It’s almost surreal that another year’s behind us as we gear up for another full one ahead. I hit Maker Pizza with my sister-in-law and her fiancé a few days back, and while we both had very different 2015s, we both agreed — the trip we took to Cuba back in January feels a lot farther away than a mere 11 months!
No; 2015 challenged me to do more than any before it, and while I’m not about to give myself any gold stars for performance — there’s enough I could’ve improved — but the Casey today’s a far cry from the disillusioned blogger we saw just one year earlier. If anything, 2015 helped me take a quick glimpse at my potential, seeing what’s possible if I’m willing to test my limits and really show myself what I can do.
It makes me hopeful for an even better 2016 than the amazing year I just had!
But I write this knowing there’s so much yet for me to do. Running the numbers, I’ve realized that I didn’t conquer as much of The 2015 100 as I thought I would — I completed 37%, dropped 30%, and carried the remaining 33% forward to 2016. It surprised me a bit, but it teaches me the same lesson I saw the two years I’ve done this already — that my list of 100 aren’t about crossing off a bunch of resolutions or proving how busy I am in a typical Torontonian fashion… they’re an exercise in growth, showing me how much I change with the flow of time, and what’s important to me in the different seasons of my life.
The 2015 100 Wrap Up
8. Sell my spare lenses on Kijiji
24. Have more date nights
45. Get a new smartphone
66. Find a cool ornament for the kiddo’s 3rd Christmas
87. Clean out the crawl space
From the last items I managed to complete for 2015, much of it was a matter of circumstance through finding out we’re having a second son — we had more dates as the timeline grew shorter (#24); I started getting rid of things that only added clutter (#8); and the hustle I found to beat the clock helped me connect with brands like Alcatel onetouch and ZTE, whose Android devices now keep my fam connected (#45). Little Man’s ornament would’ve happened anyway, but it’s good to remind myself to get it done (#66).
But what I think is even more interesting is the stuff I decided to scrap.
14. Find a winter jacket with a removable outer shell for the kiddo
18. Find time to fit the 7-minute workout into my life
22. Listen to Serial
26. Develop better strategies behind my spending habits (Shoppers Optimum, Air Miles, etc)
27. Read more
43. Start interviewing people for my podcast, tentatively titled “Chats with CaseP”
44. Get handmade stockings for Sarah and the kiddo
48. File my receipts away in Home Inventory to link them to their associated merchandise
49. Create a RAID-ed NAS to protect my data
52. Improve my puzzling skill
54. Do more photo shoots
55. Either landscape or learn to plant a real garden
57. Dress better
58. Clean out all the junk I still have at my parents’ house
61. Find time to sit down with family and hear more family stories
62. Get a new wallet
64. Mentor more youth in need of guidance
67. Get more experimental with photography
69. Clear out my movie/TV to-watch list
71. Pare down the wardrobe… again
73. Get my hands on some AMAZING earbuds to finally replace my Shure SE535s
74. Finish inventorying my home
76. Go to a Toronto Maple Leafs game
83. Learn to create cool stuff in Wolfram|Alpha Mathematica
85. Find more time for sleep
86. Buy a full-frame camera body
94. Finish Brandgasm 101
95. Finish the Audience Business Masterclass
96. Make TeamTrolling.com AWESOME.
99. Look at getting the fireplace fixed
100. End the year with empty email inboxes
It’s like I said before — the lists of 100 are about growth, and there’ll always be something discarded as you get a better sense of self and start figuring out what you really want from life.
As I worked hard through 2015, with my son, wife, blog and job all vying for prominence, I — like many 30-somethings — slowly conceded that there’s only so much I can do, and started streamlining my life to handle everything constantly rushing at me. That means I have no guarantee I’ll find the time every day for a 7-minute workout, scary as it sounds. It means I put reading and podcasts to the wayside, focusing on the tasks needed to get everything off my plate. It means compromise, whether that means buying stockings from Holt Renfrew and getting my family’s names stitched on them later or making do far more often with things I already have, because I simply don’t have the time to do everything under the sun. The more complex your life grows, the more you understand what your real priorities are, and I think the items moving forward to The 2016 100 show this.
With the family growing, much of 2015’s excitement won’t fly this year. Save my sister-in-law’s upcoming Mexican wedding, there isn’t much room for travel — I mean, how would it be fair to go gallivanting across North America on press trips while Sarah handles our toddler and newborn at home by herself? It’s the reason I’ve already said “no” to my best friend’s Aruban wedding and the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with my buddies at Ford — the parts of ny #BloggerLife outside of Casa de Palmer will need to slow down for a while in 2016… and who knows how long it’ll be before I can consider pumping the pace on it all once more.
2. Finish updating my LinkedIn
3. Get back to drinking more water
6. Get my G licence
7. Formalize CaseyPalmer.com as a business
10. Finish “31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31”
12. Change my life insurance mailing address from my parents’ to mine
13. Transfer my TD RSP from my expired staff RSP account
15. Get the @CaseP Instagram account
28. Get rid of my old scanner
31. Shoot more video
33. Return Justin’s htc one to him or get it sold
34. Create my marketing kit for CaseyPalmer.com
35. Finish cleaning up Walmer’s old sound files
36. Update my social media branding
37. Clean out the eavestroughs
40. Read my candygrams from high school
41. Clean the garage out
42. See about getting my leather coat mended at Harry Rosen
50. Create more visual content
51. Build an emergency preparedness kit
65. Give out more business cards
68. Learn to cook
72. Convert my 200 blog drafts to published posts
75. Put up Xmas lights
77. Write Christmas cards for friends, family and neighbours
78. Evolve CaseyPalmer.com
80. Get a photographer to work with me at events so I’m not so “invisible” on my blog
81. Put Sarah’s gift together after all these years
82. Finish remodelling my old content to integrate with the new site
88. Get a new vacuüm cleaner, preferably a Miele
89. Invest in a Vita-Mix
90. Get a high-speed negative scanner
91. Get a high-speed photo scanner
97. Convert all the paper in my desk into proper items on my website
I’ll leave a more thorough explanation of the third of the list I’m carrying forward when I talk about The 2016 100 starting tomorrow, but just because I’m taking a step back from the public eye this year, don’t get it twisted — there’s still plenty to keep me busy with the #BloggerLife from home!
So here’s to a new year and all it represents — gearing up for new resolutions, doubling down on old ones, but ultimately remembering that 2016 will be what we make it, and to show anyone who wants to say different what we think through definitive action, not poorly chosen words. 2015 showed me much of what’s possible when I not only put my best efforts on the table, but work with the friends, family and my many other supporters who believe in the brand and keep it growing bigger and better! It reminded me to never settle, but to instead believe that nothing’s ever truly out of reach — you just need to rely on everything at your disposal to reach the highest heights; despite a year of growing to a point I never imagined reaching by this point in the game, I know my journey’s far from done: 2015 taught me that there’s only so much I can do on my own, and I look forward to collaborating with the strength of others this year to see what we can really do.
With another New Year’s Eve under wraps, it’s time I clear the cobwebs out from my cranium and get back to grinding on the countless things looking to keep permanent residence in there. It’d be foolish to think 2016 will be more of the same as the year before, and I’m out to prove that things can only get better.
I hope you’ll stick around to see it happen!
Happy New Year and until the next,