Looking Back at Year 2014

It’s once again that time of the year – end of it. It’s time to go through my annual wrap-up for the year.

Where do I even begin. It’s been quite a year.

2014 was distinctly different year from the previous two years. My life was very unstable as I spent nearly half of it traveling. It was also emotionally unstable with my relationship ending right in beginning of it and having everything after that dissolve away only after a little while. From highs to lows its been a year of extremes. Overall I can look back at the year with pride, but I also can’t help but to feel what might have been if I had put in even more effort. Also, all the adventures that I had come at an expense that wasn’t perhaps necessary. I’m just gonna write a little bit of a chronological summary, then we will go through some goals and numbers and then I’m done. As for goals for the new year, I will get to that after I’ve done some contemplating about my life during the first few days of 2015.

Unpredictable 2014 – From Low to High

The year obviously started with me at probably the lowest point of my life, or arguably at least one of the low-points of my life. I was absolutely destroyed by my messy breakup (rarely they are not messy). So for the two weeks in Malaysia, I was just feeling blue, which was then rocketed into very high after traveling to Hong Kong/Macau and having a great experience there. What followed was months of grind, but to be honest I wasn’t at my most productive mode. However it was required for me to get all set for my Brazil trip, which was a success, even if I in the end felt I could’ve done so much more. However it is so far one of the best periods of my life and I feel very blessed to have experienced it. I’m sure that everyone who was there remembers it for the rest of their life. I also popped by at Istanbul after the trip, extending it to 52 days of straight travel, longest time I had ever been away from home at the time.

Of course, that record was already sure to be broken as I had booked my trip to Bangkok. What was supposed to be a bit over two-month stay has ended up being already nearly three months without end in sight, spanning 3 countries in Asia and ending up changing my plans.

In the end, I traveled over 160 days in 2014 and visited eight countries, something I didn’t expect to happen when the year was starting. But all the achievement is with a bitter aftertaste of what more it could’ve been…

Goals I Set for 2014

I once again set very extensive goals for the year, its time to do a bit of evaluation on how it went.

Main Goal of 2014: Becoming Social

  • Approach at least five people every day / go out for at least an hour daily FAIL
  • Approach a total of least 100 people every week FAIL 
  • Approach at least 10 people a day online every day. FAIL

End result: SPECTACULAR FAILURE

I approached 3-4 people I think all year, let alone 100 people a week. This is a case of complete goal-setting miscalibration. I messaged a lot online, that’s the only thing that happened. I never set the habit of consistently going out cause it turned out to be way too hard goal for me – it was like a weak nerd setting a goal to start doing reps of 100 kg in bench press from the first session.

I obviously could’ve done much better on this, but when my starting level turned out to be being so anxious I can barely get out of my room on some days, doing something like 5 approaches a day is simply utopia. One thing I did do though is become more social over the year, but it wasn’t a massive improvement – the above goals are still way way too ambitious for me. I also didn’t spend enough time in big cities to consistently work on this – as said, where I come from I can’t really practice. So bottom line here is that I simply failed this goal spectacularly, but it was complete mismatch to begin with – simply a mistake in my improvement of goal-setting skills.

Let’s then have a look at the secondary goals and how I fared at them…

Secondary Goals

  1. Traveling to Brazil for the World Cup SUCCESS
  2. Working at least 6 hours every day FAIL
  3. Gaining weight until I reach 90 kg FAIL
  4. Using my own book to improve my nutrition – then in turn improving the book as I go along. FAIL
  5. Writing at least one story per week. FAIL
  6. Visit at least two other new countries besides just Brazil. SUCCESS
  7. Start reading at least ten hours a week. FAIL

I failed most of my goals once again. Some of these were too ambitious again, but some just show how poor this year has been in terms of me instilling new positive habits.

Only aspect of the year that I succeeded was the travel – I went to Brazil as planned, and also visited 6 other countries, 5 of which were new countries to me. So on that goal I way overdelivered, but at the expense of everything else.

I go through periods where I do work 6 hours a day, but that’s not at all consistent. As for my weight, here at the end of 2014 I’m standing at 72 kg which is actually nearly 10 kg less than I was at the beginning of the year.

My nutritional habits are the same or worse and I haven’t really have had time to get back into my book that’s already over 2 years old – feels like yesterday when I hit publish on that.

The saddest I am about my lack of writing though – the whole year was a disappointment in terms of writing. I say I didn’t have time, but as we already know, that’s never a good excuse. Writing one story a week was actually very well-proportioned goal, very achievable yet still sufficiently challenging, but no. I have had my writing habit completely destroyed this year. There’s been no consistency in my life whatsoever.

Biggest Successes and Failures of 2014

So let’s take a bit closer look at those two extremes of the year – successes and failures.

Top-3 Successes

  1. Traveling a shit ton.
  2. Improving my social skills to the point that people don’t believe I’m shy anymore.
  3. Bouncing back from failed relationship well

Look, I don’t wanna sink into too much negativity in this post even though there’s lot of criticism I have in store for myself in this post – but let’s face it, it was an awesome year. I traveled a lot. I jumped a bungy, I hiked around a volcano, I attended World Cup matches, and I somehow ended up in Taiwan to end the year. Eight countries, over five months abroad, anyone can be proud of that. I saw and experienced a lot. And while I failed on my social main goals hard, the overall goal of becoming social was still something of a success since I am now at a stage where I regularly hear I’m not shy. The year didn’t start on best beginnings but I managed to turn the bad situation on its head well and even the failed things after that I managed to keep bouncing back without too much wallowing in depression.

