Justin: It’s the year of KPIs

All protocols duly observed; all enthusiasms at ‘making it’ into a new year perfunctorily ejaculated; all telegraphings of a different mindset towards 2018 convincingly telegraphed, let us begin.

Ahem.

In 2015, I, in a sort of clandestine, hush-hush way, fondled (with attendant turgidity) the idea of running my life like a company, you know: fiscal budgets, big goals, 10X growth projections, early hires and fires, expansions and, yes, KPIs. That sort of thing — applying several tedious mental models to capture, and ensure the longevity and growth goals of the extant organization.

What if I ran my life like that, I wondered? Like a company — with targets and goals, quasi-arbitrary numbers which, depending on if I hit, surpass, or fail them — would determine, in quantifiable terms, if I have had a successful year?

Out with the vague New Year Resolutions. In with KPIs!

It is now 2018, and for the first time, I am going forward with the very idea: a KPI system. First, of course, I have to define the aspects of my life I wish to see growth in.

Join me:

Reading 

Instead of reading ‘as the spirit leads’ and deciding afterwards that it was a ‘good year for my reading palate,’ I have decided to curate first — before consuming — the ponderous tomes I shall be dedicating my time to this year.

To that end, I shall be reading 50 books this year (already read two, so yay good start!). They shall span the interest areas of design, illustration, animation, speculative fiction, storytelling and Nigerian history.

Comics

(At least 20 comics on Obaranda)

Illustrations worthy of a portfolio

Thirty of those things!

Obaranda animated video webisodes

At least five this year, depending on how quickly I get the hang of full production of animations.

My graphic novel

At least 100 pages this year.

Spiritual life

As part of my aspirations for 2018, I want to become more active in the church. This means, for starters, attending church every Sunday (that’s 52 weeks, one of which I already missed — SAD!).

Two more KPIs which I am not sharing here because of their, ah, delicate nature: charity and investments. I have a figure, scribbled after much thought, in the back of my sketchbook.

There. Bare KPIs. Might add more to this list, but I’m definitely not taking anything out.

I am posting this here in the hope that knowing a number of people have seen this will (somehow) hold me accountable.

Happy New Year everyone!

Faceofmogwai

Chuma: What’s in a Wish list?

I went back to my post in this series last year at the end of the year and I performed badly at everything I was hopeful for: I’m still a competent procrastinator, haven’t filed a patent, did not travel to any new countries and my relationship came to an end. But I still had a very good year, and I improved in areas that I did not envisage at the beginning of it.

The very idea that we know how we would like our lives to proceed in the next 365 days is quite audacious, but necessary. In my personal experience writing down hopes and goals help, and I know that I will eventually get around to doing all of those things, it may not just happen in that timeframe.

I think a big lesson for me here is understanding that my frame of mind as I write this sentence will change and that that’s a good thing. In growing older, we tend to fall into routine or develop plans to fun things we love. One of the two most important things I learnt last year is that spontaneity is a gift and those moments when you feel driven to do something different should be harnessed (sensibly).

I would like to be a little more spontaneous this year, and do more ‘fun’ stuff:

Photography: I worked on my hobby photography a bit last year and took refuge in VSCO, in fact at the end of the year I sent postcards to some of my Instagram followers. I would like to work on two concept projects and design a (spread) photobook.

Design: There are too many design ideas sketched on my wall that deserve to see the light of day. With a little bit of extra money, thanks to having a job, I would like see four projects through to different degrees of completion. I would like to try a Kickstarter campaign this year.

Writing: Medium has been a good testing ground for my writing on hardware design and manufacturing. I would like to write a bit more and submit to online publications, particularly as I am reading a little bit more innovation management literature these days.

Community: Somehow, my friends and I managed to organize four events last year and I started a monthly newsletter, all with Hardware Lagos. It’s time to open the planning and organizing to more people who have more experience particularly with PR and focus on generating focused content. We would like to have a tour of Shenzhen, which alone would make my year.

Travel: Only place I want to go is Nigeria, it’s been nearly two years and I just need to sleep in my bed for a couple of days.

