11 Things Everyone Should Accomplish In 2o11

I would be lying if I said 2010 was an awesome year for me, because it was so much more than that. It truly was an incredible journey of beyond anything I could have imagined it would be last January. As I look back on the past year, above all I’m grateful for the abundance of wonderful days & nights I experienced, both alone and in good company.

Before I present my year in review, I have designated eleven crucial things EVERYONE should accomplish in 2o11, in no particular order, to make it the best year of their life — and how I plan on going about accomplishing them as well.

1} Travel Someplace New

What are you waiting for? Go someplace new & unfamiliar you haven’t been that’s inspiring, somewhere you’ve always longed to visit.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Image Credit: Wallbase

I had said last year I wanted to travel abroad but never really made any true progress in completing that goal. To make sure I don’t make the same mistake, I will apply for my Canadian passport (my second, the first being American – I’m a dual citizen) and use my lineage of a British subject to gain extended visas to places such as the UK or Australia, something that is more difficult to maneuver while traveling under a US passport.

2} Face A Fear & Conquer It

Terrify the hell out of yourself so much that you will want to do it again. Think how you’ll feel after emerging on the other end of the tunnel victorious over what you were scared of most.

Feed your speed. Image credit: Wallbase

When I was younger, lots of my friends had dirt bikes. I rode on occasion, but never as much as I would have liked to. Something about riding them made me feel so incredibly uncertain as to what might happen that I felt strangely comfortable. I’ve always loved motorcycles, Ducati’s specifically, I suppose for the same reason people like Ferrari’s. So this year, I will learn to ride one, the proper way, hopefully enrolling in some form of safety course to begin with, and start slowly.

3} READ. Educate Yourself/More Mental Exercise

When you stop reading, you stop learning. It’s that simple.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”~Mahatma Gandhi. Image credit: Wallbase

I did a checklist the past two years where I read 12 books in 12 months. I actually probably be read closer to 20 cover to cover. This year I push it to 15 in 12 months, with the expectation I’ll hopefully read 20+, and will track my progress each month.

4} More Physical Exercise

If you look at yourself in the mirror and don’t like what you see physically, then change it! You only live once, wouldn’t you rather live in the physique you always wished that you’d have? Stop dreaming about it and start designing it! Simply doing five push ups every morning for one whole week is still progress. See how much better you feel afterward, then keep building on it!

There are no limits. Image credit: Wallbase

I’m terribly inflexible in my lower half of my body. However the one thing I can and will do as often as possible to change this is stretch right when I get up, and work on my Tae Kwon Do slow kicking techniques everyday. I feel 20x better after I do both every time, it’s just all about creating momentum to do it every single day.

5} More Spiritual Exercise

This one can be tricky, just because it doesn’t necessarily have any religious connotations, although it easily can. Whatever makes you feel like a stronger and more balanced person. It can mean going to church more often, meditating or praying more, or lending a helping hand to a person in need.

Image credit: Wallbase

Life is a spiritual journey no matter how you look at it. I did not truly realize this until I began training and studying martial arts – an activity that totally altered the course of my life and my thought process. I will continue to explore the power of meditation, visualization, and breathing techniques, which help me tremendously in diverting all of the negative energy in the world around me.

6} Improve at Something You’re Passionate About

It doesn’t matter how bad you suck at it. If you love golf but are awful, hit more range balls. If you love basketball but are terrible, shoot around more. If you want to become a best-selling author but are afraid your writing sucks, just fucking keep doing it anyway. There’s not really any point in doing it half-ass either.You’re only going to get better at something by doing it with focused repetition. Make a conscious effort to practice and study this skill you want to possess and don’t let anything stop you from improving at it everyday.

Rekindle the flames for your passions. Image credit: Wallbase

I love snowboarding. Maybe it’s because I was so dreadful at skiing I almost killed myself in the act on numerous occasions. More than that I just enjoy the hell out of the experience and rush. There are few things I would rather do in the morning than gear up, throw on some headphones and head up the chairlift. Something about chilled speed spread over glowing snow screams freedom inside of me. However I hardly ever go, and I hate it. This year I’m going to spend at least one week snowboarding, whether it’s consecutive or individual days.

