Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.


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December 28 – Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

A sense of happy blissfulness: happy blissfulness. Brainstorm? No. Not gonna happen.


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December 22 – Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

Well, I took three trips this year: Minneapolis for a full month in July, Boston and Washington DC in October, and Maui right now. Planes were the way to go each time, of course.

I’d love to spend another month in Minneapolis next summer. It was a good way to see family and friends without feeling pressured on time. Beyond that, I’d love to go back to Japan or see Spain for the first time.

New Name

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December 23 – New Name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

Well, that’s a dumb question. I’m rather fond of who I am. Why would I want to change it?

Everything’s OK

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December 24 – Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

When my business started paying my bills. Full speed ahead!

Future Self

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December 21 – Future Self

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

33 year old me to 29 year old me: Never give in to fear. 28 year old me to 18 year old me: never give in to fear.

Beyond Avoidance

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December 20 – Beyond Avoidance

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

Nothing. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Well, except for spending more time on myself. One of my goals for 2011 is to have a more balanced life. We’ll see…


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December 18 – Try

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

To quote Yoda, “do, or do not. There is no try.” So what am I going to do? I’m going to keep launching a project a month. I’m going to exercise more, eat better, and sleep more. I’m going to follow more of Patrick McKenzie’s SEO advice. I’m going to make 2011 the best year it can possibly be.


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December 19 – Healing

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

Antibiotics didn’t, that’s for sure. I had a minor eye infection a few months back that, thankfully, went away of its own volition. Not having real health care this year has actually been rather worrisome. I bought coverage at QLiance after this incident and intend to be healed by nothing other than gut-rocking full-spectrum antibiotics in 2011.

Lesson Learned

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December 17 - Lesson Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

That I was capable of accomplishing anything I wanted. That the only real practical limitations I can see for myself are physical ones. That’s not to say that I can go off and do anything, but I can do an amount of stuff great enough that it would take me a lifetime to catch up to my own limitations. and, frankly, I think that’s pretty awesome.


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December 16 – Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

The loss of an important friendship earlier this year left me extremely angry and frustrated. Both because I felt like the other person was blaming me for a situation for which they rightfully shared a lot of blame, and because I didn’t want it to affect me as much as it did. What I finally realized was that I was looking for a simple apology. One that I don’t think will ever come.

The change itself occurred over the course of a couple months as I grew to realize that the other person had no idea what motivated me, why I did what I did, and why their behavior simply made me increasingly angry over time. Perhaps it was like a dam bursting: it comes out as a sudden burst, but it’s the gradual increase of pressure over a long period that makes it so explosive.