There’s an opportunity to surprise myself this year: I have not been in employment at any time for more than a nine month period and I’ve been at my job for four and a half months now. It gets particularly confusing as traditional mechanical engineering (which is my background) no longer interests me and my current role has no relation with engineering whatsoever. It’s this healthy dose of uncertainty that makes life interesting.

More Rooms – Laji

Laji

Kunle’s Uncle was loaded. Rumour had it that he was actually number 24 on the Forbes Top 100 list but discreetly paid to ensure that his name never made it to any of the published versions. His romance with his wealth was cut short by a heart attack.

Kunle couldn’t care less what his Uncle did, his mind was consumed by the 10-room mansion he had inherited from him. For all his wealth “Uncle Remi” was childless making Kunle his only heir.

It took 6 months to sort out the paperwork but now Kunle had been living in his new home for about a year and a half and was loving it.

Muna met Kunle on Twitter and had been attracted to his bants. She replied to a few of his Tweets and he slid into her DMs. They had convos every day for the last 2 months and Kunle invited her to come and check out his new house. Having nothing better to do she decided to go.

The house was magnificent. Muna tried to hide her amazement but Kunle could see behind the facade.

“Wait till you see inside…” Kunle said immodestly.

 Muna stepped into the most amazing sitting room she had seen in her life. The decor made a suite in the Burj Al Arab look like a Unilag BQ. At the very end of the room was an 88-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV with picture quality so “real” you could smell Idris Elba’s cologne as he walked towards the screen.

 Muna couldn’t “form” anymore.

Muna: “Kunle this house is lit!!!!!! I can’t wait to see the rest of the house!”

Kunle: You won’t be seeing the rest of the house though. Kunle replied.

Muna: “Ahn, Ahn, Why nooooowww???!!!” Muna protested.

Kunle: “Because this is the only room I’ve been to in the whole house.”

Muna: “What??? I don’t understand?”

Kunle: “I was so satisfied with the sitting room that I never bothered to check the rest of the house.”

Muna: You mean you’ve been living in this 10-room mansion and this is the only room you’ve gone to????

Kunle: Yeah, I mean have you seen the finishing in this room? That TV is to die for. Why would I need to see any of the other rooms???


 

A lesson I learnt in 2017 is that one of the biggest hindrances to my progress is my own ignorance. Very much like Kunle, I have a huge opportunity to open myself up to fresh perspectives and new people but I’ve chosen to “stay in one room”.

A lot of times I had been so focused on who I am than rather than who I could be. I can’t afford to be ignorant in 2018, this is the best time to be alive. There’s so much relevant information at the tip of my fingers.

I have come to believe that every situation in our lives that we don’t like is a function of our level of thinking.

If we elevate our thoughts we improve our circumstances.

I’m very excited about this year and see lots of opportunities to “explore” the rooms in my “mansion”.

I could use some company so let’s do it together.

Juachi’s Realistic Dreams

Juachi

‘Waves’ – Mural Competition entry 2017, didn’t win but still, strangely, a big highlight of my year.

2017 was just crazy. Batshit crazy.

Like I want to just throw it away and pretend it never happened.

Thing is though, I had some great things happen in 2017 – professional qualification finally done (like omg finnnaalllyyyy, ugh!!!!), participated in an art exhibition (and sold some paintings thank you Lord), finished up some courses on Coursera including a specialization with certificates to show, did more work as atelierNOYAKA (not the best pay but watevs) and entered two art competitions.

All in all, not bad. I wish it went better but I’m grateful.

This year though I want to:

  • Build a residential design that’s totally mine.
  • Build prototypes for some products I’ve been developing
  • Maybe 2 art exhibitions
  • Collaborate on 2 design projects
  • Take two holidays somewhere, anywhere (that my piggybank will allow)
  • Take my first trip to somewhere in Asia
  • Improve my graphic and product design portfolios
  • Write more fiction
  • Take better care of myself on this long road to the baby girl life

I’m trying to be realistic about my dreams/goals and pay more attention to my friends as well. I’m not sure how well this is going to go but ‘we move’ and whatnot.

