MY 2018 ANNUAL REVIEW ON 2018
We are almost ready to close the door in 2018, which means it’s time to share my Annual Review with you. This will mark my first time conducted an Annual Review and I’ve found the process super useful.
WHY DID I DECIDE TO WRITE AN ANNUAL REVIEW?
Well, I feel that this makes me stop, think, and consider all the different thoughts, experiences, goals, and milestones, I’ve reached over the past year. A process where you allow yourself to see just how much you’ve grown as a person over the past twelve months. After all, a bit of self-reflection can help us better appreciate our triumphs and successfully learn from our mistakes.
THIS ANNUAL REVIEW WILL ANSWER THREE KEY QUESTIONS.
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go so well this year?
- What did I learn?
HERE ARE SOME CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS:
- November: My crazy exploring mood is ON again and November 14th I depart Greece for 3 months consecutive travelling across the US & Canada. Also, I launched my website!
1. WHAT WENT WELL THIS YEAR?
Okay, here’s where I succeeded this year.
International travel. This year, I was fortunate enough to visit eleven countries and I could not be more thankful for the wonderful experiences I had. I believe that traveling changes you in a lot of ways, with one of the most important being that it makes you more appreciative of your own life and home.
My travel highlights for 2018 include:
- Two continents: North America & Europe.
- North America: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Toronto Boston, Maine, New York, Miami.
- Europe: Berlin (2x), Paris, Madrid, Lisbon (2x), Bucharest (2x), Rome (2x), Stockholm, London, Dublin.
Running & Cycling. Exercise is a core part of my life and positive attitude, this past year was my most consistent year yet. In 2018, I completed 374 activities and covered 4,000.7 km with running and cycling.
In 2018, I exercised 374 times (Including daily cycling as well) for an average of 15.7 workouts per month. My typical workout lasts about 45 minutes to 1 hour. My focus remains on cardio, building strength, and every training session includes warm-up, running and stretching.
Workout hours per month in 2018:
- January – 46
- February – 27
- March – 30
- April – 52
- May – 24
- June – 27
- July – 21
- August – 23
- September – 31
- October – 29
- November – 18
- December 12
Instagram. This year, I decided to grow my account, so I did it. My account gained more than 8,000 followers within three, four months. I focused on being consistent with weekly posting and daily vlogging with my stories. Huge contributor on this journey was my marketing partner in crime, Thanos Zeppos. Looks like we will continue growing this on 2019.
4 Tips For Growing Your Brand On Instagram The Right Way:
- Use an actual camera. I switched from using my phone to using a DSLR camera for EVERY photo. Instagram is a visual platform, designed for people to react to what they see, so it makes sense that a nicer photo would elicit more likes and engagement.
- Filters are your friend but tread lightly. Instagram is a runway of photos and there was a time when people would probably scroll right past mine. So while a photo on the blog can stand on its own, without slightly more shadows or brightness, on Instagram–you need to stand out! However, there’s a fine line between adding a filter to a photo to brand it as yours and filtering a photo until it looks nothing like reality. By using the same filter(s) every time, it will gradually start feeling familiar to people. They’ll recognize it as yours, and your feed will start looking cohesive.
- Stick to your niche. If you really want to grow your following, you gotta give the people what they are following you for.
- Posting something is not always better than posting nothing. I generally like to post on Instagram 2 times a week, Monday and once on Friday. However, if I don’t have any quality content to post, it’s truly better NOT to post. One average picture can cause you to lose followers, while posting nothing, only doesn’t gain you any followers typically.
For Instagram growth, feel free to DM the master, Thanos.
2. WHAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL THIS YEAR?
Alright, where did I slip up this year?
Team building. This was my first full year as an “entrepreneur,” and I’ve still got a lot to learn. One thing I’m struggling with is finding the right balance between being creative and being the leader of my company. This is something I’ll need to be better about in 2019.
Another challenge is a structural one: The remote team, which provides incredible flexibility, but can also feel lonely because each person is working on their own. I’d love to find ways for us to spend more time face-to-face.
I came up with two important questions when it comes to serious team building:
- How do I help my team understand my perspective?
- What can I do to understand their perspective?
- It’s Better To Work Together Than Apart
- Communication Is Key
- Respect the Systems
- The Team That Plays Together, Stays Together
Morning routine. I’m the kind of person who loves planning out an ideal morning routine, but following through with it was a totally different story. Because of this, I always told myself that I suck at sticking to routines.
I started this year extremely focused on waking up at 6 am, but eventually I failed after five, six months. Some days I’d turn my alarm off and feel completely exhausted. I’d go back to sleep, forget about my planned-out morning routine, and later wake up three hours later feeling completely guilty about it. I always blamed it on my inability to stick to routines.
How can I improve my morning routine?
- Shifting mindset
- Fix my evenings first
- Finding my motivation
- Staying accountable
- Keep my phone out of the bedroom
Reading. I was always a believer that people who read more have a tremendous advantage over people who don’t. Reading didn’t go so well for me this year and definitely, it is an area of my life that I would like to improve.
Some of the books I read this year
- The power of habit (Link)
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Link)
- The power of Now (Link)
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Link)
I’m following a really interested guy online, Josh Fechter, founder of B.A.M.F community and his reading list truly inspired me for 2019. Check it out here! If you’re going to invest time changing a habit in 2019, consider reading more. It’s one of the best investments you can make for yourself.
3. WHAT DID I LEARN?
I learned a lot in 2018. Here are some of the main takeaways.
Good ideas take longer than you think. Of the many challenges associated with long-term creative projects, perhaps the most difficult one is that you must find a way to remain motivated and committed to your project without getting positive feedback on most days. Every morning, you have to find the motivation to put in another day of work even though you know you won’t be finished when night falls. Patience is among the most valuable creative traits.
Allow yourself to be a beginner. Give yourself permission to suck. You owe it to yourself. Create your worst work ever. Show it to people and see how it’s being thrown out of the window. Hear people say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen. Once you do that, there’s nowhere to go but up.
Don’t take it personally. Whatever that is, an opinion, comment, feedback, insult. If people talk bad about you they’re spreading their negativity. If you’ve been fired off your job, it’s not because you’re bad, it’s because you are not needed anymore if you broke up with your partner, it’s not because you’re bad, it’s just not the right fit.
Working hard doesn’t always mean working smart. Just because you’re working 16 hours a day doesn’t mean you’re being efficient with your time. You still have to work hard to succeed, but if you’re not also organized and efficient, you’re just wasting time.
Don’t let little things get to you. Does it really matter who is right and who is wrong? You might win the fight, but you lose the battle. Don’t sweat the small stuff because little things don’t matter. Eventually, yes, you will have to go back to figure out what was really bothering you and address it — but it’ll be easier to do that with a calm and cool head.
No one knows your body better than you. The problem of asking the opinions of others is that they always give you advice from their perspective or their shoes. Therefore the advice someone else gives you will be based on their life experiences, their thoughts, their opinions, and their emotions. But nobody knows you as well as you do. So why even bother asking someone else for their opinion?
Balance and moderation are key. Sometimes we all need a cupcake. It’s probably not a great idea every day, but the occasional treat isn’t going to kill you. Life should be fun. Being obsessively healthy can be stressful and extremely unhealthy.
WHAT ARE YOUR LIFE LESSONS OF 2018?
I’m curious to find out what you learned last year, please comment below! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with someone who might find it interesting.
Happy new year!