A Year In Review: A Birthday Post

Another year older(*). I could vent or reflect. I choose to reflect on and share some of my thoughts here.

I started building some valuable habits this year. One of them was to read 3% of any book everyday. I wanted to read at least one book a month and I simplified it to this daily habit. It worked out really well. I am able to read more than one book/month. Usually, I am reading 2 books at the same time, one fiction and one non-fiction. Currently I am reading Black Swan and a parenting book. I am also learning about Human Behavioral Biology by watching an online class. Reflections:

  • Not a new one, I quite enjoy learning about new things.
  • Habits are powerful. I use a simple app to help with my habit building.
  • All these books and classes are recommendations from friends. They know me the best and they are really a great source of knowledge.

I am both leaving under the tyranny of my calendar and empowered by my calendar. I took steps to take control of my calendar and use it to my advantage. Scheduled times to do routine tasks, connect with friends, and blocks to think, work, rest, connect are all helpful. I have a monthly reminder to reflect, that helps me with adjusting my priorities and lifestyle. I am also keeping a small journal around and writing notes about ideas, thoughts, plans, emotions. It is a powerful way to understand myself. Reflections:

  • Tools, processes, systems are for us to help and simplify our lives. It is up-to-me to take the lead and remove complexities.
  • Calendars and journals are great tools!

I started exercising daily, simple 20-minute bodyweight workouts. It started as part of a physical therapy plan because I had some pain. Now it has become a great habit. I never before thought I would have time for daily exercise. Also, as a result of all the quarantine, I and my love are cooking much more, trying new varieties, and feeling better about our newfound abilities to enjoy better food we cooked together. Furthermore, we are walking regularly almost daily. Reflections:

  • Another fascinating lesson for me, good things could come out of not-so-good beginnings.
  • We are capable of doing things that we thought we could not. We all can grow.

Having some outside area, some dirt is both a great privilege and a joy in life. Being able to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and peas was a relaxing and enjoyable activity. Reflection: I hpoe to find more ways to connect with nature.

Having achievable and meaningful goals are great. My real goals were and still are: read books, exercise, eat healthily, spend quality time with loved ones, reduce stress, learn, enjoy life, and not to delay life. These goals do not mean that I am doing perfectly on all those fronts, but writing them down and reminding myself regularly was crucial in improving myself on those dimensions. One thing I could easily add to that list is to sleep well for at least 8 hours. Reflection: Goals + growth mindset -> bliss.

And some fun stuff, this year my favorites games to play were Witcher 3 and Battletech. My favorite book was Thinking, Fast and Slow. I am not sure what was my favorite movie of the year. Nothing comes to mind quickly. I guess that says something. Perhaps it was one of the superhero movies :). My favorite software, as strange as it sounds, was WhatsApp. It was the main tool I had for staying connected with my friends and family. My favorite tv online show was Altered Carbon.

And my favorite time of the year was traveling with my parents and my wife to a new place together. It was such a lovely week!

It was a great year. I hope you will all have a great year as well!

(*) I am not going to reveal my age here :) even though there are plenty of ways to find that information.