Looking Ahead To 2018

2017 has been quite a year. Vox compiled a great summary of some of the defining stories of the last twelve months:

Yes, 2017 has had more than its share of bad news. But despite the tragedy, injustice, and political dumpster fires, of which we’ve had plenty, life is actually getting better for humanity overall. It often doesn’t feel like it, but it is—and this gives me hope for the future.

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting and planning for the year ahead. I’m not a fan of vague “resolutions,” which are almost guaranteed to fail. Instead, I prefer to conduct a corporate-style “annual review,” where I set specific, measurable goals and then follow up and review my progress quarterly. (Chris Guillebeau’s annual review spreadsheet is a great starting point if you want to do something similar.)

My review for this year is complete, and I feel a real sense of clarity for where I’m headed in 2018. I’ve set a range of goals in business, productivity, fitness, finance, education, and even mental health—and I can’t wait to get back to the grind next week.

I hope you’re happy and safe on this New Year’s Eve. Let’s make 2018 a great year.

Shopping Has Changed

My Christmas shopping has finally come to an end. Interesting observation: this year I only made a single last-minute trip to a physical store—everything else was done online. The days of big crowds and long lines are over, for the most part. Even grocery shopping is on the way out, thanks to delivery and pickup services.

Retail is changing, and Amazon really is eating the world.

Earth Day 2017

Today is Earth Day, and people in more than 193 countries are working to raise awareness for the world’s mounting climate concerns, among other issues. The March for Science is taking place in just about every major city here in the U.S.

When I was a kid, Earth Day was nothing significant—just a day vaguely dedicated to tree-hugging, as far as I was concerned. But in reality, it’s a massively important event that aims to change human behavior and provoke policy changes through peaceful protest and demonstration—the very core of democracy—to minimize the effects of climate change and ensure we’re leaving a habitable world for our children and grandchildren.

This is more important than ever in light of the anti-intellectualism we’re seeing in Washington.

And To All A Good Night

I spent another great Christmas Day with my girlfriend and family today: a day of visiting relatives, overeating, and finally collapsing in bed after an overdose of extroversion.

It was a long and busy day, but I saw a lot of my favorite people, along with some new faces, and really enjoyed the company. I think it’s safe to say that tomorrow will be a home-in-our-pajamas kind of day, however.

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday.

Shopping Time

It’s that time of year again. Time to start making Christmas shopping lists and getting ready for the holidays.

We’re working on our third annual Holiday Gift Guide on VentureBreak, where we recommend various gift-worthy products throughout the holiday season. Check it out if you need some inspiration or advice for making your list this year.

I’ll probably put up my tree this weekend or next, and I think I’ll decorate the front of my house for the first time in a good five years.

Here it comes, everybody, ready or not.