Reflections on 2016, Goals for 2017

Reflections on 2016, Goals for 2017

I haven’t written in a while. When I initially started out writing, I wanted to post one article per week. Or was it every two weeks? I can’t even remember now…I just know that I failed at meeting my (loosely defined) writing goals.

Looking back on 2016, it was a really good year both personally and professionally but there were some notable failures (writing output being one of them.) Professionally, there were a few pitches we lost and one landlord representation assignment that went sour. I try to learn from these experiences and have a “Lessons from Failures” page on my evernote where I do a “postmortem” following pitches/deals that don’t go our way. A goal of mine this year is to set up a recurring time for reflection so that my team and I can learn from these experiences and experiment with other actions that may be more effective. Personally, I wanted to write more and get my website off the ground. Regarding the latter, I am very close to doing that – and will write a post here once my website is officially live.

2016 was my biggest year of learning about myself. It was my first full year of living alone (something I have found to be extremely significant in my journey of self-realization.) Twice I tried periods of no alcohol. The first was 6-weeks between March and mid-April when preparing for my first half marathon, the second all of September. I have never been a huge drinker, but for my first few years in Manhattan I participated in the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle. These two periods of abstinence were life changing. Joking with my Dad when he asked me how it was going, I said that without alcohol every weekend is a 3-day weekend. It was as if I discovered an extra day just by going to bed earlier and waking up at a normal time. Drinking less is something I see myself continuing (maybe I’m just becoming an adult?)

In 2016 I developed some new habits that I am proud of. I began journaling (using the five minute journal), and have been able to stick with this practice. I started to read books (mainly on my kindle, where I find it effective to take notes and then print out my notes and study them.) I make my bed every morning. I drink lots of water (including a 500mL bottle immediately upon getting up.)

In 2017 I will continue the habits that have worked well for me and also want to experiment with new practices. I want to add meditation / mindfulness into my life and will begin experimenting with headspace in January (I just did my first 10 minutes of the 10-day, take 10 exercise today.) I want to improve my public speaking skills and will look into classes / books to read. While I started to read this year, I want to make it more of a standard practice (for example, reading 15 pages a day, etc.)

The biggest thing I learned this year is the power of saying no. When you know what’s important to you, saying no to things is easy. I use evernote to keep track of my thoughts on life. I could probably be more organized with these musings, and one day should go make sense of my thoughts. When thinking about what’s important to me earlier this year, I wrote family, health (mental, physical, spiritual, emotional), relaxation / time away and fulfillment – confidence, courage, growth. I then wrote the below:

  • Family: I see my dad, brother and mom often. I have an amazing loving relationship with all of them.
  • Health: I am strong mentally (defined by a capacity to think and produce thoughts that others find to be effective and valuable.) I am fit physically (training for the 2017 marathon and fortunate that my income allows me to be a member of Equinox with the ability to have a personal trainer twice a week.) I take care of my emotional and spiritual concerns by reading books and journaling. My life in its current form (single, living alone) enables me to have free time after work and on weekends to read and write.
  • Time Away / Relaxation: I take care of this concern through travel. I am planning a trip to Japan with my best friend in December 2016. [NOTE: I just returned last night. It was incredible. Highly recommend a visit there.]
  • Fulfillment: I find fulfillment in my definition of success – being the best I can be every day and doing whatever is in my control to produce the best outcomes for myself. [NOTE: this year I plan on attaining fulfillment/growth in my efforts to become a better public speaker. I see this skill as something that will have positive impacts on many areas of my life.]

Note that happiness is not a core value of mine. That is because when concentrating on the four values above, I am very happy. Wishing everyone a great start to 2017.