If you’ve been around a while, you’re probably familiar with the lists of 100 goals I’d write every year. And I saying, “But you missed 2018!” And it’s true—2018 came hot and heavy; I wasn’t in any position to commit to a list that ambitious. And I could probably say the same now—with a bigger and better Live from the 3.5 than ever, Chatting with Casey picking up steam and a slew of other things in the works, I likely wouldn’t be wrong. But if you’ve been around a while, you’ll probably know my Achilles heel—much like Marty McFly, I can’t turn down a good challenge.
Welcome to The 2019 200 — Because When You Skip a Year, 100 Just Won’t Do!
This post? This post has history. Zach and I go way back, and he’s easily one of the people I respect most in this game. We’re talking the guy who had a podcast long before Toronto was anywhere on it and got media coverage when he worked to show what life was really like when you tried to live it all off sponsorships. There’s a lot he sees coming before they blow up and proves unstoppable when he digs his teeth into something.
Which is why I felt a little inspired when he challenged me to tackle 2019 with not one hundred goals, but two.
— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) December 2, 2018
I'll do it if you do.
— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) December 2, 2018
It won’t be easy, but I’m working a lot harder than I used to—and smarter, too.
With so much going on in my life, slowing down ain’t much of an option, and my to-do lists are the things that keep me going. But I’ve mostly kept them to myself as I work on all the things—I think it’s time to make ’em public again so there’s a chance I can get everything done.
So without further ado, let’s dive into The 2019 200—because no one creates anything innovative without pushing some boundaries first!
The 2019 200 — The List
So first things first—two hundred items make for a really long list, so I knew no one was about to read this thing if I just put them together without any order. What I needed to do was write the 200 items out first, and then find some way to categorise them so they’re easier to keep track of.
And the easiest place to do this? Excel. Not only could I easily keep track of how many items I’d put together with a simple numbering column, but when I was ready to categorise and prepare for the final list, it was a simple sort away!
But you’re not here for any of that; you’re here for the list. So let’s do this!
First off, I have some obligations to my family.
Plenty of my time and energy revolves around making sure my kids get what they need in life, but with each passing year, I realise I need to be a slightly different Dad than I was the year before.
In 2019, I have to be a little less nice—there’s a war going on inside, and I’m not ready to lose!
1) Be firmer with the boys. (Be the Dad they deserve, because that’s what they need right now.)
2) Donate more art supplies to my kids’ classes.
3) Dress everyone in the family up with 2020 glasses for New Year’s Eve.
4) File the family’s outstanding insurance claims.
5) Find some dope things to do in PEI.
6) Finish updating the family tree.
7) Hang a basketball net over the boys’ bedroom door.
8) Help the boys wean off of their device addictions.
9) Install a birthday calendar in our house.
10) Make treats treats again.
11) Pick up a couple of loose Magformers hexagons from The Swag Sisters’ toy store.
12) Plan a killer family Halloween costume for the four of us, and find some cool ways to jazz up the house.
13) Print photos and create photo books for family.
14) Start an annual Christmas letter.
15) Visit my grandmother more often.
16) Write a card to my brother.
But at the same time, all work and no play makes Casey a dull boy.
It can sometimes feel like I’ve done everything Toronto has to offer, but it doesn’t take too long for me to realise that’s a load of crap and to start making plans to see more of my city.
Here are some of the ways I’m looking to have a good time in the one-nine!
17) Buy some more blocks from Uncle Goose.
18) Do the 1000-piece puzzle that Sarah got me for Christmas.
19) Explore Millbrook, ON.
20) Find good versions of “Alleluia 21” and “O Poverty” to add to my classical playlist.
21) Find more time for adventure.
22) Get a copy of Azul that’s not at a ridiculous price.
23) Get a copy of P is for Pterodactyl.
24) Get a copy of the Who’s She board game for the boys.
25) Get chicken and waffles with Noor.
26) Get Winnie a Space Invaders glass.
27) Go axe throwing for the first time.
28) Go paintballing for the first time.
29) Have more parties.
30) Holla at Lindor to hook a brotha up with an endless supply of Peppermint Cookie truffles.
31) Reschedule the OG dinner that’s proven so challenging to make happen.
32) Spend more time meeting with people.
33) Spend some time with my West Coast friends.
34) Visit Casa Loma, which I’ve somehow managed to never do despite living here all my life.
35) Visit Halo Brewery in the Junction.
36) Visit my Sauga City contacts, even though Sauga City isn’t really in my life anymore.
When they came up with the American Dream of owning the home with the white picket fence, I don’t think anyone realised how much work it’d be.
