First of all, I hope I haven’t entirely missed the boat on this. Please don’t judge me. It’s now over two weeks into 2015, long after all the other bloggers have posted their year-end summaries and goals for 2015.
But most bloggers don’t procrastinate as much as I do.
I could tell you that it took me these two weeks to really hone in on my resolutions, create spreadsheets and layout my goals on a giant bulletin board in my bedroom. With color-coded vision boards and tracking graphs, and all that.
But that would be a lie. I’ve been busy watching the NFL playoffs, getting drunk and subsequently hungover, avoiding the suitcase that still needs unpacking from my Christmas in Texas, and trying to get back into office mode without binging on too many M&Ms at my desk to avoid actually working.
But, I have managed to string together a short list of 5 things to do more of in 2015 and 5 things to (hopefully) do a lot less of. I think it might give you a little bit of an idea of where I’m headed this year. Where WE’RE headed. Because you’re on this journey with me if you like it or not. (Hopefully you like it! We’ll have a lot of fun this year, that’s a guarantee.)
And if you stick through my list, at the end of this post, I have a big EXCITING announcement!
So let’s start with something I’m definitely keen to have less of in 2015….
1. Less hangovers.
Let’s be clear here. I don’t intend to stop drinking alcohol entirely in 2015. God no. The cumulative hangover alone would probably kill me. (Thanks Archer.)
But I do want to do less of the kind of drinking that causes massive, miserable hangovers the next day. Like the kind I had the day after the Cowboys lost to the Packers in the playoffs a week ago. I started drinking at 10am when the game started and went until midnight. 14 hours of drinking, $300+ in bar tabs and an unimaginable headache the entire following day.
This is in part a health and shame thing, but it’s mostly a money thing. After a couple drinks I have a weird habit of buying dozens of rounds of shots and drinks for everyone I can find, including the waitress, the bartender and any lucky stranger who happens to be standing nearby. I’m saving for something big this year (more on that below) and can’t afford to become Lindsay Moneybags after a couple drinks anymore.
No more fireball shots, no more all-day drinking, no more losing large chunks of memory from my days. I’ll be 30 this year, after all. Time to get my shit together! (Sort of.)
2. More adventures.
This one is simple. I need to go on more adventures. Like, at least an adventure a week. Consistently.
But Lindsay, isn’t that what you already do?
One would think, since the title of this blog is “An Adventure A Week” that I do, in fact, go on an adventure a week.
Not true. (gasp!)
I’ve written about it briefly on the blog before, but it really is a struggle to find time to go on adventures when I’m working full time. That’s the whole reason for this blog – if it wasn’t difficult to break up the boredom of normal life, I wouldn’t have taken on a quest to do so in the first place.
My chosen profession doesn’t really help, either. Working in TV production has a tendency to take over your life, with 80+ hour weeks and heavy amounts of stress. Even though I travel between contracts and try my best to go on weekly adventures when work is slow, I can forget adventure (or fun in general) when I’m in the depths of work hell, like last summer in New York.
So in 2015, I will actively be finding time for adventure (even if its just coffee at a new cafe) and battling boredom in real life, even when I’m working heavily.
3. Less work.
Yes, you heard that right. I like my job as a reality TV producer in a lot of ways, but every show is different.
Some shows are a breeze, taking me to fun locations where I enjoy short shoot days surrounded by a fabulous cast of kind, wonderful people.
And sometimes, more often than not, work is pure hell. 16+ hour days, either on my feet shooting or in a pitch black edit bay where I forget what natural light looks like, no overtime pay, working for maniacal execs that make decisions based on whatever color their mood ring is that day, surrounded by monstrous egos and horrific examples of human beings. And all I’ve eaten in 24 hours is a stale donut that sat at crafty for 5 hours and has been touched by every crew guy at least twice. (These are very specific references, I refer you to this genius website for more slices of reality TV life.)
So it is very, VERY easy to burn out. And I’m definitely burnt out.
