I’ve never been a believer in making New Year’s resolutions for one simple fact: I’ve always believed that if I really felt a need to change something in my life, it would be asinine to wait for an arbitrary, culturally celebrated date on the calendar.
When I really care enough to change something in my life, I have always just changed immediately and never looked back. That’s in my blood.
Looking back on some of the biggest changes in my life in the past decade or so, none of them took place in a January:
In November 2008, I became and have remained kosher. In December 2010, I became and have remained a vegetarian. In April 2012, I became and have remained a vegan. In September 2012, I became and have remained caffeine free.
These “never look back” commitments in my life don’t typically take place in January…
(Except for January 2008, when I proposed to my wife… but I wouldn’t consider that as any sort of New Year’s resolution; that would be quite the understatement!)
But perhaps January 2016 can be the exception to my track record. It truly is a coincidence that I am becoming so mindful of this conscious change I want to make, but by default, it might technically be a New Year’s resolution:
My goal for 2016 is to make major progress in growing my blog; in particular, my YouTube channel. I want to deliberately work towards blogging and YouTubing full time; as a stand-alone career.
I remember back a few years ago in November 2013, when I was invited by General Motors to attend an event in Detroit featuring their Buick brand as well as OnStar. While there, I met a full time travel/food blogger named Stefanie Fauquet of Mommy Musings, who told me, “You know, you could be doing so much more with what you’ve got going on.”
She inspired me that day, but it was like a put I bookmark on that thought for later when I could be ready for it.
I believe the time has now come.
But back then, our family was still working our way out of a lot of debt, our son was still very young, and we still lived in our townhouse. (Not to mention, I didn’t have a smart phone yet!)
We had a lot of other goals we had to focus on first at the time.
Here we are in January 2016, having been debt-free for a couple of years now, having lived in our new house for a year, with a decent amount of savings in the bank, and our son is now 5 years-old. Not to mention, my wife and I are both secure in our positions where we both work. And we have smart phones too!
What that means for me is that I now can focus more directly on “doing so much more” with my blog; in an effort to do this full-time, not just as a hobby with benefits.
It’s a simple case of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I need a new problem to solve. I need a new challenge. I know I’m capable of more.
In other words, I’ve reached the blessing of getting to the point where I am very comfortable in life. However, I’m not wired to be okay with being comfortable.
Being in this position only makes me think, “What else could I be doing right now to improve my life?”
Yes, my wife and I are having another child in April, which will surely bring challenges. However, this is “kid #2”, so I feel we as parents already now the basics of what to expect.
I look at more people whose careers inspire me, as did Stefanie Fauquet. I consider food and travel blogger Bren Carrera of House of Bren, someone else I met on that same event in Detroit back in November 2013.
Since then, I have been following her on social media. I have watched her progress as she was invited to be a guest on The Today Show, thanks to her cooking abilities, and then to be invited back. I have enjoyed seeing her evolve into the media personality she is today.
A few weeks ago I read where she explained on Facebook she had publishing company keeping their eye on her, who recently offered her a book deal. I love that! I am so happy for her:
“After dreaming for 10 years, I finally got a book deal. This publishing company had been watching my work for some time and decided it was time to reach out.”
I also think of my friend and professional photographer, Joe Hendricks, who I’ve now known for a decade.
Recently, he moved his family out of their house, and into an Airstream. They are able to travel the country as a family, as Joe teaches seminars across America, as well as does photo shoots, while also selling his photography online. How awesome is that?
And then there’s my most recently inspiring blogger friend, Jarrid Wilson. Our families met each other at Whole Foods one fateful Saturday morning… and the following fateful Saturday morning after that.
Both Jarrid as well as his wife, Julie Wilson, are full time bloggers. Jarrid simply reinforced the words of Stefanie Fauquet from back in November 2013: “You could be doing so much more with what you’ve got going on.”
All these people inspire me. They have turned their passions (and by default, their lifestyles and hobbies) into adventurous full-time careers.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2016 is make great strides in growing Family Friendly Daddy Blog into a full time career.
I feel that my newest kids’ show series on YouTube, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest, has a lot of potential. I designed the outdoors segment of each webisode to be a good mix of action, adventure, and psychology (regarding interacting with others as well as understanding one’s own emotions). However, the first (indoors) part of each webisode is designed to engage the viewer in creative thinking.
Right now I am thinking about Jesus’s Parable of the Talents (found in Matthew 25). I don’t want my talents to be buried in the ground. I want to invest the talents I have now and make more talents because of it.
I feel that I have a lot of talent that needs to be seen by a larger audience. But like Sylvester Stallone said in his cult classic movie, Over the Top, “The world meets nobody halfway.”
And there’s also Sylvester Stallone’s quote in Rocky 3, as well: “Nobody owes nobody nothing! You owe yourself.”
Therefore, it’s up to me to prove to the world that I am truly the innovative writer and entertainer I know I am. I must successfully convince the free market.
It’s important to me that I grow my audience, proving to major publications, studios, and networks that I am worth investing in.
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in this one.
This is my new prayer of 2016: That God will grant me more responsibilities in my talents.
I’ve got all the ingredients necessary to reach my goal of becoming a full-time blogger. Now I must figure out how to utilize them in a way that allows me to reach that goal.