When we first got our house in 2009, I knew it’d be great to have a home with a yard our future kids could play in. As a detached home with a driveway, grass and excellent proximity to the subway, it’s a bit of a Toronto rarity.
But maintaining it’s no small task!
In 2019, I’ll be working hard at being a handyman and a landlord. I won’t say I excel in either, but I have to continue to try.
37) Be a better landlord.
38) Buy a second recycling bin for the house. Yes—I go through that much paper.
39) Buy new toothbrush heads for my Philips Sonicare.
40) Charge our Eliminator battery once a month.
41) Clean out the dusty nooks and crannies in the house.
42) Clean out the garage. Again.
43) Come up with a plan for renovating the bathroom.
44) Consider moving to Bell Fibe for gigabit internet and landline phone services in case the boys need to call 9-1-1.
45) Cook more often and cook better stuff.
46) Hang my sons’ growth chart.
47) Figure out a larger overall plan for the house.
48) Find a more permanent fix for our jewellery box.
49) Fix the door stop on the basement door.
50) Grab a ladder and clean out the eavestroughs.
51) Have a killer lawn for the summer!
52) Invest in some Kinky Curly Knot Today Natural Leave In/Detangler for the boys’ locks.
53) Keep a centralised shopping list so we never run out of household supplies.
54) Keep the car clean.
55) Put some emergency preparedness kits together for the impending apocalypse.
56) Re-caulk the bathtub.
57) Refill the propane for the barbecue.
58) Reuse more, like old popsicle sticks and containers.
59) Sew an outfit for our poor Cabbage Patch Kid Tony who’s been naked for a good while now.
60) Start bringing beef patties and spice buns back into my life.
61) Streamline the number of things we keep in our kitchen.
“Casey, I’m envious of your organizational skills.”
— Kevin Wagar, Wandering Wagars
Prior to 2019 and my parents moving out of our childhood home, I can’t say organisation was much of a priority. But when I had to reclaim nearly three decades of stuff and fit it into a home a third the size, it’s something I had to get used to real quick.
I caught the organisational bug in the last few months of 2018, and it looks like it’ll play a key role in keeping me on track this year, too.
62) Buy a high-speed photo scanner and start archiving my past.
63) Clean out the boxes I have at work which recently travelled with me from job to job. I’m at this one to stay—it’s time to act like it.
64) Clean up my files—with terabytes of data, I probably don’t need it all.
65) Deal with all the outstanding stuff in my email and get to “Inbox Zero”.
66) Front-load 2019 with work and try to rest in the second half as much as possible.
67) Turn all the business cards I’ve collected into conversations.
68) Come up with a way to organise my cords so I don’t need to stash them away every time we have company 😐
69) Keep less knick-knacks and doo-dads in my life and clear out the clutter.
70) Keep on top of the dozens of emails I get each day.
71) Minimise how much I need to carry in my bag every day.
72) Reduce the stuff in my desk to a point where I can use it as a desk again!
73) Rid myself of unnecessary art and writing supplies.
74) Unsubscribe to any unneeded services, email lists, etc. (JAY Z and Beyoncé are great, but do I REALLY need TIDAL?)
75) Use more of what I have to create amazing things!
76) Use up all the toiletries just taking up space in my armoire.
A bit of a new category this year, it reminds me of Matthew 16:26 from the Bible:
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
After reaching the point where I commanded fairly respectable rates for my work, I realised that the hoops to jump through to get there were only getting smaller, and it felt like I wasn’t myself as much as I wanted to be.
So in 2019, it’s time to take a little better care of self. I need to remember that content isn’t everything and that the people on top of the game today may not be there tomorrow. In a fickle environment where the only constant is change, the best plan is to keep putting out the best stuff I can, at a pace that matches the life I’m living.
Let’s hope I continue remembering this lesson throughout the year!
77) Book my G test. Yeah. I know.
78) Convince Sarah Jane of Ugly Bunny to convert some of her earring designs into cufflinks.
79) Fill my requisition at the lab (don’t worry—it’s nothing serious!)
80) Find more reasons in my life to wear a tie again.
81) Find the best DNA test that won’t make me give up my rights to my genes.
82) Find/make lunches that’re both delicious and cost-effective. (And maybe even healthy.)
83) Get some clothes tailored to expand my options!
84) Go see a therapist. It’s been a while.
85) Hydrate more often.
86) Take some time to smell the roses.
87) Pick up French again.
88) Purge some socks.
89) Read more of the books I’ve kept lying around for that very reason.
90) Refresh my wardrobe (where my blue sweaters at?)
91) Reintroduce myself to gym.
