family travel tips
Mindfulness,  Reflection,  Stories,  Travel

Getting our priorities straight for 2019

Priorities are something that Adam’s group of friends, self-dubbed ‘The Entourage’, have performed each year since travel in India in 2009. They have tended to be ‘softer’ than resolutions, but the beauty of them has been the level of accountability towards them in the group. A lot of care has gone to ensuring that each individual has their priorities straight.

We normally do our priorities in Jan/Feb for the following year, but I think they’re pretty well catered for this year with us taking each month and day as it comes heading to the sub-continent on 15 January.

Instead, Adam’s doing his 12 habits or routines for the 12 months of 2019 (with a few challenges thrown in!). So here they go.

1. Spend under 15.2 days (365 hours) on my smartphone for the entire year.

The average usage for a human born in Australia is to spend at least 1 month and 8 days on their smartphone in 2019, this is likely me last year (@ 2.5 hrs per day – see Deloitte’s Study here.) Interestingly a range of students at my school average 8 hours a day, otherwise expressed as 121 days or 4 months, on their phones in 2019. I’ve decided that I want to spend my year a little more out in the actual world, rather than cyber. It seems more … real.

2. More than 15.2 days (365 hours) reading books or writing.

So in this vein, I’m aiming for 1 hour a day equivalent, either writing or reading books. I like this substitute of around half my ‘smartphone’ time. I’m hoping it brings me a little more pleasure and maybe makes me a little bit wiser (no offence to my today’s self who spend 25 minutes making doggy-VR videos on messenger with my oldest daughter!)

3. 4 x 90 day challenges for the year.

Watch this space. I’ll need something to keep me motivated this year.

4. Do one new thing each month with the family

Easy deezy given the year we’ve got. But one of the reasons why this year has been 5 years in the planning. A mini-retirement doesn’t go astray in this hectic age. Work-life balance and all that jazz.

5. Record one sentence a day on each of our girls every day for the year.

I trialled this for three months at the end of last year as a way to record our girls’ (very rapid) development milestones and some of the hilarity that parenting three girls entails. I loved it and will continue it this year – a nice way to record our year away for our private keeping. (I’m using Wunderlist as an easy phone app for this, and other lists we’re compiling.)

6. Drink water.

I’m terrible at this, and I think it’s one of those ‘limiting factors’ in my life at the moment. There’s a few other ‘limiting factors’ that I’m accepting (read: ignoring) at the moment. We’ve bought a ‘fancy’ drink bottle from Camelbak to this end to take on our trip.

7. Pick up a new skill.

Not sure what this entails yet, but I’m doing a mindfulness teacher training course this year linked with Stanford University, so a bit more skill around mindfulness might be it. Let’s call it finding the space between the spokes of the wheels.

8. Compound things of value (invest in friendships and be money wise).

It’s nice to see a mortgage slowly being paid down, and that, combined with some Barefoot Investor and FIRE blogs makes me think that this compounding interest thing may be something worth pursuing. Our $40k of additional savings for this trip are mainly sitting in our mortgage now, “collecting” a nice little 3.9% interest (thanks Suncorp), but it might be worth looking into those low-cost index funds that all the cool kids are talking about for some decent long term growth.

Compounding is what life’s about, and really its how we’ve built to 2019. Our life experiences (and that of our parents read: our privilege) have got us to this point, compounding on each other. We will look to ensure that this philosophy continues into 2019. I’d like to also invest in strengthening the existing friendships we have and that we value so dearly – time spent and efforts made give great returns. Also, we might get some bonuses in some additional friends and amazing contacts next year, as has been the way across our life thus far.

9. Overcome my fear of dogs.

Dogs. I’m watching Issy now, at 4, freak out at the first sighting of dogs and have to take some responsibility. It’s on me. Alright. I don’t ‘freak’, but I obviously don’t show a lot of care and interest in our canine friends. This is the year that can change. I’m ready, rabies shots and all. Let’s turn this game around. Issy and I are in for a fun year, first stop Sri Lanka.

10. Create something of value.

Some time to contemplate, write and create this year is an exciting prospect. You never know what might come of it. Apparently the 2010s is the decade of the side hustle.

11. Get better at taking sweet photos.

I loved this the last time Lisa and I proper-travelled. I think I take a sweet shot every now and again, particularly those 45-angle shots that Lisa takes the mickey out of. A bit of enjoyment back in noticing the small things. Watch out @tony_evans_photo.

12. Have a havaianas tan for most of the year.

I’m not a red-head, despite some people’s thoughts and accusations of hair colouring, although I do subscribe to the opinion that we all have some red in us somewhere. However, I must admit that I don’t tan easily. I’m aiming for the havaianas tan to establish itself early in our adventures and won’t be letting go without a fight.

12 routines and rhythms for 2019, here’s to some direction to an otherwise directionless year.

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