Is it just me, or has this year gone by faster than any other year? Is this how it’s going to be now, each year going faster and faster as one year becomes a smaller and smaller portion of my life? When you’re little, one year is a big thing: you tell people you’re eight and three-quarters, almost nine! Now it’s just one of many…
For the first time last year, instead of writing a long list of resolutions that I would never keep, I defined a theme for the new year: FOLLOW-THROUGH. A theme is less restrictive than a list of action steps but still gives you a framework for making decisions throughout the year. So now it’s time to look back on 2014 and see how I’ve done – then tomorrow I’ll look ahead and define a new theme for 2015.
SUCCESSFUL FOLLOW-THROUGH IN 2014:
- I maintained this blog, posting at least once a week and sometimes twice a week. I also started and sustained the Fearless Fridays series of interviews with people who have quit their corporate jobs to do something different.
- I completed my MatadorU travel-writing course that I had started more than a year before but left to drag on.
- I travelled to New Zealand to see my friend who has already been living there for almost two years. This also meant that I could tick off two items from my bucket list: Hobbiton and Weta and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
- I went to two new countries, as is my goal every year: this year it was Malta and Malaysia – both highly recommended, by the way.
- I stopped going to interviews for full-time jobs, said no to recruiters, and on 11th February I officially established my independent digital marketing consultancy. I’ve maintained a business blog on that site and completed several big client projects this year, keeping busy and gaining an income far above what I had expected during my first year of freelancing.
- I joined a gym and got into a rhythm of going three times a week. I even went four times at my hotel during a weeklong beach holiday.
- I read 36 books this year – not quite the 50 that I had set as a Goodreads challenge but definitely more than I’ve been reading these past few years.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT*:
*This is what we used to call weaknesses or failures at Procter & Gamble. Good, eh?
- I stopped going to the gym when I left for my big trip in November and abandoned all attempt at eating healthily. Oops. My weight has crept, or rather leapt, up in the meantime.
- My big consultancy projects meant that I was busy and didn’t always make time for writing, working on my business website, or making plans to grow the business.
- Although I’ve been blogging quite conscientiously, I sent off only one article for publication and I haven’t even started on any of my book ideas.
All in all, I’ve had a great year and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. Going independent was absolutely the right decision for me and has brought new challenges, opportunities, and friends. I’ve worked hard but also had plenty of time to spend with my family and to travel. I think I’ve shown dedication both at work and at home, and I’m happy with how I’ve followed through on my decisions and commitments this year.
So, what’s next, what’s the new theme for 2015? You’ll have to wait until next year to find out…
Did you set a theme for 2014? How did you do? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!