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How to Get 1% Better in 2023

From work and family to health and play, here’s my plan to make the most of 2023 and take sustainable, incremental action to ensure it’s 1% better than 2022.

Work on less,
go deep on more.

Since COVID hit, I’ve been all over the place with work, saying yes to every opportunity that comes up. Turns out, if you’re focusing on everything, you’re focusing on nothing.

This year, I’m channeling my work energy into three areas:


Go on more dates.

One of the most popular words of wisdom you hear when getting married is to always have a date night.

Well, since the baby, I’ve done a terrible job of putting this advice into action. I’ve realized that date nights are not just a “nice to have” and that there’s an exponentially positive impact of maintaining an element of romantic thoughtfulness and surprise.

I’ll be planning at least two date nights per month with the goal of ramping up as we figure it out with our schedules.

Create more
life adventures.

I use the word adventure here pretty loosely. Basically, I haven’t fully emerged from my pandemic bubble. And because Molly was a pandemic baby, that’s kind of carried over to her. Here’s how we change that:

Eat more fiber + less saturated fat, consistently.

As part of a major health initiative in mid-2022, I made some serious headway into reconstructing my nutritional intake to focus on getting >30-50g fiber, <25g saturated fat, and 1500-2000 calories per day.

I’ll be ramping up these efforts in 2023 towards my goal of getting into the best shape of my life by age 40. Some of my plans include:


Bring credit card
balance to 0.

I’ve had a pretty poor relationship with finances and debt since college, and as a self-employed consultant with no guaranteed paycheck, I’ve carried some of these poor habits with me, leaning on credit unnecessarily and storing cash reserves like a squirrel hoards nuts for the winter.

This year I plan to completely re-write the way I manage my finances with proper budgeting, smarter and more active investing, and keeping all lines of credit paid up monthly.

Play guitar weekly.

I spent the last several years with a guitar several feet away from me for most of the day, but despite that, I’ve let that muscle severely atrophy.

I’ll be researching online guitar training programs that will keep me accountable to playing, force me to expand my skill set, and keep me active in a creative outlet that at one point was a massive part of my identity.

If I see some traction here over the first half of the year, I’ll let myself invest in some new/upgraded gear and maybe next year’s list will have starting a band on it!

Give myself the grace to pivot,
but not give up.

Creating behavioral change is hard. It requires willpower and discipline and motivation, all of which are finite resources that can burn out quickly.

In 2022, I learned a lot about experimenting with micro goals, taking tiny actions, and tracking progress with the intent of building small habits that lead to the changes I’m looking to make.

Hiccups, missteps, and burnout are inevitable when embarking on any growth program, so I’ll build in the expectation that these things can happen and that I can turn it back around with my very next action.

If the plan I’m executing isn’t working, I can always pivot to something that is more in line with my goals and gives me a better chance at being successful.