2013 Annual Review
I was inspired to publish an annual review by James Clear and Nathan Barry. Following a similar pattern I will be looking at what went well, what went bad and what are some things I will be working over the next year. Overall, I felt it was a very successful year. However, at the rate at which I was moving, I neglected some core pieces of my life as well as over worked myself. Living an aware and more open life, I can work to improve the things that need to be improved and strengthen the positive habits I’ve been able to build. It’s all about balance.
What Went Well this year?
School & Club Approval
Graduating from Fordham University in May was a big milestone in my life. Not too long ago going to college was still an unknown. I kept working hard, and when I reached Fordham, I was able to focus despite a number of personal challenges and contribute a lot to the school and my fellow classmates and was honored to win 2 awards. It all came down to the people at the university, who inspired me enough to help inspire them. The club I founded, Digital Business Society, was also officially acknowledged by the school and is well positioned to help students better understand technology.
In prior years, I’ve only experimented with the gym during the summers, usually going all out for 5 days a week for 3 months, from June through August. In 2013, I made fitness a part of my lifestyle and not just a seasonal thing in the summer I would do. I have been consistent for the past 7 months, with the last 4 months not missing a single workout day(3days/week). In the grand scheme of things, making fitness a part of my lifestyle was a necessary investment and a great foundation in my life for countering stress, improving health, mental clarity and the overall enjoyment of working towards becoming the strongest version of myself.
Blog / Writing
This year I wanted to invest in writing more. First, I started writing 200 words a day and started doing a daily journal. I wasn’t fully consistent for the first 4 months, but it gave me enough time to learn about myself and find patterns in which I can place myself in a better mental and environmental state to write more often. Halfway through the year in June was when I launched this blog. I was very happy to get that off the ground and now I’m still in the discovery mode trying to find the voice of this blog, but for now I’ve stated my goal as helping to understand the process of creating and discovering opportunity. I look forward to improving my writing and helping contributing more helpful blog posts.
I made an effort to read more 4 years ago, reading 8 books in 2010 & 2011 each, 18 books in 2012 and this year I’ve read 41 books increasing my reading total by 227%. So how did I do it? For one I don’t watch TV, among other things. I have some more open time to work with, so I delegate at least 1 hour each day towards reading no matter what other obligations I have, whether I feel like reading or not. This habit of consistency helped me to reach more goal and I’ve set the bar to 50 books for 2014. I really enjoy reading and improving myself so this will be a key lifelong commitment of mine.
Each year I try to maintain good pattern of foundational habits. I am even more committed than ever and I am conscious of the importance of a process driven system when it comes to habits and goals. This has been crucial in helping me to become more consistent with my habits. This year I have done very well in strengthening my habits around health, writing, and finances.
Tech Care Package
I was inspired to release the tech care package this year by my friend Sam Hysell, when I was invited to speak at a Fordham Entrepreneurship event and a number of students stated they had trouble finding resources to learn more about technology and how to code. One of my habits has been storing and organizing great links I come across, so it wasn’t too difficult for me to create this reference ebook helping people find resources and guidance on learning how to code. As of this date the tech care package has over 20,400 reads from people all over the world.
What didn’t go so well this year?
Staying in Touch with Friends and Family
A number of time’s I’ve mistakenly let my schedule and my overactive drive for skill acquisition place horse blinders on myself, making me neglectful in maintaining a consistent and normal communication with friends. I am making a much more conscious decision to direct my ability to be efficient to create time and opportunities to be a better friend and make time for the people I care about when it really counts.
I was inconsistent in my android development studies and did not launch an app to the app store this year and I failed to even expand my personal portfolio of android projects. I’ll try to do a better job are integrating this goal into my system so I can incrementally improve my skills in this area. Mobile is an important area and I want to contribute what I can to this space.
Sleeping on time
I completely disrespected my body in regards to lack of sleep. There were many weeks were I was running on 3-4 hours of sleep a day. That’s not healthy and my naiveness in thinking it’s awesome to be able to stay up all night was foolish. When I lacked sleep it was easier to fall out of habits that I have been consistent with for weeks. My memory was sporadic and I worked inefficiently, triggering a negative cycle in which I had to stay up later to get work done.
I rarely traveled much this year despite a little more time and money available. I think it was because both categories were scare before that I now have to get use to this new state. I’ve always wanted to go on a road trip or even visit south America.
What am I working toward?
I consciously live the growth mindset and I am actively working to become the strongest version of myself.
Olympic lifting interests me because of ability to force balance and discipline, working out the full body gathering all the muscles to participate from the ground to overhead. This style of lifting mirrors a system oriented approach that requires incremental pieces to build up and move together as a whole. That makes it an ideal physical equivalent to a mental life long learner mindset.
When I was younger I was afraid to speak in front of crowds. Within the past couple years I now welcome opportunities to speak, because it teaches me a lot about myself in a small amount of time and forces me to get my message across as concisely as I can. Effective communication is a very important skill and I believe everyone should try to understand their fears around public speaking.
Being a self taught programmer some areas I want to strengthen are my knowledge around Algorithms and Data Structures, which in laymen terms would mean solving computing problems with accurate problem identification as well an appropriate way to organize the data you are working with.
I want to rediscover my passion for drawing and I intend to start from scratch learning what I need to gain a solid foundation and explorer my creativity. I will share my artwork through tumblr and deviantart and make notifications of when I do so hopefully by mid 2014. In addition, I intend to use more self-produced illustrations to improvement content I post on my blog.
How was your year?