Top-3 Failures

  1. Lack of experiences in relative to amount of time traveled – leaving so much untapped potential.
  2. Getting out of whack in all important habits
  3. Lack of consistency in… anything.

While it was an undeniably cool year where I experienced a lot more than the average person, for someone that traveled over 160 days I only can think of “what might have been”. I don’t feel like I’ve been pushing for the edge as hard as I can. I look back at the year and think its amazing, but can’t help but to wonder how amazing it had been if I had made better choices. Better choices in time management, better choices in terms of courage, just pushed more for the full experience. I had a rich experience, but it could have been richer.

The rich experience came at a cost – I failed spectacularly at maintaining all my staple habits. From working out to reading and writing, I was doing nothing of it with any consistency. That’s why I’m ending the year out of shape and with poor work habits. Was it worth it? I don’t know, I don’t think that’s the right question – I could have kept doing it – there’s nothing that makes it impossible to work, travel and still retain basic habits that keep one in shape both mentally and physically.

2014 in Numbers

As usual, thanks to my extensive tracking of my activities, I end the year with bunch of numbers quantifying the effort of the past 12 months. Let’s have a look over those numbers to see if they reveal something new to me.

The Path activity 93 hours

Less than 25 % of the last year – as you might know, this mostly constitutes of writing but includes stuff related to blog etc. – which is ironically most of what I did on this matter this year. I didn’t actually write much of fiction which is very disappointing. Also very sad since I’ve gotten lot of props for writing and its been always a thing that while sometimes makes me wanna tear my hair out, also is very rewarding to do in the end.

High Value Work 991 hours

Technically this should be about double considering the actual hours I’ve put in, but as said, I only count the effective hours in my tracking. Last years number got doubled practically, so it explains where most of my time went. Satisfying, but this really should be higher as well.

The Grind 31.5 hours

Massively loses to last years number continuing a trend set from previous year – which is a generally very positive development, meaning I’m actually spending my time in doing valuable stuff, instead of letting mundane tasks get on my way. Perhaps though this dropped too low and is indicative of some negligence, but can’t really say for sure.

Total work 1115.5 hours (3.05 hours / day)

To my surprise (?) the total work number actually went down – I’m not entirely surprised as I felt my overall working habits have been in shambles, but at the same time I’ve been under increased stress all year so I expected the number to have been slightly bigger. What happened instead is that the hours itself stayed about the same, just how those hours were allocated changed. That being said, being able to maintain similar workload while mostly traveling is not all that bad outcome, but really this is something that should be significant improvement, not stagnation. I don’t think that the ceiling of my work ability is this number, after all.

Footy 37.5 hours

Another sad trend continued – my most beloved hobby is getting completely trivialized from my life. It’s bizarre considering how easy football is to do regardless of the location. I get it travel makes things hard sometimes but am really finding it hard to explain such a steep drop. I really need to get back into the groove.

Playing Games 140 hours

There’s not really accurate tracking on this once again, but for sure from what I have I can say that this number dropped significantly. It had to, otherwise hours in a day would have not been enough for everything I did. Not a bad development at all.

More Numbers: Universal Awesomeness Score

Universal Awesomeness Score has now been in my use for a full year, unfortunately for most of the year my scores aren’t all that impressive – for good reasons, I haven’t really been living up to my own standards.

Top-5 Weeks

Week 16 – 440 points

Week 3 – 391 points

Week 15 – 383 points

Week 32 – 321 points

Week 1 – 274 points

I had a bit more over 300 point weeks but the highest tip is lower compared to last year’s. In the end though just looking at best weeks of the year doesn’t appear bad in terms of UAS.

Average week 125.4 points

This is where I take it up the ass hard from last year. To my defence lot of last years scores were based on old system so its unfair to compare. I talked about being above 400 points per week on average next year – well I got nowhere close to that.

I won’t do daily top-5 like I did last year due to being pressed for time, but I’ll say this – even my best day this year wouldn’t have made it to the last year’s top-3. Sadly I didn’t have any real peak days which in turn led to average being so bad. I’d be happy if I could score an over 100 point day early on during the year to set the year to right tone.

The Best Posts of Year 2014

My blog surpassed 100 posts this year, and even though it wasn’t the most active year in terms of putting out posts, I’m still happy about improvement in content. Here’s a few posts I picked out that stood out for me:

100th Post – On Shortness of Life

I feel I was spot on in this video. In terms of general vibe an conveying my message, this is best I’ve done. The view is beautiful and the content is actually something I’d watch myself, I feel really good about this one.

Spectator Society

Half-baked idea turned out into pretty insightful post.

Courage and Fear in Modern Society

The bungy is of course the highlight of the video but the message is also an important one and despite shooting it by hand with phone camera while being sick, it turned out to be decently executed as well.

Honesty

This one gets the nod cause its a massive video that took me a while to film while in Istanbul. Many locations, as for the message I still agree with it but I definitely feel there needs to be Honesty, Part II where I further elaborate on my views.

Secret to Success

I liked this cause it showed more my travel experience and this kind should be more what my videos are about.

Things Will Go Wrong

This gets the nod simply cause its highly relevant post to everyone.

Alright, that’s it, I’ve been talking for over 2000 words once again, I hope you got something out of it, see you and here’s to having a great 2015! Tchau!

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