Now that 2017 is behind us, it's time to move forward. The year 2018 looks mighty bright, so let's turn on the engine and put the pedal to the metal.
This year I'm doing things a bit differently. Rather than setting "outcome" goals, I'm going to be setting "task" goals.
The difference between the two is that task goals are within my control, whereas outcome goals are not.
What do I mean by that? Well, for example, I could set an outcome goal to publish a book in 2018, but certain circumstances out of my control might prevent me from doing so, such as delays by the publisher that has nothing to do with me. You know, things like publishing books written by Tim Ferriss instead of me. But hey, perhaps one day I'll be on the top of their list. That's the dream, at least.
However, if I set a task goal of writing 500 words every day, I simply have to focus on writing, something that is definitely within my control.
Without further ado, here are 5 major task goals that I set out to accomplish in 2018.
It is no coincidence that writing would be my top goal of 2018. If I'm being honest here, writing does not come naturally for me. Words don't flow freely out of my mind as soon as I open up my laptop, which does indeed pose a problem since I kinda have to write in order to keep this blog going.
So how do I become a better writer? By writing!
Having barely written prior to 2017, I attribute my inconsistent quality of writing to simply not having enough practice. Writing every day will allow me to improve little by little.
I've set out to write 1 blog post per week that aims to bring as much value to readers as possible, especially ones that are looking to begin their own Work Anywhere Journey.
In addition, I plan to publish more short articles on Medium as well as finish a book that I started to write last year.
As innocent as this goal might sound, it is definitely a tall order for me. Between writing the last sentence and this one, I just spent a half an hour looking at pictures on Instagram, "looking" for inspiration.
Good thing I'm writing this while sitting in a 24 hour coffee shop.
Another key component to becoming a better writer is by becoming a better reader. I recently read Stephen King's excellent memoir-slash-tutorial On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. In it, he talks about the fact that a good writer must read and write on a consistent basis. There's simply no way around it.
I know better to argue with Stephen King, so I will do as the master says.
Another innocent goal that is harder than it seems. Since reading isn't exactly a revenue generating activity, I often put it off until the end of the day. By the time I open the book, I'm either too exhausted to read or already thinking about the next day.
This is why I now try to read as early in the morning as possible.
One change for 2018, however, is that I'm finally going to be ditching paperbacks. As much as I love to flip through the pages of physical books, the amount of travel that I do simply does not allow for it. Luckily, my brother had an extra Samsung Galaxy tablet lying around his house, so he let me borrow it indefinitely.
I'll still buy paperbacks whenever convenient, but I'm going to be mainly relying on the tablet to read e-books going forward.
I started teaching English on italki in November of 2017. To my surprise, I'm actually enjoying the experience more than I expected. Not only do I get to help people learn my native language, I get to meet locals from the comfort of my laptop.
In less than two months, I've had the opportunity to meet all sorts of people from over 15 countries, including ones from places like Iraq and Kazakhstan. I learn from them just as much as they learn from me. It's awesome.
I am slowly gaining some momentum after receiving a number of nice reviews. If all goes according to plan, this accidental side gig should generate a decent amount of revenues for me by the end of 2018.
Getting me to sit still can be very tough. Getting me to close my eyes and think about nothing for 10 minutes can be nearly impossible.
The word meditation seems so trendy these days. Not a single day goes by without someone giving their opinions about the best way to meditate. Just pay them a low price of whatever fee and they'll make your life a lot less stressful.
The truth is that, at least to me, sitting still for a few minutes a day can be beneficial. Whenever I start off my mornings with 10 minutes of nothingness, my stress seems to melt away for a little while. I enjoy a brief moment of bliss before trying to tackle whatever comes my way that day.
And the more I do it, the better I get at it. What do you know, Mr. Andrews in 7th grade math class was right. Practice does make perfect. Or close to it.
I started using the Headspace app a couple of years ago, which I really enjoyed. However, I decided to cut the cord after I quit my corporate job, as part of my purging of expenses. Looking back, I probably should have kept my subscription. The $10 a month to lower my stress level is money well spent.
The good news is that I've since discovered the Oak app. It is a no frills app that is completely free. I now use Oak on a regular basis.
Whatever you think of the word meditation, I encourage you to spend 10 minutes sitting alone each day and simply relax. Close your eyes and just relax. You won't regret it.
I stepped foot in 10 countries in 2017, and my goal is to repeat this experience in 2018. Since I'll mainly be based in the US, Taiwan, and Poland, these three are set. The other seven are completely up in the air at this point.
On my list are Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Thailand, Ukraine, Germany, and Iceland, among many others.
I don't think I'll have much trouble accomplishing this goal. After all, it is a big part of my Work Anywhere Journey!
That's a wrap! Five simple task goals that will set the tone for my year 2018. They are challenging, but not impossible. Enough to keep me busy, but not overwhelming.
Whether I accomplish all of these goals or not really just boils down to consistency. I can plan all I want, but it's now time to take action.
If I am consistent, I know that I can overcome any short-term lapses and have a very successful year.
If I'm not, well, let's not go there just yet.