Marketing is the Product Podcast
Marketing is the Product Podcast
Celebrating the New Year and Our Resolutions for 2021
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We did it – we made it through 2020! As we close the door on one of the most chaotic years in history, it is important to take the time to reflect on the good that 2020 did bring to us. This week, as we get started with our first episode of 2021, we will be giving our own year in review of sorts, as well as talking about New Year’s Resolutions.

Brandon and I both are big planners if you didn’t catch that already. Resolutions are a great way to hold yourself accountable, as well as lay out a plan for your year. Not sure what some decent resolutions are? Don’t fear! We will lay out what our resolutions are, as well as providing some insight into some productive resolutions.

Tune in, and let’s get this year started off on a positive, productive note!

Show Notes:

0:30 – Moving on from 2020
1:15 – What Resolutions Mean to Us
3:45 – How to Maximize the Goals You Have Set
6:00 – How to Hold Yourself Accountable
8:00 – How Pierson is Doing Resolutions in 2021
12:45 – Goals Are Meant For Growth
15:00 – Don’t Be Afraid to Set Big Goals
17:30 – Set Goals With Meaning to You
21:00 – Take the Time to Step Back a Little Bit
25:30 – How Brandon is Doing Resolutions in 2021
38:00 – Rounding Out Our Goals
41:15 – Final Thoughts

Pierson: Hello, it is 2021. We are finally out of 2020, and it is Pierson here with Marketing Is The Product podcast. I am here with Brandon Rollins.

Brandon: Happy New Year, everybody.

Pierson: Yes, and happy new year. We did it, we made it. We are on to the New Year, and boy, I am excited that 2020 is in the past.

Moving on From 2020

Brandon: Yeah, me too. Me too. I can’t wait until we can say that in earnest. Of course, everybody who listens, we record these a few days in advance, so actually just barely 2020, but when you hear this it’s gonna be 2021.

Pierson: We’re speaking this into existence, we’re speaking our happiness into existence.

Brandon: Speaking 2021 into existence. No, that’s out of my purview. Sorry, my agency doesn’t have that power.

Pierson: Unless a hurricane Omega comes in after all and…

Brandon: We’ve gone through a lot of damn Greek letters, I’ll tell you that. I think after they run out of Greek letters, they’re probably just gonna start using numbers. I hope I never find out.

Pierson: Seriously, let’s hope 2021 there are less hurricanes and less global pandemics.

Brandon: Yes.

Pierson: So today’s episode, we’re gonna keep it light, we’re gonna talk about new year’s resolutions and what they mean to us, what some of ours are, as well as what the benefit of holding yourself accountable to these goals are. So Brandon, let’s get us started, why don’t you walk us through what that means to you and what this process looks like for you?

What Resolutions Mean to Us

Brandon: So I’ve always liked new years because you finally get a chance to have an arbitrary fresh start and do something different, and sometimes really you just need an arbitrary excuse to do things a little bit different anyway. You know, you say “New year, new me”, and then you just speak something into existence. To me that’s kind of the magic of New Year’s resolutions. You can set specific goals, or you can just pick a value that you wanna go after, and there you go, you’ve got an excuse to do it. That’s what I like about it.

Pierson: Yeah, that proclamation of speaking something into existence holds so true, and there is something to be said about writing something down and saying, “I will do this”, or “I’m going to do this”, and a lot of that’s a psychological thing, in holding yourself accountable to… You’ve said it, you’ve written it, “I’m going to do this.” And you see it. One of the most common ones is saying, “I’m gonna start working out”, and it’s become a meme, because so many people stop going to the gym in January that regularly go because of the influx of new people that are there for the month of January, but that’s more of a light-hearted side of the resolutions, people are always gonna say stuff like that, but the big picture of them is creating and writing down these things that we want to make happen, to manifest into the new year. And like you said, it’s the chance to start over fresh. For a lot of people that’s like you’re having a really shitty day and you’re like, “Man, I can’t wait for a new day, flip the page, start over fresh, wake up, new start, new attitude, new outlook.” For a lot of people that’s the New Year.

Brandon: It’s funny about the gym stuff, have you ever happened to stumble across Phineas & Ferb at any point on TV?

Pierson: [chuckle] I haven’t thought about that show in years.

