I’ve had a lot of time over the holidays to rest, reflect and get juiced up again for the year ahead. A large part of my process is understanding the past year: Did I accomplish my goals? What were my major themes? What do I want to carry into the new year?
2019 was a banner year across most of my life “buckets” – finance/business, creativity, health, relationships, learning. I made the most money I ever have, I had an extremely challenging and fulfilling professional year, I grew my numbers for Millennial Momentum and wrote every day the last few months of the year.
But that’s not what I’m most proud of.
It’s much more personal.
I remember once hearing entrepreneur Jesse Itzler describe time as I’ve never heard it before. Most people see time in years. Jesse sees time as another variable to mold to his advantage. In Jesse’s example, he spoke about his parents. Based on human life expectancy, they have maybe 10 years left on Earth. The tricky part is that 10 years seems like a lot of time. There’s no urgency in a 10-year window.
But then he realized he only sees his parents about two times a year. So it’s not 10 years – it’s only 20 visits left. When I heard this, I did the math in my own head. Only that many more times to hug my mom? Damn.
This is exacerbated by the fact that I live across the country from everyone in my family and across the world from one of my best friends.
Father Time is undefeated. Itzler wasn’t proposing a magic pill to make your loved ones immortal – but rather to get more out of your limited time on this Earth. Because the fact is that we’re all going at some point and we’re really not all as busy as we like to make people think we are.
With this in mind, I created a goal: Create one unique experience with as many of my closest friends and family as possible.
Let’s focus on the word “Create” here. Michael Jordan once said that “Some people wish it would happen. Some people want it to happen. Others make it happen.” I’m a subscriber to that mantra. If you live thousands of miles from people you care about, these experiences may not come up organically: it’s on you to make them happen.
So, that’s what I did.
I focused on experiences with my girlfriend. We went dog-sledding in Park City, Utah, camping in Yosemite and ate the freshest sushi of our lives sitting cross-legged on a floor in Japan.
I won a trip through work to go to Aruba and took my sister, a Special Ed teacher that doesn’t have the business perks that a salesperson does.
I sipped wine, had a car karaoke session and life chats in Napa with my mom, stepdad and girlfriend.
I helped my dad knock off a bucket list item with a round of golf down in Pebble Beach.
I attempted to tackle an ultramarathon with my best friend in the mountains of Colorado (Maybe we can settle for a hike or something this year).
I hosted my grandfather and his partner for a weekend of eating and laughing our way through San Francisco.
It’s not about taking luxurious trips or traveling to faraway lands. I talked to these people regularly on the phone. I visited them at their homes. Some of my favorite times were the “in-between” moments: sipping coffee as the sun comes up or lounging around, watching a movie.
We all have excuses: work is crazy, the kids are a handful, once I reach my goal I’ll let up a little.
I’m a strong believer that ambition is good and that we should seek to fulfill our potential. I’m obsessed with personal development, almost to a detriment sometimes.
I overheard someone say this week that “everyone is someone’s bitch”. A statement that rings true to so many of us. And if you’re struggling with the above excuses, here’s a hint from a friend: you’re time’s bitch right now.
The choice is yours. You can do it all. You can be successful and be a mother of four. You can get rich and still see your family. You can have a six-pack and still have a beer with your brother.
Make 2020 the year that you have it all – the finances, the health, the success – and the moments that you desire. But make sure it’s intentional.
Time to make Father Time your bitch.