I usually don’t do End Of The Year reflections, as it’s common to do. I prefer to do it semianually – usually one on July and other on January, as you can read in my introspection rituals post. I do it this way because, in my opinion, 12 months is too much time – it let us loose focus of what we want to achieve in that year, and sometimes is even discouraging, since your desired goal seems too far away. It’s better to break big goals in smaller ones and achieve them in shorter time periods.
Anyhow, this time I decided to make a retrospection of the past 12 months to share with you. I’ll also point out some of my goals for the next 6.
2013 was the year where I finished one of the most important stages of my life: jeKnowledge
This junior enterprise was a major part of my life for the previous fours years. There I learned a lot about entrepreneurship, how to manage and lead a company, and much more.
It was one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had.
Even though there was a lot of room for improvement, I left jeKnowledge proud of what we achieved. I hope this organisation keeps being a reference on bringing talent to our world.
A year before leaving jeKnowledge, I started thinking about what I was going to do next. I decided that I would allow myself to choose only one of these two options: start my own startup, or work for a small company/startup which I identified with. Everything else was a no no.
A good opportunity appeared as the later option – Whitesmith. That’s what I chose, and I surely don’t regret it.
For the past months we’ve been building the foundations of the company. Including hiring some more awesome guys. And these are the ones who make me believe that a lot of great things are yet to come.
For now, don’t forget to follow Whitesmith’s blog. We’re preparing some exclusive goodies to our subscribers.
This year my blog transitioned to an independent WordPress platform and received a fresh new design. I’ve been trying different tweaks on the copy, and writing different types of posts, just to see what happens.
Even though the quality and frequency of my posts haven’t been as good as I wanted, I’m somehow satisfied with some of them. I also appreciate the increase of subscribers – from 8 in June to 100 in December.
On the downside, I’ve started a QS podcast, which I haven’t been able to maintain well – I wasn’t able to stick to the monthly schedule, and it became harder to not repeat the same conversations around the Quantified Self topic.
I’ve started this blog in 2010, and the pleasure of writing here has been increasing since then. Also, creating these blog posts made me think deeply about various subjects, and find a way to communicate them to you. It has been an excellent exercise.
For the next months, I want to continue posting and improving the quality of the posts you read here, and also want increase my number of subscribers to 300 until the end of July.
Productivity and focus
Last year I changed my routine a bit, which had a positive impact in my productivity:
- I’ve been consuming less articles from the interwebs. Giving preference to reading a book or creating something.
- I tried a different work routine, where I work from home in the morning, and go to the office or somewhere else in the afternoon.
- I tried doing some of my workouts in the late morning, just before lunch. Feels awesome, and it boosts my energy for the rest of the day.
Anyhow, I notice some bad things which I need to improve in the next months:
- The lack of hard deadlines is making me too flexible. I need to set a end date for my projects/goals.
- I’ve been skiping my no-work-on-sundays rule, which results in both not spending good time with my family and friends, neither having a good performance on the next days. A day to to switch off is important.
- I’ve been doing too much things at the same time. It’s time to eliminate a few and focus on the most important for now. It’s time to do a few things well. Anyhow, I recognise that I’ll not be able to do this so well as I would like for these first months, because of some previous commitments. But it’s something that I will have in mind.
Being a good communicator
I’m far from being the good communicator I would like to be. To make this happen, recently I’ve been learning and practicing at my local Toastmaster club. I also have been trying to improve my writing and copy writing skills by reading some great books about the topic, and by practicing it on this blog and other projects.
The best books so far are:
- How to Write Seductive Web Copy
- Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck
I haven’t found a good one about oral communication though. It seems that every one of them are too much centered on public speaking.
Health and fitness
Working out makes me feel alive. I love to do it just for the sake of it, with or without goals. Anyhow, from time to time I try to break some of my records, just to show myself that I’m not declining. This year I broke my previous 4km record from 2012, which was 17m10s – I’ve made it in 16m54s.
I also experimented a semi-paleo diet just to see what effects would have in my body. There have been some interesting, but not dramatic, results that I may talk about in a future post.
This has been a long desire of mine – to have a more active role in the world of music. To make it happen I’m now taking a radio course at Radio Universidade de Coimbra, where I hope to learn a lot about music, and meet really interesting people that love it as much as I do.
This has been one of my worst achievements – I’m always postponing this. My goal isn’t to visit a huge number of countries just to tell that I’ve been there. I want to travel to have deep experiences, to learn new things, and expand my understanding of the world.
So, doing just one or two good trips this year seems reasonable to start.
I realised that to end this constant postponing I need to book the trip as soon as possible. Let’s do this.
I only want to say one thing about this:
Sometimes isn’t about giving them help just when they need it. Or buying them that present because they want that very much. Sometimes is about giving them your help, or buy them something, just to show them that you care and that they’re important for your life. Even if they don’t need it much.
We forget this too many times… I forget this too many times. And I will try hard to not anymore.
I’ll come back with a new introspection in July. Until then, let’s all make these next 6 months outstanding.