Brandon: Oh yeah. Anyway, yeah, so you know Doofenshmirtz right? He tricks people and he makes their New Year’s resolution is like, do whatever he says or something, I forget what it is. And then he’s like, “Why didn’t my plan work?” And everybody… It’s ’cause they all gave up on their resolution almost immediately, that’s what the gym meme reminds me of.

Pierson: But that brings forth an interesting point, Brandon, and that’s like, why do we set these goals and then let them fall through the cracks, so to speak, so quickly?

How to Maximize the Goals You Have Set

Brandon: I have a weird way of countering this. I can’t recommend this to everybody, ’cause this won’t work for everybody, but basically I will set 20 goals and I will try to meet as many of them as I can, I’ll keep them… I used to keep him in Evernote and I had a color-coding system, I would change them a different color based on how far along I was in that goal, and they’d often be very specific and very ambitious. Nowadays, I keep it in a Trello board and I just slide it over to the right based on how far along I am. But that’s what I do, I’ll pick four or five broad categories and then I’ll make 20 or so resolutions based around that, and I’ll talk about what’s different between ’20 and ’21 and a little bit of what I’m doing differently, but that’s my broad approach. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve heard of people who will just pick a word and they will try to embody that word as much as possible, and that’s their goal.

Pierson: That’s actually a really cool goal. I’ve never heard of people doing that, but I really like that. [chuckle] No joke, I might end up copying that. [chuckle]

Brandon: Yeah, I think Maria turned me on to this technique and I thought, “Wow, what a clever idea.” I stuck with mine ’cause I’ve been doing it for a long and I like it, but her’s, post this injury she had, was resilience. Dear God, we did not know how relevant that was going to be in 2020, but she ended up doing a very good job of being resilient and she managed. She gained back a lot of ground which she had lost in 2019, due to some unfortunate events and it was just a good goal, I thought it was just such a clever way of looking at the world.

Pierson: Yeah, and that touches on what we were just talking about before we went live, Brandon, of just mindfulness and actually taking the time to really make sure your actions are reflective of what you want them to be.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly, and I think a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, or whether you do 1 or 20, resolutions will help you ask yourself, “Am I actually doing what I wanna do?” And I suggest, if you make them, regardless of how many you make and what technique you wanna do, keep them somewhere where you’re going to look. A lot of people, you write it down, you put it up somewhere. Me, I keep it in Trello because that is where all the Pangea documentation is stored these days, so it’s the software I am in and out of all day long. And it’s right there alongside… I think of it… It’s right there next to big clients and stuff like that.

How to Hold Yourself Accountable 

Pierson: I think that’s important, Brandon, because when you are making these goals, goals are something that you should be thinking about to some degree on a daily basis. And you know, referencing back an episode we did a little while ago with Jamison Colston, he talked about how every day he starts the day the same, is he wakes up, and before he even touches his phone he reads achievement statements for himself of things that he has done, wants to do and is working on, and that’s a great way to keep these goals at the forefront of your mind. Because like you said Brandon, I’m guilty of it, two years ago I wrote them down in the notebook and closed the notebook and forgot where it was, and I’m like, “Does that really mean you’re accomplishing these resolutions if you forget that they’re even there?” But I think that for me, Brandon, I’m learning which way I like to do it the best. I’ve tried it several different ways, several different methods over the last few years, and I’m learning what works best for myself as well as trying to take the time to reflect on what I’m actually trying to see happen in a new year and where I wanna grow and how I wanna grow.

Pierson: And I think that through understanding yourself a little bit more, you can more accurately target where you want to be and how you want to proceed in that manner. And we talk about it very often, the importance of planning, whether that be on our blog, with the posts we write, the podcast, or just personally between me and you. Having a plan, sticking to that plan and executing it, those are key components to making stuff happen and successfully accomplishing goals that you have. And when you see the steps and you see all of these things laid out in front of you on what you would like to make happen, it’s easy to target your actions to kind of fit that, and that’s the main point of what a resolution is, is a statement, a proclamation to hold you accountable throughout the year of something that you want to do differently or change.

How Pierson is Doing Resolutions in 2021

Brandon: Yeah. So on that subject, do you wanna talk about how you’re setting your resolutions for ’21?

