I’m excited for you.
On December 31st, before midnight, I boarded a Cathay Pacific flight from JFK to Hong Kong: when the Time’s Square Ball dropped at the stroke of midnight, I celebrated New Year’s in the sky and landed in Hong Kong on the 2nd of January, skipping New Year’s Day entirely.
I’ve written in the past about my general skepticism of setting New Year’s Resolutions, and after giving them a go in 2018, I’m still torn. On the one hand, if you’re waiting for an arbitrary date to set a goal, surely, it’s not something important enough to do today, which means it’s unlikely you’re going to push through it when the going gets tough.
In short, you’re doomed to fail before you even begin.
On the other hand, I’m still a huge believer in goal setting. When done right, it can be extremely effective. (I detail my goal setting process in depth, which you can download free by subscribing to this blog). Moreover, coinciding goal setting with the New Year can give you the extra push you need to get started, which is often the hardest part.
My latest post reflected on the progress of my 2018 resolutions and my year in review, so now it’s time to look forward to 2019 and brainstorm about my goals.
In 2018, I laid the groundwork for ConsciousPoker; in 2019, I’m looking to capitalize on that.
Whereas last year my word of the year was patience—since I had a long road ahead to build the business—this year my word is crush, because we’re ready to succeed at scale.
I intend to take some of the habits I’ve instilled in 2018 along with me, such as meditating 30 minutes a day, taking holidays off the grid with no technology, and continuing to read 25 books per year.
I do have some specific goals I’d like to focus on in 2019 outlined below. Most importantly, I’ve specifically defined what success means with each objective and detailed an actionable plan to get there.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Scale ConsciousPoker
Again, the New Year is rather arbitrary in pursuing this goal, as it’s something I’ve continually worked on. Nonetheless, I have lofty goals for what we can accomplish at ConsciousPoker in 2019, and while I’m not comfortable sharing specifics of the business, suffice to say I think we have huge potential.
On a personal level, I’m using the business as a stepping-stone toward other future endeavors, creating businesses that are outsourced and automated, giving me options to channel in any direction I wish.
In short, I don’t view ConsciousPoker (or poker for that matter) as my legacy, but it’s the right next step at this point-in-time to reach some bigger, longer term goals while diligently working toward crushing it with CP in 2019.
Plan of Attack: The business world is all about relationships. In 2019 I’m looking to connect and partner with the right people to grow the company and business, so I can focus on doing what I love: producing content and sharing my message.
One way of measuring success could be what I used in 2018: “Taking a trip over Christmas in 2019 and hitting my revenue goals without working while on vacation through automated sales.”
Another benchmark would be having 100,000 subscribers to my blog.
New Year’s Resolution #2: Eat in Moderation
I feel vulnerable sharing this with you, but I’ve been derailing my eating habits over the past year. While a moderate approach is ideal, lately I’ve been oscillating between a restrictive diet and overindulging; frankly, it’s not helping me and I’m tired of it.
In other words, I start the day off eating super clean and crushing my workout, only to find myself going into cheat mode by nightfall. This habit was instilled in me long ago when I was working out and bodybuilding for fun, and my trainer had me eat clean for 6 days, leaving a cheat day where I could binge on whatever I wanted.
While this works for some, for me it creates this pressure of transitioning back and forth between different modes. Because it’s so easy to slip from one to another, I find myself starting the day off with good intentions, but then derailing completely after cheating on a non-cheat day, sneaking a cookie or the like.
Perhaps it’s the way my mind works, but this black and white mindset creates additional stress for me, whereas eating should be a light hearted pleasure. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring, as my wife Ambra, @LittleBitesofBeauty, is famous for saying: “Food can be healthy and taste great too!”
Anyway, I’ve begun the process of working on this goal and want it to be the one habit I change about myself in 2019.
Plan of Attack:
Eat moderately throughout the day instead of trying to be too restrictive early on, also eat lighter and earlier for dinner until I’m 80% full, and go to bed a little hungry.
When I do fall off the wagon, go back to moderation instead of trying to compensate with something extreme.
Enjoy indulging in something on a non-cheat-day without derailing—limiting my cheat episodes to ten or less for the year. (If I had to guess, last year was probably fifty).
New Year’s Resolution #3: Become Fluent in Italian
I originally set out to speak Italian at the age of 24, when I first moved to Italy. I’m proud to have accomplished that goal, and now I can hold a conversation about pretty much any subject.
After marrying an Italian (whose parents don’t speak English, so I get lots of practice) and living in Italy part-time over the past few years, I’ve stepped up my game. However, the progress has been slow, and honestly, given the 7 year period of semi-immersion, I should be better than I am.
As a result, I’ve realized that without actively practicing the language, my speech level stagnates. That changed in late 2018, when I read my first book in Italian, an exercise that helped my speaking and understanding immensely.
Therefore, in 2019, I want to take it to the next level and reach true fluency. While that’s hard to define, for me it means making few grammatical mistakes. Of course, I’ll still have my American accent, but I want to be compelling when I speak, so I can communicate my message with an Italian audience, instead of just getting by.
Plan of Attack:
Read 30 minutes a day—totaling 5 books—in Italian this year. Study grammar from a textbook and complete one exercise every day. Watch as many TV Shows and movies in Italian as possible and speak with Ambra in Italian whenever we’re in Italy.
Creating a YouTube video in Italian and convey a message in a compelling manner.
New Year’s Resolution #4: Start a TV Show and Podcast
This is something I’ve wanted to do for years, and I think 2019 can be the year it finally comes to fruition. Realistically, I think this is going to be something I don’t tackle until Q3 or even Q4, but I’m putting it on the list as a reminder that I want to really crush this year and fast track my progress.
I envision a show where readers can call in with questions and gain my perspective on their situation. I’d record it on video for YouTube (ideally transitioning in the future to having guests in person) and record the audio for a podcast.
Plan of Attack:
Hire a full-time videographer and podcaster to help me streamline the content creation process.
Launching my first episode and podcast before the end of 2019.
New Year’s Resolution #5: Finish my Novel.
Writing a book has been on my bucket list for the past decade, and I finally have a convincing story to tell and am ready to tell it.
My protagonist will be a high stake’s poker player living in Macau, vying for his spot in the biggest poker game in the world. It’s not just a story about the fast paced action of The Big Game, but also the life lessons that poker can offer.
This year I’m focused exclusively on the first draft writing process with a complete manuscript. I’ll have plenty of time to polish it and figure out the marketing and publishing, but for now what I really need to do is just write.
Plan of Attack:
Dedicate my mornings until lunch to writing, at least 3 days per week. That means no email, no distractions, and no scheduled calls. In short, mornings are my creative time and I need to be all-in on writing during that period.
Completing a first draft of my manuscript by the end of the year.
New Year’s Resolution #6: Give 10 Keynotes
One business I’m committed to growing in 2019 is public speaking engagements. I gave a few keynotes in 2018 at various conferences, and I discovered that I love being on stage (I was in musical theatre in high school) and feel blessed to have a platform to share my message to others.
I’m looking to do as many paid gigs as I can in 2019, even if that means traveling to them.
Plan of Attack:
Work closely with my agent to secure gigs early in 2019. Record them all and publicize them through my network, using them for marketing to get more engagements. Consider creating several other keynotes that I can give when the opportunity arises.
Ten paid speaking engagements in 2019.
I realize these are all ambitious goals, and I have a lot on my plate for 2019. That’s why I specifically chose the word crush to symbolize 2019, because barring any major life interruptions, that’s what I intend to do.
The plan’s in place; now it’s time to execute.
I’d love to hear from you. What are your plans for 2019?
Here’s to crushing 2019!