This year, I put my list of 100 together differently, looking to take care of home, self and the people around me before chasing after anything too extravagant, like going to SXSW or speaking at a TED Talk.
2014 taught me that baby steps exist for a reason, chewing me up when I tried to fly too close to the sun and spitting me out months later, barely able to write anything worth reading.
Ignoring my life’s responsibilities aren’t an option — I’m a family man before a blogger, and though there’ll always be bloggers with bigger toys and better trips, I need to exercise patience with these creative pursuits and find happiness in the things I already have — a wife, child, family and friends who love me.
So this year’s list is one of things I need to do to improve my life — not ones that’ll give me extra work only to discover I never really wanted them. Not ones I lust after because someone else had them first.
It’s a list of things I want to do, and hopefully enough to motivate myself to get them done.
But intent will only take you so far. With only 24 hours in a day — many of them dedicated to silly things like eating, sleeping and putting food on the table — a realistic look at what you can actually accomplish is essential if you don’t want to leave items lingering on the list for yet another year.
So I split The 2015 100 into three parts (plus a bonus section) — the things I think I can finish in short order (Short-Term); the ones that’ll likely take some time in warmer weather to finish (Medium-Term); and the ones that’ll be harder to see through by the year’s end, but I’m keeping hopeful (Long-Term). As previously mentioned, obsessively detailing the context behind my 100 items was the stumbling block behind releasing The 2015 100, but I think there’s still value in clearly showing why these 100 are important to me and not other items I could’ve possibly included.
To this end, I start with the first 33 items from the list, the items I hope to do before we’ve forgotten winter’s cold sting and feel thoroughly inspired to tackle more ambitious projects in the spring air! And as always, if you want to get in on my goal-crushing action, I’m but a message away — who knows what we can pull off when we use the strength of our numbers to make things happen???
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my head, and I’ll see you at the next post!
1. Try more beers — continued from last year, I’m pretty sure I’m well on my way with Christmas contributions from Sarah and her family, and a developing palate for pale ales.
No longer will you see nothing but Stella Artois in my fridge!
2. Finish updating my LinkedIn — until parenthood became a “thing” for me, I was jumping all over the place in my career. In 7½ years of bureaucracy, I took on 13 different roles before landing at my current home position, looking for a little stability.
With all that, my LinkedIn’s gotten a little… sloppy. Time to fix that.
3. Get back to drinking more water — after an unfortunate incident in late 2014 where I went from 0 to 3L of water a day and a week in my dinner wouldn’t stay where it should, I gave drinking water a break.
I did see some benefits from it, though, and in 2015, I think it’s time to give it another shot.
Maybe easing it in with a little less water, though.
4. Restore the old files I need from my old MacBook Pro’s hard drive — when I opened MacJournal one evening on my new computer, expecting to find all the Fish ‘n’ Chimps script I’d keyed in on my old MacBook Pro, I was pretty horrified when greeted with a blank screen! Using an Inateck FE2006 USB3 hard drive enclosure, I was able to quickly recover the cached files hidden deep in the folder structure, but who knows what else I may have missed when I transferred everything over?
This one’s to make sure I don’t get rid of all the old hardware without making sure I get everything I need.
5. Get a new vacuüm for my car — so our car got
pilfered when someone left the door unlocked broken into a few times last year, and one of the items I lost was my beloved Armor All car vacuüm. I know winter will be harsh on the wheels, both inside and out, so I want a vac with intense suction power to keep things under control.
Canadian Tire, I’m looking at you.
6. Get my G licence — This has become less an issue of ability and more of making the time to go and seal the deal. Sarah made sure I got plenty of driving experience in 2014, so now I’ve gotta do this so I never need to start from scratch with driving ever again. Gotta get to it!
7. Formalize CaseyPalmer.com as a business — while the blog got a tate of earning potential in 2014, I’m going to have to build some structure behind it if I want it growing any further. In 2015, I’m going to do like my Dad did and become a business owner, dotting i’s and crossing t’s to make sure everything’s above-board.
8. Sell my spare lenses on Kijiji — looking back on all the cameras I’ve owned over time, I often think “if only I knew then what I know now”. Now that I rock an SLR with a lens suited for full-frame cameras when I take the inevitable plunge, it’s time to part ways with my starter lenses and build the capital for bigger and better things.
Kijiji listing coming soon!
9. Less time writing, more time living — one downside of my creative process is that it’s so involved. Sarah could tell you of the nights I stay up, chipping away at content, trying to get my posts just right before I share them. It only gets worse when I haven’t put something out for a week or two. One dream of mine in 2015 is to have more writing done ahead of time so I can spend more time doing other things, like going to bed the same time as my wife or spending time sorting through the boxes of stuff I seem to have hidden about the house. I entered 2015 with a renewed vigour for writing — I just hope I can keep it up!
