Ten resolutions for 2018

Welcome to 2018!

Last year I published ten resolutions for 2017. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it ended up being a post that I referred back to throughout the year to see if I was on track with my goals.

Here’s how it stacked up:

Take better care of myself: I said that I’d change my eating habits and get more cardio into my routine. Both happened. I started following a ketogenic diet in the spring and jogging, including a couple of 5km runs. I’m down 25lbs from this time last year.

Attend more meetups: I got back into leading local WordPress meetups. WPToronto East meetups were small, roundtable discussion sessions hosted at Kobayashi + Zeitguys on the Danforth. I attended a few other meetups in 2017, but overall I’ve come to accept that I just can’t get out to as many meetups as I used to.

Create something new every day: While I did do more in 2017 than in previous years, I fell well short of my goal. I’m not giving up on this one yet though. (More on that down below.)

Improve my web development skillz: This was a straight-up fail. I started off with React For Beginners from Wes Bos but gave up a few weeks in. I made a few false starts later in the summer at working with Python and SQL.

Tinker with hardware: I wanted to do more hands-on work in 2017, specifically with Arduino and home automation. It didn’t take. Not even a little bit. I did next to nothing with hardware.

See more of North America: This was a success! I visited Sonoma County and Santa Cruz while in the Bay area for work; I checked out old downtown Gilbert in Arizona; and I went to Miami, Rochester, and Portland (Maine) for WordCamps. Plus I did some hiking in Maine, which was a nice experience.

Small road trips around Ontario: Another success. I got my G1 in February 2016 and my G2 in February 2017. Bought a used 2013 Honda Civic shortly after. Porthos — yes, we named our car — took us as far north as Tobermory, ON, as far west as Lake Huron, and as far east as Montreal, QC.

Spend more time with family: I thought that having a car would give me more freedom to see my out-of-town family. But it turns out that the biggest challenge wasn’t the distance; it was the time. On the flipside, we saw in-town family a lot more… but because of our roadtrips, we spent less time with them during the summer.

Read less fluff and more books: I started a list of books to read and it’s grown to over 200 entries… but I don’t think I finished a single new book in 2017. So that’s a great big fail on this one. By comparison, Matt Mullenweg read a whole bunch.

Write a book: I worked on a handful of Pro eBooks for the GoDaddy blog, and I got as far as outlining a book of my own, but that was it. I didn’t write or publish a book last year.

So that’s about a 50% success rate of sticking to my resolutions.

Keep reading…Ten resolutions for 2018

Talking domain names with Bluebird Business Consulting

I’ve had the pleasure of appearing on a couple of podcasts this year, namely the WP Elevation podcast and Marketing CoPilot’s Common Sense Marketer.

An unexpected opportunity popped up last month via Facebook to talk about domain names. This time I’m on the call with fellow Canadian web pro Frithjof Petscheleit of Bluebird Business Consulting.

We touch on the long-term importance of choosing a domain name, the new TLD extensions, personal branding, and best practices for choosing a domain name.

Give it a listen: How to pick an awesome domain name.

 

“We’ve created an aspiration gap.”

“We’ve created an aspiration gap – a disconnect between the capabilities of our talent and their drive for excellence – and we are now at a juncture where we seem more concerned with congratulating everyone for participating than we are with providing highly talented people with the resources they need to compete on the national and global stages.”

via We need to stop coddling our kids if we want Canada to become a nation of entrepreneurs (The Globe and Mail)

I don’t agree with all of this, but I do agree that there should be a difference between rewarding participation and rewarding excellence.

Finding fulfillment from showing up and taking part is a positive habit loop. But there’s also a benefit to having a higher level of performance to strive towards.

Freedom from interrurption.

Taken together, the lesson here is that the ideal space for focused work is not about freedom from noise, but about freedom from interruption. Finding a space you can hide away in, regardless of how noisy it is, may be the best strategy for making sure you get the important work done.

via Why you can focus in a coffee shop but not your open office (HBR)

I loathe open office layouts for this very reason. (Thankfully I’ve been a remote worker for the last two years.)

  • If you’ve ever poked your head into an open office layout, you’ve probably noticed that anyone doing work has a pair of noise-canceling headphones on.