Goals for 2020

I’m not a great fan of “New Year’s Resolutions,” but I do find goal setting to be healthy. So, in the interest of accountability, I’m going to publish a few of my goals for 2020 (in no particular order).

Make Work More Personal

In early 2019, I hit a wall professionally. My agency business had become unsatisfying, and more importantly, I was profoundly unhappy at work. 

Starting in the Spring of 2019, I began restructuring my company to reflect what I wanted out of my career more accurately.

Now, Hines Digital is reborn (in a manner of speaking) not as an agency, but as my professional office. 

In 2020, I want to focus on stripping away all the excess business fluff, letting my personality show through, and being the best partner that I can to my clients.

Invest in The NationBuilder Theme Marketplace 

NationBuilder’s Theme Marketplace has made it possible, for the first time, to create and sell ready-made website themes to NationBuilder customers — potentially creating a passive income stream for Architects like me. 

In 2019, I released my first two Marketplace themes (Gadsden & Livingston) with some early market success. 

In 2020, I’m hoping to release several more, with each focused on a niche use case that I’ve seen in my 6+ years as a NationBuilder-focused designer.

Build a Private NationBuilder Theme Component Library

To empower me to build themes more rapidly, I want to develop a repository of commonly used component blocks.

While I’ve built component libraries before, I’ve learned some new things in the past year about NationBuilder, Liquid markup, and Boostrap 4 that will allow me to do it better than before.

Learn More About Accessibility

I know that, in the past, my designs have not consistently conformed to accessible web standards. That means that I have been excluding people from my clients’ online experiences. I can do better.

In 2020, I want to learn more about how to make intentional design decisions that create space for people with disabilities to interact with my work. Specifically, I mean thinking about website design through a content-first lens and thinking about WCAG 2.0 guidelines when developing my component library. 

Focus On Teaching

In 2019, I realized how much I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others. I don’t know everything, by any means, but over 33 years, I’ve developed a unique combination of experience and perspective that’s worth sharing.

In 2020, I’d like to focus on finding new ways to share what I know with others. Maybe that means creating an online course, or a podcast, or just blogging more often. I don’t know (yet), but I’m going to try to figure out what works for me and lean into it.

Re-Invest in OmniFocus

In the past, during the periods where I’ve felt the most productive and in-control, I’ve found that the combination of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology and OmniFocus’ software have served me well. But in recent years, I’ve lost my “flow.”

In 2020, I’d like to get back into a productivity groove. That doesn’t mean tons of “productivity hacks” or constant tinkering. Rather the opposite: I think what I need more than anything else is a focus on the fundamentals and the determination to build a good routine and stick to it. 

If I am successful, it’ll mean better work for my clients, better service to my family, and a better sense of calm for myself.

More Work Travel

I don’t want to be the sort of person who travels a ton for work. I like working from home and being near my wife and kids. (It’s the little moments of working from home — like being around when my kids first wake up or when they get back from school — that I treasure the most.) But I do enjoy traveling for work, seeing my clients in person, and experiencing different cultures.

Hopefully, 2020 will afford me opportunities to travel to some of the regions I love and to experience a few new ones.