Setting Up My 2023 LifeSheet

Setting Up My 2023 LifeSheet

Now I come to one of the most exciting activities of the New Year – setting up my LifeSheet.

In addition to looking back and reflecting on another year, I get to think about – and set into motion – what I want to create this year. Not to mention – I get to identify all the data, metrics, and information that’s going to move the needle in my life and business in 2023.

So, let’s get that LifeSheet set up!

What is a LifeSheet Again?

It’s a Google Sheets spreadsheet for documenting, storing, and tracking key data in your life and business. You can set up your LifeSheet any way you want. The main advantage of Google Sheets is that very they’re searchable.

As with Michael Hyatt’s closing the chapter on years past, I feel like I may have accidentally co-opted the idea, but that was never my intention. Thanks, and credit goes to James Schramko, who introduced me to the concept in the first place. He’s an excellent business coach and I’ve learned a great deal from him.

What I Learned from Last Year

  • Simple is better. You can create as many tabs as you want, covering off all key areas of life. But I find I don’t use most tabs regularly. It’s very much an 80/20 scenario.
  • Project deadlines are essential. Especially when leading a team. They want to know what your plan is, what you’re working on, when you plan to have a project completed by, and what their role in all of it is. Clarity takes work but it’s critical. Last year, I used my LifeSheet to lay out a timeline for four key projects (although for a variety of reasons it didn’t go as planned).
  • The “Accomplishments” tab is my go-to. I have found this to be the most worthwhile tab in my LifeSheet. It makes it easy for me to look back on a year and know exactly what I was up to and what I achieved as result.
  • I’m under-utilizing my LifeSheet. I ended up creating 15 tabs in 2022, and only referenced a few on a regular basis. I don’t have this LifeSheet thing down to a formula yet. But I think I have a better idea how I want to use it this year.

Tabs for My 2023 LifeSheet

  • 10 No B.S. Rules. I’ve added Dan Kennedy’s 10 no B.S. rules of direct marketing for non-direct marketing businesses as a constant reminder of what should be done and what should be avoided in all my marketing.
  • Accomplishments. This was an easy one. “Accomplishments” ended up being my most utilized tab in 2022, and it’s not hard to see why. First, without documentation, it’s easy to lose sight of what I’ve accomplished. Second, I get to acknowledge myself for what I’ve accomplished. Third, these records can serve as reference points for future content.
  • Podcasts. For the time being, this is little more than a catalog of the shows I’ve worked on to this point. Big picture, though, I’m thinking about adding all podcasts I’ve worked on to my website, and even starting up a couple of new shows. I’ve already declared 2023 the year of the podcast, so this is apropos. In the future, though, I may create a tab for every show I’m involved in.
  • Persona. As I dive deeper into podcasting, I am finally spending more time researching and understanding my audiences better. Perhaps one tab won’t be enough to contain all the data I intend to collect for the three or four shows I’ll be hosting or co-hosting, but for now, it will suffice.
  • Sponsors. One of the key revenue streams of podcasting is sponsorships. I don’t have any sponsors yet, so I created this as a holding space for the sponsors who will be eager to sign on.
  • Monthly Promotions. One of Dan Kennedy’s 10 no B.S. rules is “there will always be a reason to respond right now.” The easiest way to implement this, at least as I see it, is to have monthly promotions for my audience, i.e., “this offer is only available until the end of January.”
  • 4 Projects. You’ve only got 365 days in a year. Split into four, you’ve got four 90-day containers. You’d better know what four initiatives you’re going to be taking on this year, because it will be over before you know it!

Final Thoughts

In total, I set up seven tabs for 2023, and one (“10 No B.S. Rules”) will remain static throughout the entire year. The tabs are all categories I care about, and this was intentional, as I look to increase the usefulness and usage of my LifeSheet in 2023.

But there’s no denying that the LifeSheet will probably evolve throughout the year. There is other data I may find useful to document and track along the way.

How is your New Year planning coming along? If you don’t already have a copy of my Start Your Year the Right Way, you’re missing out. This essential resource is loaded with inspiration, examples, and prompts you can follow to create the best year you’ve ever had. What are you waiting for? Click on the link to pick up your copy NOW.

