The King is Dead – Long Live the King! The spirit behind the phrase is amusing. It meant that subjects love their King no matter who it happens to be. We can look at each year in the same way. 2015 is Dead – Hail 2016!
Was 2015 a good year for you? A bad one? If you’re anything like me, you can say yes to both questions. It’s natural for us to take the opportunity to look at the year past to see where we were and where we are now. I suppose this is a useful exercise. My coach Ana asked me to do it. And as I reflect, I feel that the year has been quite good. Maybe that’s just optimistic bias. Anyway, here’s what I came up with:
- As mentioned, I have been working with a coach since April. The experience has contributed to my focus and productivity.
- My business ventures have progressed. I have new and exciting clients in my consulting business, and we’ve made significant progress together. In our Open Chamber Systems enterprise, we received important patent protection that in effect completely recaptures the technological innovations of my grandfather, David Dardick. This will hopefully allow us to fulfill his legacy.
- My brother Chris and I are about to launch our book project. Part One of The Seed series, Sudden Onset, is approaching readiness and we expect to publish it soon.
- I completed a three and half year term as a ruling Elder at our church. I was happy to serve, especially during a time of turmoil as our pastor of 24 years left. I will miss working closely with the great people on our Session.
- My family battled health crises, specifically my wife’s breast cancer and my son’s debilitating neurological reaction to a medication. They’re both good now, so while the path was rocky, the outlook is positive.
- My band Second Time Thru had another successful year. We had some fabulously fun gigs, improved our product, and really enjoyed camaraderie and sharing our love of music with many people. My skills as both singer and drummer progressed. This continues to be a major source of joy in my life.
- Aside from my novel I wrote over 60 articles in 2015, ranging from 500 to 2000 words each. If you are a regular reader of my weekly blog, you may have noticed a progression. My brand has developed. I would describe it as identifying useful truth in the topics of our times. My goal is to give my readers nutritional food for thought.
I didn’t achieve everything I’d set out to. For example, I signed up for an online marketing course to help me expand my readership and my reach. I didn’t keep up with the course. I also wanted to publish an e-book entitled Elevating Organizational Culture in the 21st Century. I completed the book, but as yet have not published it. There were other projects, specifically around the house, that I did not get to either.
As I recollect the above, it seems that 2015 was a dynamic year for me. It wasn’t all pleasant, but it’s all good. As I look at the list, it appears that it must have been a very hectic year. I never really felt that way. Busy, yes, but basically under control. I just prefer it that way. I dislike the feeling of being rushed. And I really hate to keep other people waiting. So I adjust my personal expectations, and the commitments I make to others, accordingly.
Which brings me to the second part of my coach’s assignment: What do I want to create in 2016? When setting goals, there’s the conventional wisdom of being SMART. You know that acronym, right? There’s certainly power there; I’ve seen it and experienced it. But I also believe that there is wisdom in a more Zen approach – being open, flexible, accepting – focused on the moment and less on the uncertain and unknowable future. I try to somehow blend these two seemingly polarized approaches.
Though it may change when I go over it with Ana, here’s what I’m currently thinking for 2016:
- I want to expand my consulting business in two ways. First, I’d like to impact a greater number of people. Second, I’d like to expand the way I work with clients so that physical proximity is less important.
- I want to secure funding for Open Chamber Systems,LLC so that we can employ engineers to develop new Open Chamber technologies. We’d like to leverage the resources of an established partner through licensing or a similar arrangement to successfully bring the technology to the marketplace.
- I’d like to enjoy three family vacations.
- I want to publish Sudden Onset, plus two additional installments of The Seed series, and create a community around the central topic of over 1,000 engaged participants.
- I subscribed to Drumeo Edge, an online drumming community. My goal is to progress as a drummer by working on a lesson and practicing, at least for 10 to 15 minutes, daily.
- I want to radically increase the number of people who read my articles.
Some of the list is SMART – it’s all in 2016, so there is a time base. The list is somewhat specific, though it looks like it could be more so. I think the goals are all within reach and that they will lead me in a meaningful direction.
Some of it is Zen, at least a little. I don’t know yet what most of it will look like. I’m open to incorporating the contributions of others and adapting as circumstances and opportunities arise. I will joyfully accept any improvement, whether marginal or breakthrough. I expect some curveballs. I hope to take them in stride.
An important additional goal for me is to enjoy the process and the journey. That is what life is, after all.