My 2013 Annual Review continues, and in this post I will focus on the highs and lows of the year and what went well and what didn’t. 2013 was a fast-paced year and I did a lot, maybe too much. As a result, 2013 was at the same time awesome and testing. I experienced some huge highs and some disappointing lows. It was interesting to say the least.
What Went Well
• I traveled a ton. 2013 was definitely the most I’ve traveled before. I’ll do a travel roundup later, but here’s a quick recap of the places I went: New York (twice), Colorado, Mexico, Northern California (Eagle Lake), Hawaii, Catalina, Panama, Indiana, San Francisco, Santa Barbara (probably 6 times) and all over Southern California.
• I completed one season of outrigger canoeing. This is something I have wanted to do since I was a freshman in college and did outrigger canoeing for a PE class. This year I made it happen. I joined the Newport Aquatic Center and got thrown into the mix without really knowing what to expect. This was an amazing experience for many reasons. First, it was great to be on a team and be competitive. This is something I have missed since I have stopped playing basketball competitively, and it was awesome to build camaraderie and work towards improving with a good group of guys. Second, I made new friends which I will always be grateful for. Third, it was always an adventure. The thrill of passing rival boats, riding waves, and seeing some of the most gorgeous sunsets are things I will never forget and keep me coming back.
• By the end of the year, I will have seen close to 40 movies in theaters. I know, this is an insane amount. However, the theater close to my apartment has a deal where all movies are $4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s really quite incredible. Also, I love how movies tell good stories and take you on an adventure. I know some people may view this as a waste of time, but for me they are a way to relax as well as give me different perspectives. I love movies and look forward to seeing even more.
• Started Krav Maga. This is something I started in the last few months. Krav Maga is a form of self defense that literally means contact combat. I liked the idea of it because the whole purpose is to defend yourself in everyday situations. They don’t advocate starting fights, but if for some reason you are in a situation that you can’t get out of, Krav Maga teaches you to do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe. I’ve been training for a little over two months now and I hope to test for the next level in another month or so.
• Completed Credit College. From January to March I lived in New York for training for Citibank. I successfully completed Citi’s ten week Credit training program, which was no easy feat. This training has helped me tremendously at my job and will prove to be useful going forward.
• Unlimited List Challenges: 100 push ups, outrigger, fighting (in process), learn to surf, kill/catch something and eat it.
What Didn’t Go Well
• Tried to do too much. This is something I wrote about in last year’s annual review and yet failed again at this year. I try to jam too much into each day and as a result, I feel like I am constantly falling short or I don’t get enough rest. On the positive side, I’m not sitting around and letting life pass me by. I have a lot of passions and that’s good. The problem is when I try to do so much that I get overwhelmed. I haven’t been focusing nor prioritizing what’s the most important. I’m setting unrealistic expectations and goals for myself because I’m trying to do 48 hours worth of stuff when there’s only 24 hours in the day. Towards the end of the year, I have been doing a better job of doing less. I’m realizing that it’s ok if I don’t get to everything, and more importantly, that I can’t do everything. It’s no longer eating at me if I don’t get to accomplish everything and I’m becoming more content. Still, there’s quite a bit of room for growth.
• Too selfish. Last year I made it one of my goals to invest in someone and I definitely failed. Quite simply, the last twelve months were focused too much on me. I didn’t volunteer to help anyone and I didn’t give much money away. I found myself impatient with others at times because it was holding me back from doing something I wanted to do. I definitely could have been a better family member and friend.
• The Good Life and lack of sense of purpose. This is something I have struggled with since I graduated college. I have really wrestled with what it means to live a good life. Truthfully, I don’t have a good answer to that question and it bothers me. Too often, it causes me unnecessary anxiety and stress. Too often I feel like I don’t have a sense of purpose or direction because I am grappling with what is actually important in life. While I still don’t have a good hold on what the answer’s to these big questions are, I am doing better at being ok with not knowing the answers and being more comfortable with the journey. I was talking with a good friend and he told me that “even if I don’t know where I’m going, that’s ok. I know I’m making great decisions and it will lead me somewhere good. I choose to live by love and not by fear.” I love this because it helps me focus on what I can control and not worry about what I can’t. I have to trust that I am doing the right thing and that ultimately it will work out.
• Blog. At the start of 2013 I had some big goals for the blog: that I would write a manifesto, that we would launch an apparel line, launch a product, and start the Unlimited Team. Quite frankly, we struck out completely, a resounding 0-4. The bright side is that I’m totally ok with it. I decided to hold off on the manifesto because I don’t have a grasp on how to best live a life, and writing it would feel like a lie. As far as the other three, I made a conscious decision to scale back my efforts on the blog a bit. I continued to write as much as before, but I haven’t done as much extra stuff. I made this decision because I got involved in all sorts of sports (juggling lifting, basketball, outrigger, and Krav Maga), I work a full-time job, and I really enjoy hanging out with friends. I made it a priority to spend time doing these three things, and while the blog might have suffered a little, I have no regrets. In many ways, this blog is about making the most out of life, and I feel like I did a pretty good job of that in 2013.
Wow, what a year! Clearly there were some big positives and some big negatives, but that’s ok. Life’s messy. One thing I’ve noticed through this review is that I need to continue to do a better job at balancing, prioritizing, and focus. I try to do too much and this means I either fall short or I don’t have enough time to rest. I’ve definitely been fighting the rest part. I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year: as my friend Chris says, there’s time to sleep when you are dead. I also love the quote by E.B. White: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” This describes me almost every morning. Right now I’m not doing a great job of this, and I will keep this in mind during the rest of the review.
Too often in the last year I felt pressed to keep working on new things. This year I want to simplify my goals and choose to focus on a few key points. I think this will allow me to spend more time on others and give me more freedom in my day to day life
What about you? What went well and what didn’t in 2013?
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For those who are following my annual review process and want more information about the inspiration behind this, here is Chris Guillebeau’s 2013 Annual Review: Looking Back.