Pierson: Yeah, so like I said a second ago, I’ve kind of dabbled in different ways of how I do my resolutions. For the last couple of years I have written them down in the notebook and so smoothly lost where the notebook has been, and it has been not the best method of it, but I have these goals at the beginning of each year where I feel like they’re more of milestones that I want to hit for myself, and lots of them are personal goals within my own life, some of them are tangible things that I would like to do. Excuse me. But moving forward this year, I think how I’m gonna structure mine are more of personal goals, meaning goals for myself, my emotional health, my mental health, steps that I wanna take to continue to become a healthier version of myself. I have things that on a physical sense of goods, accomplishments, monetary goals, I have all of those as well, but for me, over the course of this year, I have gone through a shift in how I think I approach myself specifically but my life around me. And I think I’ve shifted from living life on the go all the time to taking time to really hear myself think, and to really listen to what I need and what I’m looking for. And more important than any other goal that I have in 2021, I wanna keep that up. I wanna keep reading books that further me on an emotional, a mental level. I wanna keep challenging myself to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Pierson: And for me that looks like continuing to go to therapy, continuing to read these books that are pointing me in the right direction for things that I struggle with. This also looks like me trying to make monetary goals of different milestones that I wanna hit in my own life and those all look different for all of us, we’re all set with a different set of circumstances, different ambitions that we all have. I was just telling, Brandon, I actually have tattoo goals that I keep for the year, and a couple of my friends do this as well, but we keep goals of what tattoos we wanna get when, what we’re thinking about getting, and for the same reasons as you’d make any other resolution is, when you write it down and you’re like, “Okay, February I’m doing this”, it’s really easy to talk yourself out of something, but when you’ve got that accountability saying, “I am doing this now” it’s harder to say “Well, maybe not”, or you’ve made a resolution to read one book every month or to get up two days a week and go for a run. It’s hard to break that promise when you’ve made it to yourself, and you have that and you see it somewhere. So, for starters, I will be writing mine down in a place that I see them, Trello is a great idea and I’ll probably end up doing it that way, because it’s something that I use too on a daily basis.

Brandon: We’re both gonna end up using it a whole bunch, so yeah you might as well try it out. You’ll be able to see it a lot easier anyway. But yeah, on the subject of tattoo goals since you had brought that up, some people might think that’s odd, that’s an odd choice. But of course, you’ve established very well that you’re very passionate about tattoos at this point. And it’s important to take time to pursue things that you are passionate about. Yes, even to have a goal for it. In some ways, I’ve tried to incorporate this in the past, I’ve had to like visit at least 10 other states this year for the first time, I’ve done stuff like that, or go to Hawaii or something, so I’ve put in travel goals. And I’ve put in “Read this many books” or “Listen to this many new albums” and do that, and I had listened to 250 new albums in one year at one point. Yeah, it’s just there’s lots of different ways you can go about this. And you wanna do it in a way where it’s like a specific goal you can meet I think, as much as you can, but in a way that still feels fun, just as a way of reminding yourself, “It’s not all about work”, you wanna enrich yourself as a person and have a little fun sometimes, ’cause that’s very important.

Goals are Meant for Growth 

Pierson: Like growth, these are more of growth statements. You’re verbalizing where you want to grow, and that’s what life is about, it’s about taking steps forward in whatever capacity you are trying to advance yourself in, whether that be professional, whether that be in education, whether that be in your social life, we are all growing and we’re trying to advance ourself in some manner. And these resolutions, so to speak, these goals, achievement statements as Jamison calls them, they’re great to have because staying dormant is not what we are meant to do, we’re not meant to stay in one place and we’re not meant to just be complacent with where we are. We are a group of people that wants to move forward. And we are constantly trying to achieve that. And through having these goals, no matter how extreme or in-extreme they might be, you put yourself on a path to try to achieve that in a more realistic way. And having goals that are somewhat unrealistic, sometimes that’s a good thing too, because if you have this goal that seems so far out of reach, odds are you’re gonna start it and you’re gonna do it in a manner that says, “Hey, you’ve got a lot of ground to pick up, you better start doing this now”, and sometimes that intensity is what people need to fuel that fire.

Brandon: And you’d be surprised how much some unrealistic goals can actually become very realistic very quickly. I set a really aggressive revenue goal this year, or not revenue, profit, actual profit, that is like my owner’s draw. I was like, “Beginning of the year, Pangea had made $20,000 in 2019” or something like that. It was respectable, it was like the first time I had seen a serious profit. I was like, “This year we’re gonna do 50,000”, and I thought, “This is completely ridiculous because we would have to grow so much”, but it turns out if you actually look at quarter over quarter growth, we picked up a bunch of clients and we’re gonna hit that point. And this is actually going to enable me to pretty soon to be able to leave my position and my day job, so yeah, don’t be afraid of crazy goals, ’cause some of them actually aren’t as crazy as you think.