7} Immerse Yourself In Another Culture

Learn a new language, study the anthropology of a civilization you’ve always been curious about, move someplace different, or even just spend a day across town. Talk to different people than usual, ask more questions, see things through the eyes of others.

My obsession with Japanese culture is evident by my laptop background. Image credit: Wallbase

I took Spanish for four years in high school {and I think French four days?}, and I barely know shit about it. And I hate it. I wish I would have taken learning it more seriously. So this year, I’m going to get better at both languages. Part of this stems from my desire to travel. More than anything I just want to be able to better understanding of a wider range of people.

8} Create a Work of Art

This can be as simple as just doodling on your paper more, something that is, contrary to popular belief of most teachers, mega productive as a mental exercise. Whatever you’ve always enjoyed most about art, whether it’s painting, drawing, graphic design, or pottery, do it for yourself. Start writing a novel or keeping a blog. Create something you’re proud of.

Your potential is infinite. Image credit: Wallbase

Now while I’ll certainly be doing this in a lot of different ways this year with clothing design, I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo that’s meaningful. There’s something about the idea of enduring pain and channeling it to create art that has always intrigued me. I have quite a few ideas for my first ink session, and will certainly document it for everyone to share.

9} Get Rid of Shit You Don’t Really Need

This might be the biggest gateway to your happiness on this list. You don’t need probably 2/3 of the useless material novelty items you own. If you want to keep things with sentimental value, i.e. heirlooms, that’s fine. But get rid of clothes you don’t wear, stuff you don’t use, etc., etc. It will be a huge burden off your back, and you’ll feel much more organized. Give these items to people who have little and will actually appreciate them like a brick of gold. Two of my favorite quotes sum up this philosophy perfectly.

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not the daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”
— Bruce Lee

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.”
— Antoine De Saint-Exupery (The Little Prince)

Get cape. Wear cape. Fly. You need far less than you think. Image credit: Wallbase

Last year I sold my first car that I loved dearly – a 2004 Chevy Imapala – gave a bunch of my clothes to Goodwill, ditched my ginormous black suitcase and stuffed everything I wanted and needed into two bags. I’ve never been happier. And even now I still feel like what I possess can be overwhelming. I still have clothes I don’t wear that often, or books I’ve finished reading. I’ll continue giving these things away to people who can use them and need them more than I do.

10} Challenge Yourself to Achieve Something Unachievable

This is a wonderful thing to pursue, because 99% of the time falling short will still leave you with incredible accomplishment. For instance, if you said you wanted travel around the world, but only made it halfway, it would still be an amazing experience right? Don’t just set goals that are kinda easy that you know you’re capable of doing, because there’s little motivation to achieve them that way. Instead aim as high as possible in hope that you’ll climb far above what you ever thought yourself possible of.

The trail is steep. There is no path. Pack light. Image credit: Wallbase

There’s a lot of room here for dream weaving, but I want to do something that far exceeds something that will only effect me personally. So my “unachievable” goal is to donate $100,000 dollars to the poker branch of Prevent Cancer Foundation, Bad Beat on Cancer. I set the number so high because even if I only manage to raise a sliver of it, it’s still a tremendous achievement for me and far exceeds anything I’ve ever done before.

11} Seek Positivity!

Inspiration is all around us. Personally I find it in quotes, movies, people, nature, or even just by taking a deep breath. Stop setting limits for yourself. Only think about endless abundance. Banish words like can’t from your vocab. Never say you don’t have time, or make excuses for your lack of progress. More importantly, don’t ever ever listen to someone who tells you wont accomplish something you want badly. Add this log to your inner fire and keep moving forward. Surround yourself with people who are equally optimistic and things that are uplifting, and you too will soar soon enough.

Ride the wave of positive energy! Image credit: Wallbase

Sometimes this means having to leave behind something, someplace, or someone you care about because it’s not having the proper influence on you. Don’t let that stop you. Go to wherever, whatever, or whomever your intuition tells you will have the most positive effect on you. This year, I want to travel to places and visit people that will broaden my horizons, even if it means leaving the beautiful city of Chicago behind, if only temporarily.


~ by therealJWilliam on January 10, 2011.

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