Hello! I’m Aaron Kardell. In this Sunday newsletter, I pick one random topic weekly to go deep on and have some disparate quick hits at the end.
What will you eliminate this year so your priorities have a greater chance of success?
Over the past week, a few things drove the value of this home for me. Kim Prior recently wrote on LinkedIn:
Now is the time to start making the list. In 2023, what will you eliminate that no longer serves you? What will you keep? Double down on? What will you find/learn/initiate to propel you towards discovering, embracing and pursuing your best, most loving and fulfilled self? That includes habits, behaviors, beliefs, relationships, practices and more. What needs to be burned to prepare for the build?
Be courageous and challenge yourself to find & rid yourself of the old security blankets you're hanging onto that no longer protect & serve you but instead, hinder & shield you from the path to your true self. Don't be afraid to ask others close to you what they feel and incorporate their feedback. Appreciate their candor and listen.
The last few weeks of 2022 is a great time to take inventory, stripping away past dependencies and planning for the discovery of new possibilities in the year ahead.
Welcome 2023 with a clear & calm mind, an open heart and an absence of ego.
I had a conversation with an entrepreneurial friend this week. He often has great new ideas, many of which he launches. At some point, though, these have collectively become obligations that demotivate him. I could tell it was really weighing on him. I encouraged him to take Kim’s advice and consider what he will eliminate going into this year. He texted me later the same day about his tough decision to drop something. It was a big thing. Something he was proud of. But he knew that to give his all to his top priorities this year, he had to let go of this commitment.
Shopify announced that it would require all employees to cancel all recurring meetings with more than 2 people. While this is a two-week reset (not a long-term prohibition), it echoes something I’ve been thinking about coming into the new year. Most of my working weeks are spent in meetings. While middle managers like me need to be in many meetings, there’s never a wrong time to ensure intentionality around every one. I’m looking at all of my recurring meetings, including those I haven’t scheduled, and seeing if more of them can be accomplished some other way.
In the spirit of leaving stuff behind that no longer serves me, I went through my domain registrar this past weekend and turned off auto-renew on 25 of the 66 domain names I own. As these cycle out, I’ll be down to 41. I’m pretty sure I haven’t owned such few domains since 1998.
Fortunately, Kate is aligned with my goal to “get rid of crap!” mentioned last week. She got home from working on-call today and immediately started looking for stuff to throw out. Hot.
Speaking of Kate, I shared my story of helping the friend think through what they’re going to drop. She said that was cool and asked me what I would drop. Oh.
I’m still working on how I will take my own advice here. It’s easy enough to drop domain names I’ll never use and clear some recurring meetings off my calendar. And I’m motivated to get rid of objects cluttering my house. For me, it’s much harder to say no when I’m asked by someone to sign up for a volunteer committee or similar.
There are seasons to life. Sometimes you need to try many things to figure out what will work and what to lean into next. And other times when you need to repeat the words of my friend Mark and proclaim, “Focus creates excellence!”
I’m putting this out in the ether so my friends and Kate can hold me accountable if I’m not pruning my list of what I’m committed to.
This Week’s Quick Hits
Want to dive in more on the Experiences over Objects philosophy? I’m listening to the audiobook Die with Zero: Getting All You Can From Your Money and Your Life, by Bill Perkins. It is packed with many counter-intuitive gems. Anyone else reading this? I’d love to share notes. And thanks to Joseph for the recommendation.
As I predicted last week, a bill has already entered the Minnesota legislature to legalize cannabis. I was happy to see the Colorado-style advertising restriction mentioned last week incorporated. It says, “A cannabis business … shall not publish … an advertisement for cannabis … product in any print publication or on radio, television, or any other medium if 30 percent or more of the audience of that medium is reasonably expected to be individuals who are under 21 years of age, as determined by reliable, current audience composition data.” I think “any other medium” sufficiently covers billboards, but would defer to someone with more expertise to confirm if that’s the case. I’ll be monitoring this as things advance to vote and passage. Does anything else stand out in the bill to anyone?
I’ll be watching this week at a more local level as the Arden Hills city council moves to suspend many of the mayor’s powers to lean into the YIMBY agenda they ran and won on.
Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash
Thanks for reading Aaron Kardell's Blog! Subscribe to receive new posts every Sunday.
Maybe instead of thinking of one big list now, you can follow Bob Goff's advice (have you heard of him? I ADORE him): find one thing to quit each Thursday https://twitter.com/bobgoff/status/144779974405128192
I'm REALLY bad at quitting things. Much better at continually adding things until I'm stressed out. The main thing I've quit in the last few years is the weight of other people's opinions of me. Everyone's entitled to them. They may be true, they may not be. Either way, lovely. Still working on being the best version of myself regardless of their thoughts.
"Speaking of Kate, I shared my story of helping the friend think through what they’re going to drop. She said that was cool and asked me what I would drop. Oh."
Curious where this lands!