365 days full of opportunities.
Unbelievable what one can achieve in a single year. Yet we are still looking forward to several more fantastic experiences during the final weeks of 2017.
This year started out as classical start-up roller coaster but ended in awesome achievements:
- we started into the new year with a bootstrapped idea
- we rented some desks in a co-working space to being able to create a somewhat professional environment and a regular schedule
- we met someone who we will be always grateful for believing in us, our idea, and even joining our team
- we put our money where our mouth is and founded a company
- we worked many hours while still maintaining healthy stress levels
- we connected with our customers and received honest recognition and praise for our hard work
- we developed our vision and bigger picture
- we outperformed our revenue goal early and are still keeping at it - until the very last day in 2017
- we love what we do and see a very bright future
- we will celebrate our hard work this year and kick off next years goals in Rome, Italy in early January
Still can't believe all the personal experiences that we were able to fit in as well:
- we went to Legoland in Germany
- we went to Barcelona, Spain and enjoyed everything the city had to offer
- we visited several other lovely cities
- we watched the stars
- we went to activity parks
- we spent a night at the museum
- we went camping and made a boat trip
- I rode my bike a lot
- I conquered several mountain tops
- I made several motorcycle trips
- we enjoyed several gaming conventions
- we went skiing and hiking in the snow
This years life lessons
Besides all these activities there were several important lessons to be learned and several revelations to be had this year:
- how much better life is if you care more about experiences than things
- how life-changing it can be to start with an extraordinarily early morning routine
- how important it is for me to regularly recharge mentally and what a positive effect that has on my professional performance and personal life
- what a difference retrospection and conscious appreciation make
- how much time can be gained by developing optimized routines for everyday tasks and responsibilities
- how beautiful it can be partaking in old traditions and creating new ones
- what positive difference for others you can make if you put in some effort and take responsibility
- how much I value my time with my family and friends
So what made the difference?
I learned to condition myself to live a fuller life.
I did not make a secret about how terrrible I felt in late 2016. In the linked blog post I mentioned several changes I made to my life in early 2017. What I recognize by now is how important it is for me to keep a journal about the experiences I want to make and to visualize the goals I want to achieve. This applies to my professional, as well as my private life.
If you get a chance I do recommend you have a conversation with Hermann Gams and Harald Katzenschläger - or even better - visit one of their DreamAcademia events. If I had to summarize their goal in one sentence it would be that they want to help you change the world for the better. They call this dream development.
The beautiful reality is: no matter what you call it - you can indeed develop strategies to shape your life pro-actively and steadily work towards your big crazy fantasies. There are many different approaches to prepare yourself for future successes. For my personal life those are the routines that help me prepare myself identifying and seizing future opportunities:
- Keeping a list of basic ideas that I usually don't come around to do easily - and acting on them whenever an opportunity arises.
This helps me to not fall back into lazy mode when I have free time on my hand, but to improve my daily routines by implementing small optimizations. Currently on the list are for example:
- compile a visual review of this year in pictures (done!) to easily let me relive some highlights any time I feel like it, also to keep me motivated in being even more active next year
- compiling questions to improve my tax return handling next year (goal is to better document throughout the year instead of going through the full year again at the end of the year)
- scanning and sorting all my private documents to implement a paperless organization at home too (goal is to never grow an unsorted paper stack again, but immediately file documents when they arrive)
- Keeping a journal/lists of things I want to experience/improve - and ticking them off, whenever an opportunity arises - also helps in subconsciously working towards them.
Currently grouped into:
- diet - I am currently back at a very unhealthy weight due to falling back into very bad eating habits.
- fitness - Everything sports related. Already looking forward how much easier those activities will be once I am not that fat anymore.
- mind - Everything that makes me calm and helps me find inner strength.
- relationships - Everything directly related to family and friends.
- thrills - Things that challenge me. Experiences that put a big smile on my face. Everything that is connected to heightened adrenaline levels.
- skills - Things that improve my knowledge. Things I want to be better at.
- Planning concrete goals and milestones I set for myself throughout the next year - it is a great feeling to always have positive events in your future that you can look forward to.
Already started planning. Winter holidays and new year are perfect for this too. Helps me looking forward to and appreciate major events. The countdown on my front page ("T minus") always points to one of those.
- A visualization of the personal big picture - that's my "dream".
This is a constant work in progress and to honor the appreciated input from my friends I since have dedicated a public page to it. This is where my thoughts are much more disconnected from current circumstances. The life I will transition into during the next several years.
Some processes are still quite new to me and I am constantly adapting/improving them. I attribute many of last years positive events to a heightened awareness of what's important to me and as a result to better being able to see correlations and realize opportunities. Besides business planning I want to work with my family (including kids) to shape our future family goals and to see what everyone is looking forward to next year during the holidays.
In it's core some aspects of business life work quite similar, although we are more relying on widely adapted business strategies, management methodologies, and processes that are suited for teams. More on that in another blog post.
If this post is useful to you please let me know. I appreciate any kind of feedback and would love to hear about new ideas and your own personal perspective.