10. Finish “31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31” — I turned 31 last July, and somewhere after that thought it would be cool to write a 31-post series in a month with 31 days on all the things I’d learned up to that point.
But August passed by all too quickly. And then October. No way was I pushing something like that out in December or January… so keep an eye out for it this coming March — I’m planning something solid.
11. Return Roam Mobility’s gear to them since I don’t see myself hitting the US in 2015 — I wish this one worked out differently, but all the awesomeness Roam Mobility had to offer showed up on my doorstep a few hours after we’d flown out for Chicago — it was totally my bad though, as I hadn’t checked in with them sooner. With no plans to hit the States in 2015, I’m thinking I should just send it all back and hope for another opportunity to work with them in the future.
12. Change my life insurance mailing address from my parents’ to mine — I’ve been married and out of my parents’ house for almost four years now — you’d think I’d stop getting mail there, right? Time to nip this one in the bud.
13. Transfer my TD RSP from my expired staff RSP account — I hate paperwork; loathe it. So when I need to go in and see someone, signing things off in triplicate to make things happen, I end up putting it off as much as possible, figuring my time better invested in other ways.
But you know what else I don’t like? Leaving money on the table. I need to claim all the RSP money TD contributed back when I worked for them, lest it vanish into the ether. Better carve out an evening….
14. Find a winter jacket with a removable outer shell for the kiddo — just when you think you’ve got your kid’s safety figured out, you find out that something as simple as having too much padding on them in a car seat can reduce the seat’s effectiveness!
I need to find a layered jacket that can keep him warm, but also trim down just enough to keep him safer as we do our cross-town travels.
15. Get the @CaseP Instagram account — this one’s just annoying. When I got my @CaseP Twitter handle last year, the guy who had it also had the Instagram account. Not wanting to push my luck, I didn’t pursue it, thinking I’d just live with @CaseyPalmer. Guess how surprised I was when I discovered that not only had he given it up when I wasn’t looking, but that someone else scooped it up and isn’t using it?!
I reached out to him on Facebook, but my message is probably trapped in the “Other” folder where he’ll never see it.
I’m going to get my hands on this Instagram account if it’s the last thing I do.
Though chasing an Instagram account would be a horrible way to die….
16. Update my kid’s photo on my desk — This is my son’s photo on my desk at work
Except it’s from over a year ago. I’ve taken literally thousands of photos of him in the time since, and I have a good idea which ones best represent him.
But do stores even print, doe?
17. Replace our over-the-range microwave — and then one day about five years in, our microwave stopped working.
I’ll note here that if you ever want a microwave with extended warranty, don’t shop at Bad Boy — it’s been quite the headache.
Anyway, 2015 marks the year where I learn to uninstall an over-the-range microwave so some dudes can come replace it with a newer, shinier one. (Since they already came once and refused to give it to us because it was still installed. *sigh*)
EDIT: As of posting this, the old over-the range was uninstalled (easier than we thought) and the wall bracket replaced with the one for the new microwave that Bad Boy delivered! Only problem? The cabinet holes drilled for the old microwave are literally centimetres away from where they’re needed for the new one!
Hopefully we can resolve this in the coming weekend….
18. Find time to fit the 7-minute workout into my life — I was introduced to the 7-minute Workout during a church retreat last year, and ever since, I knew it was something I should pursue to keep myself fit.
While time’s tight enough as it is, I should find time each morning to push myself physically.
19. Get new casual shoes — while the winter’s fine for my Cole Haan boots, it won’t last forever — when spring comes, I’m going to need something more reliable to wear than my beat-up chocolate-brown Penguins.
20. Get more stylish socks to match with my outfits — I’m proud to say after 2014, I don’t own a single pair of boring white socks.
But in 2015, I need to keep expanding the wardrobe for more options when I accessorize in the morning. I’ll keep my eyes peeled wherever I go for the right styles and the right price — hopefully my sock drawer will see itself a little fuller by 2016!
21. Be more punctual
“If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late.”
— my Dutch in-laws
I come by a lax attitude to timeliness honestly, stemming from an upbringing with much time spent waiting for people getting ready to go.
If you’re unfamiliar with “Island Time”, imagine this scenario:
A Jamaican household’s hosting the annual family Christmas, telling everyone to come at 4 for the festivities. From 4 to 5:30 or so, the family trickles in, ready to celebrate another year of health, wealth and prosperity.
That is, save the one family who shows up at 10 still expecting food.
Not to say that happened to my family. (It totally did. We had to hold my Mom back so she wouldn’t kill anyone!)
So I know I’m often a few minutes late — this year, I want to do less of that.
22. Listen to Serial — though I thought we’re in the age of the visual, everywhere I go, people are talking about Serial. From what I’ve heard, it’s a podcast made to sound like an old radio broadcast, focused on a murder that happens on what otherwise seemed like your average day. Dunno when I’ll clear out the listening playlist to make time for it, but it’s on my radar.
