Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011 Game Plan [in brief]

Each day this year, at regular intervals, ask yourself 'What am I doing?' - by Nick van der Leek

I hope by my sharing some aspects of my plan for 2011, you'll be inspired to set some of your own goals. The intention here shouldn't be to self-indulgently make important sounding announcements, but instead to commit, privately and publicly, to self enhancing, community enhancing and life enhancing courses of action. So here goes.

In order to look at 2011 constructively, critically and yes, positively, first a look back. What worked and what didn't work in 2010.

For me the year was based on establishing myself in the local magazine industry. A dynamic new voice, distinctive for its original content and lack of commercial [empty]soundbytes. I succeeded in setting up consistent relationships [making regular contributions] to magazines like Bicycling, Getaway and Financial Mail. I failed in publishing stories in newspapers and international press. I also did not really achieve any traction in photography as a revenue stream in its own right. And overall I'm not sure if I built meaningful relationships with editors and other journalists beyond the work itself.

So for 2011 I'd like to consolidate the platform set up in 2010. To do that I'll be looking to send my work to 11 publications that have not yet published content from me. In no particular order:

- National Geographic
- Conde Nast
- Cosmopolitan
- Country Life
- Cape Argus
- Sawubona
- Horizons
- De Kat
- Fair Lady
- Women's Health

I won't give away too much of my intentions regarding photography, but that area is certainly going to become more focused, with more corporate and events initiatives.

I also want to make aggressive inroads in terms of publishing manuscripts, which means finally getting an agent this year.

All of the above is a little wishy washy in terms of actual activities, but that's what diaries and notebooks are for.

I can be more specific in terms of goals for fitness.
I'll be doing the trail run series - all 5 races - starting on January 19 [my birthday] and ending on 2 February. There are also a number of triathlons in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape I intend to do, but that is dependent on a few variables like work, fitness and where I am relative to these events. There's EPTA at Orient Beach on 6 February, EP Champs on 13 Feb [in PE}, and SA Champs in PE on 20 March.
I also intend being more involved in cycle and running races this year to incentivize consistent training. Overall I'd like to drop to below 80kg by March 31, and try to keep my weight around 75kg from there onwards. This is my #1 priority for the year, and the races are simply building blocks towards this goal, ways to keep it fun, different and interesting.

I'd like the major change in 2011 to be a more socialised approach to living and lifestyle. In 2010 I was Han Solo doing his thing, and although I was very effective, the downsides became quite nasty. So I'll be investing more effort in meeting new people and building on all relationships. This tends to be an area I pay very little attention to because I see it as a 'luxury' rather than a necessity, which is faulty reasoning I believe.

In terms of psychology, I'd like to be less reactionary and more response-able than I have been. To do that I think you have to put yourself in a place that is reasonably secure, so that when the chips are down, you have options and choices, you're not a rabid dog, cornered, lashing out at everything. In this sense a lot needs to be done - finances repaired, networks rebuilt, work channels established etc. Anger and frustration in the extremely uncertain life that is freelancing must be held in check. Again, exercise and relationships are helpful here.

Spiritually I'd like to grow. For that I see more time in nature, hiking, camping. I see myself being less 'busy' or on the computer, more time reading, surfing and moving. This requires constantly seeing the opportunity and finding the courage to go out and live, to embrace new experiences, to find the will and the discipline and a critical approach on a daily basis to break bad habits. TV and movie watching must also be limited.  Passive living must be replaced by an activated lifestyle.  In this sense, the computer and the internet - especially Facebook - must have stricter controls.

One of the best ways to help the critters of this planet, as far as I'm concerned, is to eat less meat.  So I am going to be bumping up my consumption of vegetables and fruit, and cut down on burgers and all the rest.  I think another small gesture is just to be conscientious in terms of using energy [fuel and electricity] and water.  If it is possible to use less, then use less.  Combine trips, save where possible.  Limit waste.  Instead of throwing things away, recycle or give them to someone who needs them.

Finally, I'd like to spend more time with family. Especially the children in my family, playing with them. Throwing a frisbee on the beach, playing bat and ball in the outdoors - this is something I enjoy and something I know will enrich me and others. Although these last pursuits may seem the least important in terms of making a living, it is probably the most meaningful, because it helps create connections, and promotes happiness. It is, after all, when you look back at the memories of a year, and ultimately, of a life, that golden thread of smiles and fellowship that fills the heart, that shines through the fabric of a life well lived.

You too have a gift to give the world, please give it. Go now and set your own goals and work hard doing in your life what needs to be done to be what this world needs you to be.


Jeanne-Marie said...

Well said and great goals. Expecting to see less of you on facebook and more at the races!

Nick said...

hope so JM

Anonymous said... made me cry!!!!!
I would be honoured if you would play with my children.
Love you xxxx