A few weeks ago I turned 25, my quarter century if you will. This year I wanted to start something new.
As well as trying to create good habits for myself, I also try to collect good habits when I can. One that I saw recently, was Matt Mullenweg‘s practice of writing a blog post on his birthday, every year (he’s been doing it since he was 19). It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year and track a few data points along the way. In general, I don’t think I take enough time to reflect, so I thought this would be a good habit to cultivate, forcing me to reflect on each year. (I’ve previously tried to do this with yearly review posts, but that didn’t work. I’m hoping that because this is on my birthday, it’s more personal and therefore I’ll stick to it).
In terms of data points to track, I’m keen to ‘measure’ along the core tenants of health, personal/professional development, relationships, fun and then bucket list items (which encompass all the above). In many ways, the core aspects reflect the areas I want to maintain or improve over time. As Matt himself says, “you can’t change what you don’t track”.
With this being the first of hopefully many birthday posts to come, the data points below serve as a starting point. Where I leave a “?” is a data point I want to track moving forward but don’t have the data for this year.
This is linked to a bigger lifestyle change I’m making, which is to track all my time inputs in general. I’ll write about that more at another time.
The first summary and data points below…
From a health perspective, without knowing the number for sure, I committed to a good gym routine. I’ve felt as strong as I have, without feeling like the gym took all of my time. Toward the end of the year, I started meditating again (which I have done on and off since January 2015).
A key part of the year was being very busy with work focused on Deliveroo. My second year with the company involved more responsibility and I felt myself unable to work much outside of work. From a work and personal perspective, I tried to slow down toward the back of 2016. I launched Learning By Doing to mark the new year, but was unable to keep up to it. I managed to write 11 posts on by blog (*up 7 from last year), picking up toward the end of the year, but ultimately way less than I’d like.
With my first full year back in London I was able to build some new relationships, going on 11 first-dates – the highest in a year for me yet. Some of them resulted in follow on dates, but not many. On reflection, this is mostly caused by me not putting in the time to nourish them further. I haven’t prioritised this. In terms of maintaining relationships, this was a big year for social experiences with existing friends. Without knowing the number exactly, I’d guess that I attended way over 100 social events over the course of the year. My use of social media was up this year and I’m yet to decide if this is a positive thing (??).
This was certainly one of the funnest years yet. I attended 12 concerts and festivals (*up 4 from last year) and I continue to find great pleasure in live music. Travelling was perhaps the biggest influence on this year. I managed to visit 14 cities in 8 countries with a good balance of city break, family trips and longer holidays away.
One of which was a bucket list item – going to watch and support the England football team compete in the European Championships. This was amazing to do with a large group of friends and I was fortunate enough to watch the opening group game between England and Russia. A second bucket list item I completed was a Toughmudder. This challenge was with work colleagues in Bristol and was a lot of fun, taking us about 4 hours to complete the course on a very wet day.
(*Update – I went back and added 24)
Moving forward, I’m keen to continue my gym habit and health routine, additionally adding more meditation.
From a personal and professional development perspective, I’d like to move more of my energy toward my own works. This includes, more reading, more writing and more personal projects. This will be something I carefully consider in the next year. I’m particularly keen to develop a far stronger reading habit.
In terms of relationships and fun, I continue to plan to have lots! I’m a big believer this is the time to do so. The main change I would like to make here is to be far more deliberate in how I do this. I increasingly [place great value on my time so want to spend it with people I value and creating experiences I’ll remember and cherish. Derek Siver’s Hell Yeah or No! philosophy is on I’ll be using more to make decisions around this.
Travel will continue to be a big part of my life, although I want to do some travelling of the longer form this year. This means further out of Europe (Asia? South America?) and for a longer period of time – to really take my perspective out of London.
Finally, with a bucket list properly drawn out, I have some targets and goals to reach. I plan to commit to at least two of these each year.
All in all, it’s been a good year – a year I am proud of. But also a year that went by very quickly, and without too much planning. Moving into next year with a more planned and considered approach, I feel I can achieve more.
- Weight – 88kg
- Gym Sessions – ?
- Football – ?
- Meditation Sessions – 37
- Books read – 1 complete (War of Art), 2 started (Turning Pro, Deep Work)
- Posts written – 11 (Most popular: Thoughts for my future company)
- Projects launched – 1 (Learning By Doing)
- Public Speaking – 2
- “Startup Stories: Growth”, presented on the growth of Deliveroo (Apr 16)
- “Technology & Politics”, presented at London Book Club II (Nov 16)
- Dates – 11 first dates, 10 onward, 0 girlfriend/s
- Social events – ? ALOT ?
- Social media
- Twitter: Tweets 3,302 (in year), followers 1,470 (total finish)
- Instagram:posts 32 (in year), followers 1002 (total finish)
- Stags/Weddings – 0/1 (Angelo’s Wedding)
- Music concerts/festivals – 12
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Apr 16)
- Skepta (May 16)
- We Are Festival ’16 (Jun 16)
- Wireless ’16; J Cole, Craig David, Future, Krept & Konan (Jul 16)
- Abode @ Studio 338 (Aug 16)
- Eastern Electrics ’16: Richy Ahmed, Solardo, Eats Everything (Aug 16)
- Secret Sessions – Alex Clare (Sep 16)
- The Lumineers (Nov 16)
- Tim Westwood + Abra Cadabra (Nov 16)
- Jakil (Dec 16)
- Abode @ Printworks (Mar 17)
- Snowboxx ’17 (Mar 17)
- Travel – 8 Countries, 14 Cities
- Achieved – 3 (+1)
- European Championships 2016 (Jun 16)
- ToughMudder (Oct 16)
- Sky holiday without parents, Snoxboxx 2017 (Mar 17)