So, in an effort to step away and remember why I loved working in this business in the first place, this September when I finish my current contract (which thankfully is my favorite show to work on!) I’m taking the rest of the year off. And the following full year.
Now it makes a bit more sense why I’m saving money, right?
What the hell will I be doing with all of that time away from the career I’ve been building for the last 8 years? Read on.
4. More work.
I know I know, I just said my goal was to do less work. Let me clarify:
I want to do more meaningful work. I want to be able to devote more of my time to the projects and goals that I’ve set for myself. I want to work for myself.
This means a lot of things.
It means more freelance writing. Or rather, to start freelance writing again.
It means more work on this blog, which may be the project I love the most.
It means more work on all my other projects – videos I want to make, learning Spanish, studying writers I want to emulate…..all things I don’t have time for because I spend most of my time putting in work on my TV career.
Let’s be honest – we all want to spend more time doing meaningful things. And that is exactly what I’m planning to do this year.
Speaking of planning….
5. Less planning.
I may have joked about them in the intro to this post, but my God, I LOVE to-do lists and elaborate spreadsheets.
My mom would tell you I’ve been making to-do lists since I was 5, and it might make me insanely geeky, but I love seeing plans perfectly laid out in an Excel document.
I’m SO good at planning too – I can break down a massive project into small, bite-sized goals with the best of them. I can set deadlines and prep to track my progress. I can do all the things productivity blogs tell you to do to help you accomplish more.
My problem actually comes with doing the things on my list.
I’m usually so exhausted by the planning process and the thoughts about working on a specific project that when it’s time to sit down and actually do them – write that blog post, edit those videos, whatever – I’m exhausted.
And then I have a handful of M&Ms, someone invites me to karaoke or something, I go and drink 11 beers and I’m useless the next day (see #1).
So it’s time to finally scale back on the planning, and instead…..
6. More action.
I’m going to allow myself to only quick jot down a couple of the most important things I need to do and then Just. Fucking. Do. Them.
Once I’m done with those, I’m allowed to think about the rest of the stuff I need to do that isn’t as important, like clean out my email inbox, back up my computer, and check to see if the Cowboys have resigned DeMarco Murray yet (they still haven’t, FML).
It’s easy to be tempted by those less important things on my list, because they are easier or quicker, but if I were to spend less time on the minutae and more time on the things that really matter, I would feel a lot more like a rock star.
Take this post, for example. It has been on my to do list for two weeks now. I keep skipping over it in favor of easier things, like organizing my closet, reading my favorite travel blogs for inspiration or laying by the pool. Those things may seem like they belong on my to do list (except the last one obviously) but it’s writing this damn blog post that really would make me feel like I’ve accomplished something at the end of the day.
So I’m definitely taking more action, on the most important things, in 2015. Starting with this post. You’re welcome.
7. Less sticking to the “safe” choice.
In my 20’s, I’ve done a lot of extraordinary things. I’ve worked in the entertainment industry in a creative capacity, something many people only dream of. I’ve made great money and I have a solid set of friends both here in LA and in my hometown in Texas. I’ve had great relationships and learned a lot from a few bad ones. I have no regrets.
But I’ve also done a lot of things because I felt like they were the safe thing to do.
I’ve stayed in jobs I shouldn’t have because of pay, instead of taking the chance of being unemployed for a few weeks to wait for a better offer to come my way. I feared putting my writing out there, rarely submitting queries to editors for fear of being rejected. I made safe financial choices (except when drunk, see #1) and didn’t leave too much time between jobs to make sure I never went entirely broke.
The few chances I did take – living out of my car after college while trying to get my first job in entertainment, my trip to Asia last Spring and taking the plunge into the world of freelance the year before, namely – led me to the best moments of my ‘20s.
I’m happy I mostly played it safe, because it’s given me the lessons I’ve needed to grow and led me to understand what I really want to do with my life.
Playing it safe in my 20’s gave me the means to take my life to the next level in my 30’s.
