Inspired by James Clear’s annual reviews, I want to try mine too.
It’s a time of reflection, and penning down the analysis and documentation of your journey sounds like a really good plan.
So, let’s do it.
In this annual review, I’ll answer three questions:
- What went well this year?
- What sucked this year?
- What did I learn?
Note of caution before you start reading ahead: I have been working to earn part-time money for the past three years now. I have been working and hustling hard to reach where I am today in the journey.
So, if you are behind me, please don’t compare your chapter 2 with my life’s chapter 12. You have the option to get motivated though. Fine by me.
If you are a couple of steps ahead than me, use this to satisfy your ego, feel insecure how consistently someone else is growing, or even you can help me in my growth with your valuable feedback and suggestions. Fine by me.
Let’s start with the good and happy things first.
What went well this year?
A lot of things, actually. A lot.
A Stoic’s Diary
I wrote my first book. Yay!
Sold it for FREE. And got 1300+ downloads, without investing any money in marketing.
I wanted to quit college by the end of 2016. My parents talked me out of it.
It took another one and a half year, but I finished B.Sc. (Hons.) Biotechnology.
Started working full time
I waited so long to start working full time.
I was looking forward to earning more than my expenses, so I’d be on way to financial freedom.
Out of desperation, I joined my first job with underevaluation of my skills, so I had to switch soon.
Got a tremendous Salary Hike
After the first job, I joined my current company with a tremendous salary hike.
And I knew I deserve it.
Totally deserved it.
My Social Media Profiles
I have dedicatedly used social media platforms to build the habit of building new habits.
From January to March, for 90 straight days, I wrote at least one quora answer every day.
I made this streak again for 50 days again in June and July of 2018.
My Quora profile grew from 7K followers to 15K followers in 2018.
For the past 30+ days, I have been posting at least one post on Instagram. Let’s see how long this streak will continue.
I tried a couple of grid patterns, and right now I am working with this grid.
Apart from my primary two platforms (Quora and Instagram), medium.com is the third platform I have started working on. At the end of 2018, I have 450 followers on my medium profile.
Oh man! This is my highlight of 2018. I went to the gym on 18th January 2018 for the first time. Started working out and had good two months, till my final exams turned up. So I had to give up for three months.
Then I joined again, aggressively and with more dedication. Meanwhile, I started getting diet and exercise training from Nimit Vasani. With his utmost support and help, I have successfully cut down my body fat % by approx 10% so far.
I let my body became unhealthy. I was a lazy ass. This 2018 was my journey for health and self-care.
Can you notice the change in these two pics? The left one was clicked in Jan’18 and the right one was clicked after four months of regular workout and healthy diet.
Oh, if the difference is not visible enough for you, let me clarify.
I have stopped wearing spectacles now, because of my improved eye-sight.
I felt I was rushing. Jumping from one life phase to another, without giving myself proper time and rest.
September and October 2018 was the resting phase for me. I have had managed to do at least one meditation session every day. I went from guided meditation sessions to unguided meditation sessions.
Reminds me that maybe I need to make this a habit again as well.
My Friday E-mail.
For the past 14 weeks, I have been sending one e-mail every Friday.
This plan started with my branding articles, but later on, I moved to share my weekly insights and the best reads of the week in these e-mails.
What Didn’t go so well in 2018?
I lost a lot of friends in 2018.
These friends were arguably toxic for my growth.
But anyway, they were my friends, and I had a hard time coping with the loss.
This is one of the reasons I had to get therapy for a while.
My freelance earnings became half
I earned 300% more in 2018 than in 2017. Well, because I was working a full-time job.
But the work I do on weekends- my side hustle- that decreased to half of what I earned in 2017.
Primary reasons? I went on rest-mode, and I stopped growing for a while.
It’s okay to rest sometimes. But the key is to start moving again after some time.
So, I am starting again with my side-hustle, and I am going to launch a product within a week.
I read only 37 books in 2018
I read 60 books in 2017 and 59 books in 2016. And this year- only 37.
Primary reason – I left a lot of books unfinished because it wasn’t the appropriate time to read those books. Also, I have started reading deeply, instead of only and only reading more books.
What did I learn?
You need to rest
2018 taught me this in quite a cruel way. But it was worth the lesson. Rest means rest. Off-time. Meditation was the only thing I was doing while resting.
You can’t control everything
Help your ego and let go of the control. You can’t make changes to the past. What’s gone is gone.
You can’t see or alter the future. Not a chance.
‘Present’ is the only thing you have or can change. If you keep wasting the present moment with the guilt of past or the concerns of the future, when are you going to truly live?
Money is everything
If you think otherwise, show me your bank balance first, and tell me why do you wake up in the morning and go to sleep every night and do whatever you do throughout the day.
Do you want money? Ask people to give you money.
Why’d someone give you their money? Because you will be compensating them with some value.
That brings me to the next lesson:
You can’t survive unless you’re valuable.
Your degree is nothing if you can’t bring some value to the market. Period.
How to be valuable? Invest your time, money, and effort, and learn some skills.
And this holds true in all the aspects of life.
Be valuable in a relationship/friendship and you won’t be having any scarcity of love.
Sales is one of the primary skill you to need for your survival
Selling something is equivalent to convincing someone. So, you’re going to need sales skills to convince a girl that you are a potent human for dating- to convince a person to hire you and pay you – to convince your audience that your book is worth reading.
This was my 2018 Annual review.
Let’s see what 2019 have for us.
Thanks a lot for sticking with me, and helping me grow.
Your love is unmatchable.