baking—completed a class in Q1 and want to keep exploring!
- Exercising—with everything going on, I’ve been slacking a bit (to my standards)—need to carve out more time
- Meditating—still going strong with a daily practice and will hit 9 years in 2019
Personal and Business Planning
Fantasy/Dream statement (to shoot for): At the end of 2019, I’ve put episodes of a second podcast, have done a lot of audiobooks, assisted with text on a Shakespeare production, crossed off another state on my list (only 5 left!), wrapped up my meditation book/audiobook, and completed interviews for season 3 of WAJ.
Possible words of the year: Audio / Focus / Invest
- 5-10 finished hours of audio work per month (that’s about 12-25 hours of recording)
- Target goal for monthly income
- Exercise 3-4x per week
- Swim 1-2x per week May-Oct (when outdoor pool is heated)
- Hiking 1x per month
- 60k steps per week (still seeing if this is realistic)
- Improve bread-making skills
- Read more often
- Do what I can to move the Shakespeare Society forward with tech/marketing and diversity
PLACES TO VISIT
- Mexico: Mazatlan (visited Feb 2019); Northern Baja/wine country
- Joshua Tree/desert
- One of my 5 remaining states: Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Delaware
- Hawaii? (via new routes from Southwest!)
- Maybe Nashville and Amsterdam
And how this might pan out….
Quarter One (January-March)
- Release season two of The Working Actor’s Journey podcast (update: complete!)
- Training our dog Paz with intro to agility and impulse control (update: complete!)
- Publish print version of A Beginner’s Meditation Course
- Research wedding venues (update: in progress!)
Quarter Two (April-June)
- Finish releasing season two of the WAJ podcast
- Establish contacts for narration work and expand services
- Prepare and deliver a speech for my brother’s wedding
- Explore a second podcast around text work for theatre
- Random boxes: rid our lives of anything that doesn’t “spark joy“
- Visit 1-2 (or more) wedding venues
Quarter Three (July-September)
- Edit and possibly release second text work podcast
- Create audiobook version of A Beginner’s Meditation Course
- Begin recording episodes for season three of the WAJ podcast
- Perhaps visit more wedding venues
Quarter Four (October-December)
- Release season three of the WAJ (may move to 2020)
- Who knows what else??
Helpful? Intriguing? Suspenseful? Curious to hear your thoughts.
OK—see you next year!