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Last year I wrote a piece entitled “10 Real Resolutions for the New Year” that discussed a framework for setting goals for every new year.  It talked about setting definable and achievable goals that make you a better and more well-rounded person.  While that post achieved its goal, it was rather non-specific and non-personal.  This year I decided I wanted to write more of a personal manifesto for my change and betterment.  Instead of professing to others about what they should do, I decided that this year, I would make my personal recalibration public.  You see by making it public, it kind of holds me accountable to achieve most  all of my goals.  Because you know, all of you will call me out if I don’t.  So here we go – but first two quick pre-ambles:

Reaching the crossroads
Reaching the crossroads

The 1-3 Year Rule:  

Personally, I believe that, when it comes to all life decisions/planning, you should live in a 1-3 year horizon.  (Within reason) Nothing should be planned for less than a 1 year commitment, and nothing should be thought of in terms longer than 3 years.  There isn’t anything we can’t stick out for at least 1 year and nothing that we should be satisfied with (no matter how enjoyable) for more than 3 years.  Commit, evolve, and recalibrate.


So what do I mean when I say “recalibrating?”  Basically, it’s about taking an honest self-assessment and reprogramming ourselves to achieve who we want to be and what we want for ourselves.  I have recalibrated at multiple points in my life.  My early 20’s were about getting fit, my mid 20’s were about being entrepreneurial, my late 20’s were about exploring and traveling,

Pondering my future
Pondering my future

and my first 3 years of being 30 were about growing up (professionally and culturally).  In each of those different time periods I had very specific goals for myself, and, for the most part, I achieved them.  However, while I achieved a lot, I also sacrificed a lot (personal relationships, money, and professional opportunities) to stay focused on my specific goals.  Now, at 33, I’ve reached a crossroads again where I feel like I need to assess and recalibrate who I am, who I want to be, and where I want to be for the next 1-3 years.


My Recalibration 33:

So wow, I’m fucking 33 (Larry Legend’s number – Larry Bird for you non-NBA fans).  It’s kind of crazy how fast it happened, you know, getting older.  While I feel like I’ve achieved a lot of small successes over the years, turning 33 has made me realize that I haven’t really excelled at anything.  I’ve spent the past 12 years since graduating college getting pretty good at a lot of things, but not achieving the level of proficiency or excellence I’d like in any of them.  While I feel like I’ve got a well-rounded base of skills and knowledge, I’m not yet that all around interesting or skilled person that I aspire to be.  I’m not polished.

Polished is a term that’s often used in the NBA to describe a player whose game is evolved, mature, and complete.  It’s not that they are the greatest player ever, but that they’ve honed their skills to a point where they are a true professional.  They can pass post up, handle the ball, shoot off the dribble or spotting up, and they can play defense.  Being called, “Polished” is one of the biggest compliments you can give to an NBA player.  And Larry Legend was the ultimate, “Polished Player”, so it’s fitting that the theme of my “Recalibration 33” is to become POLISHED.

My horizon is 18 months (my 35th birthday), and over that time period I want to accomplish the following goals, across a variety of areas, to achieve a level of personal polish.  Some of the goals are small, others are bigger and more daring – but I will achieve them.  When I do, it won’t make me an expert or a millionaire or a genius, but rather it will make me the type of man my grandfather is; the type of of well-rounded and worldly man I’ve aspired to be since I was young.  So here we go – my recalibration goals broken down into 5 categories.


  • I will spearhead one project at Deutsch that is totally unique to the agency and breaks them through into a new area of advertising/digital/marketing
  • I will get promoted at Deutsch twice
  • I will help build my entreprenurial project, CookShop Creative, into a $10m company
  • I will produce and launch 3 tv shows for Jones and B/JAB


  • I will run 7 competitive races in different cities around the world: 5k, 10k, Tough Mudder, Half Marathon, Marathon, Sprint-Tri, and Olympic-Tri
  • I will compete in my first strong man competition (Lightweight division, obviously)
  • I will fight in my first amateur boxing match
  • I will go to yoga at least once a month (need that flexibility and stability work)
  • I will get to a 1,100 lb combined total (Bench, Deadlift, Squat)


  •  I will travel to 12 new cities around the world, and set foot onto 2 new continents (I’ve been to Europe, Africa, and South America).
  • I will tackle at least 2 major natural parks/areas (Patagonia, Machu Pichu, Kilimanjaro)
  • I will take a class to regain my fluency in Spanish
  • I will read 1 book a month (I usually read 6-8 books a year which isn’t nearly enough, and not consistent enough)
  • I will visit a museum or cultural institution at least once a month


  • I will put all my past grudges (even those rightfully held) behind me and attempt to reform at least 3 formally meaningful relationships.
  • I will spend at least one day with each of my cousins, even those I’ve not yet met.  I want to help give them the fun/cool/available older family members that I never had.
  • I will stop wasting my time dating girls that I know have zero future, and…
  • I will be aware enough not to push away a cool girl away because I’m too obsessed over things being just right or because I’m just too immature to realize when you’ve got something good


  • I will publicly launch my charity initiative, 141 Initiative, and get 10,000 people to sign the pledge
  • I will join a “big brother” or “mentor” program in NYC and make a real commitment to it
  • I will teach myself how to fix and build things (I started by building my dining table, coffee table, and TV stand, from scratch, over the holidays)
  • I will write, and I mean really write, for JAB every other day and…
  • I will either publish my first book OR get hired by a major media outlet to be a contributing writer
  • I will help one friend achieve a professional or personal goal that they simply didn’t think was possible in the next 18 months

So that’s it.  Those are my recalibration goals for the next 18 months, until I turn 35.  If I were to achieve most of these goals, I believe I would achieve my overall goal of becoming, “Polished.”  But “most of” is not my goal, I will achieve all my goals – because what we set our minds to achieve, I truly believe that we can achieve.

While I have been writing this post for weeks now, my motivation for publishing it today is below:

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