Closing the Chapter on 2022

Closing the Chapter on 2022

What is one thing most people rarely if ever do? Cause completion in their lives.

Unless you’re familiar with the work of author and lecturer Werner Erhard, the concept itself may seem elusive. But the idea is this – we go through our whole lives with baggage thinking we’re obligated to carry with us every tragedy, trauma, and tribulation we’ve experienced.

This guide is about closing the chapter on 2022, but the reality is, most of us have baggage from the distant past we’ve never completed. Why? Because we don’t get into conversation about our incompletes, and because we don’t declare incompletes complete.

But closing the chapter on 2022 is as good a place to start as any. Don’t drag last year into this year. Let this year be a fresh year, especially if you didn’t get along with 2022.

Here is a regimen I’ve adopted for myself and have kept to since 2014 – answering seven simple questions for the sake of completion.

7 Questions to Close the Chapter on Another Year

The following questions were masterfully crafted by leadership trainer Michael Hyatt. My intention wasn’t ever to co-opt them, but I feel like I may have. I think they are great questions, which is why I’ve stuck with them.

Don’t just watch from the sidelines, though. Get on the court of life. Read my answers, and after you’ve had some time to reflect, answer them for yourself too. You’ll be better off for it.

If the last year were a movie in your life, what would the genre be?

Action crime comedy in the vein of 21 Jump Street, or really any movie of its kind where a lot of things go wrong and obstacle after obstacle shows up to frustrate the protagonist.

In June, I embraced the nomadic life once again, not expecting it to last until present day. Things were going relatively smoothly until about mid-September when I began promoting Elite Players: Newsletter. Here’s the obstacle course I found myself navigating:

  • A prospective girlfriend called me up to let me know she was dating someone else
  • I met a lovely woman and started looking for a home in South Surrey
  • A prospective landlord on Facebook was jealous of my self-employed status and wouldn’t go through the application process with me
  • I nearly got scammed by a prospective landlord – if I hadn’t backed out of the agreement at the last minute, I would have lost a lot of money and probably most of my belongings
  • I ended up having to get my bank card replaced thrice because of the fraudulent rental incident (suddenly, I couldn’t make online payments anymore)
  • I nearly ended up with nowhere to stay one night
  • While staying with a friend in Vancouver, I got sued by a credit card company
  • I filed for consumer proposal
  • My car battery died while I was staying in Murrayville, and I later ended up having to get it replaced before my journey to Calgary
  • I hurt my lower back during the first days of rehearsal for The 3 Project

When all is said and done, though, it’s been smoother sailing since the completion of The 3 Project. I don’t know why that is.

Presently, I feel like I’m getting a fresh start, especially in business and finances, and I don’t intend to waste the opportunity.

What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?

Honestly, life felt a little out of control this past year. I made progress in key areas, but I was doing it all while navigating the obstacle course just referenced. The podcast suffered as result.

Also, I’ve been balancing my life as a freelancer and entrepreneur for years, and most of 2022 was not a great year for progressing in the direction of my dreams. Every time I took a step forward, I felt like I was taking at least three steps back.

What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?

  • My ongoing publishing efforts. I stopped blogging daily in May, only to return to the habit in September.
  • Launching the PDF Vault.
  • Launching The Most Incredible Back to School Bundle.
  • Launching The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide (even though it has become somewhat of a source of confusion for Amazon KDP bots).
  • Launching Elite Players: Newsletter.
  • Finishing the manuscript for The Renegade Musician.
  • Being the associate producer, web developer, marketing strategist, and lighting and PowerPoint tech for The 3 Project.

What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?

  • I haven’t received any acknowledgement for The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide let alone any feedback.
  • Streaming on BIGO LIVE.
  • My stunning good looks. 🤣 Scratch that, I was totally acknowledged for it.

What disappointments did you experience this past year?

