First a story.
There are some mornings I wake up and immediately jump into whatever project I’m working on. It could be things for work like grading papers and emailing students. It could be projects like writing blog posts or books. It could be finding cool people to share good things. It could be exercising or watching online videos or reading blogs. Those mornings are awesome. On those mornings I’m startled by the two inches of cold coffee because I was so entranced by what I was working on.
Then there are the mornings I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to see myself, my children or anyone else. I don’t have any projects, any emails, any students. I don’t have blog posts to read or write or share. I try to minimize and the best way I’ve found is to start a project, and this is it.
For the next 12 months I’m going to tackle an idea a month, here they are:
- December – Happiness
- January – Home and Parenting
- February – Food
- March – Mortality and Spirituality
- April – Exercise
- May – Travel
- June – Unplug
- July – Career
- August – Volunteer
- September – Money
- October – Marriage
- November – Writing
The inspiration for this has been from a number of sources. James Altucher writes about living your best physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional life and I’ve wondered if I’m doing that. Gretchen Rubin and AJ Jacobs have both written books sharing their stories about living for a year with a singular purpose, me too. I intend to stand on the shoulders of these giants, though I don’t feel like that’s apt. That metaphor is for physicist. I’m more like a freshman cheerleader, climbing to the top of a human pyramid because my only skill is that I’m the smallest.
How’s this going to work then?
For each month, the bulk of my blog posts will focus on the theme of the month. I’ve already started reading about happiness and found that some things, like hedonic adaptation, I’m already familiar with. I’ve also found some things, like volunteering, which I’m woefully inept at.
Some of the ideas, like my Mortality, are large in scope but will include personal answers. Others, like Travel will feature more pragmatic tips. I think. For each of these ideas I start my journey with an estimation of where it will take me, but I don’t know. In June I plan to Unplug from everything – using the Internet for only important things like paying bills and Reddit.
That’s the map then, the plan, the journey. I feel purposeful and even if my work is like Boxer’s in Animal Farm, it will still be work I enjoy doing in the morning.