It’s that time of the year where we get the opportunity to reflect and be grateful for the year we’ve had. 2018 has been a challenging and rewarding year; and it’s my pleasure to share it with you.
The goal I set for 2018 was to embrace empty space.
I felt burnt out after a couple years of goal-setting and pursuing projects. I felt I needed to escape the self-imposed hamster wheel and learn to enjoy myself and the present moment. I defined my vision for this year to “live in the present moment, content and without need of anything else”.
In the absence of personal projects, I made this year an opportunity to build powerful habits that foster growth and continuous improvement. “Win the Day. Win the Week. Win the Year.”
As far as Habit Building goes, 2018 was a terrific year. Here are my results:
How do I feel about the year?
Great. Terrific. Overall, Proud of myself.
This year I invested a lot of time with my tribe; enjoying time with my family, friends, and fiancé. I was also ruthlessly disciplined when it came to building a practice of journaling, sleeping, savings, fasting, reading and writing.
From the results, I can observe I overindulged myself this year; far exceeding last year’s ‘quotas’ for movie binging (141%) and social-drinking (130%) compared to 2017. It’s ok, The goal of the year was to measure and observe my natural behaviours. That’s it.
Some tallies of 2018:
- 736 Drinks enjoyed over 173 drink-sessions
- 354 Journaling and Gratitude Sessions
- 278 Blue Mind Days (Calm and Peace)
- 215 Days of Intermittent Fasting
- 206 Hangouts with friends
- 104 Family Gatherings
- 78 Articles and blog posts read & summarized
- 73 Dates with Vickie
- 66 Movies watched
- 61 Meditation
- 60 Workouts
- 51 Weeks Slept 7+ Hours
- 50 Essays
- 33 Books Read
- 25 Savings (50% of paycheque)
- 22 Blog Posts
- 18 Skype Sessions
- 14 Adventures
- 8 Online Courses, Tutorials
- 8 Family and friends Hosted
- 3 Surf sessions @Venao
- 2 Hikes @El Valle
- 2 Travel Trips (Nicaragua, New England and Canada)
- 2 Learning Night Talks (Thanks for the Feedback + 2018 Review & Retrospective)
- 1 Engagement! (Vickie and I got Engaged)
- 1 Book Club with 9 Book-Sessions
- 1 8 Kilometer ‘Mindful’ Race
- 1 Conference Presentation-Talk
- 1 Weekend Alone at @El Valle
- 1 Full-Fasting Experiment (3.5 days)
- 1 Vegan Week
- 1 Cruise with Family
- 1 Heck of a year!
Lessons learned this year…
- Be holistic. Take care of your mind-body. There is no such thing as compartmentalization of the whole. You can’t drink a lot and sleep well. You can’t sleep poorly and exercise rigorously. You can’t eat junk food and think clearly. It’s all connected. It’s all one. Strides in one area add value to the others. A setback in one brings the others down. Health is an all-or-none game. Your body-mind is a priority. It’s ground zero. It’s where you begin.
- Learn to be alone. Enjoy time alone in nature. Write to yourself. Use these as opportunities to explore and expand your self-knowledge. You’ll be amazed at how much you have left to learn about yourself.
- Close encounters over large ones. Parties are fun, but not profound. Worthwhile conversations are long in time, broad in topics, deep in matter and vulnerable in intimacy.
- Keep in touch. Although we may live far away and no longer share many daily commonalities; the furthest friends are just a skype call or text message away.
- People first. It is the people in our lives that add meaning to it. What good is life well lived without anyone to share it with?
- Be curious. Learn as much as you can from those around you. Everyone has something to share. Every encounter has something to be learned from.
- Connect. With fewer people but deeper.
- Engage in the moment. Turn off your phone and give the other person the fullest of your attention that you have to offer.
- Enrich (Add value) the lives of those around you. Bring people up.
- Invest. You can’t be efficient when it comes to people. People take time.
- Learn something new every day. Watch a quick article, video, blog post and put it into practice.
- Experiment. Try old things in new ways. Break old habits and see opportunities for change and improvement.
- Whatever you do, do it as best as you can. The best trademark is quality. Build a reputation for excellence.
- Solve for the outcome. Dig to understand the underlying need yearning to be satisfied. Identify the point of maximum impact. Make your mark.
- Play the long game. Compound greatness. Pair a visualization of a desired end date with a relentless daily pursuit to get there. Excellence is built one brick at a time.
- Small is good. Ship is better!
- Be patient. Acting from a position of frustration, anxiety or fear leads to poor financial outcomes.
- Set & forget. Set up the right system and rules. Let it run. Automate so well that you can forget about it.
- Focus on value, not money. Money is the byproduct of producing high quality work and adding value to others. (not the other way around!)
- Don’t compare. We each run our own race; each with our own different goals, starting points, pace, support and finish lines.
Learn to Let Go.
Happiness is a decision you make every day.
A decision to let go. To let go of expectations of the world. To accept the world as it is. To experience its fullness; rather than rejecting reality to suit our preferences. To eliminate evaluations of people and their actions. A decision to let go of regret, remorse, resent.
A decision to enrich life. To enrich the lives of those around you. To bring people up; without expecting recognition or reward. A decision to be content with who we are and what we have; without need of anything else.
Thanks for everything 2018. You’ have been tough and great. Cheers to more in 2019!
And last but not least …