What I Learned in the Year 2015

(This is a little late too.  Still catching up…Almost back to being on schedule – Bryan)

One of the suggested practices for people with the #1 Strength of “Learner” in Strengths Finder 2.0, is to keep a record of everything that you have learned.

In the course 5 Days to your Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt suggests listing things that you accomplished and learned throughout the year.

What I learned Working

  • Having a Changelog Helps
    • I couldn’t remember everything I did in 2015 year when writing this post. When I checked out my changelog, it helped tremendously, which is why I wanted to make sure I completed last month’s review (even though it was a month late.
    • Here are the Total Books / Courses / Resources Learned or Completed
      • Art – 32
      • Business – 25
      • Designer – 10
      • Marketing – 10
      • Programming – 5
      • Life – 11
      • Politics – 6
    • Just looking at that list makes me feel good (that I learned something…anything!) and the year wasn’t a waste.
  • Finding Focus Takes Time and can be Painful
    • When I look back on my recording for my Marketing Metrics in 2015, I found that I was increasing viewers to the website up until April. When I realized I wasn’t heading in the direction I wanted, I pivoted, and all the rush of gaining followers, of creating steady consistent blog posts, fell to the ground. If you review the spreadsheet (the Week of 25 April) you can see my stats start to fail from then on.
    • It’s painful to see the pivot. I floundered trying to figure myself and my business out. I continue to flounder, unsure of myself and the proper direction to go in, but at least I know I’m not headed down one wrong direction.
  • Having routines and rhythms is super important
    • I learned this at the end of the year. I wouldn’t stick to my own commitments for my business, and place others above it. Family, friends, relaxation, are all important, but if I’m not making progress towards becoming the person I truly want to be, then it’ll get me down.
    • I’ve started sticking to my rhythms with friends and family, and even my own personal random desires to help build momentum in the direction I want to go in.
    • Of all the routines, the most important one for me is completing my morning routine. It helps me prioritize my day, and keep me focused on my goals. I’ll write about what it consists of eventually
  • Track Everything that’s Important to You
    • This started with Mini-Habits. I tracked some of my habits to better myself in some areas, and they really helped give my confidence back after failing my goals in 2014.
    • This year, after taking Michael Hyatt’s course, I daily review my goals, track my progress in them, and then at the end of the week, review the whole week and plan the next one. Doing this weekly review, is essential to keeping me on track, and building momentum in the areas of life I want to make progress in.

While there are many more smaller things I learned (like not letting your cats and dogs hang out in your work room because they are too distracting), this are the big things I’ve learned in work, which I wanted to share.

What I learned about life

  • Kids are Awesome
    • They sure do take up a lot of time, but kids help bring perspective on life. My daughter turned 2 this year, and while the first year there isn’t much interaction, this year has been amazing.
    • If you believe in the Bible, you start to understand the Father’s love. Suddenly, when you look tenderly at your child, and are amazed at them, you catch a glimpse of the immensity of God’s love for us. It also means you understand how, although His discipline may hurt you, you know it’s done because He loves you, and He really does know best.
    • Plus you get to understand your parents, and other parents more. You start to be able to empathize with how painful it would be for friends whose parents have gone astray, or even died. You also understand why your parents never stop talking about you, why they keep bringing up funny things you used to do as a child, and it gives you a glimpse of how when they look at you as an adult, part of them must still see the child they played with, fed, and held at night.
  • Socializing is Important
    • At some point, I wanted to work real hard throughout the year, and I stopped going to the only social function near me (I live in the middle of nowhere).
    • Because I work from home, and live in the woods, I don’t get out much.  Having only my wife and child to interact with, and my parents on Sunday, started to drive me a little crazy. I’ll take those five hours of productivity during the week and happily trade it for my sanity.  Even though I like being introverted, I don’t want to be a hermit.
  • Don’t give up no losing weight
    • This was the year I was supposed to get back in shape. I found the most gains when I started to read books, and understand how the body works. Great gains there in my eating habits!
    • I never gave up on losing weight, or finding an activity I would enjoy that was physically challenging. After years of searching when getting out of the Army, I found that doing Crossfit, with other people, helped me find the fun I was searching for in physical fitness. I tried to buy my own weights and do it alone 2 years ago, but the fun of being able to talk about it, and the camaraderie built from going through hard workouts together, ultimately is what lead me to enjoy it the most now.
    • If I hadn’t just totally given up, consented to the fact that I’d never get back in shape, and that losing weight was just too hard, then I wouldn’t have found the joys of being able to move my own body again that I so easily had when I was in the Army. I’m looking forward to making great gains this year.
  • Reading my Bible helps me keep everything in perspective
    • I think I would’ve cracked from stress of trying to put my life in order if I didn’t have my faith. Those times when I’ve been worried that I’m not creating enough income for my family, or worried about family and friends going through hard times, has all been soothed by getting it in perspective by reading my Bible daily (that’s what I plan for, but miss about one day a week)
    • In addition, I also go over a list of Bible verses, asking for deliverance for my business, and a list reminding me of the ways the Lord’s delivered me in the past (Safe from 2 war zones, Graduating West Point / Ranger School, child’s safe delivery, etc).

Here’s to Next Year

2015 wasn’t that bad of a year looking back. I’m definitely moving forward, and looking forward to learning new things, taking on challenges, and achieving my goals this year.

Good luck to you as well.