Have a wonderful year everyone – send me cake and ice cream when you can (or not depending on how my 2018 diet is going).

Meenah: Strength in numbers

Dear 2018,

What do you have in store for me? We really need to sit down and talk about these things because honestly, I don’t exactly want a 2017 kind of year.

2017 was that ‘almost there’ year. Did he tell you about it? Did he tell you how everything was looking beautiful for a while? Did he tell you that I somehow got to see three African places that are not Ife and Ibadan and even though I really just passed through Togo and Benin Republic, I chose to add them to Ghana as ‘the countries I’ve been in’? Don’t judge me. It’s too early to start that nonsense.

I wonder though, did 2017 tell you the story of how I almost loved but even that was ripped away because ‘genotype and we can’t afford to go down that road’? The good thing, though, is I did feel a little something finally. One whose after effect should last a while because really, not all of us would get to live happily ever after in love at the end of the day. Happily ever after is just some nonsense these writers have coined so we can still be hopeful.

These writers. Haha. I’m supposed to be one of ‘these writers’. But somehow between procrastination and the feeling of not being good enough, I’m still not quite there yet. Missed deadlines. Unfinished work. Unsubmittted pieces. These are only some of the blankets I wrapped myself in to hide one truth; I don’t think I’m good enough.

Oh and how could I not ask if 2017 gave you the gist of that last stunt it pulled two days before mum’s memorial? That hard, tiny little lump I felt in my breast that reminded me of what took mum. And my aunt. And my grandma. That tiny lump I still haven’t figured what to do about because what’s the use, really?

Listen to me 2018, if you have unwanted bad surprises lying in wait for me, you better fix up. These eyes have cried all they can and I doubt there’s still a tear left. And no matter what it is you plan to throw at me, be rest assured I will rise.

2018, you know what they say about collaborations? How they work to make achieving things easier? That’s what I’m throwing at you. I’m using the strength in numbers to fine tune you, sir.

I want to help my friends with their goals this year. It might not be much but even if it’s just collating these goals and constantly reminding them to push for them, then by all means I will. At least I’d know I’ve help someone do something useful with you, 2018. And maybe in helping them, I’d be helping myself achieve my own goals, however little.

2018, you will be the year of actual self-development, not pretend self-development. That means volunteering more, learning French, learning everything. Work might interfere. Cash flow might want to disrupt our plan but by the time you are packing your bags to leave I will be able to say more than ‘C’est le moment. Le moment du faire La fete’ I want to have read at least 80 books this year. The Read Club helped out with reading last year as well as meeting amazing people. So 2018, get ready for more with TRC.

When you rolled your bags in, Femi asked if I knew what I was going to do first quarter of this year. And then like he knew I’d say something silly, he added,“You will get another job. The kind that you deserve right?” That’s all the wake-up call I need. So yeah, we’re doing that too. Getting the job I deserve, which is really one of three things; a book editor job, a writing job that allows me more creative freedom and/or a radio gig.

So here’s the plan;

  • Find a job as an editorial assistant in a book publishing company and start from there.
  • Get training in radio presenting and voice over artistry and start looking for internships at least.
  • Continue recording audiobooks

Please, 2018, let’s write more. Let’s enter for these writing contests. It doesn’t really matter if we win right now. All that would matter is that we took the first step in submitting. We can battle winning later. Because I know we might drag each other behind a little, I’m engaging friends in this thing. Friends I’ll write with. Friends that will push me to write. Friends that will fight me if I don’t enter for contests. Oh and we’re creating a Medium account, sir.

I’m moving to a 10 dress-size whether you like it or not. I’m starting a weight loss challenge this month. Here’s how it works; interested people holla at me (for free of course), we start motivating each to lose the holiday weight (and some), we keep doing this at regular intervals throughout the year. United we get shredded.

And finally, 2018, I will go out more. With people. Without people. To parties. To exhibitions. To whatever. My social life is non-existent. We need to fix that. And we need to live a more YOLO life.

