A year is a long time. This year, being a leap year, we are granted one extra day to boot. 366 days. 8,784 hours. Over half a million minutes! For most of us, our days are tapped out to the rhythm of repetition: eating meals, commuting to work, drinking coffee, sleeping. During any given day, these activities represent just a small fraction of our time, but aggregated over the course of a year, each of these activities adds up to shocking amounts.
If you spend $2 on a large cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee 5 days a week (who me??), that lops $520 from the family budget. If you watch a moderate amount of TV -- say 3 hour-long shows over the course of one week -- then you will log 156 hours of tube time. Assuming the average person is awake for 16 hours each day, this means that almost 10 full waking days will be dedicated to watching TV in 2012. And let's face it, there are a lot of us watching more than 3 hours of TV per week.
I've been thinking a lot about this stuff lately because, for starters it was just new years; a natural time to contemplate the year ahead. But also, because I will turn 40 in July. The typical human gets 28,000 days on this rock and I've used about 14,000 of them.
So I'm now kind of obsessed about the next 366 days (well ... 360 since it's already January 6th). What small behavior or activity can I engage in on a daily or weekly basis, starting TODAY, that will slowly morph into something infinitely more meaningful by the end of the year? To be clear, I'm not suggesting some massive undertaking like a trip to the Biggest Loser ranch, or hiking and skiing all the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, or dancing my way around the world. With a family and a growing business, I need to stay much closer to home. No, what I am talking about has to be much more accessible, even mundane. Like not shaving and taking a picture of myself each day so that I can shrink a year's worth of facial hair growth in to a two-minute video. Oh darn ... that's already been done.
In truth, I have yet to come up with a cute, creative idea that only requires a minute of my time each day. But I have taken some positive steps towards growth over the next year. I joined a local chapter of Toastmasters International to work on my public speaking skills, and I've committed to one "date night" every other week with my wife. I am also committed to adding at least one new blog post every other week to this site ... even if it kills me.
In the entire nonprofit sector, my favorite name for an organization is Do Something. Why? Because it's a fundamental truism of life. We each are granted a finite amount of days, some more and some less, therefore doing something -- anything -- is a much better option than sitting in indecision or procrastination. In the immortal words of the best rock band ever, Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."
So onward to 2012. And I'll be sure to let you know when I come up with that slam dunk one-a-day idea. I'd certainly be interested in hearing about yours. (OOH ... something just came to me ... I need to let it percolate though ... I'll report back on this later)