2017 - a retrospective
It’s been four years since I’ve done a yearly retrospective and I missed out! Outwardly, many things have changed, but even more so on the inside. 2013 was a year of tremendous personal inspiration, although I certainly didn’t realize what that could mean. This year, I can really feel some of those seeds have come to fruition.
Way back in 2013, I discovered a young entrepreneur with views and expressions on the power of habit formation. For the last several years - with the help of a simple tool like Coach.me - I’ve been able to focus on habit formation as a method to self improvement and development.
With that in mind, let’s re-examine the categories for this year compared to 2013:
This has been a healthy year for me in most ways: I’ve exercised my body well (200km swimming, 2000km running, ~60% daily Core) and even added some new activities (Taekwondo, stretching, and yoga)! I failed to complete my biking goal, but that was purely lack of dedication (as I am not yet a “recreational” rider.) I have not yet done that Triathlon, even though it’s been a full two years since I started lap swimming. Maybe this year.
We have also eaten consistently healthier, with most of our dinners being vegetarian/pescatarian - thanks Gobble! - and most of the snacks in the house are good (e.g. nuts, fruits, etc.) I even did a decent job moderating my gorging behaviors and consumed less alcohol. I’m the everday breakfast cook now, which may not be as healthy as it should be, but it is certainly helping me find a place in the kitchen.
More importantly than these details, however, is that I have begun to fall in love with the improvement routine. If I don’t check the “Core” and “Cardio” habits every day, if I don’t nail a habit for the week, I feel disappointed in myself. When I start to think about what I will do for the next day or week, I’m actively planning my time and eliminating any distractions.
Healthy living and constant personal development has become a mindset, and while that doesn’t change the difficulty of daily commitment, it is a mindset I’ve sought for years.
I’ve certainly spent a LOT more time around the house this year. At first my schedule was flexible and now I’m officially operating out of the home. This has its pros and cons, of course, and there are some things I’d definitely like to improve on.
But the impact on the family has been very positive. Eriko’s music practice continues to flourish and our home/yard are often filled with eager students. Jerry graduated from elementary school and entered middle school and that has created a host of new challenges - but I’m here and I’m helping. Momo and I remain very close and I have been able to take her to school almost daily, volunteer weekly, and encourage her rapid development.
We aren’t as well-oiled of a machine as I’d like us to be, but we’re showing some real progress. Growing up, I thought kids just left the house at 18 and that was it, but after spending so many years with my changing family, we need to build healthy family habits to last our lifetimes.
Given the dramatic improvement in areas I explicitly focused on, I feel more equipped to consciously direct and affect my energies than ever before.
And I did exceed that aggregate goal of a book per month!
I didn't establish a theme (see above: missing out!) but if I had to retroactively assign one to the year, it would be DISCOVERY. Having spent 14+ years in a highly structured environment (busy day job, new marriage, new children (2x), etc.) having much more freedom was certainly unsteady at times (and will continue to be!).
I’m going to give this year a B+ but it’s important to remind myself that the bar keeps going higher. 🤓