Ambitions in lifestyle design for 2008

January 2, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

On my personal blog I wrote of my hopes for 2008; here I’ll explain how they relate to “lifestyle design,” a concept made popular in The 4-Hour Workweek. I mention them to you as I hope you can look to 2008 as a chance to not only accomplish things but really make life easier and more fun.

Here are my ambitions, as I mentioned on dancingwithwords:

For my sanity and social life:

  • A sense of completion on a daily basis
  • To buy fewer books (and better figure out what I should be reading for fun and work)
  • A trip abroad
  • To entertain every other month

For my work and dreams:

  • 5000 users of AwayFind by 2009 (still in private beta)
  • To be invited to speak at a national, non-local conference
  • To have someone else handle the majority of sales and proposals for SET projects
  • To blog (or have someone else working with me to blog) three times per week (mostly on

Sense of completion: The first ambition is my most important one–every day I need to feel that I’ve accomplished things. There are times when responding to emails, managing others tasks, and making phone calls gets in the way of thought-intensive, tangible accomplishments. If I don’t have something concrete I’ve finished, then I’ll typically keep working and working and never feel good about it. Shutting out the outside world to get more accomplished sooner should help me with that immensely…and I’ll be a much happier person because of it. Here’s some advice for how to pull this off

Fewer books: Too many books, magazines, and RSS feeds make it impossible to stay on top of things. This is partially about an information diet to create more time, but also just because I want to make the most of the time I spend reading. I love fiction, business, philosophy, pop-culture, technology…but I know that some fiction doesn’t end up being refreshing, and for some work material doesn’t offer me anything actionable. Reading can be a huge timesuck, and I need to focus on what I love or what I’m getting something out of…and cut out the rest.

A trip abroad: When I look at what defines me, it’s often from things I wouldn’t have predicted from completely foreign experiences . I already have trips planned to Austin and Crested Butte for 2008, but I want something completely outside of my present life. Top contenders for summer trips are presently China and Iceland (places where I’m both excited about and have friends to help the tour).

To entertain: When I get busy with work I forget how easy it is to put together an evite and get a bunch of friends together. But whenever I have a party it feels so good to see so many friends having a good time. In 2007 I had some sort of gathering almost every month…this year I want to keep it up but not necessarily aim for every month.

5000 users of AwayFind: Since I’m focusing on lifestyle design here, I’ll cut to the chase–I want some form of recurring revenue. A couple thousand paying users would be a big boost to my income and a big step in the direction of removing location from my work requirements. If I have thousands more of non-paying users (the free plan) then that’s okay, too–at least I’ll be helping them to escape from email.

To speak nationally: This has nothing to do with lifestyle design in the traditional sense, but it gets to the other reason why I want a lot of users of AwayFind–my goal has always been to help people to use technology to improve their lives. That’s what I’d want to speak about, and my goal is to find ways to get my message out to a larger audience.

Sales/proposal help: I’ve managed to push off a lot of the work at SET Consulting to employees and contractors, but am still involved with all of the sales process. Over the next couple years I want to first receive help with sales/proposals and then receive help in the form of quality assurance. I want to work on the business rather than in the business–giving myself more time to be creative, mobile, and ready for new opportunities.

Blog assistance: I recognize that social media is the only avenue by which I’m going to spread the word about AwayFind. On the one hand that means I’ll try to write more; on the other, I’ve brought aboard Nathan Ketsdever to serve as a writer and community evangelist.

2008 is going to be a fantastic year. With any luck I’ll be able to reach more folks and relax some more. Do you have any resolutions for 2008 that will improve the quality of your life right now?

You should really subscribe to Technotheory via Subcribe via email email or rss.

6 Responses to “Ambitions in lifestyle design for 2008”

3 Trackbacks

  1. – Escape from information overload and just read what you want to. It works
  2. wakato kuroda » Blog Archive » Lifestyle Design is the Key Word
  3. – Looking back before looking ahead: surprises and lessons learned from 2008


  1. Rana Sobhany

    I, too, find myself aspiring to accomplish many similar goals for 2008. As you and I have discussed in depth and detail, the notion of a work-life balance seems to allude workaholics (yours truly is a poster child) when the aforementioned emails, blog posts, rss feeds, tweets, IMs, etc continue pile up. Taking a “break” seems almost impossible.

    *Writes on chalkboard* I promise to turn off my phone and computer for at least 4 hours a day no matter what.

  2. Jared Goralnick

    Thanks for the thoughts, Rana! Maybe for 2009 you can commit to making that four hours during business hours :-)

  3. Nathan Ketsdever

    Very much agreed on all of the following:

    • A trip abroad
    • To entertain every other month
    • Info diet and reading less.

Impart Your Theoretically Interesting Wisdom

Your Comments