Looking Back at Year 2012

Last month of the year 2012 was pretty much failure on my part. I decided to take the foot off the pedal and relax a little bit and this resulted in me losing my routine completely. But nothing to worry about, I’ll soon be back in the full swing.

Taking it easy did give me some time to reflect on 2012, which was definitely the best year of my life so far. That’s not to say I’m not aiming for even higher for 2013, but all in all 2012 was excellent for me.

The truly life-changing event happened early on in the year when I got contacted from Malaysia. One of my biggest (unspoken) goal of the year was to get myself out of the country and out of my comfort zone, and this was exactly what happened when I traveled 10 000 kilometres away from home. The introverted, anti-social and dysfunctional kid that I was then truly got his brains scrambled! Then again, I’m still that same kid, not to same extent though. You could look up the video I did before the Malaysia trip and just see how much I have externally changed just viewing the videos – but even more vast has been the internal change, trust me.

It was incredibly fun, intense and sometimes uncomfortable experience, but one that truly set the year in motion. With the momentum I got from that I finally started this blog and while this still is very much a work in progress, I’m happy to finally have at least some kind of web presence. What followed then was me desperately trying to build an online lifestyle and while I failed most of my goals for the year, I’m still very happy with how the things overall panned out.

Towards the back end of the year I finally pushed out my first ever Kindle book, Healthy Eating, which never hit the obscene and unrealistic sales goal of thousand sales a month, but still has sold satisfying 27 copies in the first month, and earned me nearly 100 bucks in royalties. Another eye-opening thing that gives me some life-momentum.

Lastly the niche site I made and SEO’d to rank top-5 in its search term early in the year to fund my Malaysian trip (which it failed to do), had earned me 200 dollars over the course of the year in affiliate sales – again not life-changing, but it’s a start and proof I can do it.

Finally I can tell that 2012 saw me soar in the best physical fitness I’ve been in my life. Of course I am now 24 and in my physical prime so that’s just doing what’s expected, but so many people are not in the best shape of their life in this age – too many really. At the moment of course my fitness has plummeted a bit, but it does that always in winter and I’m not worried about it.

Goals I Set For 2012

I didn’t have this blog yet in start of 2012, yet I made some public goals for 2012 before the year in my own, small Finnish forum. Here’s what I aimed for and the results of it:

Daily meditation

Ultimately I didn’t achieve this one. I had sporadic periods where I did meditate daily, but at best it lasted a bit over a month and I couldn’t sustain it.

Writing three hours every day

I came nowhere close to succeeding in this, but my work ethic did improve over the year. Still, I didn’t even average an hour of writing per day over the year, let alone three.

Stopping eating junk food

I’ve had something of a binge lately, but overall looking at the year this was a success. I ate generally very good foods all year.

Reading an hour every day

If I counted sporadic blog reading, maybe this could be met, but as I don’t, I didn’t achieve this. I read decent amounts, more than I’ve read any year since school, and end the year with 15 read books – that’s a bit over one a month.

Exercising every day

I would say I achieved this. Yes, there was periods where I didn’t exercise daily, but for most of the year I was keeping a daily habit and lately my over 160 day streak of working out at least 20 minutes a day was broken – today I started a new one, hope it doesn’t break before June…

Playing less games

I used to be a compulsive gamer. Guess that’s partially the reason for my socially dysfunctional nature. You don’t develop social skills sitting at your computer playing games! But I did achieve this much more that I even believed I would. Between 2008 and 2011 I averaged a whopping three hours of gaming a day. This year I think I averaged an hour a day. Still quite a lot perhaps for some people, but hey, I like that shit, and it’s still a distinct decrease. Another success.

Getting up at nine every day

Not a success. My sleeping patterns are something that have no stability.

Writing a dream journal daily

This stems from my interest in dreams and lucid dreaming – not a success, but lately I’m on a streak.

Biggest Successes and Failures of 2012

Last year I wrote my top-3 successes and failures in my personal forum, so now I’m gonna do the same here from past year.

Top-3 Successes

  1. Spending a month in Malaysia
  2. Writing a book and publishing it on Kindle
  3. Building a niche site, ranking it on Google and making some money off it

Would I have ever believed I would have done all that – and more – in just one year? No way, not the guy I was in January. I was in such dire situation that my biggest success in 2011 had been my football season, and I don’t even play in a team, just recreationally with bunch of people. Last summer was a lot better for me in that regard and still it doesn’t make the top-3, just to further emphasize the contrast of the years.

But of course, there was failures in my year as well, and they need to be acknowledged too.

Top-3 Failures

  1. Failing in my 5000 € in 5 months challenge and thus failing the funding of the coming Japan trip
  2. Failing to fully capitalize on  the SEO success of my niche site.
  3. Not posting to the blog often enough.

I kind of had tough time coming up with failures – cause while there were a lot of them and I acknowledge that, it’s not like most of them were anything major. Of course the continuous failure to meet my income targets is one big problem of my life and that’s something I really intend to attack in the 2013.

Year 2012 in Numbers

As you know, I use Joe’s Goals to track my habits, which means that now at the end of the year I have a lot of different stats about to year at my fingertips – so why not share them?

I wrote fiction 206.5 hours. This means an average of 0.56 hours a day. Quite some way off the 3 hour average I targeted, but still my best ever total for a year.

203 hours of “high-value work” – this means stuff like research for book, all kinds of non-fiction, work on sites, all that kind of stuff – again averaging about 0.55 hours a day. The numbers are exposing the illusion of me as a hard worker.

I had 10 lucid dreams. This is pretty pathetic number as I had about 60 the first year I was getting into that stuff. I don’t know what has happened that they are so elusive for me.

I did 336 hours of “grind” work. This is the kind of stuff that is not really high-value, but has to be done by someone. Think of washing dishes, doing manual labor helping dad, etc. I’m actually quite surprised to see this high number, not that it’s actually particularly high.

I exercised for 120 hours, and stretched for another 98. Both averages bit under 20 minutes a day.

I read 116.5 hours all year. Again, this not counting sporadic blog reading, just actually sitting down and reading something.

I played 134 hours of football. Might sound high number for you but actually comparably to my recent years it’s a very low number. I had my focus shifted a bit elsewhere, which is good given I’m not gonna be a professional footballer any more :)

I played games for 389 hours, 1.06 hours on average per day. It’s kinda sad to see this number whip stuff like writing, but as I said earlier, it’s already much lower than it used to be.

So there we go. Time to bid farewell to the year 2012 – we had some good times, and it’s a year I will look back to fondly. But time goes on, and 2013 is already starting - let’s make this the best years of our lives!


2 Responses to “Looking Back at Year 2012”

  1. Sergio Felix January 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Hey Jarkko, man your numbers are very interesting and I love the way you kept a timed journal on all of your activities as well.

    It seems like focus has been an issue on completing your tasks (I also have the same problem) but right now that you are more aware of what works, what doesn’t and how you’re spending your time, I’m pretty sure you’ll tackle this and turn your time into profit a lot easier.

    I hope all the best for you on this year and start making stuff happen man!


    PS. Congratulations on your 26 sales as an Amazon author, something I’d love to do this year (become a published writer).

    • Jarkko Helenius January 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Thanks Sergio for the comment. We might have similar problems but on different level, I can certainly see that you’re putting in plenty of hustle :)

      Yes that’s the good thing about just taking action, you start getting what works and what not. I’m certain I’ll improve too.

      The Amazon sales are awesome and it’s great to know that that stuff actually works – that said I need to push out higher volume of books to make it a good income source. Still, about a hundred a month steady and passive income it’s not bad at all.

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