While I usually like to set my goals on a weekly basis, last year I set a daily goal. I made it a goal to talk to 365 people over the course of the year, one per day (no exceptions), and it had to be 365 different people. A little odd, perhaps, but it was fun. It’s not as easy as it sounds, or at least it’s not as easy as it sounded to me.
Some of the people were family, some were friends, some were business associates. Some were people I met in social situations and some were simply random. With each person, I asked questions about their lives, hobbies, jobs, etc. It was fun to watch people open up and share things. I learned new things about old friends and plenty of new things from new people.
On Jan. 1, 2015, I started with a friend, Cisco Hinojosa. A bunch of us had welcomed in the new year by camping at the beach, and we talked a lot that day about plans for the year. I closed 2015 with a long conversation at Zion National Park with a man, named Tom, who lives full time in his RV. Having just bought our first RV, the information was not only interesting, but relevant as well.
From these conversations, I learned about surfing, the history of a 60-year-old Kentucky bar, scotch and the American Red Cross. I hung out with a touring musician, a museum curator, a photographer, students, plenty of store clerks and waitresses, and went out of my way to reacquaint with old friends.
Some days were tough. More than once, I didn’t want to leave the house on a lazy Sunday, but I forced myself to go somewhere just to meet someone. Each was an in-person meeting, except the one day that I was sick and counted a long phone conversation with an old friend from Indiana. I learned to listen better. I found that not a single person didn’t want to talk about themselves, and in the end, truth be told, I probably learned more about myself than anyone else.
I’m not sure I’ll do it again, but I’m very glad I did it once.