92) Start sending snail mail with a wax seal on it.
93) Stop biting my nails and/or reduce the amount of stress in my life. (Though with writing a list of 200 goals, it’s highly unlikely.)
94) Take more vitamins.
95) Take the time to shave my sweaters and make them look new.
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, MAN—let me handle my business, DAMN.”
— JAY Z on Kanye West’s “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)”, Late Registration (2005)
Seriously—that Jigga quote never gets old.
What my journey as a content creator’s taught me so far is that there are a ton of checks and balances to manage when it comes to building a thriving business. In 2019, I’m working at tightening the ship even more so I can continue hustling on the creative side of things.
And here are some ways I plan to do it!
96) Appeal the invalid activity on my YouTube account from 2010 so I can use it properly.
97) Assemble my content creation crew.
98) Create a downloadable PDF résumé on my site.
99) Create a landing page with links to all my best work.
100) Create a network for Canadian Dad bloggers so everyone can win.
101) Create an app that can tell you what car you need to get on and exit to maximise your subway trip.
102) Design new business cards.
103) Disable my Chatfuel Facebook chatbot and replace it with the Facebook-branded version.
104) Figure out whether I could use a custom rubber stamp for the brand.
105) Finish my Brand in Demand testimonial.
106) Finish my electronic press kit so everyone can see what I’ve been up to in all this time.
107) Get back to a regular newsletter release schedule, or find someone who can do it for me.
108) Get the @CaseP handle on Instagram—even if it means trademarking the name!
109) Hire an assistant to help with all the volume that’s coming in.
110) Incorporate my business.
111) Integrate UTM parameters into my content workflow.
112) Join Ryerson’s Design Fabrication Zone.
113) Land more speaking gigs.
114) Learn to say no to anything that doesn’t advance the brand.
115) Look at potentially migrating from Jetpack on my site’s backend to other solutions.
116) Look into starting a foundation for the brand to support a cause.
117) Migrate my email over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
118) Move from a model where my revenue’s completely controlled by others to one where I have a service that controls the ebb and flow of things.
119) Really use my metrics to figure out better ways to run my brand.
120) Refresh my LinkedIn.
121) Return Apple’s gear to them.
122) Start making the most of Pinterest.
123) Start the work on DadLife Crisis — a new event and conference series I have in mind.
124) Update the CaseyPalmer.com media kit.
125) Whip up a new business plan.
And now the fun stuff—when I’m not taking care of home or being a family man (shout-outs to Dave Hollister and Guile), I’m probably writing.
Writing takes up a good chunk of my days, letting me express myself in the most honest way possible before I prep my work for the screen.
But since I do it so much, I’ve developed some preferences in the process. Cold-pressed paper on a pad that flips vertically from Rhodia or Clairefontaine. PaperMate InkJoy gel pens to smoothly capture my thoughts so my left-handedness won’t smear the ink. I’m blazing through all the paper and plans around me to make room for new ideas, but I intend for you to see a number of my writing projects this year.
126) Create numbered takeaway lists to accompany my best posts.
127) Develop a stellar new communications strategy for Children’s Mental Health Ontario.
128) Do a “Dads in the Limelight” piece for Christopher Lewis.
129) Find an awesome fountain pen and use up the ballpoints I have left.
130) Finish creating the soundtrack to my #BloggerLife.
131) Finish my old post on WE Day.
132) Finish preparing my offline content from years past and merge it with my main site.
133) Formalise my book proposals for my book on fatherhood and my book on Black Canadian culture.
134) Get more of the 100 best pens in my life.
135) Plan out a NEW Black History Month project that elevates past work from previous years.
136) Minimise all the paper in my life by writing my little heart out and turning my drafts into something amazing.
137) Pitch more ideas to more sites.
138) Post up the audio files from Govfest for the bands.
139) Publish more work on Medium.
140) Start creating content from my box of candygrams.
141) Start my Black Fridays series.
142) Start my Spiritual Sundays series.
143) Start up my Saturday Stories on people and their tales.
144) Turn my 25 Reasons Your Blog is BLAH content into something new and useful.
145) Use up all the notebooks in my possession.
146) Write a piece on amazing Dads in the GTA for Father’s Day.
One thing I picked up when I reintroduced the iPad Pro into my life was design work—using my years spent studying analogue and digital art to create content different than much of what you’re used to on the internet.
In 2019, do expect a whole lot more from the House of Palmer as I continue experimenting and seeing what exactly I can do with the tools at my disposal.
147) Come up with a hilarious user agreement for parenting.
148) Come up with an infographic for the history of Marvel’s cinematic universe in time for Avengers: Endgame.