Pierson: Absolutely. And to kinda bounce off that, Brandon, I think as an individual we are a lot more powerful than I think we give ourself credit for, and what we are able to accomplish when you set your mind to something is pretty remarkable. And you’re seeing that right now. Like what we talked about in this last episode we recorded, which came out on the 21st of December, we talked a lot about how resilient a group of people we are, and how incredible it is to see us come together to solve these problems, and the biggest one of 2020 has been COVID-19 and finding a cure for that. And to see so many different companies come out with feasible options for a vaccine in record time, I think that shows not all goals are that unrealistic. People were saying, it would have to be the fastest turnaround in history for a vaccine to come out in this amount of time.

Don’t Be Afraid to Set Big Goals

Brandon: And hey guess what, we had the fastest turnaround in history.

Pierson: We are able to surprise ourself at times, and I think by putting limits on yourself you’ve blocked yourself from a potential growth. So my recommendation is don’t limit what you think you can accomplish within one year. You would be so surprised to see how far you can go in just a stretch of 12 months. Speaking from personal experience, this year has been a really tough year for me, for a lot of reasons. And a lot of those I won’t get into in the episode, but over the course of the year I’ve stuck with going to therapy regularly, and I can say with 100% certainty I’ve completely changed the trajectory of my life that I was going on, just through choosing to work on things that I knew were tough, knew that I didn’t wanna be doing, but I knew it was for the betterment of myself and for the people that were around me and for where I wanted to be.

Pierson: And that’s why it’s important to set these goals, is you can say, “You know what, I owe this to myself to keep doing this, and I want to keep doing this because I want to keep growing.” And goals look different. I’ll have goals, like I said, on tattoos, on monetary goals, as well as reading and music, regular goals, but I think lining out the things that are passionate to me is what’s important, and trying to advance myself in ways that I am proud of and that I can look back on at the end of the year and say, “I’m proud of the growth that I saw within myself.” And I think that’s what’s important, the setting goals, that means something to you and that will really work to accomplish what you are looking to accomplish.

Set Goals With Meaning to You

Brandon: Yeah, absolutely. Just even actually sitting down and taking the time to figure out what you care about enough to make a goal over is a worthwhile exercise in and of itself. It will be incredibly unique to you because, well, you’re dealing with your own special situation and there are just certain things that you need to focus on, certain areas of hard work that are worth paying attention to. And it’s often not obvious until you are alone with your thoughts for long enough, for that to become apparent.

Pierson: Yeah man, [chuckle] you took the words out of my mouth. We were talking about it before we went on air, but taking the time to… Meditation’s been a big part of my life this year, and it’s… As cliche as it sounds, it’s changed my life, but meditation looks different for everybody. For me, I meditate in different ways sometimes. The important thing about it though, as I set aside time on a daily basis to hear myself think and hear what I really need, and sometimes what you really need isn’t what comes to the surface off the bat, what comes to the surface off the bat a lot of times are like the worldly distractions that we’re faced with, and it’s like you try to start meditating and you’re like, “Oh, well I have this to do later, I have a podcast that we’re recording, I’ve gotta write an article.” Your mind starts racing through all of the tasks that you need to accomplish, but when you push through that and you reach the point of silence where you’re like, “Okay.” In this moment, how do I feel?” You start to unearth a lot of what isn’t getting highlighted, and I think that’s where you’re able to say, “Wow, that’s where I need to spend some time focusing on.” And…

Brandon: And I’ll also add on to that, that it makes a lot of good sense to make a structure in your life where you get these intrusive thoughts out of your head as much as you possibly can, because if you’re always juggling different facts and figures and tasks and to-dos in your head, it takes up all your working memory and you’ll be exhausted. This actually is why I’ve done this big organization project for getting everybody in case files and Google Drive, and that’s why I’ve been doing all that lately, Pierson, is ’cause I don’t wanna try to remember everything all at once. And one of the ways that I’ve been getting stuff out of my head in particular that you reminded me of, is a client tells me to do something, but it’s not quite enough to turn into a task, I’ll make a note of it. Like I have a dedicated note section where I just add quick things that somebody says one off. And then when I get enough of those I export them and I go through all that. So that’s one way you can get stuff out of your head is just by writing it down or finding a system to store it, makes it a lot easier.