Which is awesome. Now, I’m done playing it safe. And the first step is…
8. More chance-taking.
I’m putting myself out there more, mother-effers!
I don’t care who you are, there’s something about turning 30 that makes you realize, “Oh fuck, my time left is more limited than I thought. Where the fuck did my 20’s go?”
You start to look around you and see that the people that took the most chances in their 20s and did things their own way tend to be a lot happier than those who did what they thought they were supposed to do.
So I’m doing it – I’m sending out those queries, I’m blogging more, I’m taking those 15 months off from my career, I’m doing me, and not worrying about what everyone else thinks about those plans.
And when thinking about what everyone else thinks, I also have a resolution for that.
9. Less giving a fuck.
About the things that don’t matter, I mean.
Like society’s expectations for what I should be doing at a certain age. Or how many people I know are posting engagement/wedding/pregnancy/baby/divorce photos on Facebook. Or what Kim Kardashian is doing or what people think about her ass.
Or what people think about my ass, for that matter.
In 2015, I’m into giving less fucks about any other peoples’ opinions about, well, anything.
I can’t even come close to explaining the concept of giving less fucks as well as Mark Manson. So I’m leaving this to him to explain.
(Seriously, please go read that blog post immediately. I’m fully aware it is a lot better than this one and you probably won’t come back for my big announcement, but I really think everyone should read that post, like, yesterday.)
10. More “Fuck it, let’s do it.”
This goes along with #8. It’s time I stopped planning, worrying, and contemplating the “safe” choice when it comes to making big decisions.
It’s time I up the number of times a year I say “Fuck it, let’s do it.”
There is one major thing in particular that this is in reference to.
Since I was 15, I’ve been dreaming about something pretty much non-stop. In my junior high geography class, we had to put together an itinerary for a 2 week trip around Europe, and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with exploring the world. For nearly 15 years I’ve fantasized about winning the lottery and traveling full time, going on non-stop adventures and meeting people from around the globe.
Which leads me to my big announcement….
No, I didn’t win the lottery. That would have been pretty great though.
Instead, I’ve realized that I could actually make my dream of traveling full time a reality without millions of dollars. It’s just going to take a big leap on my part into the unknown. I’ll have to take a huge chance. Not make the “safe” choice, necessarily.
I’m going to need to yell out an emphatic “Fuck it, let’s do it.” And I am.
In October, I’m leaving to travel the world and seek out adventure full time.
In preparation, I’m selling everything I own, I’m saving every cent I can, and I’m devouring every travel blog and book I can get my hands on.
First, I’m headed to Central America – Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, to start. Then South America for a few months, before heading back to Asia. In an effort to remember resolutions number 5 and 6, I’m not planning as much as I usually would, though there may be a spreadsheet involved. (Like I said, I gotta do me J)
What am I going to do, you ask?
I’m going to hike through mountains, camp in the jungle, and ride bikes around villages. I’m going to become a divemaster.
I’m going to live my effing dream, that’s what.
And I’m going to write. Oh yes, I’m going to write about it. Here. For you. So you can follow along in the adventure. So you can laugh at my mistakes, and maybe learn from them.
And hopefully, so you can be inspired to add a little more adventure to your life.
Because this blog started with that same small quest. As I sprinkled in a little adventure, I realized that life could be a lot more than I thought it could be.
So the big question is – are you coming along with me?
Want to see if I can keep the adventures going while working 60+ hours a week? Will you follow my struggles to save enough money to travel for 15 months? Will you stick around and see what the hell happens when I start seeking out adventure full time?
I’m hoping, in honor of #10, you’re only thinking one thing.
Fuck it, let’s do it.
If that is the case, shoot me an email at AnAdventureAWeek@gmail.com and say hi. I’ll add you to my email list, and you’ll get a newsletter once a month with an update of where my adventures have taken me, what I’ve learned along the way, and, most importantly, some inspiration and tips for you to level up the adventure in your life.
Because I really do think you deserve more adventure in 2015.