I had a great, very interesting 2014.
I spent almost half of it up in South Dakota, where I made lots of new friends, did political work and reporting on the corruption there. (You can read more about that at my site DakotaReporter.com ) I also spent time in Louisiana, Las Vegas, Florida and took a number of trips to Washington, DC. I love and missed my family but everyone’s doing well.
Here’s what I’m hoping to do in 2015.
1) Launch. Ship. Deliver.
My friend engineer and inventor Brad Carvey used to talk about how he’d always wanted a ‘secret laboratory’ to work on tech projects. Then at one point he looked around and realized that he had it: after years of acquiring the tools and gizmos he needed, he’d built his secret lab.
As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have my own multimedia studio. I didn’t have the word multimedia four decades ago but I was interested in music, video, visual art, and print. I wanted access to a recording studio, a video production control room and a vast worldwide publishing empire.
Well, guess what? I have it. In 2014, I really put together all the pieces. The hardware has gotten affordable and portable enough that I have the ability to record beautiful high definition video, I have a warehouse full of virtual audio equipment and a recording studio and all the tools to create films, books, albums and more. And the studio all fits in a flippin’ BACKPACK.
So, time to start making stuff and shipping it.
I’m planning to finish The Caliphate and my film about internet political trolling madness soon. Books and other projects are on the way. Some businesses and more classes, because I love teaching. There’s a lot to do and I have the tools.
The trick is having the time, which bring me to…
One way to achieve more is to measure.
This is why fitness devices like the Fitbit are so great: suddenly when your every step is being counted and you can see how much exercise you’re getting or not getting, your life becomes a kind of live video game where you can keep score and compete.
I’ve begun to use tools like RescueTime to keep try of how I’m spending my computer time. (Hint: I spend too much time on Twitter.) I’ve using a tool called Vitamin-R to keep me focused on writing this post right now. And I want to start working smarter on my use of social media by keeping of what’s working and what’s not.
3) Hello, World
I like people. Right now, a lot of my contact with other humans is online and especially on Twitter. That’s not ideal for all sorts of reasons, including sanity.
I need to see more people live and in person.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate my online friends. I get to talk to people all over the world. We’re bound together by shared interests, not geography. That’s incredible but I DO need to get out more.
There are a few challenges. I work at home. I’m legally blind and can’t drive but Dallas has great public transit and Uber makes it easier for me to get around.
No excuses. People, watch out. Here I come.
4) Edit My Life
I have too much stuff. I don’t think I’m alone on this.
Junk accumulates. Old tech I don’t use. Paper books I can’t read because of the whole “legally blind” thing. A tangle of cables. Documents from years ago. Too. Much. Stuff.
Don’t get me wrong. I like stuff but I want to pare it down so I have what I need, not the extra stuff.
I’ve been going digital for years. I don’t buy CDs or paper books but I have a huge music collection and library that I take with me on my Kindle, iPad. iPhone and MacBook wherever I go. Kindle Unlimited and Spotify up the size of that collection to “more than I can ever possibly consume.”
A great blog that talks about these sorts of ideas including minimalism and small space living is Life Edited.
5) Worry Less, Pray More
About a year ago, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. This year, I saw God’s bigger plan for our lives come through for me again and again. Things happened that were beyond anything I could have conceived for myself.
But obviously being saved doesn’t end the work. It begins it, really. For me, part of that is simply trying to keep focusing on constant improvement in every area of my life and knowing that God’s going to do His will.
Prayer beats worry. A lot of non-Christians think of prayer as “asking for stuff” as if God is an invisible Santa Claus and if we wish for it, we’ll get presents. While asking God for things for yourselves or others can be part of prayer, you can also pray without asking for a thing.
Gratitude is often the best prayer of all. Being grateful for the gifts you’ve already been given is incredibly centering in times of stress And most stress is really just the ideas floating around in your head.
And on that note, I’m grateful for you, dear reader.
That’s my list. What are your plans?
Featured Image: by Les Taylor