My Eight Priorities for 2023

Happy New Year, and I wish you an exciting and rewarding 2023.

It has become tradition at the start of the year that I list my major lofty goals and dreams for the next 12 months and beyond. Sadly, it has also become an annual tradition that I miss the mark on many of my goals. This means that entering into 2023 that I have a lot of the same goals as I did previous years.

I recognize that many of my goals are overly ambitious, and some take more than a year to achieve. Anyone who has followed this site for several years knows the major ones like turning the site into a significant part of my income, publishing a successful book and novel, joining the Online Critics Society, and having a feature article in a major world-renowned magazine. But I am not going to list all my goals this year, because they are known and I am sure it has gotten tedious to see plans without the results to follow.

Instead, I am going to focus what I am calling my 'priorities'. These are eight things that I will make a major part of my focus in 2023 with the strategy that their consistent practice will finally have me grasp my glowing dreams. Some of these 'priorities' will be obvious to see here on the site, while others I will try to keep you updated on their success rate for the sake of accountability.

Here are the 8 priorities that will be achieved in 2023.

1. Loving my family. Nothing else matters if this year ends without Emily, Everett and Danika knowing without a doubt that I love them. This means being better at prioritizing time with them. It also means making a real effort to understand how each of them feels loved, and doing the actions to spread that specific kind of love to them. I absolutely deeply love my family, but due to bouts of anxiety and depression. I haven't always displayed it the way I want. I also know delving deep into love and time with them is an elixir to better managing my darker emotions. This year I'm going to actively display acts of true love to Emily, Everett, and Danika.

2. Take initiative. If one asked Emily to list my flaws, then you'd probably have a list that has more words then this entire site. But near the top of that list would be my lack of planning things for our family. My excuse has often been that I feel so overwhelmed with work, and once I get a handle on that then I'll be much better at creating a date night or a big family weekend. Except, when my dreams enter the realm of reality then I'll just be busier and have even more excuses. 2023 is a year where I will try to be far less passive and actively plan things not just for my immediate family but gatherings with others that I love. It also will seep into my career as I take more chances and implement changes that I've thought about but keep feeling I should wait. 2023 is where I take control.

3. Be kind. I want to actively seek out ways that I can make a person's day better or give back to my community in a compassionate and caring way. I aim to be that supportive and loving friend for those that desperately need it (who is everyone). I want to be more aware of what my fellow person needs, and then actively find ways to meeting those needs. But I also aim to be kinder to myself, because I know I'm flawed and emotionally fragile, and I won't be able to achieve any of these things if I am not willing to look after myself.

4. Write 2023 Movie Reviews. I am overly ambitious. I want to write reviews to everything from classic movies to video games to books to television series. Then I find myself overwhelmed, and the site doesn't post any of the things that I aspired to create. I am going to begin the year focusing on making sure I have written reviews for every 2023 movie that I see, even if it only is a few hundred words. Once it is clear I have formulated a habit of crafting these reviews then I can start looking at expanding. I will still write about other things on this site, but my first priority will be 2023 movie reviews. The hope is that the sense of accomplishment will drive me to then start expanding on some other reviews over time like classic pictures. This also means that I can start watching some older stuff without the cloud of guilt when I don't write a review for it, because that isn't my focus right now.

5. Keep learning. I have been getting paid to write for a long time. I have been writing for even longer. I like to think that since people are willing to pay for my work that I am all right at this writing thing. But I can be better. We all can be better at things in our life. This year I am pushing myself to constantly learn more and find ways to sharpen my skills. This isn't just for writing. I want to expand my knowledge on history, photography, science, culture, and parenting. There is always more to learn. It is my goal to try to learn something new every day, and more importantly, be open to learning more.

6. Live in the moment. I tend to be haunted by my past. I often dream about a better and more successful future. But there are countless priceless treasures surrounding me right now. I want to immerse myself when playing with my kids, or focusing my attention when I have a quiet moment with Emily, or putting my full energy into a family afternoon. I want to live fully in each moment, because I only have one chance before it is gone forever. This year will be about really appreciating all the joys and wonders that is every moment in life. Also, living in the moment will make me far more observant and aware of what is happening around me, which means I can fix another thing that would make my wife's hypothetical list.

7. Schedule my day, but be flexible. I have an overflowing dump truck of dreams and goals with some rotting after being ignored for far too long. The only way success will be snatched is if I plan out my day, and make time for things like novel writing or making videos. I am going to focus some time each day laying out what the next day or week will look where I slot designated time to work on each project and dream. But I also have a lovely and wonderful wife who loves the magic of 'last minute', and I have kids that think schedules are as imaginary as unicorns. So, I will have interruptions. Most days will not go exactly as planned. I need to adjust for the surprise, and also embrace them while altering my schedule to make sure projects and goals are not forgotten to time and anxiety.

8. Be creative. I was going to make 'master social media' one of my priorities, but this one is more important. Because if I don't have something entertaining and original to say then it doesn't matter how many readers and listeners that I reach. Much like how I want to always be learning, I also need to constantly push myself to improve my writing and make my voice as fresh and unique as possible. The internet is a busy place, and if my writing will ever find the audience that I want then I must craft prose that make it stand-out. Every day I will strive to write better, but also push myself to craft works that can only be written by me. Creativity will drive me in 2023.

What do you hope to achieve in 2023?