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“Welcome those big, sticky, complicated problems. In them are your most powerful opportunities.” – Ralph Marston

Happy New Year!

What a year 2013 has been! I have SOOO much to be grateful for, and so many lessons to learn and re-learn. I’m writing this at 11pm on New Years’ Eve (yeah, party animal, right?).

Like the figure in today’s photo, we are each standing on a precipice – that transitional point between one year and the next. Do we make too much of a big deal about New Year’s Eve? Possibly. But it is a mighty fine milestone at which to stop and reflect. So here are a few of my reflections on where I stand right now:

Firstly, I am utterly, utterly grateful for your company throughout 2013, and I am grateful in advance for your love and attention throughout 2014. Having you along for the ride through 2013 was like having a great friend walking beside me through the ups and downs – patting me on the shoulder when I did well, and holding my hand and pulling me up when I fell. Thankyou.

Over the past 10 days while I had the “Top 10” list counting down, I did actually give some serious thought to whether I’d continue the IQs in 2014. They do take time to create, and even more so when I am compelled to write an essay alongside. Regardless, I resolved that I get as much – or more – out of them than you do, and for that reason alone they’re a worthwhile investment of my time. I have to add that I get SUCH a buzz when you write to me and let me know how much they make your day brighter, or help you through a tough spot – so that’s a pretty good secondary reason to continue :)

I have plenty of projects on the boil for 2014 – like starting a new blog (details soon), buying and fitting out a bus, transforming my business, cranking my wife’s business, downsizing our home and belongings, and finally packing up to move into aforementioned bus to live and travel for one or two years…

Along with all those rather large projects (in spite of?) I will continue to publish a Daily IQ every day this year, barring complete technological f*ck-ups, or moments where life gets the better of me. (Hopefully not too many of those.)

Today’s IQ is a dedication to myself, and to you.

My 2014 is going to be filled with big, sticky, complicated problems – of this, I have no doubt. I am CERTAIN that they contain my biggest opportunities ever. Each time I think of them I get this feeling in my chest like it’s about to explode with excitement, so that’s gotta be a good sign, right?

(Side note: If you don’t foresee some big, sticky complicated problems in your future, may I suggest you set your sights and your goals a tiny bit higher?)

As a new tradition for me, but a technique borrowed from a guy I admire and wish I knew – Chris Brogan – I have chosen three words to guide and inform my 2014.

Those words are:

Habits. Light. Flow.

I am using 2014 as the year to build AMAZING Habits around self-care, writing, money, fitness, time management, success, and general awesomeness. I don’t expect to have them all sorted by January 2, but I will have them sorted by December 31. (Part of the self-care habit is being gentle with myself, and setting lower expectations for myself.)

I am striving to be Light and easy in everything I do. I have a tendency to be serious, intense, and/or depressed when I’m working, and I set relentlessly high expectations for myself. As such, I am frequently disappointed by my failure to reach these lofty heights, and it generally makes me even more serious/intense/depressed. (See point above about being gentle with myself.) I’m gonna work on being Light as often as I can, because I think it will be more fun – for me and for everyone.

Lastly, I will experience Flow on a daily basis in my life, somehow, somewhere. You know, that state where everything just kinda grooves? It’ll either be Flow in my day to day, or it will be being in Flow on a surfboard. Preferably both. Flow is the desired state – again it’s for fun, but also for that amazingly satisfying feeling of being “in the pocket” in everything – parenting, husbanding, running, surfing, photographing, writing, speaking, building, designing, BEING.

If you were to choose three words to represent your upcoming year, what would they be? Drop me a line and let me know.

As always, and especially on this first day of a New Year,

With love,
Israel. xo