I decided to do a Year in Review instead of a New Year Resolution (which I don’t like making). My focus was on accomplishments, use of time vs. happiness, and books read. I did a financial Year in Review also and that will become several articles soon.
First on the list has to be becoming a dad (soon)! My son is due in early 2021 and he’s already made a huge impact on mine and my wife’s lives. So much excitement and planning has gone into his arrival. During a year full of ups and (mostly) downs, having our first child is a constant bright spot.
Launching this website has been an adventure in itself. Since February I’ve written 36 articles (below my goal of one article per week), expanded my network and been interviewed and presented a half dozen times. While it’s cost me several hundred dollars to build and maintain, it’s a fun hobby I hope to continue after my son is here and the chaos of life increases.
Adapting to remote work – we’re grateful to have jobs – was challenging, and making it work in our apartment was a win. Extra time with my wife is something I greatly appreciate and somehow we got along the whole time.
I highly recommend reviewing your calendar from the prior twelve months as suggested here.
The process takes a few hours but it’s eye-opening. Go over your calendar and categorize meetings and events as having a positive or negative effect on you. The impact can be measured in terms of happiness, energy, health, finances, success or stress, etc.
The goal is simple: identify what to do more and what to do less in the coming year. For instance, many of our favorite evenings resulted from time with our siblings/cousins so we’re prioritizing more time with them in 2021.
The single most important moment of the year was my son’s ultrasound which, due to COVID-19, was the only medical appointment I could attend with my wife. This was a clear signal to me that I need to keep my family the number one priority in my life in 2021 and beyond.
Many of my meetings are for work, so I categorized all of them as adding to or subtracting from my progress and success professionally. I’m using this information to plan my days and weeks to achieve my sales goal.
Reviewing my time this way showed I’m better at balancing work and life than expected, enough so that I was interviewed about it by Engage! Cleveland on the subject. Having a supportive partner makes this simpler, along with working for a good company with great people.
This review process also identified things I want to do less of in 2021. There are events and commitments I need to cut back on. When you see just how much time and energy these take (by doing a review) the decision to decommit becomes easier. Saying no can be challenging, but having evidence and a good reason (“I need to prioritize my job, family, health, etc. right now”) makes it easier.
Reading is one of my favorite activities. 2020 was a good year for reading coming in at 37 books in the past 12 months. 1 Below is a list of the books I read/listened to by subject area, with my favorites bolded.
Thanks especially to those who made recommendations. I’d love to hear your recommendations as well. Please let me know if you’ve read any of the below and your thoughts in the comments.
You can find my recommended reading list here. I’m a big advocate of the Overdrive application to borrow free ebooks and audiobooks and used it for at least half of these books. **You can use the links below to see the books for sale on Amazon. You know the drill: if you use the links below Amazon might give me a small commission.**
|Tim Ferriss||The 4-Hour Workweek||3rd time|
|Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan||What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars|
|Nassim Nicholas Talib||Antifragile|
|Gary Vaynerchuk||Crush It|
|Gary Vaynerchuk||Crushing It|
|Peter Drucker||The Effective Executive|
|Mike Isaac||Super Pumped||Did not finish|
|Eric Ries||The Lean Startup||Listened twice|
|Tien Tzou||Subscribed||Steve Roesing Recommendedation|
|Michael Ovitz||Who is Michael Ovitz?||Leanne Zappia Recommendation|
|Richard Koch||The 80/20 Principle|
|Ries and Trout||The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing|
|Verne Harnish||Scaling Up||Steve Roesing Recommendation. Best business book I read this year by far|
|Frank Herbert||Dune Messiah|
|Frank Herbert||Children of Dune|
|Jonathan Lethem||Motherless Brooklyn||Recently adapted into a good movie|
Growth and Improvement
|Timothy Keller||The Reason for God|
|Jim Mattis||Call Sign Chaos||Zac Stanley Recommendation|
|Michael Pollan||How to Change Your Mind|
|Richard Feynman||Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!|
|Ibram X Kendi||How to Be an Antiracist||June 2020 after riots|
|Angela Duckworth||Grit||Joey Ellwood Recommendation|
|Dale Carnegie||How to Win Friends and Influence People||Read for the 10th+ time|
|Ryan Holiday||The Obstacle is the Way||Read again and gifted several times|
|Miller and Perkins||Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy||Helpful|
|Thomas Hill||What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding||Funny Gift|
|Grant Sabatier||Financial Freedom|
|Thomas J. Stanley||The Millionaire Next Door||Reread|
|Dave Ramsey||The Total Money Makeover|
|JL Collins||The Simple Path to Wealth||Excellent, gifted several times|
|Cary Siegel||Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School|
That’s my year in review. I’d love to hear about yours!