  • My financial life. It started spiraling out of control with the scammers I referenced earlier, and it led me to the point of filing for consumer proposal. Honestly, I’m still dizzied just thinking about it. Fortunately, it’s giving me a fresh start.
  • My business life. I invested heavily in myself, in my education, and in my growth. And while self-improvement helped me overcome many challenges, it didn’t necessarily help with having a breakthrough in my business life. I think it may have planted some seeds, though.
  • My romantic life. Ultimately, not much came of the few chance meetings I had.

What was missing from last year as you look back?

Unlike last year, I got to travel, eat great food, go on an adventure, and perform a few times. There was even some movement in my romantic life. Not bad!

I have this strange feeling that whatever happened last year was supposed to happen, and I probably couldn’t have prevented any of it to begin with.

But it’s safe to say I’ve been missing a permanent residence since June, and I’ve had to improvise, problem solve, and make do with Airbnbs, hotels, and couch surfing.

What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?

  • Sadly, you can’t trust everyone. We’re in difficult times, and there are entitled scammers at every turn. If you’re not careful, you can be taken advantage of.
  • Reading gets you into flow. It helps you generate relevant ideas, even when the subject matter isn’t connected in any way to the ideas you’re coming up with.
  • I am sublime at what I do. I just need more visibility! 😉
  • Giving is powerful. Some of the most successful people give. A lot. It creates flow in life.

Additional Resources

Do you want to get complete with 2022? Leave behind some baggage so you can have a fresh start in 2023?

You’ll enjoy Start Your Year the Right Way, an inspirational book with plenty of prompts to help you process everything that has and hasn’t happened in your life.

You can also hire me as your personal coach at a premium. If you’d like to see whether there’s a good fit, get in touch. I don’t respond immediately to most emails but do prioritize potential clients.

Past Reflections

I have been consistent in sharing my reflections since 2014. Self-indulgent, perhaps, but if you found this reading valuable, you will find these articles beneficial also:

Closing the Chapter on 2014
Closing the Chapter on 2015
Closing the Chapter on 2016
Closing the Chapter on 2017
Closing the Chapter on 2018
Closing the Chapter on 2019
Closing the Chapter on 2020
Closing the Chapter on 2021

Final Thoughts

If you want to get complete with events from the past, now is the time to do it. Don’t put it off. 2023 can and will be an incredible year if you do the work of closing the chapter on 2022.

Here’s wishing you the best in 2023 and beyond!

Closing the Chapter on 2021

Closing the Chapter on 2021

“You can declare completion with anything. You are the most powerful person in your world.”

As my coach took me through a completion exercise, I finally gained closure on sadness that had built up over the course of years, maybe even decades.

This wasn’t one of those high-priced, lay down on a black leather couch and regurgitate your life story over the course of months while paying through the nose for someone to listen to you kind of sessions. It was done rapidly, over the phone, in a manner of minutes.

Completion can happen that quickly.

As a champion of artists and an avid adventurer in search of new things that will support you on your journey, I prescribe a regimen of yearly closure, be it the method that follows (originally crafted by leadership trainer Michael Hyatt), or another. Either way, it will become an integral part of your yearly routine if you let it.

7 Questions to Close the Chapter on Another Year

These seven questions form the foundation of your thinking and reflection time and once completed, prevent you from dragging last year’s baggage into this year’s. Best not carry the stench of yesteryear into another, because 2022 doesn’t want to hear about 2021 anymore.

Use my answers as a starting point for generating your own.

If the last year were a movie in your life, what would the genre be?

Martial arts drama (like The Karate Kid). I signed up for a yearlong leadership program in June and completed two quarters. I’m currently in my third quarter.

Hours upon hours of calls, meetings, and work went into new initiatives like Elite Players: All Access Pass, Members Only Audios, The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition, my forthcoming album, Back on Solid Ground, and the forthcoming book, The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide. That’s still just scratching the surface.

It’s a bit of a blur looking back, so an 80s training montage seems appropriate, and it’s far more entertaining for the audience, too, in lieu of watching every painful pushup being knocked out.

What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?

When I signed up for the yearlong leadership program, I enrolled in a rollercoaster ride, plain and simple. The program is designed to overwhelm with calls, meetings, and requests. At times, I dragged my feet like a whiny and spoiled child looking for an escape, at times embracing and rising to the challenge of a full life – much fuller than I ever thought possible.