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Pierson: Going back to the meditation thing for a quick second, this year especially it’s been tough, and we’ve talked about that probably on every episode that we’ve done so far, I mean, whether that be from a guest bringing it up or us, it’s a real point in our lives and it’s a real…

Brandon: It’s the room temperature. You can’t ignore it.

Take the Time to Step Back a Little Bit

Pierson: Absolutely, and through that meditation and taking time to hear myself, I start to make sense of the chaos that’s going on in my life, and with that you start to recognize what’s important and what really matters, and above all else I feel more in touch with myself and I feel like I can be more present for the people that are in my life when I’m around them. I’m able to feel more charged when I take time for myself like that, and you know, I equate it to this: When you’re hungry and then you’re like, “Oh, man, I have to go on a seven-mile hike.” Do you think you’re gonna be able to get through that seven-mile hike starving? Probably not, because you’ve not fueled your body properly. The same thing goes for your mind, you have to take time to fuel your mind, and it can’t run 24/7 365 days a year and you function at peak performance. You have to give it time to rest and to say, “It’s okay to take a step back” and say, “I’m not gonna do anything, I’m gonna unplug, I’m gonna turn my phone off for the night.”

Brandon: It’s funny, I was just reminded of the old 7 Habits book, and I was thinking, right now the habit that people probably need to pay attention to the most is probably “sharpening the saw”. That is basically taking time to actually reflect and think and just not work. That is probably the single most important rule for our particular era, and I’m sure in some era, another rule like “seek first to understand” will be the most important, but right now it’s probably I’ll sharpen the saw. I think burnout is a really big problem, I think that’s why a lot of Millennials and Generation Z are anxious and depressed, there’s just an enormous amount of workload that people put themselves under.

Pierson: Dude, you do not have to tell me that. I mean, between balancing work and school, it’s… When you finish with school it’s like, “I can breathe, Holy shit, this is life.” [chuckle]

Brandon: I know it’s a monstrous workload, and I try to make things as flexible as possible, but still the sheer number of hours that you’re going, I know is a ton. God, I mean 15 credit hour courses is like 30 hours of real… 30 to 35 hours of studying and class work, I would say. And then on top of that you’re doing like 20-25 for me on a regular basis. Those are some full weeks.

Pierson: Yeah, a safe rule of thumb for me from July… ’cause I went to school year-round this year, both summer terms, so this is the first bit of time I’ve had off in literally a year, but I would give myself half a day on Sunday to not do anything, but I’d work pretty much every other day, every other day of the week, Monday through Saturday, and Sunday I would end up doing something. And the days that I wouldn’t touch anything for Pangea or for school I would be sitting there like, “What am I not doing?” I’m like, “I need to be doing something” ’cause my mind is just turned on all the time.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s not healthy. I’m actually hoping to get to a point myself where I can have Sunday as a “no client work day”, I’m not there yet, honestly, because there are some factors that make that hard to do right now, but I would love to get to that point. That isn’t even a no business work, that’s just a no client work kind of thing. I wanna get to that point potentially.

Pierson: And it’s not a matter of feeling like I’m overworked, it’s just when you have these tasks that you need to accomplish. And I’m a planner, so I try to schedule my weeks out fairly accurately to the best of my ability. I try to stick to that, and I don’t necessarily have any issues accomplishing that, but I always underestimate how long things take for myself, and…

Brandon: That’s actually one of the biggest problems in workplaces, that is not just you. That is basically every workplace.

Pierson: And so, I think it’s just learning to cut myself some slack and give myself a little bit of grace. It helps.

Brandon: Yeah, I think so too. It’s funny, there’s something called Hofstadter’s Law, which is “Everything takes twice as long as you think it will, even if you account for Hofstadter’s Law.” [chuckle] So I think that’s how it is. So anyway, I was just reminded of that adage.

Pierson: Yeah, but like I said, I’m happy that I have some time off. I’ve had a couple days now to recharge and I feel back and ready to go, and I’m back in work mode again, so to speak, and I’ve taken a little bit of time for myself to say, “You know what, you can rest a little bit” and then now I feel charged up and ready to start working again, and I feel like I can work at peak performance, ’cause it’s hard to do that when your mind is fried.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s borderline impossible.

How Brandon is Doing Resolutions in 2021

Pierson: Yeah.

