Each year along with the parties, presents, and family time – December is a great time for both reflection and planning.
Next week I’ll be holing up for a couple days with the two guys in my mastermind and getting our goals for 2015. However, as is the tradition here at Location 180 – I like to write about some of the things that well, didn’t go so well during the year.
Or to put it more bluntly, the things I sucked at in 2014.
These can be big or small, pointless or meaningful, but it represents a good starting point for me to analyze which of these things are important for me to change, and which of them I’m ok with not being the best at.
Let’s jump into it.
1) I Didn’t Stick to My Productivity Habits
As you’ll see, many of the things I sucked at this year revolve around health and productivity.
In this case, I know exactly what to do in order to be productive – but for the majority of the year I just didn’t follow through.
While you’re becoming a Location Rebel, you’ll learn pretty quickly that it’s all up to you. In the end, if you don’t follow through, it’s your own fault. That’s why a supportive community is so vital during those early days – support and accountability are crucial.
For me, late in the year I got into a groove and have been able to bang stuff out for the last month. But for most of the year I wasn’t able to get as much work done in a day or a sitting as I should be able to – simple as that.
How I’ll Be Fixing It
There are a couple key things I’ve found that work for me for being really productive.
- [email protected] Set it to Alpha Chill High on a timer for 45 minutes, and I’m immediately in the zone.
- Know exactly what I need to do when I sit down. As soon as I have to think about what I’m going to work on next I’m dead.
- Get one thing done completely before moving to the next. I tend to bounce around a lot. I’ll get 5 things to 25% but feel like I’ve done nothing. In 2015 I’ll be more diligent about getting things to 100% and then moving on.
- Plan something fun later in the day. This post and this post sum up what works – it’s just a matter of sticking to it.
2) I Didn’t Always Answer Email in a Timely Manner
I’ve built my entire business around the idea that if you send me a thoughtful email, you’ll get a response. As the business has grown, so have the emails. I’m still pretty good about making sure everyone get’s a response, but often it takes much longer than it should or I’d like it to.
How I’ll Fix It
I’m at my best when I make sure I get to Inbox Zero twice a day, and don’t use my inbox as a to-do list.
I run into the most trouble when I skip a day or two and let emails pile up. Then they stay piled up for awhile until I block out a few hours to send responses. By spending the 15-20 minutes in the morning and afternoon to stay on top of emails my inbox will stay much more clear.
Many people say this is a waste of my time. I say that’s bullshit. My goal is to build a one on one relationship with every one of my customers or readers, and if that takes up half of my working time – fantastic.
3) I Only Occassionally Got Consistent High Intensity Exercise
I’ve seen waves of routine here and there as far as exercise is concerned – but usually as soon as I’m getting close I take a trip and have to start over from scratch.
Sure I’ve done a lot of walking (ahem, golf) which has probably helped me maintain where I’m now, but as I near 30, this is growing increasingly important to me. It’s only going to get harder moving forward, and I truly believe mastering this and working out everyday will help improve many of these other things I’ve sucked at.
How I’ll Fix It
The most important thing I need to remember is that I can get exercise anywhere. Back when I lived in the 482 square foot condo, there literally wasn’t an open spot for me to do pushups – it was that tight. Now that I’ve got a bit more space, simple things like busting out 20 pushups or crunches in between tasks will be a great way to focus on exercise more regularly.
Forcing myself to seek out greater accountability is also going to be important. It’s too easy to brush it off and say “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
4) I Had Very Little Variety in My Travel
Now this one isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Essentially all of my major travel this year revolved around golf. There weren’t many tropical beaches, exotic countries, or other extremely cultural experiences.
However, I played a lot of the best golf courses in the world.
Honestly, that statement doesn’t quite do it justice. I played more amazing golf courses this year, then most people (even diehard golfers) will play in their lifetime.
I’m currently working to play the Top 100 Public Courses in America (32/100), the Top 100 Courses in America (14/100), and the Top 100 in the World (17/100). This year alone I played 28 different courses on those lists.
How I’ll Fix It
This next year I want to do more international travel, and see some parts of the world I’ve never been to. It’s looking like a trip to Australia and New Zealand is entirely possible early next year, and Croatia/Maldives are also being talked about as a honeymoon destination.
So while the golf is great, and I truly love it, I’d also like to make sure that I’m branching out and continuing to see new places that are a little more exotic.
