It’s 2023 - happy new year, everyone! Before heading the focus to what’s to come, I’d like to look back on what 2022 held in store and share it with you. I set plenty of goals for 2022 and already knew that it would be a lot. My ambitious me wanted to keep the bar high, and so it comes to no surprise that not all of them were reached. But even though the metric wasn’t reached, I want to focus on the gain rather than the gap. Lastly, I will share my core learnings and intentions for next year. Happy reading!
Review of my goals
Write 15 blog posts I failed to reach my goal of 15 blog posts, but published 9 and also wrote 7 letters. I enjoyed reading Jen Vermet’s letters a lot and inspired by them, I wanted to start expressing my emotional self. I wanted to lower my mental barrier of what is worth sharing to publish more. I spent a lot more time paying attention to how I feel and to the more human-side of what is going on around me.
My key discoveries on my personal journey were:
- being more vulnerable and controversial to express my thoughts and opinions. They don’t need to be finished or completely thought through. I filter too much and am hence often silent
- the distortions of my childhood: How I react to conflict, how I see friends, my emotional awareness, my zeal / obsession to work and be a high achiever. It felt good to acknowledge this and to try to resist my default.
- emotional awareness and expression. I tend to filter out the emotional component and focus on the rational.
- conflict resolution and difficult conversations. Stepping back in heated conflicts to really understand the other’s needs and express care. This was a big step forward from my problem avoidant nature. But also setting boundaries to not disconnect from myself when I feel drained and not bending to try to please the other.
I review my journal learnings weekly and try to share them While I journaled regularly during the first months of the year, my journaling felt through the cracks in the second half. I very often postponed until I was too tired or could not get into the mindset to reflect about my day. I got to share a bit about my world through my letters, but I am strongly determined to build a consistent journaling routine next year.
Do 7 learning projects I also shared a few technical tutorials and open sourced as much of my thesis as possible. I want to keep this up and share, especially more of my learning projects. I wish to become more active in my learning by not just reading books and diving too deep into the nitty-gritty details that I too soon forget when not immediately needed. I intend to consume less, but actively test my understanding through posts and exercises.
Have a plan what to do after graduation I started thinking about my future after uni in autumn and realized that it’s still too early to apply for anything. Now, I plan to start working in June 23 now and have a few ideas and options for then, but nothing is set in stone yet. I still have time.
Read 25 books & Share 12 book notes I read very few books this year and only posted 4 book notes, being far away from my goal. The reason being that I did not get hooked to the books I selected as much and lacking exciting titles to jump to. I’ll set a lower goal for next year and discard books earlier when I don’t like them. I’m open to book recommendations!
Friends & Love
Visit 2 friends I shrank my friend circle, but got closer to those that really matter to me. In the first half, I was very open to meet new people and became much more confident to talk to strangers. I really enjoy these serendipitous and short fun interactions, but stopped doing it altogether, when I decided to channel more energy to those close to me. Why? I want more chitchat again in 2023! In June, my friend Celine came to visit in Berlin, and seeing each other in person after more than 1 year was a real game changer for our friendship. Being in-person just gives so much more time and space to get to know each other better (calls are often too infrequent + short to reach more than a catch-up), and obviously feels more alive and vibrant than an online call. I’m happy I got to visit Celine in Switzerland at the end of the year for a weekend, and want to invest more energy into spending in-person time with my friends! I also had the same experience with my hitherto mostly online friend Simon from Bavaria, with whom I got to spend time together a few times this year. It’s okay that these people are not living in the same city, but having in-person time is so much more personal and fun.
Host 2 gatherings (dinner, party) My new living space allowed to host more dinners with friends and to let visiting friends stay over. I’m so glad about this, but I did not yet have a gathering to connect my friends with each other. This is in part due to my friends being spread remotely, but I could have been more proactive about some form of gathering.
Engage with community and find 5 twitter friends But besides in-person time, I also enjoyed meeting interesting characters online! I had a call with Jen, a few new connections through friends, found some cool people on Twitter and had people reach out to me about my blog. I want to strengthen connections with more likely-minded individuals through the internet in 2023! On the love side, I also got very lucky to get to know someone I can imagine my future with. She was a much bigger part of 2022 than this takes up in this review, but I won’t disclose it all to you 😜 I didn’t expect at all that things developed so fast between us, and I’m learning a lot about myself with her.
The joy of Music
Explore 2 fun skills I got to start a new hobby by learning the Ukulele. I’m grateful to my host in Andalusia for taking away any excuses to not start by giving me the instrument. It’s challenging, and I’m still far from a good player, but I played it consistently throughout the entire year for a few minutes in the evening. It felt so easy to pick it up because it was so fun and rewarding to see my progress. Playing uke often refueled my energy tank after a long, exhausting day! Music is a great pleasure in my life. Besides dancing, and playing instruments, I also found a new genre that helps me relax and get into a reflective mood. You can listen to my spiritual, mostly Spanish gratitude playlist on Spotify.
All the rest
Get my driver’s license After a long, mentally and financially costly odyssey, I reached my goal of getting a driver’s license.
Do 1 sweet free month I also achieved to resist sweets for 30 days without big exceptions in July and August, after failing in April with repeated indulgences.
Do 2 trips and spend some nights in a hotel I’m happy I got to do 2 trips (my brother trip to Italy got cancelled because I got sick right before :/). I spend more than two weeks in the Midwest in Minnesota with my girlfriend and got a few days in December in beautiful Bavaria. I’m glad we spent one night at a fancy hotel, and it confirmed me that it is once in while so worth to treat yourself. The ambiance was nice, we had the Spa mostly to ourselves, a gym and breakfast for a few bucks more than a hostel. I want to be a bit less thrifty next year! Buying a big monitor was another hesitant purchase, but a good investment.
Take-ins for next year
- Apply satisficing in my decision-making. I’m often too hesitant to decide, even for trivia. I want to be less frugal and value my time and wellbeing over money. This is especially true for travel planning, spending money on non-essential convenience upgrades (big monitor, rice cooker).
- Getting up early to journal and learn. I feel more in control over my day and that I achieve more when I catch the early worm. I want to track my waking hours and my learning hour.
- Exercise is essential for my mental health. Taking even just 30 min to exercise feels like a reset to my body after feeling drained.
- Plan and commit less, to do it well and be present. I don’t want to constantly feel overwhelmed with what remains to be done. I want to commit to less non-essentials goals. Those whose outcome I would like, but whose journey I don’t enjoy. I intend to be more flexible to do what feels meaningful and exciting in the now, rather than sticking to some non-essential goal.
Hope you enjoyed reading and maybe got some aha-moment for your year!👋