17/12 – In ink

One of the things I’ve done every year for maybe the past 5, showing a rare piece of consistency, is to make a list. I fucking love lists. But this list is a little more forward thinking; it basically serves as motivation, reminder and goal. I’ll explain.

So what I actually do is put 20 points on a piece of paper, and I fill in maybe half with stuff that I want. Yeah yeah, materialistic consumer over here, whatever, but each to their own. Not all of it is a thing, that you could go out and buy from the shop. Quite often it’s something for me to build myself, sometimes it’s a vacation, a place I want to go, a car I want to drive. Last year, since the number one thing on the list was a damn house, everything was built around that. And I’m sat here son one of the things, with another thing playing music at me, typing on a third, living in the fourth. And what I’m thinking is ‘hey, I made it here. I hit at least 20% of what I wanted to hit a year ago. I feel good.’

I check off stuff as/if I get it. Sometimes by the time the means arrive to reward myself with an object/experience from the list, I’ve outgrown what I initially wanted, and try to find another way, another thing to check off. Which is why I only initially fill in half of it.

As an example, currently on the new, 2019 list is a new camera. I enjoy taking pictures, seeing places. So what that theoretical camera represents is a new outlet, a new excuse to go travel, see new places, have fun with a hobby. It’s not just an object, it reflects what I want to do more of. So there is a goal aspect of it right there, working towards being able to pursue not just one thing, but several things in life that I love.

The motivation part is pretty easy to explain. Having a list of items, stuff, experiences, just gives you something to work towards. Sticking it down on ink and paper gives it a more tangible feel, rather than having some half formed idea nestled in the back of your mind that will never amount to anything. Which isn’t to say my idea is the ideal way to achieve your goals, this is just one the things I try to do ‘cos it helps me. But crossing something off your list and getting that feeling of victory, leads you to the next. And the next. And then you don’t stop all year. It might have been said before.

Goal part is also dead easy. You’ve written them down. And not in an abstract ‘I’d like to take more pictures’ or ‘I’d like to draw more’ kinda way. As in like ‘New camera’, ‘New charcoal pencil’. Solid. Concrete. You work hard, you enable yourself, you get what you wanted. Then you start thinking along the lines of you’ve acquired something you wanted. It would therefore be a waste for me to not use it. And all of a sudden, you’ve hit those little back-of-the-head goals anyway. Huh.

Right. Even in my own head the ‘reminder’ aspect of it is a bit vague and hard to put into words. Let’s say you’re 6 months into the year, you’ve filled out 20 or 25 points and you’ve smashed half of them. But now you’re looking at the rest and wondering what kind of person thought getting the fanciest bottle of champagne was a good idea? Now a day sat by the beach with a good, new book is the way to go. Speaking from very real experience. See in the 6 months (about two years ago now, actually) my desires had completely flipped based on what progress I’d made, how I’d been filling my time outside of work, the weather, etc. But I had that starting point to go from. It might be written down in ink, but it’s still amorphous, changing with your character. Learning, evolving. Growing, as you should be.

So, Ads, you handsome piece of bearded baller. Try it. Stick 20 odd Audemars Piguet on there if you want. But work to it, change it, achieve what you know you’re capable of.

This one’s for you.

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