The 2017 100 — It’s Not WHAT You Do, It’s How You DO It.

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100 — It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It. — New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

THE MONTHS OF BER: Once More, With FEELING.

And out of nowhere, like a dreaded cold that chills your bones, The Months of Ber have fallen upon us, signalling the time to check on our affairs and tie up loose ends wherever we can.

The Team Trolling July 2014 Hangout — Casey's Birthday
With the summer gone, it’s time to cherish the memories, but prepare for an entirely new season ahead with entirely new challenges. Photo Credit: Justin Baisden

With summer wrapped up but a wealth of work still sitting on my plate, I looked at my desk and didn’t even know where to start. When I added cleaning my desk to The 2014 100 back in January, it was no joke — the pressed wood of my 2% stake in my home has long vanished under piles of unfinished ideas, half-read books, and a plethora of resources I got with good intentions, but ultimately used them so seldom that all they do is take up space.

It’s time to figure out what really needs doing in my life, and with luck, I can enter 2015 much farther ahead than I was a mere 9 months ago.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 21-30: Social Media, Stocks and a SHEvolution Gone Wrong

It’s the third of 10 posts for my end-of-year wrap-up for The 2013 100, where I tell you all about the past 365 (or so) days, what I managed to pull off, which plans were a flop, and what I’ll try to do again in 2014.

In retrospect, 2013 was insanely busy. It isn’t until you sit down to do a series of posts like this that you really start to understand just how much you try to cram into your days.

There’s probably a lesson in here somewhere about overachieving, but I’m too busy to learn it!

And without further ado, on to the list!

Previous Posts:

The 2013 100, Items 21-30: Social Media, Stocks and a SHEvolution Gone Wrong

  1. Merge my past 10 years of blogging into one site
  2. Start a tweetchat
  3. Start a podcast
  4. Dabble in video
  5. Get a local doctor
  6. Get a local dentist
  7. Make some money in the stock market
  8. Get ahead of schedule with the Man Lessons
  9. Create a schedule for regular website maintenance
  10. Start the SHEvolution

21: Merge my past 10 years of blogging into one site

Few people know I’ve blogged since August 2002, jumping sites until I landed here at CaseyPalmer.com in late 2011.

Though my writing’s grown since the days on LiveJournal, Blogger and Posterous, there’s still some gems in my past decade of blogging that deserve re-visiting.

Over 2003, I went through more than 2000 posts and 8000 comments, leaving only stuff that was still relevant and/or entertaining. It’s sitting on the development site now, as I add tag,s featured images and other SEO-friendly elements.

Expect to see some of my blasts from the past next year!

STATUS: On to the next year!

22: Start a tweetchat

While I’m not done with Twitter, I don’t use it like I used to. Over 3 years, I’ve seen people move on, move away, move to smaller social circles to evade unwanted attention — the allure of Twitter was good as long as I wanted to party, but as the party grew increasingly virtual, having my life revolve around being at the computer at a specific time each week eerily reminded me of those whose lives revolve around their TV shows.

Life’s too short.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

23: Start a podcast

One thing that’ll set you apart from others when you share content on the Internet is the quality of your work. With blogging, it’s how well you write and the image quality behind the photos you use. With videography, getting a high-definition camera will do wonders for your video’s appearance. With podcasts, though, a solid microphone is what stands between amateur hour and repeat listeners.

Source: http://www.stevenbarnes.ca/blue-yeti-usb-microphone-review/

I hit Canada Computers’ Black Friday sale and got Blue Microphones’ Yeti USB mic, complete with three condenser capsules and four directional modes to help you get the most of any recording situation you’re in!

I’d love to push the envelope with content in the coming year — I actually considered starting a podcast later into 2013 à la Zach Bussey Show (but, you know — with less swearing and more interviews), but between finding a venue, shifting priorities and an insane workload at the 9-to-5, I decided to ease off.

Oprah didn’t land her own show ’til she was 32, though, so I’m not giving up yet!

STATUS: On to the next year!

24: Dabble in Video

Nothing can tell a story like a video can.

Though I only got halfway through the month, I participated in August’s VEDA — or Vlog Every Day in August, by recording with my Canon 60D and sharing on YouTube!

Definitely enjoyed it — We Blog, We Vlog is a fun group, and I’d love to do it again in 2014. It’s also made me think about how to do video better than just sitting in front of the camera and talking to my audience.

Video’s an interesting realm — Justin will be the first to tell you that more vloggers get rich from YouTube than any blogger ever did from their blog. So since the blog’s not doing so well as a medium these days, I look forward to experimenting with other ways to get my ideas across.

STATUS: SO done. / On to the next year!

25: Get a local doctor

STATUS: SO done.

26: Get a local dentist

STATUS: SO done.

