In two months, I will be 43 years old.
When I was 23, I thought that 43 was the equivalent of 83. Surely, once you are in your 40s you have to start eating calcium chews for your brittle, brittle bones. Vision probably goes too, better stock up on blueblocker sunglasses that make it look like only one very specific part of your body is from the movie, “Tron.” I assumed when you were 43 years old you met your friends for coffee somewhere quaint that had an adequate senior citizen discount.
My view of 43 is a little different now that I’m about to hit it. So is my view of me.
There are still moments when my own head feels like a vast, unknowable wilderness to me. I make mistakes I didn’t see coming and worse than that, repeat the same mistake approximately 19 times before I think, “Wait a minute, I see a pattern …”
But at the same time, I’ve learned a few things about how I work best.
For instance, if I don’t have a goal, I don’t do anything.
I’d like to tell you that continuous, incremental improvement is my default and it happens organically like jazz. I just look up one day and realize, “Wait a second? I’m in great shape! My marriage is amazing. My friendships are rock solid!”
Unfortunately, that is not the case. My default isn’t discipline, my default is donuts. (It’s actually queso, not donuts, but the rhythm of donuts was better and rhythm is a dancer.)
So, this year, I’m trying something new.
I’m calling it “10 ’til 19.”
I’m going to do 10 different things between November 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019.
I tend to coast this time of year but realized recently that there’s still a ton of time left in 2018. I also realized that I’m a workaholic and need to make sure I have some fun goals.
What am I doing for my 10 ’til 19?
Here’s my list:
1. I’m officially closing the office from December 22 – January 1.
Over the last few years, I’ve launched courses on January 1st, which meant the team and I had to work over the holidays. That’s not any fun. This year, I’m closing the office for a couple of weeks. I’m going to treat me and my team the way a great boss would. (I’ll share more about this in the entrepreneur’s email I send out once a week.) My wife and kids will be thrilled that I’m more present this Christmas and I think the time off will be wonderful.
2. I’m launching the “Finish” paperback on December 4th.
My latest book “Finish”, which was a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, is coming out in paperback! I’m going to do my best to get it to as many people as possible because the stories I’ve heard from people who used it over this last year to complete their goals have been awesome. (For example, I have a bookshelf at home full of books people wrote using the principles in my book.) You can get a copy of the hardcover right here.
3. I’m going to read the last three Harry Potter Books.
My kids bet me that I couldn’t read the whole series from September 1 to December 31. I have three left and I plan on finishing them! (I never finished the last book years ago because I didn’t want it to end and my kids teased me mercilessly.)
4. I’m watching all the Harry Potter movies with my kids, even the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
We’ve had a real HP resurgence at the Acuff house this fall. During Christmas vacation, we’re going to watch all eight movies.
5. I’m writing my book proposal.
I have a new book proposal I’m really excited about. On November 1, I’m going to take all the ideas I’ve been working on and put them into an official book proposal. (I’ll share more about this in my weekly Writer’s List email I send out.)
6. I’m reading, “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.
For years, I’ve loved James’ approach to habits and was thrilled when he put his work into this awesome book. I am looking forward to reading this one. (James didn’t ask me to do this, I’m just genuinely excited about this book.)
7. I’m going to get Jenny some thoughtful Christmas gifts.
Every January, I think to myself, “Next year I am going to put a lot of thought and time into the gifts I give Jenny for Christmas.” And then life gets in the way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shopping at Walgreen’s on Christmas Eve for her presents in past years, but I know I could really wow her if I was more deliberate.
8. I’m going to ski once in Salt Lake City, Utah.
My buddy Randy lives near Snowbird and I really want to grab two days of skiing in December with him.
9. I’m running a 5K with McRae on December 1.
Running with my youngest daughter is a great way to connect with her and we found a fun race in Nashville.
10. I’m doing a screentime challenge with L.E.
My oldest daughter L.E. and I are doing a screentime challenge to deliberately limit the amount of time we spend on our phones. (If your teenage daughter is game to limit phone time, you jump at that opportunity!)
Is that all I’ll do over the next two months? Nope, I have a lot of other commitments I’m looking forward to. In addition to those fun projects, I’m going to be more deliberate about connecting with friends.
Will it be perfect? Nope. If the snow in Salt Lake City doesn’t show up early enough, I can’t really do anything about that. If I need to send some emails out when the office is closed, I won’t beat myself up either. The goal works for me, I don’t work for the goal. If I want to change it, I will.
But, I’ll definitely have fun along the way and I know I’ll do a lot more than I would have without any goals.
How about you?
You’ve got two amazing months left in 2018.
What would you put on your, “10 ’til 19?”
I dare you to make your own list.
P.S. This is the calendar I personally use every year to track my goals.