New Year’s Resolutions… In Depth (3 of 3)

New Year’s Resolutions… In Depth (3 of 3)
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New Year’s Resolutions… In Depth (3 of 3)

In my previous two posts, we reviewed all of 2016… and then defined our lives’ ideal future.

After that… setting goals for 2017 gets much easier.  (Disclaimer: for this post to “work” for you, you need to read the previous two posts.)

These aren’t resolutions.

They have very little to do with regrets from last year, or just being drunk on New Year’s Eve.

Being complete with the past, we can let it go and look to the future.

Being clear on the future, what there is to do is look at the next, most obvious things for us focus on in 2017.  We simply identify what will keep us on the path to who we want to be, what we want to do, and stuff we want to have.

  • What have you learned that you want to do less or more of in 2017?
  • What have you learned that you want to stop doing altogether, or start doing that you weren’t before?
  • What is missing that, if introduced next year, would make a difference in your life?
  • What simple thing might just be the first step to close the gap between your ideal future and where you are today?

One option is to simply resurrect your review of 2016 and, using the same categories, do a re-write of what a “great” year would include in each category.  I like simple, so below is my list.  It includes stretch-goals, and it is “in review with my fiance.”

Note: if you are in a committed relationship, I highly recommend including your partner in the process of setting life goals!  Personally, I first plan myself the first round and then ask for Oxana’s feedback.  For her, I make myself available to return the favor.

Creating 2017


  1. Start first new business
  2. Earn $100,000 in revenue
  3. Hold “Debt-Free” celebration with friends and family by June 1
  4. Marry Oxana and find duplex to buy in 2018


Passion.  Efficacy.  Value.  Work smarter, not harder.  Passion projects will make up 85% of my paid work. My focus is on growing these to be successful and sustainable, so I can provide more value to less clients directly – and still indirectly reach a large number with books, speaking, and an online summit.  I will start a new social enterprise that I am partial owner of and set it up to be run by a great team – for passive income, and do this every year.

  • New Business
    • Read 4 books on mobile application business planning
    • Launch social enterprise with a team of people first half of the year
    • Launch online sustainability summit with 20 great speakers second half of the year
  • Iowa Sustainable Business Forum (
    • Iowa CSR/Sustainable Business book sponsored at $20,000 and launched on Earth Day
    • Grow to 22 total members (6 founding)
  • A Garden for Every School (
    • Present webinar through Keep America Beautiful to affiliates in every state across the country
    • Mind map outline for book on “A Garden for Every School”
  • Meredith Corporation
    • Identify and put systems in place for major 2017-2018 initiatives
  • Eat Greater Des Moines (
    • Successful hand off of conference to new organizer so it is an annual fundraiser for Eat Greater Des Moines every year
  • New Clients
    • Conducted one-time sustainability audits for 3 new local businesses
    • Helped Broke, Busted & Disgusted partner with 25 credit unions to distribute the film to their members
    • Fully fund Solidarity Microfinance and mind map outline for book on “Microfinance for Every City”
  • Speaking
    • Partner with Kris Verdeck to average 2 speaking gigs per month
  • Career Development
    • Attend Accelerate Des Moines conference for startups, and monthly Startup Stories downtown
    • Read the following books: Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston, Social Change 2.0 by David Gershon, Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Lasloux, How to Win Campaigns by Chris Rose, and Integral Ecology by Michael Zimmerman
  • Natural Capital Committee
    • Finalize getting the state of Iowa to make the STORET water quality database accessible to developers so that educational and business institutions can baseline the Nutrient Reduction Strategy and create community organizing tools around visualized local water quality information


Retreat.  Insight.  Practice.  I will deepen my wisdom meditation practice and work on daily sittings with extended retreats and workshops throughout the year.  Resting in peace and stillness, I will add weekly journaling to my schedule.  Listening and holding space for others is also something I will continue to master.