Another major theme is that of rediscovering my passion and purpose. And I see now my inner performer is breathing a prolonged, silent death as the world succumbs to insane, irrational, draconian restrictions hatched by scheming elites and politicians who are bent on collapsing the economy to replace it with a better system of slavery.

I will never be fulfilled just being a writer, marketer, and entrepreneur. And I will never be fulfilled just being a musician. The two are inseparable, and they make my world go around. The performer in me is starving for an outlet.

What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?

What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?

I have received acknowledgement in virtually area of life, except for:

  • In my continued efforts to champion artistic success
  • In implementing and following a new exercise and diet program – results forthcoming

What disappointments did you experience this past year?

  • I’m thoroughly disappointed in the hundreds of musicians who come to my websites, and don’t believe in themselves enough to take the next step in their careers with a book, course, or coaching program. I don’t come cheap, but it’s a minimal investment for a lifetime of inspiration and results (i.e., “It’s all my fault, I suck at selling”).
  • I’m thoroughly disappointed in the young ladies who pass up an opportunity with one of the most desirable bachelors to ever exist (i.e., “It’s all my fault, I suck at dating”).

What was missing from last year as you look back?

Besides the above: Travel, food, fun, and performance were all missing to greater or lesser degrees.

What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?

  • You can convince yourself that you can only stretch so far, only to discover that you can stretch much further. My plate is fuller than ever, but I’ve embraced the practice of moving multiple projects forward with great urgency.
  • Structure is good. Life feels like it’s moving when your calendar is full. You feel like a ship without a rudder when it isn’t.
  • You don’t rise to the challenge unless there’s a challenge to rise to. Whether it’s publishing daily or taking on an intensive yearlong leadership program, new challenges have presented themselves, causing me to rise higher.

Additional Resources

The best book on the topic, without a doubt, is Michael Hyatt’s Your Best Year Ever. His book will show you in clear detail how you can set yourself up to have an exceptional, powerful, life-affirming, goal-reaching year. I read it before meeting my mastermind group in Silverthore, CO in winter 2019, and it made it into the top three books I read in 2019.

My book, Start Your Year the Right Way, dives deeper into the various practices I have in my life to ensure I cause completion and set myself up for success each year. There are plenty (but not too many) prompts to guide your reflections and space enough to write down your answers.

You can also hire me as your coach at a premium, and if you wish to explore new possibilities together, get in touch. I don’t respond immediately to most emails but do prioritize potential clients.

Past Reflections

I have been consistent in sharing my reflections since 2014. Self-indulgent, perhaps, but if you found this reading valuable, you will find these articles beneficial also:

Closing the Chapter on 2014
Closing the Chapter on 2015
Closing the Chapter on 2016
Closing the Chapter on 2017
Closing the Chapter on 2018
Closing the Chapter on 2019
Closing the Chapter on 2020

Final Thoughts

Remember – completion is caused, not offered. No one can give it to you. You must seek it out and create it yourself. Any memories you continually cycle through in your mind are incomplete. Become present to the impact, and once you’re clear on all the ways it has affected you, declare it complete. You are the most powerful person in your world, and completion is yours to claim.

How to Close the Chapter on 2020 & Eliminate Personal Baggage

How to Close the Chapter on 2020 & Eliminate Personal Baggage

Last year was last year. This year is this year.

But sometimes it’s hard to make that kind of hard and fast demarcation. Especially when this past holiday season was unlike any other.

Without knowing, we end up lugging old baggage into the new year that doesn’t even belong. It’s as if resurfacing old pain for the sake of being justified in our victimhood.

Ouch. I know that one stung a little.

But if we want to be at our best, we must clear the way for a new year. Here’s what I’d encourage you do immediately.

Journaling Exercise #1: Decluttering & Detoxing

When it comes to starting your year right, I know of no greater authority than Michael Hyatt. And what follows stems from his post called Seven Questions to Ask About Last Year.

