The 2011 ImpossibList
I’m a bit late in posting this year’s resolutions (and I know some people disagree about whether or not they should even be written in the first place). But I, for one, operate well and efficiently when I have clearly defined goals in place.
After a bit of a slump near the end of last year, I feel like I’m at an critical turning point in many areas of my life. As usual, my interests are varied and I continue to bite off more than I can chew. While that has been, is, and always will be, the case, I want to push myself this year. Although the following will hopefully not be the only things I accomplish in 2011, I’ve taken some time to set myself some very specific goals- a few of which will be rather difficult for yours truly. But I’ll be seeking some help, working my tail off and reporting back here on my progress!
So, without further adieu, and in the spirit of my friend, Joel Runyon’s, Blog of Impossible Things . . .
My 2011 ImpossibList
Inbox Zero: I’m ashamed to say that I have become one enormous communication fail in the last several months. I know for a fact that some of you totally agree, as you sit there nodding your head right now. The first to admit that it’s 100% me at fault, I’ve allowed myself to become inundated with digital communication. Between email (currently at 134 unread messages), texts (which I also use as a mobile to-do list), voicemails and missed call logs (which I tend to ‘lock’ as I reminder to return), blog comments, messages via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other online sources, I’m in way over my head. I’ve been a slacker in everyone of the above. Well, I apologize, and swear that that’s going to change. While the feat of keeping each of these inboxes at zero messages isn’t at all realistic, I can stay on top of each of them with minimal effort. It’s simply a matter of deciding so and putting a plan in place to make it happen. Part of that plan is to apply Email Triage techniques and maintain an extremely small number of active messages on any given platform.
gain 10+ pounds: Now before you go ranting on me about how you wish you had my problem, hear me out. Although many have trouble losing it, I can’t gain weight if I try. I’ve been a scrawny punk my entire life and have always wanted to put on a few pounds, maybe a bit of muscle, and feel that I was in a little more fit physical state. I can hit the gym, do some lifting and see slight results. But it’s super difficult for me to maintain anything gained. And forget cardio. As much as I enjoy running, that leaved me a skin-and-bones beanpole in just a matter of a few workouts. Again, wish you had my problem? Well, I’m here to tell ya, it still sucks. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.
Tough Mudder: Last October, Steve Schob and I teamed up for a Muddy Buddy race. This year, we amp things up. Significantly! We’re takin’ on the Tough Mudder, considered one of the toughest endurance races on the planet. Referred to as “Ironman meets Burning Man,” the Tough Mudder is a 7-12 mile obstacle course that’s designed by the British Special Forces. It’s not a timed race; the goal is simply to make it through and finish. I’m in! But there’s one huge problem: I can’t swim [for any decent distance or length of time at all] and their site specifcially says that, “if you cannot swim, then you shouldn’t enter a Tough Mudder event.” The solution? It’s time for me to learn. Fast!
put Guerrilla Influence Formula to the test: My good friend Tyler Tervooren (from Advanced Riskology) just recently launched an awesome eBook package called Guerrilla Influence Formula. He designed GIF to help bloggers substantially increase their online presence, and has guaranteed a gain of 1,000 new subscribers. Hmm . . . I’ve been blogging for a year now. I’ve gotten some excellent feedback from those of you that swing by the site, and it would be great to find ways to grow my readership. I smell a challenge coming on! I’ve decided to personally take on Tyler’s GIF system and put it to the test. More on this soon, as well as a video interview with the risktaker himself, next week!
write 1.5 blog posts each week: With my gig/travel schedule, it’s quite difficult to meet even my small, once-a-week, blog post deadline. Also suggested by Tyler Tervooren, this year I am implementing a new writing requirement for myself: writing a post and a half each week, although only one will be going live. This way, I can create a backlog of posts that can be used to help cover any weeks that I am on the road and unable to get adequate time online.
read the Bible, cover-to-cover: I’ve started before, but never made it past Genesis. Lame, I know. But I’ve gotta be honest, all that “begat“-ing always puts me right to sleep. Just bought a brand spankin’ new NIV Study Bible. This time I’ve got a reading schedule written out (thanks, Bekka Scott!), am going to get through front-to-back, and am taking notes to ponder and discuss.
travel to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Uganda: Not necessarily in that order, but I’ve got to hit all three! I’ll definitely be catching La Fiesta de Santiago in Loiza, Puerto Rico in late July. I’ll also be taking several drum/dance lessons while on the island. Speaking of islands, I’ve got to get back to Cuba for some more research at least one more time before launching my newest school percussion program this coming fall! And, still in the planning stages, the Uganda trip/project will be happening at some point. I’ll be recording an album with local musicians and youth choirs there, in support of an awesome organization, Show Mercy, who connect people in the States with sponsor children in Uganda.
