Sick of New Years Resolutions (and 2018)? This year I’m trying Tim Ferriss’ Year in Review technique instead. Bring on MORE in 2019!
Well, here we are! As I write, we’re on the cusp of a brand new year – by the time I hit ‘Publish’, 2019 will almost certainly be here. If I’m honest, 2018 wasn’t a great year for me. My acting career was sluggish, my mental health wasn’t great (and my relationship suffered as a result), and since my return from Europe, I’ve been slack with both my finances and my fitness, which means I’m ending the year uncomfortable in my body and more gosh darned poor than I like to be. All incredibly privileged problems to have, but still weighty enough (geddit?!) for me to want to throw my 2018 diary in the bin and kick on to 2019 without a backwards glance.
Then a friend shared this:
I thought it was a fun idea and shared it to my instagram stories with a call-out for my followers to let me know some positive things that happened in their own year. And the responses were a joy to read! Everything from new jobs to new pets, from finally being brave enough to publish their art publicly, to making huge strides in their own self-love and body confidence. Amazing achievements and moments, every single one of them. Of course, I shared some positives from my own year as well.
In 2018 I:
- Finally realised that I never write in a journal that isn’t ring-bound, so I stopped letting myself impulse buy them (trust me, this is big)
- Made actual, legitimate moneys from my writing
- Embarked on my four week European trip of dreams (and came back with money in the bank)
- Watched my man finally achieve his dreams of becoming a firefighter
Looking over my short, ad-hoc list, I realised that despite not being everything I had wanted it to be, this past year might not have been so bad. For some reason, 2018 has been a rough year for a lot of people, so I’m thinking that I might not be the only one wanting kick it to the curb without a second glance. Put a pin in that feeling! Imma let you go back to it in a second, but just take a few minutes now to actively look for some of the good that happened. Right, now, I mean it! Just grab a pen or your phone and jot down a few ideas. (One of mine was literally ‘worked out I don’t like bound notebooks’, so don’t feel any pressure to get fancy here). Do you have a few? Five? Fifteen? How good does that feel? 2018 may not have been all that you wanted, but you still brought some magic into it. Go you.
The Past Year Review
I’ve never actually conduced a proper Past Year Review, but since I was over-caffeinated and on a roll, I thought that 2018 might be a good time to start the tradition. The Past Year Review is author Tim Ferriss’ approach to the New Years Resolution. He focuses on reviewing the previous year before looking forward – working out what did & didn’t work so you can model from that behavior in the new year. I’m pretty sure he’s been recommending the technique for a while now, but I’ve never tried it before. According to Tim, The Past Year Review works something like this:
Now I’ve never been too good at following instructions, so I only followed the first two steps before veering off in my own direction and it’s obviously fine if you do too. Also, looking at a Not-To-Do list every morning seems a bit of a downer to me, so no-thank-you Tim.
More in 2019
Looking at my two columns, it was suddenly super easy to pinpoint what brings value to my days, and what might have contributed to a slightly dud 2018. As Tim says on his post on the subject, it’s not enough to just remove the ‘bad’ things from your schedule – you’ve got to fill that gap with the things that brought a positive reaction in 2018.
So what’s my 2019 going to look like?
In 2019, I’m going to enjoy:
- More movie dates with myself (these are heaven, and I won’t hear otherwise)
- More quiet mornings at home
- More mini-trips away
- More productive Social Media use
- More mindful saving, less mindless spending
- More income from my freelance passions
- More time spent focused on my health, and creating a strong, flexible body
What are you going to focus on more of in 2019?
NB. I noticed something interesting when I was writing these points, and I think it’s important. Originally I wrote that I wanted ‘More disciplined Social Media use’. Instantly I felt my brain lock down a little bit, because I tend to associate discipline with self-denial and struggle. As soon as I changed it to ‘More productive Social Media use’ I suddenly felt excited to get started on that change. Fascinating, isn’t it?