Before getting started, he suggests going to a quiet place with a journal, pen, and a cup of coffee. Good advice.

Once you’re ready, take some time to answer the following questions. For more ideas on what your answers might look like, you can refer to Hyatt’s post linked earlier.

  1. If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be?
  2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
  3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of?
  4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
  5. What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year?
  6. What was missing from last year as you look back?
  7. What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?

I have been religiously asking myself these same questions every year since 2014 and have even done so in a public way. You may find some value in my answers too.

Whether you share your answers with others is up to you. But public accountability can help with follow through. If you struggle with action, share publicly.

Journaling Exercise #2: Reflection & Resetting

Every winter, I get together with my mastermind group to reflect on the year past and set goals for the year ahead. This year, for obvious reasons, we had to do this virtually.

The following questions will help you identify tasks and projects to prioritize in 2021.

Although the term “business” is used here, it’s interchangeable with “career,” “projects,” “creative efforts” or otherwise.

  • List the things that went exceedingly well for your business in 2020. Feel free to include personal wins, as the two are often interconnected.
  • Is there anything holding back your growth that you have been putting off, that would have the greatest potential to positively impact your life and business in 2021?
  • What are the top things from 2020 that have given you the greatest results in your business?
  • Time travel to December 2021 and imagine where you’ll be. What will you have accomplished? What will you be grateful for? What would excite you most about what you achieved?
  • Now that you have defined where you want to go, where are you now? What is the gap? What needs to happen to close the gap?
  • Optional: If you’d like, you can now set goals for 2021 and subject them to scrutiny. If there’s anyone you trust to give you constructive feedback, ask them for help.

I shared this process with my friend, Mabel Wong of Dermaly last year, and she found immense value in it.

Having answered the above questions, identifying what to do next in your efforts becomes much easier. And you get to see for yourself what is working and what isn’t.

Step #3: Delete Last Year’s Emails

“What? Delete all my emails? Are you nuts!?”

Right about now, you’re probably feeling tightness in the pit of your stomach. Because you’re about to confront something that makes you feel uncomfortable. This is normal.

It has been my observation, however, that we tend to resurface what is unfinished and what went wrong when we hold onto our emails from the year past. We get to roll defeat around in our heads, when we know deep down it’s only causing anxiety, and because we’re not in action, whatever didn’t go well isn’t aligned with our values.

Here, “values” refers to how you spent your time and money this past year. Not what your stated or aspirational values are, which often aren’t in alignment with your bank balance or calendar.

Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t back up contacts or archive important messages. Please do.

But clearing your inbox gives you a clean slate. It stops you from circling back to the incomplete and irreconcilable in your life.

Clearing your inbox gives you a clean slate. It stops you from circling back to the incomplete and irreconcilable in your life. Click To Tweet

2019 was a difficult year for me (there’s a reason I’m referencing 2019 and not 2020 here). For a variety of reasons. I bit off more than I could chew, and even though I kept chewing, I just couldn’t finish it all.

I disappointed clients. I dropped the ball on projects. I felt exhausted and couldn’t maintain a high level of performance. And the worst part of it was that I came down on myself. Hard.

I achieved a great deal in 2019. Even then, there were sins of omission and commission that weighed heavy on my shoulders and my heart.

So, the question is, do you want to drag that kind of baggage into another year? Or do you want to be done with it?

This is not an excuse to shirk commitments. This is a way to say “goodbye” to those things from last March you know you’re not even going to touch. Because they aren’t in perfect alignment with your true values.

You will never get around to those things. Let stakeholders know you’d like to make it up to them in some way and move on.

Final Thoughts

What would it mean to you to be able to start the new year fresh? What would that make available to you?

Would you be able to accomplish more? Would you feel better about the past and be able to bring more of your awareness to the present?

Take some time for yourself. Sit down with your journal and reflect. Write down what comes to mind.

2021 can be a better year than 2020. You just need to make a little time to process what has already happened, and what no longer is.

How do you clear the way for a new year? What do you do to make sure you’re not carrying baggage into the next 365 days?

Let me know in the comments.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

Get your copy of The Music Entrepreneur Code.