Do you know what I love about my annual review?
Every time it is time for another look back on the past year, I am absolutely dreading it: after all, I ‘know’ very well that my year was a mediocre bundle of disappointment.
Then I go back to what I’ve achieved and, frankly, it doesn’t look too bad. Quite the opposite: I almost inevitably pleasantly surprise myself.
Now it is time for another annual review and another round of reflection and renewal.
This is the fifth year I’m doing Chris Guellebeau’s Annual Review. Or a version of it anyway; after all, you’d all be disappointed if I didn’t tweak it a bit.
This review process works at two levels; or I prefer to see it as a matrix.
On the one hand, there are the two words that direct all your action over the year. On the other hand are the eight areas of our lives.
My words for 2012 were ‘reach and influence’.
My words for 2013 were ‘health and wealth’.
My words for 2014 were ‘fitness and abundance’.
My words for 2015 were ‘grow and prosper’.
At a glance, here is how I’ll tell you about the kind of year 2015 was for me and reflect on my words for the year and how these pervaded (or not as the case may be) the eight major areas of my life.
Also, today I’ll deal with the first four categories; tomorrow I’ll tackle the other four.
So let’s see how I did during 2015.
#1. Annual review 2015: Social life
This is the area of my life devoted to friends and networking. It’s been a mixed bag. On the one hand I made a whole group of new friends and my son and I are well integrated in the UK (and World) Soo Bahk Do community.
We didn’t do very well meeting, and having fun with, our close friends. I suppose we got caught in work, travel and looking after Suzi the Dog.
#2. Annual review 2015: Attitude
During the first half of the year I had the feeling that I’m drifting, still not focused on chasing my big, fat dream.
Then in July I told you about the 10 actions I’ve devised to get me back on track. And it seems to be working. I’ve been much more focused and feel my energy coming back.
At the same time, over the last year I’ve been developing (growing) an attitude of abundance by meditating regularly, visualisation and practicing gratitude.
Falling asleep to visualisation and affirmation, and waking up with gratitude is a great foundation to transform your life.
#3. Annual review 2015: Fun
This is the one that surprised me most. You see, when I’m busy living my life seems rather ordinary and devoid of drama and excitement.
When I look back and take stock, I realise that my life if fizzing up with fun, joy and adventure.
My year started with what I refer to as ‘my big, Latin American adventure’. I know it was a work trip but still…Talking about writing in Mexico City; negotiating academic links in Rio and teaching on a course in Campinas (Sao Paolo) is great fun.
During 2015 we probably had one of the best holidays. Ever. We went to Skiathos, a small Greek island, and the deal I made with myself was that I’ll swap money for memories. You can check here how we did if you are curios. For our part, we had great time.
As to adventure, I believe that spending two weeks in South Korea, in a Soo Bahk Do boot camp will fully qualify. ‘Once in a life time’ this wasn’t but it certainly was life transforming.
#4. Annual review 2015: Family
During 2015 we continued to be a strong and supportive family.
The best news ever is that our middle son (my step son) started working last March after a relatively long spell of un-employment. He has a job in a large shop (as he wanted) and is slowly sorting his life out. Our eldest is working in insurance and doing well.
Our youngest is growing up well and becoming a young man. He is also doing well at school: he already did a GCSE in Statistics (and got an A); he is in the top sets for most subjects and his test results are great. Best of all, he is getting his highs from doing sports rather than drinking in the park with friends. So far, so good.
John and I have been spending more time together; partly because of Suzi the Dog. Walking her together in the evening gives us the opportunity to talk. We’d still like to go for a weekend somewhere and we are going to arrange it in the New Year.
We’d also like to have more fun as a family; after all, we have approximately 150 weekends with our youngest before he is off to university.
We’ve decided that over the Christmas break we’ll make a list of things that each of us wants to do and do these together. Will have to update you on this one.
So how did I/we do?
You see! I told you that every time I start doing the annual review it seems that the year has been really a mediocre one. And by the time I finish, it transpires that the year has been a good one.
Tomorrow, I’ll review the four areas of life that are left.
That is all for now. Sleep well.