Since I have been about 17 I have always set clear and defined goals or objectives for the year. Some years I didn’t have a lot of goals, but just had a general focus. This has always helped me stay on track to see certain things through to fruition. The only problem is that at the end of the year I haven’t gone through to evaluate how things actually turned out.
This year, my good friend Corey introduced me to a simple format that asks three Questions:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What did I learn?
So, this is my year in review.
What went well?
I developed a detailed prayer list and a consistent habit of prayer formed... and it worked! I placed a written list in my Bible and prayed through it just about every day and I saw results happen right in front of me for the exact things I was praying through. For me, praying consistently and for long periods of time has always been a struggle because my mind tends to wander and get distracted. It used to easily become a time of just thinking rather than praying. Having a written list helped me realize the results. This year I had four main areas that I was praying over and I saw change take place in literally every area. I learned to pray, work hard and it will happen.
I developed a consistent habit of reading. When I was in college I always wanted to read in my spare time, but the problem was that any extra time that I had went towards studying. After finishing college I set out to read just one book per month and I have been able to achieve that this year. Some of my favorite books I read this year are: Wild at Heart, Visioneering, Fathered by God, and For Him Only. I normally find myself just reading business books, but this year I enjoyed a lot books focused on self-development.
I got engaged this year to the love of my life, Connie Ann. I’ve wanted a wife for a long time and I am so excited to begin this next chapter of being married. A few years ago I wrote out a list of all of the qualities that I wanted in a wife, most were series qualities and some were just sorta out there. A few people had recommended that I do this in the past, but I didn’t take it too seriously until a few years ago. It’s been interesting to look back over that list and to see that Connie is just about everything on that list, even the ones that were “out there”.
I bought a business this year! This has been such a fun and challenging experience, but overall I am so grateful to be a business owner. I wrote another post titled ‘I Got the Very Thing That I Wanted. Now What?’ where I go into detail about this.
I did some traveling in the first half of the year and I went to Boston, New York, and a 7-night cruise.
What didn’t go so well?
I had some clear expectations this year for being more fit and exercising more, but I had a hard time sticking to this. It was too easy to let this one fall through the cracks, but next year I’m going to break things down to make improvements in this area.
Last year around August I decided that I wanted to be more intentional about pursuing relationships that are important to me. It’s easy for me to get caught up with my schedule and list of things to do and to neglect people. Making people a priority is difficult for me, so this year I made a deliberate effort in this area. I definitely made improvement, but this is still not where I want it to be. I’m learning to schedule things with people when the thought of them comes in my head. Rather than seeing someone and saying “We should get lunch soon!” and the person saying “Yeah I would love to, just let me know when”, but putting something on the calendar right on the spot.
Leisure, rest and hobbies:
I’m grateful that my parents developed a strong work ethic in me when I was younger, but I need to do better at having more balance to my life. I’ve neglected rest, having a sabbath, and even just spending time on things that I enjoy. For the past 6 months I have worked just about every day of the week, rarely taking a day off. I have also spent little to no time on the water, fishing, playing music, riding bikes, or playing basketball. These all things that I enjoy and they are life giving to me. I know that work is profitable and good, but I need to have more balance.
Focusing on priorities:
In my mind, everything in my life that I’m doing is a priority. What that really means is that nothing is a priority because I have tried to focus on too many things. This year was filled with a lot important things and I’m working on narrowing my focus.
What did I learn?
When I was about 9 or 10 years old I remember being in the living room with my sister Joanna and she was setting Itunes on her laptop. She passed me the laptop and it was my turn to set up my own account. So I did the obvious thing and looked to her to help me do it. I remember so clearly her telling me I could do it and I just needed to figure it out on my own. Initially, I was frustrated that she wouldn’t help me, but I see now that she was teaching me a simple lesson. We can decide to learn just about anything that we want to, it just takes us figuring out. The older I get the more I believe this and 2018 was a year that reinforced this in me.
Systems and organization:
In the past, I have been strong in organizational skills and it has been natural for me. This year, I found myself being challenged in this area and it was a struggle to be consistent. I learned the importance of staying on top of my systems and not letting things fall through the cracks.
I'm not the extrovert that I thought I was, and I need intentional time alone to gather my thoughts and emotions. I love being around people and doing things, but I also found the importance of giving myself space from those around me.
This year I had to make a lot of hard choices. Leaving the family business after 6 years, which career to choose next, using my life savings to buy a business, getting engaged, moving out and deciding where to live. I used to think that I hate making choices, but I learned that it’s actually not all that bad.
Fear and anxiety:
I learned that I actually was struggling with fear and anxiety from past hurts in my life. Reading the book ‘Wild at Heart’ helped me expose these issues and I found freedom by working through this stuff.
My dad always says “People want what I have, but they don’t want to do what I did.” I used to take this statement at face value and just thought it was an arrogant statement. However, I’m starting to see the truth in this and I’m realizing that if I want to accomplish some of my aspirations then I am going to have to work really hard, and for a long time. It’s not going to easy and it will be challenging, but I’m committed to working hard for the long haul.
It was sobering and encouraging taking an honest look at myself over this past year. I’m motivated and looking forward to what is coming 2019!