27: Make some money in the stock market

Gotta spend money to make money, but I haven’t gotten to sitting down and really sorting my options out for playing in the stock market. Sarah and I invest in a number of mutual funds, but dabbling in pure stocks is a plunge I haven’t seriously considered yet.

I’d like to do it with my “play money” — anything I earn in the 9-to-5 is “kid money”, the money to give him everything he needs; any extras from birthdays, contests, etc. is “play money”, i.e. the money I can use to do whatever I want.

My Mom has an interesting idea, though. She’d mentioned wanting to choose some penny stocks for DoomzToo — something that could potentially pay off for him in the future.

I’d never even thought of it.

So in 2014, I get organized and see about starting to invest in the great stock market game.

STATUS: On to the next year!

28: Get ahead of schedule with the Man Lessons

With Mansformation’s hiatus came a hiatus for my daily Man Lessons. After several months, I found I just couldn’t write unique content anymore — in what may come as a surprise to my female readers, men only have so many problems.

In a similar fashion, I started posting a Question of the Day on my Facebook for a while later into 2013, but it only lasted so long before I felt compelled to do something else.

What did I learn? That with a constant , steady stream of content you can build a great audience — if the content doesn’t suck. In the event that your content does suck, please stop creating it immediately. No one’s going to look at it, and the Internet’s full of enough crap already.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

29: Create a schedule for regular website maintenance

While having your own Internet real estate gives you the freedom to do almost whatever you want with the space, it’s a huge pain in the butt when things aren’t working right! Even now, I’m sorting some load balancing issues out, as CaseyPalmer.com grows in size and complexity.

Part of making your site run smoothly is doing regular site maintenance. Websites can get bogged down with junk data all too easily, and making sure to clear out unnecessary files and that everything’s running right will save you from later headaches.

Facing major site issues in December, I got rid of some unnecessary test sites, cumbersome WordPress plugins and automated processes that had my web host ripping their hair out. While I didn’t adopt a maintenance schedule in 2013, here’s hoping I can get on top of it in 2014!

STATUS: On to the next year!

30: Start the SHEvolution

One of the main arguments I got while developing Mansformation is that men weren’t the sole reason for all the issues out there in the relationship world — there are plenty of problems stemming from how our female counterparts can interpret situations.

So I started working on a program to help women better themselves called SHEvolution.

The plan was to get other prominent female writers in Toronto’s social media community to help pen “Daily Lady Lessons”, and eventually be regular contributors at a sister site to Mansformation.

But ultimately, I wasn’t passionate about Mansformation and its associated properties, and will leave this project for someone who wants to do it. Like Cosmopolitan or something.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

30 down, 70 to go! Join us next time when we talk Toronto, why I haven’t got off of my butt to run a 5K race, and curbing the hoarding tendencies which seem to run in my bloodline.

Adios amigos,

–case p.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 11-20: Birthdays, BiSC and Blogging

In the second of 10 posts, I look at The 2013 100 to show what I managed to pull off in 2013,  what I had to cancel, and some peeks at what I have planned for 2014!

Previous Posts:

The 2013 100, Items: 11-20 — Birthdays, BiSC and Blogging

  1. Spruce up my about.me page
  2. Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate
  3. Launch the Mansformation website
  4. Update my résumé
  5. Create my creative résumé and portfolio
  6. Attend Bloggers in Sin City
  7. Do something awesome for my 30th birthday
  8. Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind
  9. Get new glasses
  10. Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts

11: Spruce up my about.me page

Spend enough time on the Internet and you start to learn a little something about Web presence. When it comes down to it, the only places where you should focus your efforts on standing out are:

  • Your own website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Reddit

Frequent anywhere else all your like, but create amazing content across these sites and I promise that what you share will make its way wherever else you want it to get in due time.

So about.me, it’s been a slice, but I’ve got things to do.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

12: Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate

The 2013 100 11-20 — Stack of Business Cards
So many people, so little time to talk to them all!

This is one I didn’t pursue. As years pass, you learn more and more that it’s not the number of people you know, but the strength of the relationships you make. While tweetups and networking opportunities are great, you’re rarely going to find yourself entering a lucrative, sound business opportunity with someone you barely know. Instead, I weeded through the pile of business cards I’d collected, dropped quick notes to the few I’d connected with and moved on.

Life’s too short to spoil it with poor relationships.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

13: Launch the Mansformation website

Mansformation Logo
Mansformation — A much-needed service; I’m just not sure I’m the one to deliver it.

Let me tell you a little story about an idea called Mansformation. Somewhere in 2012, I jokingly replied to a tweet with a Man Lesson about how a man should act in a situation if he wants to get anywhere with the women. Somewhere soon after that, I was tweeting daily Man Lessons, which carried over to my Facebook page, and eventually to its own Facebook page as it got more hype. If I was going to run a business, this would be it!