149) Complete One Piece in One Piece, my killer infographic on the One Piece manga series.
150) Create a study on how many people donate to our 86,000+ registered charities in Canada vs. what the budgets are for each.
151) Create an adulting checklist.
152) Create an infographic of what a Zelda: Breath of the Wild inventory system would look like in real life.
153) Create my guide to subway etiquette, complete with diagrams on how to employ it.
154) Design animated infographics for my videos.
155) Create the Toronto Fun Guide.
156) Design more choropleth maps to illustrate ideas in my blog posts.
157) Draw more on my iPad Pro!
158) Draw up an infographic on how your child’s body really works. (Think: second stomach for dessert, etc.)
159) Figure out whether I need Affinity Photo for iPad or if the new Photoshop for iPad will do the trick.
160) Find a solid re-design for CaseyPalmer.com.
161) Find a way to build 3D skeleton diagrams of TTC subways and the various stations.
162) Find time to take amazing photos on the regular—even in the ordinary days.
163) Finish my infographic study on Toronto’s city council.
164) Learn to animate stories like The Bible Project does.
165) Mail this sketchbook I’ve had since forever to Tatyana—with a new sketch, of course
166) Put out my infographic on what a Parenting Olympics would look like (or save them for 2020?)
167) Re-open the Fish ‘n’ Chimps script.
In 2018, a content creator can’t thrive off blog posts alone—there’s a big ol’ world of content out there, and I’m looking to make my mark with more than just words.
In 2019, you’ll see me in front of the camera a bit more as I try to edge ever closer to my holy trifecta of content creation—blog posts, podcasts, and videos.
Here’s how I’ll make that happen!
168) Buy a ring light for all those videos I’m going to be filming.
169) Create more video content about our lives.
170) Create my YouTube trailer with stats and clips.
171) Dive more into video and get LumaFusion for the iPad to edit on the fly.
172) Figure out what I’m trying to accomplish with Chatting with Casey.
173) Get some practice in with my OSMO so I can use it while on vacay in Mexico.
174) Record podcasts with my family on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
175) Solve the eternal debate on whether raising puppies is just like raising babies.
176) Start my Dad Rap YouTube channel.
177) Write on something I effed up on for Rob Tinkler’s podcast.
And finally, just a mix of goals that were in categories too small to stay on their own.
Hopefully, 2019 will see progress in areas of my life that might not get as much attention, like what I do in my role at church and getting a bit more involved now that I’m back in my home position at work. It’s a lot easier to see the problems in our lives than go about solving them, so I’m hoping that by laying these out here, it’ll give me a little more drive to get it all done!
178) Check any outstanding lottery tickets.
179) Close most of my Chrome tabs once and for all.
180) Consolidate my investments — move my old staff TD RSP to a trading account
181) Create a comprehensive communication strategy for the Church of the Resurrection.
182) Figure out how to adjust the settings on my Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch so it vibrates only for incoming calls and not for other notifications.
183) Find a place to develop some of my old film to see what’s on it.
184) Finish editing the résumés that people have asked me to take a look at.
185) Give some old SD cards to church.
186) Improve my investment game and perhaps max out my TFSA if I might be so bold.
187) Look into buying a Hoboroll (SegSac Traveler).
188) Pull up the old list of things I’ve meant to watch and see what’s still relevant.
189) Read David Chariandy’s “I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You”.
190) Read Rachel Manley’s “The Black Peacock”.
191) Read the Bible.
192) Replace the missing clip-on sunglasses for my Modo Tortoise / Blue Gradient Columbias.
193) Return any stray DVDs I’ve unwittingly hung onto for all this time.
194) Send my Sennheiser Momentums in for repair.
195) Set up the DRIP on my investments.
196) Sign up for the TTC Monthly Discount Plan for PRESTO.
197) Try to work from home more often (because the TTC is the worst.)
198) Use my Air Miles and travel points—there’re plenty of trips planned; I just need to pay for them.
199) Work with my contacts to get hockey gear sent to Pikangikum’s youth.
200) Write Christmas cards for my coworkers.
200 Items, 365 Days. Can it be Done? Let’s See!
So there you go! It only took weeks to put it together, but here’s The 2019 200 in all its glory! Will I accomplish them all? I severely doubt it. But at the very least, it gives me a baseline to check against, just like it’s done almost every year since 2013.
I hope your lists are shorter, more reasonable, and fully realised in 2019. With 1.825 days to reach each of these goals, I’d better get started before my bad decisions catch up with me!
A very happy new year to one and all, and we’ll see you at the next post!
Until then, I remain,
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