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January 2023 Theme: Depth

2020 wasn’t a great year. Fate laughed at our plans as one after another was canceled. It was a period of huge change, but somehow none at all.

In January 2020, when I was still optimistic about what an incredible year could lie ahead, I decided to try an experiment:

Every month I’m setting a theme. As part of that theme, I’m also setting goals and habits to help it along the way. I’ll be writing about each theme here on the 1st of the month and also updating the post for the previous month with a recap of how it went.

From January 2020 Theme: Focus

These themes were a single word that I could think about as I went about my life during the month. I ended up doing 10 monthly themes over the course of the year:

I wrote about my lessons learned soon after this experiment. The tl;dr is that some of these themes resulted in direct changes in my life. Some of it was immediate, others took time.

👉 Routine resulted in developing a morning routine with my wife that we still do to this day.

👉 Work caused me to buckle down and launch the Minafi Investor Bootcamp, a course I’d been trying to complete for months.

👉 Explore led me to build what would eventually become Line of Thought, my minimalist daily journal.

👉 Vision gave me space to dream about exploring Utah more. That led to 2-week hiking trip later in the year where we saw Capitol Reef National Park, Escalante, Horseshoe Bend, and The Grand Canyon.

👉 Enjoy was the theme during our 2-week hiking trip. And enjoy it we did!

Even more than two years later I vividly remember how impactful setting an intention was each month. I’ve decided to revisit this idea and try it again in 2023 with a new round of themes.

Depth Year illustration created by MidJourney AI
Depth Year illustration created by MidJourney AI

January 2023 Theme: Depth

For January 2023 my theme is depth.

I was recently reading Elizabeth Tai’s blog and saw a mention of a “Depth Year”. The term was originally coined by David Cain who describes a depth year as follows:

What if, for a whole year, you stopped acquiring new things or taking on new pursuits. Instead, you return to abandoned projects, stalled hobbies, unread books and other neglected intentions, and go deeper with them than you ever have before.

Why the Depth Year Was My Best Year, David Cain

When I read this it immediately clicked with where I am in life right now. It made me realize how much anxiety I’m holding just from incomplete projects.

My hope for this month is to take a hard look at those projects, let some of them go, and try to go deep on the others.

How Will I Get There?

Do a digital detox from social media. I have a confession to make. At the end of the year my wife and I pulled up both of our “Reddit Year in Review” pages and clicked through them together. The last page indicated the total number of hours spent on Reddit. Let’s just say my time there was about 40x higher than hers. Not 4x, not 10x, but 40x. 😭 That was the moment I realized I had a problem. This year I’m starting things off with a social media cleanse.

Set up tasks ahead of time in Todoist. When I go to sleep with an idea of what’s coming up I wake up more energized. Without a task in mind, I tend to work on whatever is the most fun. That works a lot of the time, but I want to stay focused and go deep on the projects I’m most passionate about.

Retire Minafi and migrate non-financial posts to this blog. I’ve always had a digital garden to play around in. For years it was this blog, then for a while, it was Minafi, and more recently Hardcover. Lately, I haven’t felt the need to write anything about personal finance, yet so much of what I’ve written is now on Minafi. This month I want to split out the personal finance content (Minafi) and the personal content (this blog). After that Minafi will go into maintenance mode with canonical links to those posts here on AdamFortuna.

Continue learning SVG & web animation. Last year I took an SVG animation course with Cassie Evans. It was playful and informative and completed with an excited group of creatives. I’m completely in awe of how animations can cause a site to stand out. If there’s one thing I want to continue learning and getting better at its animation. I’ve been splitting my time between learning GreenSock and Rive. I see this as an entire-year task, not just one for this month.

Launch Hardcover on iOS and Android! Wow, that’s crazy to say. I started working on Hardcover in April of 2021 – 20 months ago. Most readers have found it organically and it has yet to achieve that coveted hockey stick growth curve. Thanks to the amazing work of Eugene on the Hardcover team, the mobile apps are ready. Now we just have to launch them (and then figure out how to accept payments from those respective stores).

Read more. Without all the time spent on Reddit, I’ll have more time to read. In 2022 I set a reading goal of 52 books and read 40. In 2021 I read 77 books. Reading inspires me to action in a way reading Reddit or social media doesn’t It also helps me focus more which I often struggle with.

What Do I Hope To Get Out Of It?

A year of heavy social media usage has led to a reduction in my focus and attention. There were too many days in 2022 where I’d wake up, read Reddit for a few hours, have lunch, maybe do a little work, then have dinner and get back to reading social media. It was a very unhealthy habit that I have decided to break.

Creating a new digital garden here is important to me. There’s something to having a space you can improve slowly over time. That’s something I missed when building products for other people.

By the end of the month, I’d love to enter the rest of 2023 with a renewed energy to create and places to do it.

How’d it go?

Once January is over I’ll update this post with a write-up. You can subscribe to my RSS feed or join my newsletter to be notified.

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I'm , a full-stack product developer in Salt Lake City, UT. I love enlivening experiences, visualizing data, and making playful websites.

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