But I wasn’t passionate about it. Much like many things in my life, I feel into it because the opportunity was there. So I tried it out and enjoyed it for a while, but ultimately found it more effort than I wanted to invest in the project, and slowly started turning my sights elsewhere.

So in early 2013, Mansformation took a hiatus, much to the chagrin of some (including some who’d piggyback off of the success of my Man Lessons to try to make a name for themselves.) Though I’ve no immediate plans to revive the brand (not without a solid business plan, anyway), I can’t say it’ll stay gone — I’m getting a better handle on the blog and real-life stuff, so who knows? Maybe I’ll find someone else who wants to take it on and give them the kick-start they need to succeed!

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

14: Update my résumé

STATUS: SO done.

15: Create my creative résumé and portfolio

I’ve always wanted CaseyPalmer.com to be more than just a blog. At no point in my life have I been just a blogger — I’ve drawn logos, designed layouts, been in plays… a blog is cool, but it really sucks at showcasing what you can really do.

So I’ve worked at building a portfolio into the website, focusing on all the things I’ve done over the years. I had to learn some WordPress-specific PHP to do it, but it’s on my development version of the site, and I hope to roll it out in 2014!

STATUS: On to the next year!

16: Attend Bloggers in Sin City

resounding success! If you read my blog post — it was an amazing time and is helping to change the way I blog!

STATUS: SO done.

17: Do something awesome for my 30th birthday

https://twitter.com/The_Jmoney/status/358391048982110208

DoomzDay 2 wasn’t quite as epic as DoomzDay in attendance (largely due to the threat of a second Stormageddon on the horizon, scaring people into staying home), but I’d argue that I had a closer group of friends around me in 2013.

Held at The Office Pub in Toronto’s Entertainment District (and now apparently one of Team Trolling‘s preferred birthday venues — shout-out to Marcel), I put a playlist together and brought a good 75 people together to celebrate the three decades I’ve lived so far.

The Dirtiest of Thirties

https://twitter.com/destiniya/status/358414287368232961

It was definitely a night with its ups and downs, from hugging friends I hadn’t seen in ages and partying the hardest I’d partied in months to finding out (again) that shot don’t agree with me and swearing up and down that someone’d stolen my wallet when I couldn’t find it the next day (only to have Sarah find it well-hidden under our bed five months later….)

In any event, we celebrated 30 in style, and while I don’t see going as hard in 2014 now that I’m a father, I’m happy that my friends and I got to go bananas for a night — even if it’s the last time for a while.

https://twitter.com/The_Jmoney/status/358454522739302401

https://twitter.com/mszablewski/status/358467083727675393

To sum it up best, I’ll take a line that Christine told me around the time of my birthday:

“Welcome to the best years of your life.”

STATUS: SO done.

18: Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind

After returning from Bloggers in Sin City, I was so filled with optimism and emotion that my post was both a thank you to the friends I’d made and an outcry for change in Toronto’s social media scene. Though far less pronounced now, there was way too much beef, backstabbing and blood in the water for a while, but eventually fizzled out as bloggers grew more professional and stopped causing so much drama.

Would I still want to work with others? Sure — I still believe that the power of man far exceeds that of one person if they’re striving for a common goal. But when I look around — and especially now that I have a son in the picture — I don’t see other bloggers trying to do what I do. Maybe I’ll find more bloggers to collab with in 2014, maybe not. In the meantime, I’ll do what I’ve done so far, working hard at constantly improving my craft.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

19: Get new glasses

Some people are really good at being on top of their employee benefits and getting health services when they should.

If I were that organized, I’d have gotten new glasses in May 2013.

With my optometrist hounding me for my bi-annual visit, 2014’s going to see a new pair of specs (with a pair of prescription shades to deal with harsh glares while behind the wheel!)

STATUS: On to the next year?

20: Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts

The 2013 100 11-20 — CaseyPalmer.com Post Counts
220 drafts isn’t a bad thing, right? *sigh* So many unfinished thoughts. Poor unfinished thoughts.

I’m not a linear thinker. I carry a notepad with me because I’ll have random ideas I think are great, but not developed enough to share publicly. With blogging, I’ll often get a sentence or a stream of consciousness about a topic that’s great on its own, but I’m not in the business of writing sound bites — as a blogger, my responsibility is to draft these ideas into stories.

So I have 200+ drafts on my site, 10-15 of which I’m actively working on to turn into live posts. I have no way of telling whether this number will rise or fall in 2014, but I can tell you this — my blog is important to me. I put a lot of time and effort into developing it, hoping to eventually build something truly reflecting who I am. To me, having real estate represents the freedom to create your own possibilities, free from traditional society telling you how your life is going to play out.

TL;DR — I’ll still be writing next year, no doubt about it.

