The end of this year really crept up on me. I spent most of it heads-down working, so I didn’t even think of writing a year-in-review post until the last possible day. I wrote one for 2012 and it felt good to look back at past accomplishments, but I feel like 2014 was just a work-in-progress year for me. Because of this, I’m going to focus on the upcoming year instead and list a few things I want to accomplish.
If you don’t know about Cushion, I’m surprised. Not because you should know about it, but more because I feel like it’s all I talk about anymore. Cushion is the freelancer app I’ve been working on day and night for most of the year. 3 months ago, I rolled out a paid beta and I hope to publicly launch in the next month or so.
When I started working on Cushion, I made a point to be transparent, so I started tracking its expenses in a spreadsheet. I can’t remember the last time I seriously used a spreadsheet, but I instantly rediscovered how powerful they can be. Coincidentally, my frustration with accounting software has reached defcon 1—I’m essentially paying $30/month for stress. I realized I could save that money and build a custom-tailored system using a simple spreadsheet. It’ll require a bit more manual work, but I’m certain I’ll sleep better at night.
Continue existing routines
Coming off my sabbatical in June, I decided to establish a few routines. The first was to limit client work to 3 days a week. With Cushion bringing in an income of its own now, this routine has been a possibility for the past few months. The second routine was an uphill battle—getting a gym membership and actually going. I discovered that pairing routines increases the likelyhood that they will succeed, so after a long day of client work, I head straight to the gym. I’m proud to say this routine is on its 4th month and staying strong. *rimshot*
One week between client gigs
This past year, I had a serious problem with overlapping client jobs, resulting in the need to take 3 months off to fully recover. I’d like to avoid another burnout, so I’m establishing a new rule for myself—one week off between client gigs. This is much easier said than done, considering the delay and drag of projects are outside of my control, but I’m going to give it a shot and hope for the best.
Book a few speaking gigs
I had a few small talks in 2014 and it was a lot of fun. I’d really like to speak more, but I’m not sure where to start—I have a lot on my mind when it comes to freelancing, bootstrapping, and working solo. Speaking in front of a crowd once scared me to death, but now I enjoy it and feel I can contribute a lot—specifically jokes that bomb.
Take more photos
Every year, I tell myself I’m going to take photos more consistently, but I always fail. It’s the first thing to go when work picks up. I’m keeping this one on the list, though, because I still think it’s important—I’m always thankful when I have photos to match memories. After a year-long break from Instagram, I plan to return tomorrow. Maybe sharing photos will encourage me to shoot more often.
Read more books
Before we moved our studio space to within walking distance of our apartment, I was a subway reader. Now, I need to set aside time if I want to read. I hate that I’ve become accustom to reading headlines and collecting browser tabs of articles I’ll never read. To fight this, I’m going to first try getting in bed earlier and reading before sleep. Then, I might turn coffee time into coffee/reading time. I think it’d go a long way in improving how I feel about my consumption habits.
Play more video games
At some point in my adulthood, I stopped playing and just decided that I would work day and night. All the video games I once played just sat on the shelf and gathered dust—I forgot what it was like to really get into a game. Jen recently convinced me to buy a PS4 (which didn’t take much convincing at all), so we’ve been getting back into it. Every other night, we’ll set aside our work and take turns playing our game. I’m currently on Grand Theft Auto 5, with The Last of Us next in the queue, while Jen continues the Assassin’s Creed series. I can’t wait to see which games come out in 2015.
Ride my bike
I bought a Linus bike a few summers ago with the best intentions, but didn’t ride it much beyond a few commutes to the studio. With so much to see in New York, I feel I’m doing a disservice to myself for not riding on a regular basis. After living here for close to 3 years, I honestly haven’t ventured far beyond my own neighborhood. When spring arrives, however, I can’t wait to explore.
Take a trip outside of Brooklyn every 3 months
Along with seeing more of the city, I need to see more outside the city. Today especially, I realized I rarely take time off. My friend Frank suggested blocking out time in my calendar every 3 months to just get out of the city. Well, I marked my calendar and I’m determined to stick to it—even if it just means a drive upstate. We’ve gone on a few trips last year with our fellow studiomates and now I’m itching to plan a few of my own.