Studio Battle 2014: A leap forward

Yesterday, I posted a recap of my 2013, While it had some struggles, it ultimately ended on a positive note, with lots of momentum as I head in to 2014. Like I said last year, I don’t make New Years’ Resolutions. I set goals, and put in motion a plan to achieve those goals. 

Here’s my goals for 2014 to build on my momentum from 2013.

1. Get social and share more. 

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know my propensity for snark and rants about ESPN, the SEC, and political absurdities, among other things. But what I don’t talk about is design, or non-Ohio State things that I’m passionate about. And increasingly, the conversation isn’t happening on Facebook. In fact, people-young people especially-are leaving Facebook in droves. Between the ads, the baby pictures, that person who “likes” every status update, yet never engages you in conversation, the privacy issues, there’s fewer and fewer reasons to engage with the site. 

I’ve been a user of Twitter and Instagram since shortly after both companies launched, and I don’t use either of them as much as I’d like, mainly because I’m on Facebook all the time. In addition, Dribbble and Behance are fantastic resource to share my design work, and interact with other designers, and get my work in front of people who might be interested in hiring me for stuff. After all, if a barber can get a job purely through Instagram photos, why can’t I?

So if you aren’t already, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Dribbble and Behance, and of course, here on the blog. I’m going to be sharing work and having discussions there more, and bitching about ESPN on Facebook less (this offer only good until next football season). 

2. Get from behind the computer screen. 

At the same time, some of the best social interactions I had in 2013 were with actual, real life, human beings. Between Startup Weekend and HOW Design Live, I’ve met a bunch of great designers and entrepreneurs that I still talk to this very day. From that one week in San Francisco, and a weekend in Los Angeles, I now have people I can visit-and have visited-in all corners of the country. In 2014, I’m going to expand on that. No HOW on the books for this year, but I’m going to try to find another design conference that’s closer (and cheaper). And I plan to travel to another Startup Weekend or two this year. 

3. The Funky Diabetic. 

Last year, back when I was working at Substantial and thinking I didn’t have to spend my weekends constantly hustling to find my next job, I bought some DJ equipment* so that I could finally start a hobby. Starting a non-design hobby was one of my goals coming out of HOW last year, and I’ve always mixed music in my head; I thought getting out of my head would be a good side hobby. Then I got future endeavored, and I fell back into spending my weekends working on my portfolio, trying to get better at my craft, and scouring job boards. 

I’m still doing that for now, but I’m going to stop feeling guilty about not spending every weekend doing that. I found some great tutorials to get me started, and a few message boards that have been very friendly to a newb like me. Now all I need to do is figure out my DJ name (early leader: DJ Dia Beat It). 

*No, it’s not vinyl. I know, I know. But I don’t have the room for two turntables. When we move into a place with more space, it’s on the list. 

4. Dwight v. The Diabetes, Round 2 

It’s an on going battle, my battle with diabetes, but it got the upper hand of me a few times last year. I’m going to turn that trend around. As I mentioned yesterday, I started working with a personal trainer, who’s been helping me get back into shape, and helping me with my goal of losing the 100 pounds I need to get of my meds. On the food front, Melissa and I have committed to regaining control over our diet. We tried Paleo with some success last year, and it did wonders in getting my blood sugar down. Melissa started a blog last year, where she documents the fantastic meals she makes, and if you’re looking for inspiration in the kitchen, you should check it out.

No more Zero Days.

So how am going to do all of this? A few weeks ago, I found a fantastic reddit post about the concept of No Zero Days. This may sound all new-agey, but every day, you make one action toward achieving your goals. If you have a goal of working out every day, and it’s 11:50, and you haven’t, lie down and do ten pushups. One is greater than zero. The complete writeup can be found here, but the general rules are thus:

Rule 1: There are no more zero days. Every day you must take at least one action towards achieving your goals or making yourself a better person.
Rule 2: Be grateful to the “three you’s”: Past ‘you’, present ‘you’, and future ‘you’. Thank the past ‘you’ for the positive things it has done. Do favors for the future you.
Rule 3: Forgive Yourself. Forgive your past self for not taking action. Move on. Make the best of today so your future self may benefit.
Rule 4: Exercise and Learn. Workout so you may feel better, look better, and become a better person. Read biographies, educational books, and non-fiction. Every problem, thought, experience, and feeling you’ve had has been solved or experienced by someone else. Learn from them.

This is going to be the foundation for my year. I’m forgiving Past Me for all of the procrastination, bad food choices, and skipped workouts from the last year. Current Me is writing this blog instead of skipping it and watching the football game. And I’m doing all of this for Future Me, who will be better off for the the choices I’ve made today. 

Future Me is ready to blow 2014 up.