2015: What We Want to Learn This Year

We've been talking a lot about how to make good New Year’s Resolutions and how our team might help keep each other accountable. Rather than write a bunch of resolutions and then forget about them until next December, we asked ourselves:

What do we want to learn most next year?


What will we do the next month to make it happen?

Instead of dreaming big and then immediately shelving our New Year’s resolutions to continue with life as usual, we want to know how we can make immediate progress in the first month of the year. We're going to check back at the end of January to see our own progress.

While we each have many goals, both personal and professional, we focused on our personal goals. Who do we each want to be? What do we want to learn in the new year? What are we interested in making?

As a company and team, we're all working towards big professional goals and making a lot of new things happen in the new year. Something special happens, however, when we all know what we're working on individually, and what strikes our curiosity when we go home for the day. From improving our health to writing new books to learning how to DJ, here's what your OMies want to learn in the coming year: 

Here's what we want for the new year:

I asked each team member to share one of their resolutions with me. In addition, we challenged ourselves to write a clear plan for how we're going to accomplish it and what we're going to do in the first month to start to make it happen. 

CHRIS OLIVER: Write 750 words a day.

Writing is a great way of organizing my thoughts, but I don't do it enough. I developed a strong aversion to writing in school. I began to assume that I didn't like writing because I didn't like the topics of our assignments. Programmers also often like to brag about getting away without writing or public speaking classes so it also became a point of pride not to write.

Many years later, when I was in a college English, I wrote research papers and would often take a contrarian approach just because I could. The thing is...the teacher loved it. At the end of the class, I passed with an A and it was an eye-opening moment. Ever since graduating that class, I have made a commitment to write more. So this month, I’m going to write four times a week (and we're doing a writing challenge at One Month if you're interested).

SYDNEY: My New Year’s Resolution is to write for 20 minutes every day.

The ultimate goal is for writing to become a part of my day routine, just like brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and avoiding subway cars with a weird smell. I think it’ll be a great way to liberate creative ideas and de-stress.

To track my progress in January, I want to make a goal of doing this five times a week — and I'll be doing our thirty-day writing prompts along with Chris, Sarah, and Doug! 

CHRIS CASTIGLIONE:  In 2015 I want to learn more about the benefits of diet on my body’s health.

In 2014 I read seven books on nutrition, and so to cement my understanding into working knowledge I’m challenging myself to teach a class on plant-based nutrition. The class will be released on and will include a series of short videos where I teach findings from the China Study. I’ll use Asana to track my progress, and I plan on launching the first iteration before February 1st, 2014.


LEE MATOS: In 2015 my goals are around music making.

I want to build my own scratch routine (something like this or this). I’ve been DJing for years and My three-year goal is to win a world title. I’m using Trello to organize myself and set goal markers. The hardest part is staying disciplined which is why I included an inspiration list to keep me focused when motivation is low. I also want to challenge myself to a “beat a week” a la JackDeezl’s to get better at music production.

ZACH VALENTI: Stay hydrated.

I’m overwhelmed by all the things I want to get done in 2015! After years of making over-committed promises, I’m clear that New Years Resolutions are not a to-do list. So this year I’m keeping it simple: stay hydrated.

“Sine qua non” is my mother’s personal mantra and means “without which nothing” in Latin. I it heard a lot when I was in high school and thought sleep was optional. I’ve since discovered the power of one simple change behavior to produce exponential results. Recently, I saw a before and after photo of a woman who started drinking enough water and I’m excited to experience the difference in myself.

To hold myself to account, I'm asking my co-workers to check in with me each morning about whether I had a glass before coming into work. My goal is to add one new glass each month, anchoring it after existing habits in my life. In January, my job is to drink one glass of water right after I turn off my alarm in the morning. In February, I'll add one glass after I get into the office. And so on.

DOUG: My New Year's Resolution is to say "no" more often.

This is not your typical resolution, but my intentions are good. My goals for saying no are to gain increased focus and clarity, improve my quality of work, have less stress, and have more family time.

In order to accomplish this, I’m going to set two daily goals and stick to them. Any additional tasks and pop-up projects can only be worked on if the first goals are completed.  I’ll keep myself accountable by asking, “Will saying yes to this [shiny new object] help me accomplish what I set out to do today?”

In addition, my co-workers also said I have to practice saying “no” to one of them at least once a day.

SARAH PECK: Publish my book!

This year, in 2015, my goal is to publish my first book. (My stretch goal is actually to publish two books, but since I’ve never been through the complete rig-a-m-role … I don’t know what’s possible). I already have 40,000 words in my first book, which is a collection of essays on writing, storytelling, and finding your voice. My next step is to work through all the edits and then send it to readers to review the book.

To accomplish this, my goal for January is to work on my book three times a week, to get into the habit of working on my book regularly. 

MATTAN: Become a better speaker.

One of my New Years Resolutions this year is to become a better speaker by memorizing 5 of the greatest speeches of all time.I've written before about using spaced repetition to never forget anything ever again. One of my favorite uses of spaced repetition has been to memorize poems and quotes by some of my favorite authors.

So far I've learned 'If' by Rudyard Kipling, 'When You Are Old' by William Butler Yeats, and 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' by Dylan Thomas, as well as dozens of my favorite quotes of all time. But now it's time to raise the ante.

I think that memorizing the top speeches of all time (including Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech and John F. Kennedy's 'Inaugural Address') will make me a better writer and speaker. When Hunter S. Thompson first started writing, he started by sitting at a typewriter and typing out some of his favorite works of all time. Did you know he typed 'The Great Gatsby'? He looked at every single page and copied it. He did the entire book (more than once). Because he wanted to know what it felt like to write a masterpiece.

I think this would be a good practice for all of us. Take something that you admire, sometime that exemplifies excellence in the skill you're trying to learn, and try to recreate it. See what it feels like to look at something through a master's eyes.

What about you? What are you trying to build or add to your life? Or what are you trying to do less of?

Maybe you want to try out the pomodoro technique for two weeks to get more organized in your work, or you want to learn more when you browse our learning library (coming next week)! Maybe you’re itching to start a new yoga practice or want to pick up the guitar for the first time. Think about what you want to learn, and what you can do in one month, this coming January, to make it happen. 

Join us. Feel free to post your New Year’s resolution here and track your progress along with us this January.

Happy New Years from everyone at One Month!



Sarah Peck

Sarah Peck

Sarah brings a love of stories and narrative expression to One Month, and she believes that storytelling and communication are fundamentally about finding the root of our power by owning our deeper narratives and connections. Sarah is a certified yoga teacher, an essayist, and an aspiring singer. When she’s not writing, creating, or teaching, you’ll find her doing handstands, swimming, or learning (still terribly) how to hip-hop dance.