For the past 8 years, I set aside time in late December to reflect on the past year and choose a theme for the year ahead.
For 2022, my word is Adventure.
Note: I’ve shared my theme for the year in a blog post since 2014. My theme in 2014 was change and resiliency. In 2015, it was vulnerability. In 2016 it was mindfulness. In 2017, it was honey over vinegar. In 2018, it was process. In 2019, it was focus. In 2020, it was momentum. And in 2021, it was consistency.
Professionally, 2021 was the best year I’ve ever had. It felt like a lot of the hard work I’ve been putting in for the last few years is just starting to come to fruition.
- I surpassed my revenue (read: not profit) goal. 🎉
- I started working with a couple of dream clients and spoke at several virtual conferences.🤩
- I launched The Remote Work Tribe podcast over the summer and have released 2 episodes consistently each month. 🎙
- I wrote 2 newsletters every month in 2021. 💻
- I doubled my email list for the first time YoY. 🚀
In addition, my personal life improved a bit from 2020.
- My social life improved considerably, especially in the second half of 2021.
- I went to Mexico City for the first time. (A very underrated city btw.)
- I learned a bunch of new things. For instance, I got way more interested in crypto, web3, and investing.
- But, the biggest change was I moved to Colorado in December. ⛰️
Now for some of the cons:
- I got dangerously close to burnout in March and April. I got so enamored by cool stuff that was happening, especially in the business in Q1 2021, that I was working all the time and not prioritizing rest.
- Some of my health and fitness goals were left on the back burner, especially in the first half of the year.
- I prioritized listening to podcasts over reading books. (Side note: there are so many good podcasts out there!) There is 100% a place for both, but I need to balance it better.
- I struggled with hiring as well as being the bottleneck for some internal/administrative projects and tasks in my business.
So why did I make my word for 2022 – adventure – and what exactly do I want to achieve this year?
Admittedly, this really ties back to some of my core values and principles, like:
- Be able to work day in and day out on solving fun and challenging problems
- Chase new experiences that force me to stay curious
- Connect awesome people to one another
- Have the freedom to live and work in places that inspire me
Many of these things I want to accomplish in 2022 are already in the works. I’m a big believer you shouldn’t wait until an arbitrary day, like January 1st, to start working on a goal.
Some of these goals are things that I’ve been doing for a while and actively love doing but want to make them more sustainable. Others are things I’ve never done before.
So, here are some of my goals.
- Spend the vast majority of time on client work in the business. I love working with all of my current clients (That’s not something I could have said in 2019.) and want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to show up as my best self.
- Launch my first product as “a side hustle.” I’m taking a completely different approach to this product. For starters, my goal is to hire way before I think I’m ready and get it to break even by the end of the year. (Note: The idea for this came from solving a major pain point I experienced in my business. This is a post (or a few) in itself, but if you own or work for a marketing agency and do a fair amount of content and copy research, I want to chat with you.)
- Publish two episodes of my podcast each month.
- Build a repeatable process for getting to 3k email subscribers.
- Make more local friends.
- Learn to ski or snowboard
- Explore at least one new country
To me, adventure and curiosity go hand and hand. While it certainly includes chasing new experiences, it is also about finding ways to make the experiences you do enjoy more sustainable through focus, process, etc.