Over the holidays, I took a look back at the last year of my diary entries. This is a great way to get a big-picture view of what my year was like and where I am now compared to a year ago. Reflecting back on the previous year also helps in setting goals for the next one.
I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. They tend to be overwhelming and overly demanding and then when they fail a few days into January you feel unhappy and disappointed in yourself - and that's a lousy way to start the year. (Merlin Mann talks a lot about this stuff). That said, I noticed that while I was pretty busy in 2014, I didn't really get a lot of work out into the world.
One of the most satisfying things about being in the software / online business is that I can frequently look back on the last day or week and say "I did this. This didn't exist before and now it does." It certainly beats sitting in meetings. In the last year, I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels for various reasons, and didn't get enough stuff actually completed and live.
Revamping this website was an eye-opener too: the design was old, my C.V. is way out-of-date and focused on the wrong things, and most importantly I'd written a total of three blog posts in the entire last year - the last one six months ago!
So, my resolution for 2015 is to "Deploy Something Every Day".
For this, "deploy" just means something, anything going outside of my mind and my computer. It can be something published to the world, or it can be an update to a clients-eyes-only system. The important thing is to make progress - no matter how tiny. Examples:
What's not included in here? Standalone postings to Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. I do these all the time and they are by nature ephemeral. (In light of recent events, I will make a retroactive exception to anything that gets over 100 likes and/or shares, since that kind of virality is useful).
Obviously, if I'm sick or travelling I might miss a day or two. I hope to build up a backlog of posts or updates that I can do even from bed or an airport.
To keep me honest, and possibly inspire (or maybe just annoy?) other people, I'm tracking every thing I do with a tweet including the hashtag: #deployaday. Here's a live Twitter embed showing all of the action with this hashtag.
Feel free to use this hashtag yourself - your tweets will show up here too. Maybe we'll have a whole community of people inspiring each other with their incremental daily progress. Or maybe not - but at least this will help keep me on track.