I have a theme for this year:  “Less.”  My objectives are going to revolve around “less” this year because life is too busy and simplification has always been important to me (Thoreau: SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY!)

Goal numero uno!  Less sleep. This goal is more oriented around getting up than it is sleeping less–optimally I’d get about 7 hours of sleep every night in order to properly function.  The issue is that getting in exercise and being ready for drop off and work has been harder than life before Juniper.  It’s time to grow out of sleeping past the alarm.  Every day that I’m working, I want to get up at 5am.  The time can be spent however, but they physical act of getting up for the alarm on work days, every day, is paramount.  It leads to increased productivity in terms of exercise and health, writing and mental models, and life in general.  Being awake is a good thing, this is the year to take control of it.

Goal #2:  Less poor eating. This is a really, really hard goal.  I’ve tried to count calories with apps, but I lose interest.  My issue has never been exercise per say, I like to work out and be active and generally do enough of that to stay fit.  The eating is another issue.  So this year the plan is to start a weekly “just in time” program for food where we, as a family, plan and purchase food.  And not just any food, but better quality meals.  There are some issues with this including cooking capability, and expense.  Bottom line, eating well costs more regardless of where you shop, however it’s well worth the cost if you are fit and feel good about your diet.  Today and in the future this is more and more important to set a good example.

Goal #3:  Less screen time. Teresa and I agree that the amount of time we spend on iPads and iPhones and whatever else is too much, especially when most of your day is spent working on a computer!  So this year a big them will be getting outside for hikes and winter walks, along with fewer hours browsing those websites which have been optimized for wasting time — Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and whatnot — are out.  What’s in?  Face time with Juni, walking the dogs, biking, park explorations, day trips and all kinds of other activities that are distinctly NOT sitting on your couch looking at an electronic device.

Goal #4:  Less long term thinking. This is a really odd one, especially for me.  I am a strategic thinker by nature, always considering the long term implications of societal changes on business and how choices today affect us years and decades down the line.  But there’s a big downside to that, spending too much time on what’s next and not enough enjoying today.  Today is pretty amazing too.

You’ll notice that these goals aren’t quantified, and that was intentional this year.  The idea is that changing your behavior will lead to the better outcomes, but not quantifying them means not worrying too much about them and focusing more on the overall idea of them.  As to whether that has a good or bad effect on outcomes, I’m not sure, but the overall hectic nature of life today necessitates change for the better.  I’m still all for quantifying objectives at work and working toward deadlines, but at home the focus can blur a bit more so long as things are moving in the right direction.

Happy holidays to you and yours–I hope you had a great year and are looking forward to another one in 2016.