Albert Einstein’s said his definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So, to avoid going crazy, I’ve decided to start reflecting a little bit more on what I do so I can figure what’s working, what’s not, and how I can adjust my approach to get better results in the future.
A great idea for geting started with this (that I’ve borrowed from James Clear), is to conduct a yearly annual review.
The idea is to write down your biggest successes and failures from the last 12 months as well as what you got lined up for the future.
My approach to this will be sharing the good stuff in part 1, the bad stuff in part 2, and save what I’ve been planning for the future (as well as my goal setting process for 2016) for other posts I’ll publishing in January.
Feel free to use this article as inspiration for your own annual review. Let’s get to it!
Part 1: What Went Well This Year
I became an uncle. On February 21st, my brother Niklas and his girlfriend Martina became parents for the first time. Her name is Emmy and she is the cutest and happiest baby I’ve ever met. I’m a very proud uncle of this little one:
Niklas and Emmy.
I made my first income from coaching. In April, I got an email from the fine folks at coach.me who asked me if I wanted to become a coach within their platform (then known as Lift.do). I excitedly accepted and have worked with more than 300 clients since then, mostly because of couple of features in the coach.me newsletter. Very grateful for this.
I registered my business. As a result of the coach.me features, I started my own business in June. Needless to say, this was a huge milestone for me.
I sold my first course on coach.me. Besides selling my coaching, I created a course called ‘The Science Of Habits: 14 Days To Change That Sticks‘ (affiliate link) that also got featured in the coach.me newsletter.
The Selfication community hit 1,000 members. On November 11th, our little community hit the magical 1,000 subscriber mark (1,177 at the time of this writing). It’s still hard to believe that many people have trusted me with their precious email addresses and I’ll share more about how I plan to honor this great responsibility in the next couple of weeks.
Me and Lisa traveled to New York. This was our third stay in the city that never sleeps and as usual, it was a blast! Some pictures:
I visited my friend Josef’s childhood home. Josef is the latest addition to my circle of really close friends (as defined by people you can comfortably hang out with without feeling the need to ‘be’ a certain way). In July, I got to visit his hometown of Hedemora and see his family for the first time. They turned out to be just as awesome as Josef himself. 🙂
I read 53 books. When it comes to personal growth, my biggest accomplishment by far was hitting my 2015 reading challenge of 52 books. To be honest, most of this ‘reading’ was done by listening to audiobooks but I still consider it a big accomplishment. My favorite books this year include Full Catastrophe Living, Make it Stick, The Practicing Mind, Self-Compassion, Succeed, Change Anything, Your Brain at Work and pretty much anything by The Great Courses. I’ve developed a big appetite for books in the last couple of years and I’ll write more about this in the next couple of months.
My hometown soccer team Östersunds FK was promoted to ‘Allsvenskan’. This isn’t really a personal accomplishment but I still wanted to mention it because it’s a huge deal for the small town where I live. Allsvenskan is the top division for soccer teams in Sweden and we’ve never even been close to it before so I’m super excited for the next season. 🙂
Part 2: What Did Not Go Well This Year
Lisa had a ‘ectopic pregnancy’. Me and Lisa were actually expecting to become parents too this year, but instead Lisa passed out at work and had to be rushed to the emergency room where the doctors found the embryo implanted outside the womb. The situation was very critical and she was operated on immediately and had a uterine tube removed. The hours that passed while she was in the operating room were some of the longest in my life and I caught myself trying to call her to talk about what was going on as I always do, only I couldn’t, because she was the one in danger. She lost a lot of blood during the operation but in the end, everything turned out as well as it could considering the circumstances. I don’t think either of us fully grasped how serious this situation really was but I sure am very grateful that everything turned out as it did. I don’t know what I’d do without this lady in my life.
I started having ‘globus sensations’. This is the term used for the weird medical condition when a person has the feeling of a lump in their throat even though there is no lump present. I’ve had this feeling in my throat pretty much all the time in the last couple of months, but the intensity varies a lot. The exact cause of globus sensations is unclear but I suspect it has something to do with the grief after my dad’s passing a couple of year ago and/or the traumatic event above. The feeling is very similar to the lump in the throat you can get after crying.
Nutrition. This continues to be one of my weak points. I’m usually fairly consistent in working out, meditating and sleeping enough but when it comes to my diet, there’s much room for improvement. I’ve been a vegetarian for about three years now but I’d like to cook more real food instead of eating so much semi-prepared stuff.
Staying in touch with friends. A negative side effect of focusing heavily on your personal goals is that you risk neglecting the people around you a bit. I did feel this was the case from time to time last year so I’m making a point out of getting better at answering messages and saying yes to more social gatherings in general. It’s important to protect your time and learning to say no, but it’s equally important to get new energy by hanging out with friends.
Sweating small stuff. In the last couple of years, I’ve had a much lower stress tolerance than before. This is another way I believe my dad’s passing has affected me. I used to be better at ‘zooming out’ and putting my stressors into a more reasonable perspective. This year, I’ll keep reminding myself to ‘Smile, breathe, and go slowly’. Thanks, Thich Nhat Hanh, for that brilliant little piece of advice. 🙂
Irregular wake up times. I do a good job of taking my sleep seriously, but I could definitely help my circadian rhythm out more by rising at the same time every day.
Consistency in writing & hitting ‘publish’. I’ve struggled with creating and maintaining a regular posting schedule ever since I started Selfication. Part of this is because it’s hard to find my ‘voice’ in writing. Some of the questions I’ve been struggling with have been: Should I write short or long articles? Should they be mostly based on science or my own experience? Should I write formally or personally (like this one)? How often should I post? I think I’ve found some good answers to these questions now and I’ll share with you how I plan to approach my writing and publishingin the next couple of weeks.
Coming Up: Free 2016 Goal-Setting Workbook
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my successes and failures from last year. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to write your own annual review. I’ve found it to be a very effective way to get a nice overview of what you’re doing well and where you want to improve.
It’s also a great foundation for setting your goals for the upcoming year, which is what I’ll be covering next week.
So stay tuned to learn the exact steps I take to go from New Year Resolution (which really is just a vague intention) to a complete plan of execution that is specific and measurable so you know exactly what needs to happen on a daily and weekly basis in order to reach your most desired goals.
Besides the regular article, where we’ll cover powerful behavioral design tactics like accountability, stimulus control, rewards & consequences (and much more), I’m also putting together a free 2016 Goal-Setting Workbook to make it as easy as possible for you to follow along step-by-step to create your own, powerful action plan to make 2016 your best year ever.
See you soon!
Happy New Year Wishes from Sweden,