23. Get precision screwdrivers that can handle internal MacBook components — going back to #4, yes I got my MacBook Pro’s hard drive in the HDD reader… but the fit is less than perfect.
So — unless I have something that’ll do the trick in my toolbox (entirely plausible — I rarely look in there), I should invest in a set of precision screwdrivers for electronics — there’s always something that needs a little tweaking.
EDIT: Looked in the toolbox and discovered I need a Torx T6 screwdriver bit to fit the screws (hopefully I didn’t strip them down too much by trying the T5!) I’ve put a couple of screwdriver sets on sale alert at Canadian Tire, but if anyone else has any bright ideas (such as visiting the local tool library), I’m all ears!
24. Have more date nights — since becoming parents, getting ridiculous workloads with our 9-5s, and my penchant for going out to big-ticket events via the blog, date nights suffered for Sarah and I. This year, I need to find more reasons for the two of us to get dolled up and paint the town various shades of red — we have plenty of family and friends willing to babysit; we just need to be less sheepish about asking.
25. Visit both parents more often and have them babysit overnight — post-baby, it’s always a production when we want to bundle him up in the car and drive him anywhere. So sad to say, despite getting a car in 2013 and shaving what were once 2-hour treks to Mississauga and Rexdale to 40 minutes apiece, the visits to my parents and in-laws are sparse, victim to overtired parents who can’t seem to get their schedules together to make the journey.
In 2015, we need to become more intentional about the kiddo getting familiar with his grandparents and enjoying what free time we can find when others are willing to give it to us.
26. Develop better strategies behind my spending habits (Shoppers Optimum, Air Miles, etc) — Savvy’s not my middle name — I buy things when I need them, rarely carrying all the cards and coupons needed to maximize on my purchases.
But I really should — I totally have household goods I’d love to get my hands on, like the Vitamix Pro 750 or a GoPro Hero 4 Black, and stretching points to eventually convert them into product like these is always a smart play.
So in 2015, it’s time to maximize on special Shoppers Optimum bonus point weekends, Air Miles promotions and other members-only deals to make this consumer life just a little easier.
27. Read more — all the books I read in 2014 were ones related to the things I worked on at the time. Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick when I grew interest in creating better content; Jonah Berger’s Contagious when I felt that social media was too noisy, looking for new ways to share my stories; and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In as a panelist for an event that left me feeling inspired, invigorated and refreshed.
That doesn’t help with the bookshelves filled with books I’ve rarely touched, much less read.
Let’s see if I can get a bit more literate in 2015.
28. Get rid of my old scanner — once, it made sense to have a dedicated scanner for the drawings churned out regularly, in an age where digital art hadn’t quite caught on. But with a sweet scanner I bought late last year, and looking for a dedicated solution to convert old negatives and photos into hi-res digital images (#90 and #91), this massive device under my desk can likely exit stage right any day now.
If only it were still supported on Mac OS X….
29. Purge the old tech and cables I no longer need
One of my desk drawers is a walk through technological history, filled with tech and cables I’ve likely no reason to keep, peripherals to devices I’ve long discarded.
With curbside electronic recycling a service Toronto offers, I think some of this junk would be best served… elsewhere.
30. Find somewhere to buy cheap notebooks in bulk — there’s no shortage of people who find it insane that I write my blogs out by hand first, finding I connect to my thoughts better than if I were to type them directly.
That said — and is especially the case with a post like this — my method can burn through a lot of paper, and we aren’t in ye olden days where you’d find notebooks dirt cheap at a back-to-school sale.
It’s time to find a manufacturer or distributer who sells bulk notebooks on the cheap in this QWERTY digital age and stock up to get my write on!
31. Shoot more video — in 2014, a neighbour and friends told me about 1 Second Every Day, an app for making video montages of your life with second-long snippets each day. I wanted to use it for my monthly wrap-ups last year, but 2014 was determined to move in another direction.
But I’ve wanted to mess with video for ages now, as you’ll see from my YouTube and my videos for things like VEDA. But I want to be more than a talking head staring at the camera, sharing my thoughts with the world.
Maybe 2015 will be the year to grow a little more creative!
32. Be nicer — it’s a good sign that this one confused Sarah when she read The 2015 100 in advance.
Though I try to show kindness to others, actions are one thing, but what good are they if our thoughts are impure?
There’re more than enough people who think ill of each other in the circles I’m in, and it’s time that I take a step back and curb the smack talk on others. I can’t expect to raise a kind and compassionate son if I can’t be the example to live by.
33. Return Justin’s htc one to him or get it sold — finally, for over a year now, I’ve had Justin’s poor htc one sitting in my desk, desperately seeking a new owner to call its own.
Please — if you know anyone interested in purchasing it, let me know lest we need to return it to the mean streets of Toronto — a fate I wouldn’t wish on even the toughest Nokia brick!