Brandon: So on a somewhat unrelated note, I think I’d like to go over how I’m doing resolutions this year and see if it resonates with anybody.

Pierson: Go for it.

Brandon: So here’s my setup, in 2020 I broadly categorized things into five basic goals: Easy fixes, finance, health, relationships, and just the word “interesting”. So those were my five categories. This year, I’m taking a trick that I think it’s actually Practitioners of CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, they’ll talk about this too, you want… I decide to take an online test, the gold standard of tests, to figure out what my most important life values are. And it’s like, that’s what I use, and it does this really neat thing where it takes these 50 abstract values that people could possibly care about in their life, and it matches them up in paired sets, one against other words, until you eventually, through this very rigorous way, find your top five abstract values. And bear mind that this is separate, that you don’t necessarily have to have “family” as a value for them to matter a lot to you, these are abstract notions. Okay, so mine ended up being, in this order: Meaningful work, creativity, freedom, challenge and adventure. And so those are my five categories this year, and I’m still putting together this list, I need to come up with some relationship/personal scheduling goals. I’m actually having trouble figuring out how exactly to approach that, ’cause those are… Finance goals are easier, you just say, “Make X amount of money”, right? I’m trying to figure out how to do these other goals, so this is a work in progress, but I’ve got 15 so far.

Pierson: Yeah?

Brandon: And most straightforward ones first. And so all my money goals I ended up putting under “freedom”, because that’s the actual point, I don’t care about the money itself, I just want the ability to do what I wanna do. That’s it. That’s all I’m gonna do with it anyway, that’s the ultimate purpose. So the freedom goals are, kill all our bad debts, just any debt that isn’t doing us any good. That includes your 0% financing kind of stuff, just get rid of it. There’s not that much but I want it gone. Invest X amount of dollars. I’m not gonna tell you guys what X is, but X is a specific number. I’ve got another one, it’s a net worth goal, so basically everything I own minus everything I owe. And that’s to get to X amount of net worth, I’ve got a specific number in there as well. I’ve got “Quit my job” as one of my goals. That’s a big one. Yeah, that’s a huge one. Yeah and we’ve discussed the whole, “Do you quit your day job?” a whole other podcast, which honestly is probably one of the more important ones that we ever recorded, so I’m sure we’ll drop a link in the description.

Pierson: Yeah, I would agree with that.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job Link

Brandon: Point is, I’m in the school of hold on, or at least for me, I’m holding on to that and working two things simultaneously, because that’s what I need to do. But now I’m getting to a point where I probably won’t need to do that in a few months.

Pierson: And that’s exciting.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, so that’s one of my goals. I don’t know if it’s gonna happen, but it… I don’t know, I’ve got a good shot of it this year. I’ve got another freedom one, another freedom/finance one, it’s “Add one passive income stream.” That doesn’t have to mean much. I mean, just like this could be as simple as refurbishing an old board game I’ve got and send it off to a publisher, have them sell it on my behalf, not that hard to arrange, by the way. And another one is “upgrade my car”, I’m still on the fence about whether I actually need to do that or not. I’m still driving my 2001 Camry [chuckle] I’m on the fence, I’m on the fence. It’s making some weird noises. Anyway [chuckle], I can do another, I can do another car but I’m stubborn as hell, I don’t like paying for stuff, you know?

Brandon: It’s one of those things, it’s like, “Do I want like a $30,000 car or would I rather just put 30,000 into the market or whatever?” Anyway, that’s all the finance goals out of the way. Those are just the easiest one for me, the finance/freedom ones, ’cause those are the easiest for me to get my head around. I’ve got “release an educational course for Pangea”, I’ve got this categorized under “meaningful work”, because as you guys… If you’re listening this far into the podcast, first of all, thank you. Second of all, you have probably figured out that one of our purposes is that we wanna educate people, we wanna make it easy to get the information you need to succeed. And we’re trying really hard to do that in better and better ways over time. And I would love to release a course that answers specific questions for people and is financially accessible. You see a lot of $300 course, $800 course, whatever, $2000 course. I don’t want to do that, not really. I wanna make a $50 course that provides a tremendous amount of value and get that out to a lot of people. And if 50’s not feasible we’ll make it like 99 or something.

