man looking at fireworks, thinking abiout the year of new content.

2019: The Year of New Content

My favorite podcast of 2018 was Cortex, a show hosted by Myke Hurley and CGP Grey about their working lives. Each year they decide to come up with yearly themes to help them guide their decision making, processes, and hopefully improve their overall lives. I’ve decided that I will also implement a theme for 2019 – and my theme is the year of new content.

There are 2 primary reasons I made this my theme for 2019:

  • I want to consume more new content (books, movies, TV, courses)
  • I want to create more new content

I Didn’t Consume Enough Good Content in 2018

While I (barely) hit my reading goal for 2018, I don’t feel like I mixed up the books I read, and to be honest, I counted a couple of summaries as actual read books – I mean, I got the gist, right?

I also didn’t see nearly as many new movies as I hoped, and over the last 2 years, I’ve only seen one “new” TV show: The West Wing.

For 2019, I want that to change. I’ve started a new habit of reading every morning before I do anything else. This will help me reach my reading goal of 21 books in 2019.

I’ve also made a list of TV shows and movies I want to watch this year. Instead of defaulting to Friends, Scrubs, or How I Met Your Mother, I will watch one of these in the evening.

Recommitting to my 2018 Learning Plan

There’s another aspect to my theme: learning more. To be honest, my 2018 Learning Plan didn’t go as well as I hoped. I did read more than usual, and consumed a couple of online courses. But I fell back into bad habits of YouTube over Learning, Games over Books.

For The year of new content, I want to recommit to the learning plan. I have a Lynda subscription now, so I have lots of online courses available to me, on top of the ones I’ve purchased.

So that’s consuming new content. I also want to create new content.

Creating Lots More New Content

In November, I tried an experiment: put out a new piece of content daily. It worked relatively well, though I did end up falling behind or recycling old content a couple of times. This year, I want to regularly put out lots of great content:

  • Blog Posts
  • Podcast Episodes
  • Courses
  • Workbooks
  • An Actual Book

To help me accomplish this goal, I’ve set up 2 new daily habits:

  • Write every morning before I do anything else (besides read)
  • Record at least one thing a day

Both of these goals are purposefully vague because I didn’t want to box myself in. I just want to be in the habit of doing both every day. So writing could be a blog post (like this) or a short passage for a book I want to write. Recording could be an explainer video, a new module in my online courses, a podcast, or a 2 minute Instagram story.

Why This Theme?

Now that I’ve explained the theme, let me tell you why I’ve chosen it.

I feel like I waste a lot of time doing nothing. I’ve watched Friends nearly all the way through twice in the last 5 months. I play mindless games like Toon Blast way too much. When I’m at my desk, I spend too much time on social media.

Sometimes I need that mental break. I will still play games and browse social media. But I want to do less of that. I don’t need a constant stream of mental breaks.

By having this theme, I’m committing to both consuming and creating lots of new content. Consuming it will improve my skills and introduce me to new ideas. Creating it will help improve my business, my online presence, and ultimately, reach more people I can teach.

This is NOT a Resolution

On Cortex, Myke and Grey make it pretty clear that the theme is not a resolution or set of resolutions. It’s more of a mindset to help you make good decisions.

On their most recent episode, the 2019 Yearly Themes, they even address someone who’s decided on “The Year of Me” as a yearly theme. While these are personal and need to mean something to you, they should also be concrete enough to guide you, while being vague enough to not box you in. I think I’ve done that pretty well with my theme.

Do You Do Themes or Resolutions?

What’s in store for you for 2019? Do you have a theme you want to live by, or do you prefer resolutions to work towards? Let me know in the comments!