My 2016 Year Review

Slowing Down Time to Go Faster

In 2016, I didn’t proactively attempt to have one fun unique experience per month as I did last year. Nevertheless, I still managed to have four:

  1. Going to the Theater for the first time to watch Animal Farm
  2. Going on the Eiffel Tower
  3. Going to Go Ape
  4. Festival Experience

Where did I travel to this year?

· 1 night in Seoul, South Korea between the 4th and 5th April.

· 8 nights in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan between the 6th and 14th April.

· 7 nights in Agadir, Morocco between the 5th and 12th July.

· 7 nights in Paris, France between the 8th and 15th November.

[Total: 23 Days on holiday]

Thoughts on Travels: I now feel like I know what it takes for me to have a holiday that rejuvenates me and yet doesn’t break my flow and habits. I now plan on having a holiday every couple of months every year.

2016 Statistics:

  • Health — Gym workouts: 119x, Sprints: 41x, Floats: 10x, Saunas: 8x
  • Creative — Articles Published: 12x, Emails Sent to Subscribers: 2x
  • Skills — Books Read: 75x, Podcast Episodes: 40x, Documentaries: 12x, Played Chess: 13x
  • Friends — Meetups: 92x
  • Adventure — Movies watched: 26x, TV Shows: 3–4x, Museum/Art Gallery Visits: 10x, New countries: 4x
  • Goals Achieved — 4 out of 8.

Goal Setting In 2016

At the start of 2016, I made a list of eight goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. I achieved four out of eight, and still thankfully made some progress on the ones I didn’t exactly achieve. Often we believe that by setting a goal and not reaching the exact outcome, we’ve failed. When in reality, we’ve likely made more progress than we would have otherwise without the goal.

So, we need to be thankful for the progress we’ve made within the context of a “failed” goal, and try to see what we can adjust to make sure that we fully realize the goal next time we set it.

In the beginning of the year, my deadlines were too tight. Thankfully I readjusted them and now I’ve learnt to put a little less pressure on myself and instead choose to focus on the process as best as possible. I’ve also realized that my goals can’t just be about me, so whenever I think about them now, I try to think about how they will impact others around me.

Another thing I learnt is that the more goals you have, the greater likelihood you’ll achieve fewer of them due to spreading yourself thin. Naturally, moving forward for the rest of my life, I likely won’t set more than 3–8 Compass Goals per year.

Spirituality in 2016

I meditated daily for ten to fifteen mins first thing every morning, perhaps missing only five to ten days at most. I also experimented with doing longer sessions of meditations of thirty to sixty mins but found that doing shorter meditations was more sustainable for me in the long run.

So instead, I’m now focusing on increasing the quality of those shorter meditations, which admittedly went down slightly towards the end of the year. To do that, I wear ear plugs and make sure to hydrate properly before settling myself, while doing my best to accept every fleeting thought I have as I bring more awareness to my breath and body.
 
One thing I’ve learnt overtime is that even if you meditate, it’s still easy to get into negative habits of overthinking a situation/s. You want to have momentary presence throughout the day, paying as much attention as possible to every small action you take.

Whether it’s the typing of your fingers on the keyboard, turning on the tap, or drinking a cup of water. Just because you’re not living in the most exciting moment by conventional measures, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t embrace it as if you chose it.

This however is definitely easier said than done. One great sentiment I’m referring back to often is: “You will have bad thoughts. The key is never to fight them. They are your friends. To accept them just like a loving parent would to their misbehaving child.”

Technology in 2016

I switched from using a Samsung Galaxy s6, which was giving me tremendous eye pain — (possibly due to the 1440 pixels by 2560 pixels’ resolution) to a Samsung A3; updated my laptop from a Thinkad x240 to a Dell XPS 13 9350 and now have a standing desk. I also wear a Fitbit Alta to track my steps per week and wake up gently with a vibration each morning.

I also now have a double bed. When you consider that I’ve been sleeping in a single most of my life, and that we spend a third of the day sleeping, that’s quite a huge change. I also a map of the world in my room to remind me of life’s possibilities (along with several other posters), and I’m now wearing a digital watch. I can say that I’m much more fulfilled and organised as a result of just these tweaks.


1. What movie genre would best describe the last year of my life?

An adventure of growth that led me to discover so many things about myself and my reality and what my impact is going to be on this little blue dot in the universe.

2. What two or three major themes kept recurring?

Insights. Growth. Awareness.

3. What are the accomplishments I’m most proud of achieving?

  1. I mastered tracking my habits on a daily basis and developed better morning, afternoon, and night habits to improve my average mood
  2. I improved my income.
  3. I got into a romantic relationship.
  4. I forgave my step dad about the past and gave him a hug. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
  5. I became a better writer.
  6. I developed a small audience of 300 subscribers and released my eBook. “Mighty forests start with small acorns”. I also published 11 articles in total this year across several different sites.
  7. I surrounded myself with more positive people both online and in real life
  8. I developed greater self-acceptance of my faults
  9. By working with a nutrition coach for 9 months I developed better eating habits (but I still binge on occasion) but I’ve learnt to manage this far better.

4. What could I have done better this year?

  • Doing cardio for general health between January and April.
  • Stressing a little less about finances.
  • Devoting less of my energies towards dieting. I noticed just how much more energy and happiness I had towards the end of the year when I stopped.

5. What was missing from my life this year that I could potentially implement into the next year?

  • Playing football a little more regularly.
  • Just a tad more light-heartedness during certain months.

6. What major life lessons did I learn this year?

  • Real wealth is determined by how you choose to spend your time.
  • You will only grow in proportion to the way your environment is built for your success and whether you use all the tools at your disposal.
  • Exercising for just 5 mins a day is always better than nothing.
  • What kind of inner canvas you have is always more important than your outer canvas, because everything flows from within.
  • The more gifts I can give, the better.
  • Giving hugs to my mum and brother is key for my acceptance and so is watching Comedy on a near-daily basis.

Summary

2016 for me was far more purposeful than the last, with a greater focus on new habits and developing systems of accountability and a thriving acquisition for knowledge.

My overall rating for 2016 : 82/100 (Rating for Last Year: 64/100).