Three years ago on January 5th I was handed an opportunity. Yes, three years ago, I rose up from my cubicle and walked out of a consulting office into the unknown. My corporate life ended and I haven’t looked back.
Each year I write a post to mark the occasion. (Read my January Anniversary and the 2nd January Anniversary posts.) I re-read each post to remind me how far I’ve come, and also to put my goals and resolutions for the new year out there. Last year, 2011, proved to be a year of challenges and miracles. A year definitely filled with adventures. I didn’t complete all my goals, but I made great strides and this year I start fresh. Here goes….
- Visit a New Country. I didn’t get to a new state last year, but did visit a new country; I visited Guatemala. And this year once again I aim to see another new country.
- Take a Cruise. It’s been twenty years since my last cruise, so this year it’s time to once again get on board. I know the industry changed drastically since then and I look forward to learning how firsthand. This year I will learn is the “Cruise” for me?
- Write my Bucket List. I didn’t make my travel bucket list last year, so I decided to put it on the list again. However, this year I decided to add a new twist. In 2012 and every year thereafter I will add at least one new item and complete at least two on the list.
- Write Less Posts and Even Better Posts. I set a target for 150 posts last year, and I almost reached it. (135) Yet, I felt stretched too thin at times. This year I want to make sure I continue to deliver quality to my readers, so expect ~100 posts this year. That’s still 8 per month.
- Make Mexico more Prominent and Upgrade the Site. I plan to make a few cosmetic changes to the site. One definitely involves Mexico. A large portion of my adventures have involved ‘crossing the border’ so it’s time I rearrange my Mexican adventures. It’s time to enable site visitors to easily find what they are looking for when it comes to travel in Mexico. Also, expect enhanced comments, Facebook access, changes to Sunset Sunday, and more.
- Increase Page Views by 50%.
Last year I monetized the site and will continue to grow the revenue, but I also learned a few ways to help augment my page views. 1) Use SEO. I plan to focus more on Search Engine Optimization. And don’t worry, I can say with confidence, I will not let it affect my voice, my story, or my message. 2) Promote my subscription services. I haven’t focused here, but I will. Many people could benefit from “stay adventurous” reminders and stories sent directly to them. Remember I write to inspire others to take and make adventure in their lives. And 3) Use Facebook and Stumble Upon. I dabbled in 2011, but I will take a few more simple steps to enable the story reaches more folks.
Writing, Photography, Consulting (Services)
- Raise my Photography to the Next Level. Being selected as an award winning photographer and obtaining a +1 in klout.com on my photography put some pretty big smiles on my face last year. I crave more. This year, I’d like to focus on augmenting my skills and even be hired to take photos or at least sell a few.
- Add a New, Smart, Revenue Stream.
I am giving myself creativity here, but I know I’ll need an additional revenue stream in 2012. I didn’t write for free in 2011 which was a step in the right direction. Now as I strategize and I know I must think BIG. It’s in me. Therefore, I plan to spend some time on a deeper Soul Search first to uncover this new revenue stream. Maybe it’s photography, maybe it’s something else. We’ll see. (If you have a suggestion, comment. I am all ears.)
Fun & Creativity
- Support & Embrace the Arts. I’ve considered myself an artist ever since I decided to leave the corporate world for a more creative career. And last year, I planned to support other artists even more. I am not sure I did enough. I will this year. Trips to museums, plays, art galleries, book readings, etc… I will spend more time in the creative world. It’s both comforting and inspiring.
- Paddle out for 12 Surf Sessions. I can’t believe I only logged 3 sessions in the last 15 months. I surfed Mazatlan and I surfed San Blas. Not enough. I recently watched a few surf videos and missed the utter joy of being in the water. Therefore, I will paddle out on average once a month, twelve times this year.
- Less Anger, More Appreciation. This one might be tough to measure, but I realized when I am frustrated I find myself saying “if s/he would just change…” But, it’s my judgments, not their actions that cause my mood change. I plan to continue to be the change I want to see in the world (as Ghandi instructed) but I will also add a mantra I drafted, “I lovingly appreciate all that is as it is” Simple, yes, but it will put a smile on my face every time.