Brandon: And if that’s not feasible, we’ll break it up into smaller parts. Point is, I wanna get a tremendous amount of information on the internet available to a lot of people, about questions they really want them answered. And so that’s something I wanna do this year, in the year 2021. I don’t know how it’s gonna work, but hey, it’s out there. I also would love to write a business book at some point, this is another meaningful work goal, same basic idea, I just wanna get a lot of information out of my head into the world that I think that might help people, and I wanna do it in a way that’s more tangible than a blog. Now, I know enough about the book publishing process to know it’s probably not even sane to try and do that in a year, but it’s still gonna be a goal, ’cause you never know. Under “creativity” all I have right now is just “Read all the unread books I’ve got”. I’m gonna add some more creativity goals later, there’s a lot of unread books. Under “challenge” I’ve got “Lift twice a week and run twice a week.” Right now I run about four times a week, I wanna add some lifting into the mix, more… Round me out a little bit better. [chuckle] Well, I’m starting to get sore from the running, you know. It’s funny, so this is what you’ve got in store for you, Pierson.

Pierson: Oh my God. [chuckle]

Brandon: I’m gonna be 28 about a month after this podcast drops, and when I was 21 I would have, I don’t know, there was a night where I had some double digit amount of drinks, it was a stupid amount of alcohol, and then I got up in the morning, I had a bit of a headache, and I went for a five-mile run. I was fine, no hangover after that, everything was fine, everything was dandy. Today I woke up and my back hurt [chuckle], and the back of my knees were tight, and I’m like, “Alright, I’m gonna go for a five-mile run.” It just didn’t happen.

Pierson: Yeah.

Brandon: It just didn’t happen. Yeah, anyway, so I’m gonna add some lifting into the mix because I know that that can work out muscle groups that can help you as a… I spend a lot my days in the office, so I know that adding a little lifting into the routine will help…

Pierson: Throw in some stretching and yoga.

Brandon: Yeah, I’ve actually been doing stretching lately. Maria had actually cared enough to fight about this, I’m serious, until she’s like, “You just keep complaining, but you’re not doing the thing that could actually fix this problem.”

Pierson: Yeah.

Brandon: And I was wrong, I was just plainly wrong. [chuckle] And so eventually she broke me and I started stretching, and it worked. I got surprised.

Pierson: Man, it really does. I had a tiny goal to be able to touch my toes this year, because I literally could not even get almost half way down, because I was just so tight and I never stretched, and I started stretching every day and now I can grab them, and it’s crazy.

Brandon: Wow. Okay, hold on, I’ve been sitting on the heating pad for the last hour, so I might be able to do this… No, no. Okay, that might be my New Year’s resolution.

Pierson: Touch your toes.

Brandon: Man, figure this for me, I can run six miles but I can’t go touch my toes right now. That’s sick.

Pierson: Start stretching.

Brandon: I got another challenge, one that’s gonna be health and fitness, I wanna get to 12% body fat, which is a pretty reasonable if difficult goal for a 28-year-old. I’m at like 14.5, so it is hard once you get below like 15, 15’s considered fitness, you’ll carry a couple of pounds around your abdomen, you won’t have abs or anything, but it’s definitely healthy. So I’m alright there, but I wanna nudge that down a little bit more, just… This would be a real lean running machine, like a lean lifting machine too.

Pierson: [laughter] I cannot believe you said that. [laughter] A lean lifting machine.

Brandon: Yeah, a lean lifting machine. Man, I tell you, actually one of my 2018 goal was to put on 15 pounds of muscle, and I started bulking, I was like blending oats into smoothies, there was whey powder, it was… There was a lot of whey powder, there were eggs, there were a lot of eggs. And it worked, granted it took quite a while to burn off that bulk.


Pierson: Downsides of bulking season.

Brandon: Oh yeah, oh yeah. No, I was at the YMCA, I was spending a lot of time there. [chuckle] 2018 though, it was a different time. Yeah, anyway, I guess that’s getting a little off-track, and the last one I’ve got for adventure, is I wanna visit the last ten states I haven’t been to in the US, ’cause I’ve been to 40, but there’s 10 more. And I don’t know how this is gonna work out with the coronavirus, to be honest, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do it around the end of the year. I would like if we rented an RV and we just kinda drove it around in a giant circle, and I could still work then too, I would just knock off those states, go see some cool stuff, roll into whatever looked cool at the moment. ‘Cause that’s the way to do it, don’t go in with expectations. This is how I feel, don’t go in with the expectations, just make the bare minimum plan you need to, to be safe and not spend too much money and just see what is there, and you’d be amazed what you find when you do that.

