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2023 Annual Review: Back in Action, Big Changes for Next Year

*Big news: I’m making some changes! Starting January 1, a new yearlong project will take the place of the weekly newsletter.

If you already subscribe by email, you’ll be automatically invited to the new platform next week. If you don’t, check the next post on the blog for details. See you on Jan. 1 for the full rollout!

Happy holidays, everyone! I went for my Annual Review, and all was well. That’s always nice.

In fact, let’s just start with that. In addition to the “What went well / what didn’t go well” lists that I compile during the review, I also wrote a short gratitude list that’s more general.

At the top of that list, I wrote:

Did not feel in despair

Did not feel increasingly anxious as the day draws to a close

So, as I said—nice start! Whenever you’re not in despair or increasingly anxious throughout the day, count your blessings.

To Begin, a Quick Disclaimer

Just a quick disclaimer at the outset of this year’s recap: if you start thinking “Why do I care about this guy’s experiences?”—well, you don’t have to care!

I’ve been sharing like this every year since 2008 for those who are interested. Mostly, though, I hope the process of the review can be helpful for people.

Over the years, many readers have modified the review in their own way to create templates of their own—which is great! In fact, that’s kind of the goal. 🙂

Remember that there are dozens of posts in the AONC archives about the Annual Review. Everything is free and I hope something is useful.

Okay, with that out of the way—let’s get into this year’s highlights.

2023: What Went Well (An Abbreviated List)

  • Published a new book and went on tour (14 cities) for the first time in several years! That was fun. In recent years I’ve really missed getting the chance to connect with readers in different stops.
  • Published 52 AONC posts and newsletters, every Tuesday morning without exception (thanks for reading them!)
  • Finished another 365 episodes of Side Hustle School (currently 2,500+ days total), my daily podcast
  • Completed another 365 days of my Apple Watch streak (currently at 1,731 days of consecutive running)
  • Remained consistent in my commitments, continuing to focus on wellness, fitness, and harmonious relationships
  • Began a new service commitment and completed it twice
  • Began sharing consistently on social media for the first time in years (didn’t expect this one! It’s a new thing but I’m going to keep it up)
  • Went to Croatia, Austria, the UK, the Netherlands, and India, in addition to numerous smaller trips. Travel is a smaller part of my life these days, but I still enjoy a few adventures throughout the year

Like I said, it’s an abbreviated list—but it was also a pretty good year all-around!

What Did Not Go Well (An Abbreviated List)

I’ll share in a bit more detail for the first two items on this part of the list:

  • Okay, so last year I had a secret goal and theme for 2023. I didn’t tell you about it in last year’s post because I wanted to just do it.

    But guess what? Not only did I not tell you about it, I also didn’t do it! Oops.

    Well—that’s how it works with goals sometimes. If you don’t ever fail, you’re not aiming high enough. Weirdly, I actually feel okay about this failure.

    Other things came up and I shifted the goal. So perhaps the lesson is: don’t be afraid to set or change goals. 🤷🏼‍♂️

  • Next, the Gonzo Capitalism rollout was … chaotic. It’s great to have a book out, but some things definitely could have gone better.

    I wrote about it more in this post. It’s kind of a bummer, because you usually only get one chance to debut a book. If things go wrong that are outside your control, too bad!

    That said, I also think an important lesson is that I trusted too much in a process that was outside my control. (Authors, I say this with all due respect for everyone else who’s involved in publishing: no one will care about your book NEARLY as much as you do. So YOU need to speak up, take over the plans, and make things happen.)

    Naturally, I’m regrouping. I also have a new book I’m working on, and I look forward to telling you about it when the time comes.

  • I planned to live in New York City for at least a month, but didn’t follow-up and make this happen
  • I didn’t build any additional revenue source. I’ve intended to do this for two years, and it hasn’t happened. Really need to get on that for next year!
  • There are no cats in my life these days, and that makes me sad. I really need access to more cats, or at least one. 😺

Looking Forward: 2024 Narrative

Alright, so let’s look ahead! I’m going to be making some big changes in what I write and how I share it, so I’ll make a FEW notes about that here—but it will make more sense next week when I debut a new project. 😎

At the end of 2024, I’ll have completed a full year writing a new newsletter series (150+ posts) on mental health and purposeful productivity. This work, combined with a new emphasis on consistent sharing online, will be my primary focus for the year.

I also hope to finally develop a new source of income, which may come in one of several forms (it’s in the works).

I’ll finish 365 episodes of Side Hustle School, again providing a foundation for other things without taking too much of my attention.

I’ll maintain my commitment to wellness and positive relationships, an underlying value of my life since 2018.

Once again, I’ll complete another 365 days of the Apple Watch streak. I’ll also run my first marathon in several years, this time with a specific goal in mind.

Coming NEXT WEEK: An All-New Project for All of 2024!

Okay, so I’ve unintentionally done a bit of previewing here, without telling you what the new project is about.

Sorry about that—I had to figure out how to share openly about my review without giving everything away yet.

But in short: in 2024 I’m going to make the biggest change to my small publishing operation since 2017, when I started the podcast. 

Until then, I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday week, or at least a tolerable one. Remember, if this time is difficult for you, you’re not the only one. ❤️

Thanks for being out there! The best is yet to come.