On the starting of the new year
So, continueing my theme of a few posts back, here are some of the items I will be working on in the upcomming month and throughout 2005.
For January I have a number of goals.
1. Continue work for current clients, finishing one small project and hopefully continuing a larger project (as well as resolving current outstanding invoices from the last quarter of the year that remain unpaid at the moment).
2. Finalize details for MeshForum and ensure that it will happen in 2005, hopefully in April (in some form, probably around 100-150 people here in Chicago for at least one full and likely two days).
3. Send out Year End/Year Beginning email to my mailing list (about 700-800 business contacts). In this update, include upfront information registering for MeshForum and/or sponsoring it; information on JigZaw's retained services; and other opportunities.
4. In January and every other month of 2005 create a number of written pieces, at least one major piece a month. These will be published on one (or more) of the websites I manage and/or sold or published elsewhere - perhaps even in print. The goals here are both to get down in a formal form ideas and thoughts I have been having as well as to expand my exposure and that of MeshForum and JigZaw - hopefully leading to paying work.
5. Update ChiCon7, Hope Street Group and other websites which I manage on a volunteer basis.
6. Update JigZaw.com website (goal to have this done by the end of the first week in January). This is one of my highest priorities at the moment and will be my initial focus until paying work is available (and has to be updated prior to sending out my update email, likely towards the end of this week or next weekend)
7. Update my profile on ALL online networks where I am at least nominally active (LinkedIn, Ryze, Ecademy, Spoke, and a few others). Along with updating my profile, I should probably invest time on an ongoing basis to enhancing and maintaining my relationships with people on these forums.
8. Clean out 2004 from my mailbox - sending many messages to the archives. Goal is to have ZERO unread (i.e. undealt with in some manner) messages in my mailbox by the end of the month (currently have about 8000 messages that have not been read somewhere in my mailbox, with even more in the archives). As well I will be looking at what mailing lists I am on and unsubscribing from a number where I have not read them in over 6 months.
9. Likewise, by the end of the month and then on a regular at least once a month basis organize and clean up the piles throughout my house. This means going through the files and piles from 2004 - sorting and filing them and otherwise putting them into some semblance of order. Many bags of garbage are likley to result, a smaller bag of stuff to be shredded, some piles of things to be sold (goal also being to have them sold or donated by the end of January). It also means moving where many items are currently filed - making room for my business and personal files in file drawers, storing "stuff" in boxes which are more sensible for that purpose. I know this will make Julia very happy - and it will help clear cobwebs in my mind as well. Ideally this will be extended to my kitchen and other rooms to incorporate non-papers piles and clutter.
10. After going through my belongings - of all forms - replace (or at least get rid of) all that are outdated, broken, full of holes, and/or unused for more than a few years. Whether shoes, shirts, socks etc. An exception, perhaps, being made for many of my books - though not all.
11. Take care of my health. For January this means: Trip(s) to the dentist, a doctor's checkup post-India trip, continueing to lose weight in part via walking miles each week/eating less, getting a set of replacement glasses as India showed me the importance and potentially critical nature of my current lack of backup glasses.
12. After settling my finances from the recent India trip (and other trips in 2004) make a few further investments in our home and/or my lifestyle. These include: a CTA pass or at least auto-filled card; an iPod (probably 40gig or larger, perhaps an alternative player than the iPod, though it is very nice); more memory for my laptop; a flat screen monitor for home.
13. Start making 2005 conference and travel plans. Known events I (or we) may try to attend: WisCon in Madison Wis in May; MeshForum in Chicago in April (running this myself); Renaissance Weekend (perhaps again over Thanksgiving or alternitively in Monteray over Labor Day weekend); PopTech in Camden Maine Fall 2005?; PC Forum?; TED?; Aspen Institute? (July 4th weekend?); Gates exhibit in Central Park in NYC in February; possible trip to Brazil in mid-February; visiting family and friends in San Francisco (at least once, if my parents move there in 2005 - more than once); visiting Santa Barbara and my grandmother - also at least once in 2005; visiting NYC and my sister (probably at least in February, but likely other times as well; Washington DC - at least once this year to meet with many business and personal contacts; Seatle WA - have lots of contact there now, would be great to visit and network with them.
Along with this rather long list, I hope as well to attend a number of events and conferences here in Chicago. As well, if I can either get on the agenda and/or get compensation, I would like to attend other industry conferences such as DEMO.
This makes for a likely very busy January and rest of 2005. But as well I have a few additional goals for myself in 2005.
- find a way to finish my degree from the University of Chicago. This includes: paying all fines/fees; finishing (most likely) a BA thesis of some length - finding a professor to agree to read it and give it a grade.
- deciding professionally what my next steps are and what my goals are for the next 5 and 10 years. Will I remain running my own firm in some manner? (or firms?) Do I want to start other firms? Work for a large company? Work for an investment firm? what?
- deciding by the end of 2005 how much longer we will remain in Chicago. It is probable that by the end of Q1 2005 we will have a short term answer to whether or not we will be remaining in Chicago (i.e. what Julia's plans are and how my professional life is going). Given MeshForum, best case for us might be to move, if we do, sometime in late-Sprint (i.e. after April) but life rarely is ideal. This will also determine if and to what degree I make any investments into my home in 2005 (new closets, new appliances, new kitchen, new carpet, new flooring, new window treatments - etc)