Brandon: Now, my 10 states left, this is… I mean pull out a map ’cause this is just ridiculous. One of them is Alaska. So automatically this is a hard goal [chuckle], but the other nine are California, Oregon and Washington State, and you’re like, “Okay, that’s all easy, that’s the West Coast.” And Colorado. Okay, that’s a little harder. And Kansas. Okay, well at least they’re right next to each other. And then North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Those are the 10 that are left I haven’t put foot in, not counting layovers. Layovers don’t count. Like I’m not gonna count my hour and a half at the Detroit Airport as Michigan, and I’m not counting my layover at LAX as California.

Pierson: Yeah, I can see… Okay, alright.

Brandon: Yes, so that’s it. Those are the goals I’ve got right now. I hope that’s not too long, I wanted to give people real specific examples that you can latch on to, and you guys can steal them, seriously. If you like my goals, take them.

Pierson: Yeah. You’ve got yours laid out far better than I do at the moment, and mine are kinda off a whim, and I’ll obviously add to them and take away from them and adjust accordingly, but I like it, I like all the ones that you’ve got. I think they’re great goals to have for what you’re looking to accomplish.

Brandon: Well thank you, and it’s kind of like an organized chaos, ’cause I know that I’m not gonna reach at least some of these, but I just put ambitions shit out there and I see what happens.

Pierson: That’s right.

Rounding Out Our Goals 

Brandon: Sometimes it works. You’d be surprised, actually. I set a bunch of 2020 goals and you’d think, “Oh 2020 would ruin a lot of them.” Not actually, it just ruined the travel one pretty much.

Pierson: Yeah.

Brandon: And I guess I’m gonna barely… I’m gonna slightly miss the mark on some of the financial stuff, ’cause I was actually furloughed for about two and a half months there, so that changed the way I spent money, but otherwise we pretty much hit everything.

Pierson: I think setting ambitious goals is a great way to keep pushing yourself to uncharted territory.

Brandon: Oh, I did not reduce my caffeine intake.

Pierson: Neither did I.

Brandon: Yeah, that didn’t happen. I’m still trying to crack that “get up right after the alarm goes off” one, that one’s tricky.

Pierson: That is. Listen to some Jocko a little bit more.

Brandon: Honestly, the one week where I actually consistently got up out of bed when the alarm went off is when I first found Jocko’s podcast, that was one of the most productive weeks of my life, I heard one of his podcasts, I don’t even remember what it was, but he’s like, ” Discipline is freedom.” I was like, You’re damn right, Jocko, you’re damn right.” And the thing is…

Link to Jocko’s Podcast

Pierson: Are your Jocko impressions and Keanu Reeves the same one?

Brandon: [chuckle] No, it wasn’t a good one. It wasn’t good.

Pierson: They’re eerily similar.

Brandon: Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s so funny ’cause he looks like such a bruiser, right? You’re like, “Oh, this guy’s just like… ” He even says it himself, he’s like, “This guy just looks like a meathead.” And when he starts talking and you’re like, “Holy crap, this guy’s got some really nuanced points of view”, and he’s a smart, interesting guy. I like his show. He’s worth a listen. He’s like… You think you’re just gonna get some tough Navy SEAL kind of guy, and you think you’re gonna get a bunch of military stuff, but no, it’s actually really smart general leadership principles, well is like some good self-help kind of thing too.

Pierson: He’s got great perspectives on quite a bit of different scenarios, if you haven’t checked it out, so…

Brandon: And he can really… Yeah, he’s got a really good way of actually making general life skills and general life advice sound as important as it actually is. And that’s an impressive skill.

Pierson: Absolutely, it is.

Brandon: Would that make you my Echo Charles, in this case? No, I’m not, I’m not cool enough to be Jocko on this show. Anyway, and you were saying…

Final Thoughts

Pierson: I was just gonna ask if you had any other things to add about New Year’s resolutions before we close this one down? .

Brandon: I’ve got nothing else to add. If you like this, subscribe with Jocko’s podcast, it’s on…


Pierson: Well, in all seriousness though, if you guys enjoyed this podcast, this is the first one we’ve put out of the new year, give us a like, give us a five-star review, let us know what you think about it, and as always, we’ll keep pumping out new content and letting you guys see it, and we’ll hear from… Or we’ll see you guys soon.

Brandon: See you guys later. Happy New Year.

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