2012: Looking Ahead

2011 was a bittersweet year.  We’ll save the retrospect for another post, though, because we’re going to look forward to 2012 – either an awesome year or an absolutely disastrous one, depending on your perspective.

Me – I’m going with the former.  Although it’s not likely to be all roses, I have no doubt that looking back on the year will reveal that twenty-twelve was a great year.  Here’s why:

No, my crystal ball isn’t out of the repair shop yet but I don’t need one to know that the next 366 days will be good – I will make them good.  And if I don’t I hope you take the opportunity to publicly humiliate me for it.


But back to right now – here’s why MMXII will absolutely rock:

  • I’m going to spend more [time with my kids].  Whether that’s a regular family night, a random day trip or a Magic: The Gathering battle (or something entirely different) I am going to make sure my priorities are reset – in the right way.  I’ve pretty much failed at this in the past, but the events of the last few months (and some timely encouragement from my dad) have really helped steel me in that endeavor.
  • I will show no mercy [while cutting my expenses].  I spent way too much in 2012.  Sure, I paid off some debts but I didn’t pay off enough.  I spent money on things I don’t really need (and a bunch of stuff I don’t even use), at out way too much (and thus denied my culinary creativity) and paid fees I had no business paying (because I was being stupid, forgetful or just plain lazy).  No more – we’re cutting those expenses, ruthlessly.  Thanks to Baker and Ramit for the guidance.
  • I will work more [on what I want to].  I work a lot.  Whether it’s in the office, sitting in a coffee shop or being what seems like permanently attached to my phone, I spend a lot of time working.  The problem is, it’s not all “good” work.  Not from a quality standpoint – that’s all good.  But from a “is it moving me in the right direction” standpoint that work isn’t always something I could look back on and say it was what I should have been doing.  So I’m going to take a hard look at what I do and what I’m asked to do and make sure it moves me in the right direction.  If not it doesn’t go on the list.
  • I’ll surrender [looking at things negatively].  The last two months of the year I had a really negative outlook on things.  There were a number of circumstances that frustrated me (tremendously), but instead of rolling with the punches and keeping the attitude that’s kept me going these thirty-some-odd years, I let my frustration color my attitude…and that’s a vicious circle that I let overwhelm me.  I discovered, however, that I’m so not a fan of looking at things any other way but optimistically – so those glasses are back on for 2012.
  • I will shoot more people [and places and things in my photos].  I did not uphold my resolution last year to take more meaningful pictures.  I got a lot of pictures, but not necessarily the kind I wanted.  I did get a few good shots in (check out my Flickr photo stream here; the 2011 Fall TOC and Zombie Walk have some good ones), but I didn’t spend nearly enough time honing my photography skill.  Next year changes all that.
  • I’m going to lose [the stuff I have but don’t need].  I acquired a bunch of stuff in 2011.  Which saddens me tremendously, because we worked so hard at getting rid of stuff in 2010.  I’ve culled my closet and donated a bunch to Goodwill – a good start.  But there’s tons of stuff still sitting around that I need to get rid of.  My goal of being able to fit all my possessions (sans furniture, anyway) into two trunks is going in the wrong direction.  Going to fix that little problem.
  • I will give less [of my time to stuff that doesn’t move me in the right direction].  In 2011 I spent a lot of time on the sand volleyball courts.  Why?  Because it put me in the right direction – health, friends and fun.  Plus my skills got better; it was the first year I played on more A-level teams than any other class.  But I also spent a lot of time doing “stuff”.  You know what “stuff” is – the kind of thing that when you look back on the day you say “where did those 3 hours go?  Oh, yeah – I was doing stuff.”  Stuff is not good.  I figure if I can’t recount what I did then it probably doesn’t matter, so instead of looking back on it I need to make that critical decision when something comes in.  “Is this something that moves me in the right direction?”  “Is this worth my time?”  “Is someone else better suited to do this?”  Those are the questions I should ask myself instead of “do I have time to do this?” (irrelevant), “Can I do this?” (that’s not the point) and “Will somebody get upset if I tell them no?” (it’s my time, not their’s).
  • I will take more [risks].  I’ve been a risk averse person in most of my endeavors.  I want a safety net below me.  I’ll pay a premium for coverage in the event I might need it.  I want a low deductible should something happen.  I keep multiple copies of files.  But all that insurance is also stifling because it keeps me in the comfort (or lack of discomfort, technically) that I’ve got, and that prevents me from taking chances and either soaring to new heights or falling on my face.  Either way it’s learning, which is difficult to do if you’re not taking risks.  2012 is going to involve me canceling some of that insurance (metaphorical or literal).
  • I will limit myself [so I can focus without limits].  2011 saw a lot of stuff jump on my plate.  Good stuff – and all stuff I wanted to do.  I wanted to get out of debt.  I wanted to get my sand sock business going like gangbusters.  I wanted to learn Java and Flex.  Get back into Dungeons and Dragons.  Clean off my “honey-do” list.  Find my next job rotation.  Write an iPhone app.  Take awesome pictures.  Play World of Warcraft again.  Master Photoshop.  And on and on and on.  And to one extent or another, I did all of those.  I was a Jack of all trades, master of none this past year.  But that won’t work for 2012.  I have to be selective about what I pursue or I’ll continue to add to that list and never accomplish any of it.  Consider it done in two thousand and twelve.

There you go – that’s my 2012.  I’m pumped to look back in a year and see what other awesomeness has happened in addition to those things above.  As my buddy in Denver said:  “2012 is going to be a great year” –  I completely concur.

What about you?  What are you going to do in 2012 to make it one to remember?  What “game changer” kind of thing are you bringing to the party next year?

(post image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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