$500/monthly passive income: To make some of my future musical/travel goals more possible, I am exploring a couple of less music-related income generating options. I’ve learned so much in the last year about using the internet for profit. My Products page has been an outlet to distribute my own percussion CD, books and compositions. Writing articles on travel (and occasionally, music) for online webzines has brought a few extra dollars. But, it’s time to take that to the next level. As what I do requires me to be increasingly “location independent,” it’s becoming equally important for me to find methods of replacing some of my current income with more passive forms. It’s necessary for me to be able to travel, but without losing money in the process. I’ll be sharing more about the path I’m pursuing in coming posts! I have some friends who are way ahead of me in the passive income game. Although they’re telling me that six months is a realistic timeframe to get this ball rolling rather strongly, I’m going to set a more modest target of reaching $500/month passive income goal by the end of 2011. Not enough to replace my monthly income, but hitting that mark will prove to me that it’s possible, and will be a great start!
100 Things Challenge: Anybody who knows me, knows that I have a rather extensive world percussion collection. And that’s most likely not going to change anytime soon. Many of the instruments I’ve collected (and continue to) around the globe end up being used in performances and the educational programs I present. That said, no matter how many other ‘personal’ items I get rid of, I can never truly claim to be a minimalist. However, all music-related possessions aside, this year I am fully committed to taking, and conquering, Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge. I’ll be more mobile, less cluttered, much happier!
write and publish 2 [free!] eBooks: Two? What are they about? Well, I’m not entirely sure yet. I’ve got a few ideas and have actually started on two in the past . . . but they’re not so far along, really. I can say that one will definitely be focused specifically toward drummers. The other . . . who knows?! If I’m not sure, then why is this even on this ImpossibList? Because: a) I want to force myself to work on my writing skills, and b) I want to create some resources to share with the readers who support my site!
100 pushups: That’s right, 100 straight through, no breaks! During the initial test I took on the 10th of January, I was able to pound out 32 in a row, allowing me to jump to Week 3 of the program laid out at HundredPushups.com. I’ve been hitting it roughly every other day and haven’t fully passed that week’s workout requirements yet. But I will. Twitter buds Trever, Joel and Anh are also on a mission to knock out 100. [edit: . . . as are Steve and Ryan now, as well.] I’ll keep you posted!
Single Strokes, and the Mangini Experiment: In addition to other, less tangible, music-related goals (regarding gigs, practicing, etc.), I have set myself one crazy, assessable drum goal. My technical “chops” have not exactly been up to par recently, and I’ve got to do something about that. Enter, what I’m titling, the Mangini Experiment: putting an almost unrealistic practice schedule (developed by monster drummer, Mike Mangini) to the test, I am going to increase my single stroke speed by 150+ notes per minute! For you non-percussionists out there, single strokes are simply hitting evenly-spaced, continuous alternating notes (with drumsticks): Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left . . . Right now, I’m sad to say that, at last attempt (using a shnazzy little Drumometer), I only squeezed 742 notes in over the period of 60 seconds. The most recent local record is 855. By means of some serious dedication to my Mangini Experiment later this year, I aim to hit 900! More on this later . . . and hopefully I can snag an interview with Mike himself!
Two more paragliding pilot ratings: Last year, I did not make nearly as much time as I would have liked for paragliding. I am currently a first-level P1 rated pilot. While I should have passed my P2 proficiency early in 2010, I didn’t. That may partially be because a bit of fear crept into the picture after I hit some powerlines, but it’s mostly due to my own lack of time management and drive to get my butt moving in the wee hours of the morning. No more excuses . . . as soon as it’s decent enough weather around here to start running off mountaintops and get back into the skies, P2 here I come. And instead of stopping there, look P3 as well! That third rating requires me to log a minimum of 30 flying days, a total of at least 90+ flights and a minimum of 20 hours of solo airtime. That means a ton of flying. Which equals a ton of fun! And it will get me on my way to future Tandem and Instructor ratings. Keep an eye on the sky- you’ll probably find me there!
Anything on your 2011 ImpossibList?
Leave a comment below and share with the rest of us . . . there’s nothing like supporting each other in our crazy endeavors!
(photo by Tim Regan)