2016 is over, and we have a new year ahead of us.
At the end of each year, I like to conduct an Annual Review.
That helps me reflect on the last twelve months, celebrate my victories, evaluate my setbacks, and get some public accountability.
My 2016 Annual Review will answer the following three questions:
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go so well this year?
- What am I working toward?
I hope you’ll find it useful and maybe even inspire you to create an annual review of your own.
Let’s get to it!
1. What went well this year?
I wrote and published 43 new articles on Selfication. That’s the best output I’ve had in a year so far.
Since their publication reaches more than 5 million people each month, this was a big opportunity. I promptly answered yes.
The article was renamed to How to Be the Person Who Just Shows Up and Gets Work Done Every Single Day and became so popular that The Muse decided to run it as their featured article of the day on July 26th.
As a result, thousands of people found their way to Selfication and a couple of hundred became new members.
Since then, The Muse has featured several more of my articles. If you want to check them out, you can find them on my author page at The Muse.
Another exciting thing that happened in 2016 was self-publishing my first book The Habit Blueprint: 15 Simple Steps to Transform Your Life.
I was debating whether to put this under things that didn’t go so well because I made a lot of mistakes in the process.
But in the end, I decided against it because finishing requires making mistakes. And as I’ll get more into later, finishing is one of the things I want to get better at.
Anyway, writing and self-publishing a book is A LOT of work, but it’s also pretty damn fun and rewarding.
So, if you’re interested in doing that, let me know, and I’ll give you some recommendations on how to get started.
Looking back at my 2015 review, one of the biggest milestones last year was reaching 1,000 Selfication members.
This year, Selfication surpassed 4,000 members and the blog now reaches close to 20,000 unique visitors every month.
I’ve also started earning a little bit of income, mostly from:
- Freelance writing, both in English and Swedish.
- Book sales from The Habit Blueprint.
- Affiliate commissions from my recommended resources section.
That is very exciting to me as it’s my dream to write and serve the Selfication community full-time.
You guys make it possible for me to do what I do. 🙂
On July 27th, I received a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I’m now officially too cool for school. 🙂
I went on two longer trips this year.
It’s a beautiful place, and we had a lot of fun exploring and fine dining:
In November, I visited New York City with Lisa, her sister Frida, and our friend Camilla.
That trip was the result of Lisa participating in a competition held by cough lozenge company Fisherman’s Friend.
She spent a couple of minute’s writing a slogan and ended up winning a travel certificate worth 30,000 Swedish crowns (about $3,300).
Crazy, right? And, being the generous person she is, she invited the rest of us to come along to her favorite city.
That was the third time we visited New York in three years and, as usual, it was a blast.
I did a good job showing up at the gym three times a week for my strength training.
I owe a lot to my friend Simon for taking the time to designing my workout routine and holding me accountable.
I’m looking forward to seeing what results I can achieve this year.
Besides my University studies, I did a lot of learning on my own.
I took several awesome online courses on writing, self-publishing, and online business.
I also started to build a basic understanding of investing.
In case you’re interested, you’ll soon find these courses in the recommended resources section.
What didn’t go so well this year?
Loss of family
My grandmother passed away this year. I’ll always remember her for her unshakeable optimism and warmth. Rest in peace, “momma.” I’ll miss you.
I did a decent job sticking to my meditation habit, as I’ve done the last couple of years.
However, I’m getting tired of my excuses for not sticking to it on weekends.
Like I couldn’t spare 10 minutes in the morning when I have the rest of the day off.
This year, I’ll stick to my practice every single day, no matter what.
My goal last year was to read 52 books. I ended up finishing 31. The reason was that I found a bunch of great podcasts that cut into my audiobook time.
I’m okay with that, though, as I learned a ton from the shows I listened to.
For that reason, I won’t be setting a reading goal this year. I will, however, make sure that I always have a great fiction book by my bed.
This was by far my biggest slip up last year. I didn’t measure the time I spent working on my business, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t put in more than 6-7 hours per day on average.
That’s simply not enough. So, this year, I’ve scheduled my working hours and will be keeping close track of how much time I put in every day.
If I’m going to reach my long-term goals, I need to go pro. And a pro puts in the hours necessary, no matter what.
Lack of gratitude
A few years ago, this blog had just a handful of readers; Lisa, my mom, my brother, and a few friends. These days, whenever I hit publish, my articles are sent to 4,000+ people.
That is crazy. And I don’t appreciate it enough. Instead, I quickly adapt to the new circumstances and move on to the next goal.
If you can relate to that, let’s make a point out of celebrating our wins this year. Not only because it’s fun, but also because it makes future successes more likely.
What am I working toward?
This year, I plan on doing more deep work than ever before. That means removing all kinds of distractions and immersing myself at the task at hand for hours at the time.
No phone calls, no notifications, no messages. Just me and the work that needs to get done.
By combining deep work with longer hours, I’m sure I can accomplish much more than any previous year.
If there’s one attribute I want to embody in 2017, it’s relentless consistency. Small efforts over time compound into astonishing results.
So, whatever I’m focusing on, I aim to show up and do that thing day in and day out for the entire year.
It’s very easy to get started. But it’s very hard to finish.
This year, I’ll say no to almost everything so I can say yes to what’s most important. And then I’ll stick to those projects until I’ve finished them.
In the words of Derek Sivers, it’s either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.” 1
That wraps up my annual review. I hope you found it useful. Thank you for reading.
Here’s to a fantastic 2017! 🙂