5) I Didn’t Capitalize on Low Hanging Fruit
There are so many easy things I could do to grow my business, and to be honest, I just haven’t capitalized on them.
I’ve had a lot of excuses as to why I can’t change this, or why it’s not possible to do that.
Frankly, most of my excuses are lame, and I just haven’t made the effort to make the changes – even though I know a little time and money spent now could pay off in spades long term.
Examples of this are:
- Doing a small redesign to incorporate a bigger opt in box on my home page
- Doing more webinars
- Updating my email funnels
- Doing more guest posts
How I’ll Fix It
This month I’m starting to make a list of all of the stuff that I’d like to update or change within the business, and start taking it one thing at a time, rather than be overwhelmed by it.
This week I started the process on a major redesign of the site and brand that’s going to make it easier to navigate and be more reflective of the direction things have moved over the last couple years.
6) By and Large, I Ate Like Crap
This one has been huge, and is very similar to the point on exercise. I’ll eat well for a few days, then blow it on a big night out with friends, and have to start all over again.
How I’ll Fix It
I was talking to Adam Gilbert last month about the idea of rewards. As I’ve been more successful, I’ve used food and drink to subconsciously reward myself. Full day of work? I’ll hit happy hour with friends and have a few beers and unhealthy food.
It’s often cheaper for me to eat out than it is to make dinner at home – so why not do it?
Because it’s bad for you, that’s why!
I’ve been working to give myself alternate rewards other than food. So instead of going out to happy hour after a successful day, I go play 9 holes. Or I play 45 minutes of video games guilt free.
All of these things can take the place of more unhealthy eating habits (as it’s usually at night I go downhill), and make myself more inclined to do the work that warrants the reward.
7) I Didn’t Take Many Risks
This year has been my most successful year yet, from a monetary stand point. However I’ve played it safe. I’ve been content to just stick to what works, stay the course, and hope it all works out.
Which luckily it has – but you can’t do that forever.
I’ve been so afraid of breaking something that’s working pretty well, that I haven’t been willing to take a risk and make some changes that could potentially make it really freaking great.
How I’ll Fix It
For starters, as I mentioned is the full rebrand and redesign. This is a huge deal for me, as L180 has looked pretty much the same for the last 3.5 years. I have no idea how new readers will react and what it will do to conversions – but I know now is the right time to start taking that jump
8) I’ve Been Lazy With My Writing
When I say this, I don’t mean it in the sense that I haven’t done it. I’ve actually written a fair amount this year, and I’ve done a good job of sticking to my schedule of three posts a week.
When I say lazy, what I mean is that much of what I’ve written isn’t as good as it could have been – and I feel this has always been the case.
In person, I’m a pretty sarcastic, playful guy. I like to have fun, and I want that to come across in my business. With some of my recent videos, I think this comes across well.
But I’ve always felt my writing can be somewhat bland. Useful, sure. But I want to incorporate more stories, more personality, and really make the writing feel like me.
How I’ll Fix It
I’m the kind of person that will write something, read it over once, and then put it up. My natural inclination is be straight to the point. Spending an extra 15 minutes on each post would force me to go back through and add in more stories and sarcasm that will help hit on my points better, and be more entertaining to read.
In the End…
In the end, after reflecting and writing this there’s one underlying theme that I think is going to be most important for 2015: health and wellness.
Eating well, exercising, focusing on what I know will make me productive.
If I’m able to do those things, the rest will fall into place.
I’ve actually talked about each of these things a lot over the years. It’s usually about a week into the habits, and about a week before I’ve fallen back out of them.
People are often surprised to hear that I was much better about health and fitness when I was in my day job. “Now you have unlimited freedom in your schedule to do it whenever you want!?”
But (there’s always a but).
During my day job I used my lunch break and exercise as an escape from the office. The work didn’t matter. I got paid the same either way.
Now if I don’t put in the work, I don’t get to continue this lifestyle. So there’s a constant tug at the computer to stay and sit – even when I know damn well I’m not being productive.
I’m not longer trying to escape anything, so taking the time to do those things has just gotten more and more difficult. That said, I’ve made strides this past month, so I’m feeling good about where things are heading for the new year.
So, now that I’ve just spent 2,000 words talking about myself. It’s your turn to be honest. What did you suck at this year, and how are you going to fix it for next year?
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