  • Practices & Workshops
    • Meditate daily, and meet with 3 local meditation groups
    • Self-inquiry journaling weekly
    • Kindred Spirits workshop at Aloha Awakenings wedding retreat
    • 10-day Vipassana course and 2-day retreats at Prairiewoods and Ryumanji
    • Research these workshops: Enlightenment Intensive by Charles Berner and Crash Course in Satori by Koji Sato
    • Landmark Wisdom Course or Being a Leader with Werner Erhard
  • Books to Read
    • The Essential Edgar Cayce by Mark Thurston, The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, The Undiscovered Self by Carl Jung, Self-Analysis by Karen Horney, The Philosophy of Existence by Karl Jaspers, Games People Play by Eric Berne, and All and Everything by Gurdjieff


Love.  Listening.  Contribution.  I will put attention on my new wife and marriage this year, staying open and loving – surrendering to life as it shows up.  2017 will be largely all about setting ourselves up for a house and a child in 2018.  All the while, we will participate actively in the lives of family and friends.  I will show up big as a husband, brother, son, friend, and co-worker – supporting those that I care about with love and understanding.

  • Connecting with People
    • Write authentic vows for Maui wedding and finish all planning
    • Show up moment to moment with Oxana, sharing our retreat, wedding, and honeymoon together in creation of our life together
    • Learn basic conversational Russian to get-to-know Alexandr and Nina, invite them to visit for a month
    • Spend one weekend and one week with Ross so parents can have time off, while visiting parents once per month
    • Organizing 9 community dinners in Des Moines for friends
    • Invite and have 3 friends attend Landmark Forum
    • Build Christmas list all year long for meaning gifts end-of-year


Adventure.  Beauty.  Peace.  Express our joint longing to see the world together.  Practice living and working in another beautiful location for a month.  Spend time locally in nature with friends: at parks, hiking trails, rock climbing, and snowboarding.

  • Trips to Take
    • Bachelor party with snowboarding in Dubuque
    • Paid speaking trip to Australia and New Zealand, visit Tressa and Pete
    • Community hiking trips to Maquoketa and Loess Hills
    • Colorado work-vacation for a month with Ryan and Sara
    • Weekend visits to stay with friends in Boulder, Kansas City, and Minneapolis
    • See meditation retreats above


Energy.  Strength.  Joy.  I will create and practice a regular morning routine with more discipline around eating and exercise.  I will maintain a strong intention to treat this body as at temple, seeing this physical form as a vehicle to accomplish the things I was put her for in this life.  I will enjoy the time I am given and feel good.

  • Health Activities
    • Get a SOM health reading
    • My morning routine will consist of yoga or a workout followed by a meditation sitting
    • I will complete the Adamantine series, with a full expression of the initial sequence
    • My knees will feel amazing, with the full ability to squat without pain
    • I will get an inversion table and use it 5 times per week
    • I will continue to get chiropractic adjustments and massages monthly at Reset Downtown
    • I will do a 30-days no added sugar challenge
    • I will eat vegetarian for 60 days leading up to the Vipassana course
  • Books I Will Read
    • First Opinion by Barbara Condron, Aging or Ageless by Ron Zeller, and The Art of Health Hacking by Thomas Joel Anderson

Have a Great 2017

That’s it for me.  But like my year-in-review, these goals of mine are meaningless for you, outside of just being an example.

I invite you to take this exercise on whole-heartedly!


If you do, I’m confident that your life will be filled with a fresh inspiration that will express itself in unseen ways this coming year.  And if that is some small token of appreciation that I can offer for you reading these words, then I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to share and contribute in any way I can.

And, if these posts made a difference for you, I’d love to hear your story.  Please email me through the website.




Adam Hammes is the executive director of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum, a consultant, author, and motivational speaker. He specializes in helping businesses and sustainability professionals with environmental and social performance.

Check out Adam's new book on Amazon, Audible and Kindle: Sustainable Business in Iowa.

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