Year in review & new guidelines for the ones that follow


Year in Review

It’s been quite the year, and one of the best ones I’ve ever had. In 2013, I have:

  • Learned a lot about myself by relocating for work to a new city (Toronto)
  • Travelled to Europe twice, once in February and the other in June to visit my fiance
  • Attended the San Francisco Trek as an unofficial Oxford MBA student
  • Attended the Royal Ascot also as an unofficial Oxford MBA student (I think people now think I went to Said Business School)
  • Planned and executed a wedding on time, and on budget
  • Challenged an exam and obtained the Project Management Professional Designation with the Project Management Institute
  • Got married to the best husband, friend and person ever
  • Left my job I’ve held for four years as a management consultant
  • Completed the previous two points and relocated to London, UK all within the same month
  • Found a suitable apartment on budget in East London within 3 days of searching, and got all living settled within two weeks
  • Experienced a ton of personal growth with self reflection and external coursework
  • Attended startup conferences including the GROW Conference in Vancouver and the Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford Conference at Oxford, UK
  • Began to take deliberate shifts towards making a meaningful contribution to the world through holistic health

A lot has happened, but throughout the year I kept thinking “things aren’t moving fast enough”, and “why am I not successful yet”. I have always been (and still am) very achievement-oriented, so it’s a fault of mine to discount things I’ve actually done because it wasn’t as close to my goals as I thought I would be.

Being goal and achievement oriented is great for short-term progress, but can be detrimental for longevity in the greater sense of living. I mean, if you told yourself you’re going to lose 15 pounds this year and make it to 10 was there still no progress?

I have come to realize life is more about managing an entire lifestyle through engrained habits formed from your biggest motivations and desires. Ultimately, it is your habits and lifestyle that are more of a determinant of where you’ll end up years down the road than pieces of short term goals you set each year. So you lost 10 pounds this year, great! Celebrate. Continue your lifestyle and you’ll reach your natural set point if you keep doing what you’re doing.

With this, I am setting a few key guidelines from wisdom gained this year.

Guidelines going forward 

1. Set your intention, then your goals.

It’s important to have goals because it takes you toward action, but I would like to re-state this because goals can be lofty. Intention sets where you want to go, and actions you need to take as who you will need to become to fulfill your intention, whereas goals may not be aligned with your ultimate intention and be focused around actions.

Instead, how about looking at your intention? What is the ultimate intention for you – what do you want to create in the world, and who do you need to be to fulfill your intentions?

Likely, this is a lifelong journey or at least something you’ll be working towards the next decade to. Begin to think longer term and stop measuring yourself only on the progress of the minute goals you set each year.

2. Focus on building habits and a lifestyle 

To reach your intention, who do you need to become? How do you see yourself being, where are the gaps from where you are today? What type of actions do you need to take to close that gap? Start with the most critical actions and begin to “habitualize” them.

3. Build a support network around you 

We have friends we’ve kept our whole lives, but not all of your current relationships may be aligned towards supporting your intentions. Get together with existing friends, and make new ones along with mentors that keep you accountable.

Wishing you all a great New Year creating the life you want to live!

Did this post get you thinking? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 


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