January always feels fresh to me—a chance to be better. But at the same time, it’s really just a day after the end of December. This is why I don’t do New Year Resolutions. Basically, if you wanted to do that thing bad enough, you would have done it already.
But that’s for things that you can do and start at any moment that you want to continue doing, like eating better, or getting more exercise. The things I like to do in January are different: they’re annual activities that—as the name implies—you only need to do once a year.
Here are mine:
- Rotate Passwords: This one is pretty obvious, but for your top accounts you should probably be rotating at least once a year. It’s also a good time to make sure your 2FA settings are solid, and that your recovery options are correct, e.g., phone numbers, backup emails, etc.
- Make Sure My Backups Are Solid: This should be higher in the list, but I do all of them pretty much simultaneously so it’s not a big deal. Making sure you have your most important data backed up is something you want to do at least once a year. I recommend a hybrid strategy of cloud plus local storage. So you have most of your backups in your favorite cloud system, and you have a copy of it on a set of hard drives (or a NAS) that you update at least once a year.
- Reorganize my Feedly Account: Feedly is my top news source, and it’s critical that it says in good shape. Things I do here include trimming categories, pruning sources, and revisiting settings and options. This year I removed tons of categories and got it down to Favorites, InfoSec, Ideas, and News—all while removing tons of dead and broken sources.
- Clean up my Twitter Account: Twitter—as much as it’s become toxic in recent years—continues to be the best window into my professional world. It’s sad to write that, but I think it’s still true. Every year I adjust my lists, take a look at my profile pic, profile text, settings, and who I’m following. This year I pruned lists by half (consolidation) and didn’t make too many changes to who I’m following.
- Revisit Reddit: Reddit is my view into the wider world, and every year I take a look at my settings and subreddits. I didn’t make any changes this year, but I did look at some of the new settings and client options and made some tweaks.
I just finished my tweaking and it feels quite nice.
I recommend you do the same.