STATUS: On to the next year!

Another day down, 8 more to go! Come back tomorrow when we talk social media, stock markets and some of the people who keep me alive!

Until then I stay…

–case p.

10 Random Things, Volume 1

Unlike the 10 Things You May Not Know About Me, this is just stuff that’s been on my mind as of late:

  1. Who do I have to sleep with to get a good deal on a camera lens? I’m not paying $2500 for a Canon EF 2.8L II USM. Guess I’ll need to wait until Henry’s next Exposure Show and see what deals they have (or check out used lens deals across the city).
  2. Paying $600 return to Las Vegas for BiSC is something that drives me insane when I paid $750 return to fly to Tanzania just last year. Currently exploring standby options and waiting on my haunches for something better to come along! Fortunately, Graham has some good suggestions for this.
  3. If I could find the time to learn how to play the drums, I totally would.
  4. Infinite Cables — a Canadian equivalent to Monoprice — may very well be my new favourite thing.
  5. To switch things up, I joined The Scintilla Project — a two-week blogging project focusing on storytelling. Hopefully it’ll have me explore some parts of myself that I haven’t visited in a while. [pause]
  6. I don’t know whether anyone’s noticed, but I’ve taken a short break from putting Man Lessons out — I’ve been working at taking all my Mansformation ideas and committing to getting an actual website launched by mid-April.
  7. Just bought tickets for a National Geographic show at Roy Thomson Hall; learning from other photographers — especially the extreme ones — can really add to how you pursue your own compositions.
  8. I think we decided that we might finally trek out to San Francisco sometime this year — it’s been on my list since forever, and it didn’t take our friends very much to convince us to go.
  9. Some days I write and wonder if the Age of the Blog is gone and dead. I see things like RebelMouse and wonder whether our attention spans have grown so short that we rather just consume bite-sized pieces of information and not focus on an entire argument or discussion.
  10. I’m weird and old school. If I want to do my best writing and editing, I need to do it on paper. I am the worst enemy of forests everywhere.

–case p.

To All The Haters

Sometimes you have some really challenging days. Not only was I trying to take care of business at the day job, working against insane deadlines that always seem to spring up out of nowhere. Not only was I running on fumes, trying to get every last bit of productivity out of myself, despite the odds.

No, what was really tiring me out is that the Mansformation haters were out in full swing.

Can You Like Me but Not My Ideas?

I love my friends — and a lot of the ones I interact with regularly on my Facebook are intelligent, well-versed, but strongly opinionated people. For example, here’s a look at the words exchanged over the Man Lessons I’ve been putting out and what they mean (excerpts minimized as to not make brains explode):

Did it bother me that I was getting so much criticism from my friends?

Sure.

Did I think that they had valid points in their arguments?

Of course.

However, without them having a complete understanding what Mansformation is all about, I don’t know if I’m prepared to give full merit to the arguments made against it.

What Mansformation’s All About

They say you should write what you know. This is what I know.

Casey Palmer is a twenty-something heterosexual man living in Toronto, Ontario. He’s made a lot of friends and seen a lot of places in his time, and through all this, he’s made his share of mistakes. Through a list of friends that’s 90% female or more, he’s seen the kinds of mistakes that men can make. He’s heard the stories. He’s witnessed the aftermath.

And now he’s ready to do something about it.

This is me. This is who I am. Who I am not is neither female nor homosexual. So while I can easily share the background and perspective of a heterosexual male in the Man Lessons I distribute every day, who am I to speak for three other major groups of people? I think I’d be far better off getting a representative from each group to speak to their experiences rather than be presumptuous enough to think that I have the knowledge or the right to do it on my own.

I get a lot of critiques that many of my Man Lessons apply to women as well. Here’s a basic reasoning of why: All life lessons are potential Man Lessons, but not all Man Lessons are life lessons. Yes, there will be lessons that apply to everyone on the face of this planet, but at the risk of beating a dead horse, my lifestyle and choices cannot possibly represent every possible iteration of human being on the planet.

So I speak to the types of human beings I can completely relate with — the straight men in various stages of their lives, trying to find love. Trying to be more fashionable. Trying to live the lives they desire and just can’t seem to figure out how to put all the pieces together.

Eventually I’d love to put a team together to tackle female issues. LGBTTIQQ2SA issues. Issues bounded by culture and geographical locations. These would all be amazing to tack, but the fact of the matter is this:

In order to effect change, you need to start somewhere.

So here’s to my haters, who inspired me to really think about why I’m doing this and reassure myself that I’m putting a service together that helps the world. A service that can help men be exactly who they want to be in a world that only grows more confusing with every passing day. If you think that I’m alienating populations, you’re more than welcome to write material catering to them, but I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing.

Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions. I’ve got mansforming to do.

–case p.