Ready to go on this journey with me? Hey, it’s not like either of us has got that much of a choice. We’re kicking it together.

Aminat

Yours,

Captain of her soul.

p.s. If you’re interested in figuring out this weight loss thing together, holla at me badaraaminat@gmail.com or @09_Eleven on twitter.

2018: A Toxic Timeline

I feel like I’m bungling this thing every year and I’m becoming a little skeptical of the process. I’d probably score myself somewhere around 50% with attaining the goals I set for last year and while that is far better than I’ve done in previous years, I managed that without consciously trying to. I never even referred back to the goals after I wrote them. Terrible. I clearly need to be doing this very differently for it to matter.

So this time around, I’m going to be a lot more structured in my approach and the first step in that direction is to set monthly milestones and come up with a system that forces me to refer back to my spelt out goals and take stock on a monthly basis. However, to do even that, I need to first figure out all the things I need to achieve before I section them out into a timeline.

So here goes:

  • Revisit this post monthly
  • Write 6 new short stories. (Every other month)
  • Rebuild/repurpose this blog and website by April 1
  • Make 5 new wristbands by May 1
  • Finish painting three more murals in my apartment by July 1
  • The 30 Days Purposeful project. July 1 – 30.
  • Upload monthly (at the barest minimum) to my Youtube channel in Q1. Twice monthly in Q2 and at least thrice monthly till the end of the year.
  • Shoot a photography project by October 1
  • Travel to at least 5 new cities/countries

I guess to take this more seriously than I have in the past, I have to put this up somewhere I can see it on a daily basis. So I’m going to find a whiteboard and install it in my bedroom/studio with all these and a few more private goals spelt out on one side. Also, within the next 24hrs, I’m going to set up reminders using my google calendar, so I’ll receive the updates across all my devices.

And that’s pretty much it. I’ve never been good at working with structure the way I’ve outlined above but that’s probably because I’ve never given it a proper try. Making checklists and to-do lists have brought order and sense into areas where there was none before and I guess this is the point where I just have to scale that system up and apply it to the bigger picture. Maybe soon I’ll be making actual 5-year-plans and what not. Just maybe.

IMG_8595

Fly-kicking my targets for 2018

Announcing: 30 Days Hopeful 2018

30DaysHopeful-18

I feel a bit like a fraud. The thread below explains why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So yeah, feel free to sign up if you’re interested in entering for the project this year. I realise this is very last minute and I’ll be surprised if we have posts everyday like previous editions but I’ve accepted that this is entirely due to my shortcomings and I’m committed to making what improvements I can as we go along and then revamp for the future.

Speaking of improvements, the awesome @jyte12 saw my tweets above and has graciously offered assistance, and considering her background as an editor, her help is so welcome and highly appreciated. We’re still in the process of figuring out in what form that assistance is going to come but one part of the deal I’ve already (reluctantly) agreed to is that I must put at least six posts on here from February to December last year. I don’t know how I’m going to do that considering my words have for the most part gone and flown away… but it’ll happen, so help me God. My word is my bond.

That said. Below is the schedule for the project. It will be updated as others sign up and are confirmed. So what date do you want?

Day 1 – Toxic
Day 2 –
Day 3 –
Day 4 –
Day 5 –
Day 6 –
Day 7 –
Day 8 – @09_Eleven | @juachiobi
Day 9 –
Day 10 – @LajiDwayem
Day 11 –
Day 12 –
Day 13 – Chuma
Day 14 – @9elumi
Day 15 – @theVunderkind
Day 16 – @iskminov
Day 17 – @Y1nka_XVII
Day 18 – @TamaraPosibi | @tomboxe
Day 19 – @ameenas_musings
Day 20 – @j_divaaa
Day 21 – Yevandy
Day 22 –@yve_olution
Day 23 – Bukola
Day 24 – @ineffablewaters
Day 25 – @motvnrayo_
Day 26 – Lolia | Demisola
Day 27 – @Akwybombom
Day 28 – @daminozide | @hrhobj
Day 29 – @janiebanks
Day 30 – @BNKYPHNX | @Ogenna