Here’s my introduction to what I hope will be my best year yet! I will be turning 40 this year and I am using this occasion to push myself a little harder. I have a great deal to reflect upon as that day approaches but I am determined to be the healthiest and happiest version of me this year.

To start the New Year positively, I just finished reading Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs (founders of the Life is Good T-shirt Company). It’s a quick read but packs a punch in the way of perspective, optimism, and compassion, to name a few. The story of the two brothers has inspired me to get my thoughts for 2020 in writing.

In the book, the two brothers focus on what they consider to be the 10 superpowers that we all possess. I believe most things that The Global Diplomat blog tries to embody are contained within these identified superpowers. This year, I want to focus on 3 of them: simplicity, humor, and creativity. These are three categories that need the most attention in my life.

Simplicity: This is a difficult one for me. I have always been the type of person who wants more and I’m always looking for the next thing. For me, wanting more means working harder to get it and looking for the next thing just embodies my desire to see the world. After all, it’s a big world and a short life. 

Humor: I love to laugh just like everyone but I often take myself too seriously. When I am writing, I want it to somehow broaden the reader’s perspective and so I tend to be very serious. I also have strong political opinions and it’s often hard to keep humor in the mix when discussing it. A little humor can go a long way.

Creativity: Creativity is hard for me to embrace. I often think it’s easier to go with someone else’s ideas rather than reinvent the wheel. (For example, I’ve tried to think about this blog in terms of how it compares to others.) I’ve wrestled for months about the direction I want to go. I may be overthinking it. Perhaps letting my creative side run loose would help get the momentum that I’ve been searching for.

There is a ton of advice out there on making new year’s resolutions so, I decided to stick with the basics. Here are some guidelines.

  1. Don’t make them too vague. Either make a resolution that is measurable or give specific examples of how you will achieve it.
  2. Don’t have so many that you can’t stay focused. Choose a few (say, no more than 5) and focus on how you will achieve them with an action plan. (For example, I plan to read a book every 3 weeks).
  3. Try to have a mixture of measurable ones and more general ones (but with specifics on how to achieve them). It may be that you want to consume a gallon of water a day. That is certainly measurable. You may also want to be a better listener. Perhaps the way to achieve this is turning off mobile devices at dinner, on dates, etc.
  4. Think about what will happen if you fall off the wagon and plan ahead. Most of us fail at some point or another. If and when you do, dust yourself off and start again. Life gets in the way sometimes, but we can always pick up where we left off. No excuses.
  5. Finally, put them in writing and share them with someone like a friend or a spouse for support and accountability. Sometimes, my wife and I set goals together so that we can hold each other accountable when we eat out or go to the grocery store. Sometimes a small reminder can help get us on track and hit the reset button.

It may take a few revisions to get a solid set of resolutions. Ask your partner or a friend for advice on re-wording or how to measure your success. Don’t overcomplicate it. Write it down. That’s it! Give it some thought and get a move on making 2020 your best year yet!

Here are my goals for 2020:

  1. Think before I buy and stop buying meaningless stuff. For purchases over $100, I am going to force myself to think about it for at least a couple of days before making that purchase. Also, I want to commit to not shopping at places that will simply tempt me to buy stuff I don’t need. I want to start purchasing stuff that is either handmade or carries some sort of meaning or helps a greater cause. Shopping online allows me to hold something in my cart while I think about whether I truly need it or not. Also, I have a goal of donating something for every purchase that I make to keep the house from further accumulating “stuff”.
  2. Have more quality face time with my wife and friends in settings that invoke laughter. I want to have dinner parties that focus on having fun with no strings attached. Most of my friends and I are on different sides of the aisle (politically) so having time with them where politics is forbidden would naturally clear the air for a good time! Also, I want to have a few rejuvenating weekends with my wife (just the two of us) to enjoy each other’s company with no distractions. 
  3. I want to read 18 books this year. I’m having a hard time narrowing them down. I like non-fiction including stories of adventure, travel, Latin American history, politics, and inspiration.  Stay tuned for my 2020 book list!
  4. I want to get my body in a place that feels “healthy”. Our bodies can tell us a lot, if we listen. For me, it’s more about my energy level and how my clothes fit than having that perfect physique. I plan to coordinate weekly meal plans with my wife, weigh in for accountability, drink more water (at least 60 ounces a day) and increase my mobility and plan at least two physical activities weekly to get my body moving.
  5. I want to grow my blog organically. I want to increase my social media following to 1,500 this year and get a piece published in a major publication. I will share more details on this throughout the year. I have some interesting interviews planned and some great travel adventures on the horizon!

There you have it. Feel free to send me your resolutions and perhaps we can be accountable to each other. 

Cheers to our best year yet!

The Global Diplomat

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