The Year Of Changes (My 2019 Year Review)
Following the tradition from last year (My 2018 review), I sat down and looked back on 2019.
I will answer these three questions:
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go so well this year?
- What did I learn?
What went well this year?
Let's start on a more positive note.
1. Everyday Happiness Levels
In the middle of this year, I took a long, no-bullshit look on my life. I had to admit that I was no longer walking in the right direction and that I had to change things up.
It wasn't easy.
I stopped working on all projects and decided to take a startup vacation instead. I stripped away part of my identity and turned my life around.
All these hard decisions and choices ultimately led to more everyday happiness, more peace and also me being more content with my life.
I managed to turn from a pessimistic, negative and toxic person into a happy, calm and positive guy.
2. Personal Development/Growth
The past few years were all in the name of career/business progress. Learning new work skills, gaining experience and growing balls to bite into some advanced work.
2019 was more about my own growth instead. Understanding what I want, what I am good at and what I suck at, among others.
I haven't grown that much as a freelancer/entrepreneur, but I grew a lot as a person.
3. Health & Fitness
I started 2019 unhealthy, overweight and always tired.
In the first half of the year, I managed to do some baby steps when it comes to exercise and eating habits.
But the biggest step was made in June 2019. I ran every day for the whole month as a monthly challenge.
Considering I always hated running and ran away from it (ha!), it was a proper challenge for my lazy ass.
The result? As the kilometer count grew, I slowly turned from a slow, non-fit and low-energy sloth into an energetic person that can actually run a few flights of stairs without having his heart and lungs jumping out of his body.
I kept the streak for 50+ days, but then life happened. Today, running is one of my favorite activities and I still run at least once a week.
Together with workouts and healthy eating habits, it's the reason why I look and feel much better today.
4. Changing The Scenery
After six years in one place, I felt like I needed something new to explore.
I packed everything and moved to Brno.
I got lucky and found an amazing apartment with great flatmates, and gradually fell in love with the new town.
I kicked off 2019 by spending 21 days hitchhiking through Portugal and Spain, then explored north Croatia by scooter for a weekend, hiked mountains in Malá Fatra (Slovakia) and hills in Jeseniky (Czech Republic).
For the last adventure of 2019, I spent 13 days on Tenerife (Canary Islands), explored the island and hiked a 3,7 km high active volcano.
I made a lot of new friends and travel buddies and had so many experiences I can't even remember all of them. This year was awesome!
I spent fewer hours working but made way more money than the past year.
I suspect it's mainly because I was working on paid projects instead of spending all my time on my startups, and I am also no longer afraid to ask for more money for my services (this takes some time and confidence to learn as a freelancer).
Money is not that important to me, but having enough money to pay for the life necessities and then some is a welcomed change.
And not worrying about making the rent also helps my stress levels.
What didn’t go so well this year?
Now off to the less Instagram-feed-worthy stuff.
First six months or so, I did shit, because I was dealing with depression and found it hard to focus and enjoy any kind of work.
For the rest of the year, I was focused on other stuff as a part of my “startup vacation”. I spent less time working, more time socializing, exploring, creating and enjoying.
Don't get me wrong, I still worked a lot, but compared to my previous year, I was slacking heavily.
2. Career progress
I haven't really made any big steps career-wise in 2019.
I worked on exciting projects and with great clients as a freelancer, but I feel like I pushed in too many directions to make any long-term progress.
I also haven't learned as much work-wise as the past few years.
But that's just how it is, you move one part of your life significantly, other parts might go slower.
I am still not 100% sure where do I want to go next. That's for 2020 me to figure that out.
I was never a highly disciplined person, but this year I got even worse.
Now, this might be an excuse, but I need a good reason to do something. Every time I was working on something I strongly believed, it always got me out of bed soon and kept me being productive and focused for most of the day.
Maybe I need something I strongly believe in…
Maybe I need to rest a bit after the hectic past few years…
Maybe I need to shut the fuck up and start being disciplined.
Let's do the last one in 2020.
What did I learn?
What are my lessons from this year’s adventures and fuck ups?
1. Make the hard decisions
Inevitably, you will face a hard decision on your way through life many times. And waiting on it, because you are afraid of what it could bring only makes it worse.
Changing my life 180° was a decision like that. And one that I also made almost too late.
2. Not only work makes you alive
For a long time, work was at the center of my life. It was my highest priority, it kept me going.
In 2019, finding meaning, happiness, and satisfaction by other means was refreshing and also a really interesting journey.
3. Honesty builds trust and strong relationships
I cheated and kept one lesson I mentioned last year. But it's just timeless, so it's only partially cheating. Right?
Being open, honest and sometimes vulnerable makes you more trustworthy and valued by others. But most importantly, more trustworthy and valued by yourself. Because you always know when you are not honest.
Have a great and happy 2020!
Thank you for reading this far!
Got inspired to write your 2019 review? Send it to me on instagram.com/lozitalks (or just say Hi)
This review (as well as the previous one) was inspired by James Clear and his annual year review.