For the first time, I am writing my Annual Review in public. I have learnt, talked about and written quite a lot about the benefits of building in public so why make this an exception?
Undertaking an annual review gives me a chance to take stock of what went well and what could have gone better, while also giving me a moment to highlight the progress I’ve made over the past 12 months.
While my MayWeather community inspired me to take this leap, reviews are more than just looking back. They are also about intentionally looking to the future. This review is about me looking towards the future and thinking about how the life I’m living now is building toward a bigger mission. A typical analogy would be that of a moving car; you have the side mirrors and rear mirror to support your decision on how to move forward, when to speed, overtake and all. This article is a systemic approach that ensures that I look at my actions over the past 12 months and ask if my choices are helping me live the life I want to live?
Most importantly, this is a personal task. I am not by any means in a competition with anyone and if at the end of the exercise, all I can point to is just ONE win, it’s not little. It’s about my life, times, choices, actions, inactions and ultimately, what I desire for myself.
Doing this seems easier since I am taking cues from my weekly reviews and notepad. Let’s take a deep dive! Enjoy!
What went well this year?
I started an e-mail list in May 2020 and as at today, 152 strong, growing, smart, curious and productive folks signed up. I wrote more than 50 persons everyday in May and I finally turned it around in June. I now write a weekly newsletter on personal productivity every Friday. All that matters is that at least one person finds every issue helpful.
Outside the purview of work, writing has been inconsistent for almost 3 years. MayWeather and my Twitter community was enough momentum to consistently write and publish every Friday. I only missed three weeks in a row which happened during the #EndSARS protests. It remains one of the most traumatising moments for me.
I set myself up to write daily and I found an amazing company that keeps me in check.
2020 was a year! I managed to travel to Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo and Edo States of Nigeria. I hope to do more in the coming year.
One of my biggest flex this year has to be the amazing people I met on the internet. The warmth and kindness I received on Twitter and Instagram triggered me to put consistent effort into social media.
It’s interesting to realize that I can stay off coffee for an entire year. (I used to be an addict. No coffee, no work) I also cut my fizzle drink intake by almost 70%. For more than five months, I took only water.
Goal Setting & Productivity Challenge:
The 2 – weeks challenge was an eye opener. It was inspiring to see me be of help to people like me.
I am grateful for my family and friends. Irrespective of distance, we stayed in touch more this year. I was also more expressive about my thoughts. They gave access to a number of opportunities I explored.
What didn’t go so well this year?
The year was an unusual one. The hurdles of living in a pandemic is enormous. However, I learnt to trust my instinct more.
I also took a role that required my all. I gave it all it required and most of my eggs were in this basket. Unfortunately, things turned sour. Thankfully, snapping out of the pains of growth has been soothing. I learnt how to close such deals better.
At a point, I became overwhelmed with work. Outsourcing such roles when I could afford to would have saved me the stress.
What did I learn?
Test Fast, Fail Fast and Adjust Fast
Overthinking can be a subtle way to procrastinate. However, it is important to ditch overthinking and start whatsoever I want to do. The earlier I start, the faster I can iterate accordingly, make necessary tweaks and keep my eyes on the ball.
The future favours action takers.
Build in Public
A lot has changed since I sent the first newsletter in May 2020 and one underlying lesson is this: to build in public is to refine your ideas and accelerate your learning. I am exchanging my ideas with you so you can help me refine them as I implement them in the coming days.
If a role doesn’t match my goals and aspiration in the coming year, I’d put my interest above that. I’d trust my instinct more.
I’d live fully: taking it one day at a time.