For the last couple of years, I’ve used the January edition of my newsletter for my “Best of” lists from the previous year. So the family and work updates will be a little shorter than usual.
I spent New Year's and two other weekends at our ranch. Our wildlife management plan requires us to cull a certain number of deer every year. This year, we were tasked with taking 17 whitetail deer. That’s a lot of deer sausage. Thankfully, I’ve got good friends to help (and who have space in their freezers.) After not spending much time there in 2022, Taco was a happy dog.
We also said goodbye to grandpa Milt who returned home to Fargo. We will miss having him around. It’s pretty quiet around here in the mornings now. I’d grown used to hearing him snoring down the hall like he was having a baffling recurring dream. “Huh? ….Huh?.... Huh?”
The big news is that Gus decided to attend Southwestern University (with a hefty merit scholarship no less!) Wendy and I love that he’ll just be 45 minutes away. It’s a small, highly-rated liberal arts school in Georgetown. Southwestern also happens to be the oldest university in Texas, predating the state.
Wendy and I tried for a “Dry January” and it ended up being “semi-dry.” I gave myself exceptions for a couple of out-of-town visitors and a friend’s birthday. For the latter, we ate at Lonesome Dove. It was one of the better meals I’ve ever had. Add it to your list if you’re not a vegetarian. As for “Dry January,” it was a great reset. Alcohol is kinda the opposite of a keystone habit. I exercised more, slept better, drank more water, and lost about 6 pounds. We’ll most likely do it again next year.
We’ve been crazy busy at work preparing for our annual convention. I’ll be teaching five breakout sessions and co-hosting three days on the main stage. I’ve spent a lot of time in my creative brain crafting presentations. And that’s my happy place.
Gary and I launched a sixth season of our Think Like a CEO podcast. We called this season “Charge the Storm” and discuss leadership in a crisis or shifted market. Check it out.
My professional newsletter, The TwentyPercenter, crested 4,100 subscribers. With only word-of-mouth marketing, I’m very happy with that number. Open rates remain in the mid-70s and we’ve only had 67 readers unsubscribe. Huzzah! My goal is to add 20,000 more readers in 2023. So please spread the word.
Wendy had a busy month. She completed another 14-day fast with only three meals. It boggles my mind! (Maybe that was why Milt was saying, “Huh?” in his sleep.) Sales are starting to rebound in Austin. So we’re hoping for blue skies in 2023 for the real estate team. She also hosted a retreat for Her Best Life with her remarkable crew of lady leaders. They stayed at the Xcaret Resort in Mexico, which should probably be on the shortlist for a future season of HBO’s White Lotus.
3. What I’m Reading
I only completed one book in January, The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest. Wiest is a fantastic writer. The book offers a ton of wisdom for anyone struggling with doubt, grief, or trauma. It’s hard to comprehend Wiest is only 30 years old. I have several other big books in-flight and will have more to share in February.
4. What I’m Watching
Wendy and I caught The Menu at the Alamo Drafthouse. We loved it but it’s probably a poor choice if you’re fasting. I watched Jack Ryan, Season 3 (Amazon Prime). It didn’t hold any surprises but I’m a sucker for John Krasinski. We also loved White Lotus, Season 2 (HBO). I always seem to be the last person at work to watch these things. I must express my gratitude to my co-workers for not spoiling the delicious ending.
5. Best of 2022
This year I made myself list everything from best to worst. And I only allowed for my top five. It’s an eclectic list. The common thread is that everything thing on these lists was artfully done and stuck with me.