Annual Review 2021

2021 has been a year of small steps.

One page at a time, I’ve read more books than I have in any year I can remember. Week after week, I’ve tweaked my workout routine until I found a version that worked for me, and that I could actually keep going. I’ve started a newsletter, and consistently sent it out every two weeks (well, almost every two weeks). I’ve been thinking about getting more serious about business consulting, and I’ve slowly put together all the pieces I need to give this an honest go in 2022.

In doing so, I’ve learned a ton: What I’m good at, what I need to improve at, what my values are, what I want out of life, what value I want to add to the world. In this review, I reflect on the goals I set for myself, and the lessons I learned along the way. Then, I’ll outline how I plan to take my learnings of this year and chart a new course for 2022.

Reflecting on 2021 Goals

Find/design an exercise routine that works for me

I set myself this goal to improve my posture as well as my overall strength and health. After about 6 months of trying different things, I settled into a routine that I managed to keep up throughout the rest of the year. Its mostly strength exercises for my back and lower body, and later on in the year I’ve added some mobility exercises to the mix.

Supplement wise, I try to remember to take a brown rice protein shake daily, but I don’t worry too much if I forget to take it.

By doing this, I’ve managed to increase my strength significantly, building up from a 3 rep max to a 12 rep max for pullups, and achieved a slight increase in muscular definition. Somehow, my weight has stayed exactly the same. I’ll have to experiment with chugging more shakes to see if this will have any effect.

Read 16 books

I absolutely crushed this goal. I got back into regular reading last year, and figured 4 books per quarter would be a reasonable goal. I managed to read more than double, across a number of genres in both fiction and non-fiction.

An effect that I hadn’t planned for was that all this reading has really helped to get my creative juices flowing. There are much more ideas bouncing around in my head now, leading to novel insights. Insights that I can in turn use for writing, which brings me to…

Write 12 essays

I didn’t quite make this one. I got up to 11, and 3 of those are related to my annual review process. Still, I’m quite happy with the 8 essays that I did write, and I have built up a list of essays that I want to write this year. The biggest hurdle is that I’m very critical of my own writing, and that makes the writing process quite hard. If I can create a place for writing in my daily routine, I’m pretty sure I’ll be halfway to solving this issue.

Send 26 newsletters

I fell short of this goal by four newsletters. This is mostly due to a gap in September and October, where I let one missed edition become three. Whoops.

Even so, I’m pretty happy that I managed to get as close as I did. When I started, I didn’t have a habit of writing, and only a vague idea of where I would take this. I feel like I have a much better feeling of what I want this newsletter to be, and what information I can share in it that is actually beneficial to people working in videogames.

Formalize innovation and business development processes at Global Talk

OK, so this one’s a bit painful. I never finished this, because in October I was essentially let go. The company was moving in a direction that benefited less from an innovation/bizdev manager, and the decision was made that my services were no longer needed.

While a bit awkward – I would have preferred to make this decision myself – I think this truly worked out in everyone’s best interest. They honored the remainder of my contract while exempting me from work. This has meant that I could spend the last 3 months doing some overdue introspection and reflection. This in turn has led me to deciding to go the route of independent consultant, and I’ve used this time to conceptualize and prepare for what I need to have in place to make this work in 2022.

Finish 4 pro bono consulting cases with Three Monkeys

This never materialized. Travelling was still a big obstacle, and each of us had more important priorities than spending a bunch of time trying to figure out how we can give our time away for free. I still really like the concept, but we’ll pick this back up when it makes more sense.

Find other ways of relaxing

I think I did pretty good on this one. I finally built the LEGO Millennium Falcon that I’ve been eyeing since its release in 2017, as well as a LEGO bonsai tree that’s keeping me company at my desk, and a Gundam kit. Next to this, I ended up reading way more fiction books than I had anticipated. There’s still room for more creative relaxation, so maybe I’ll finally pick up my guitar more in 2022.

Things I loved in 2020

Last week I published a list of my favorite books, games, movies, shows and songs of 2021. I’ve included the list below, and you can read an explanation for each item in my essay My Favorite Things of 2021.

Goals for 2021

Read 24 books

I’m deliberatly setting this one lower than last year’s number. I want to keep up a reading habit, but I don’t want this to feel like reading for reading’s sake. This way I can still read what I want, when I want.

Build newsletter to 200 subs

I kinda suck at marketing myself and the things I do. Nevertheless, I want to start working towards growing my audience more deliberately. I want to do so at a sustainable pace that doesn’t make me feel like I’m faking it, too much. Hence the 200 instead of 1000+. I’ll be very happy if I manage to hit this number.

Do 5 consulting projects

Now that I’m definitely going the freelance consulting route, I want to rack up some hands-on experience. I have already started work with one client, so i just need 4 more.

If you think I can help you, please do reach out.

If you have any hot tips about people or companies that you know that need help with the business management side of things, please do send them my way. I do my best to reward good references.

Publish a digital product

Because consulting is expensive no matter how affordable I try to make it, I want to offer my knowledge and insights in additional ways. Whether it’s an ebook, online course or something else, I want to find a form that makes it easier to share what I know. That way, I can help more people get started on improving their business without breaking the bank.

Get better at Twitter

I’m not very good at Twitter. I don’t share enough, I don’t interact enough, I don’t really have a plan for how I use it. I want to use the coming year to figure out how I can use Twitter to better promote what I know, and what I can do for my clients.

Get better at SEO

I haven’t paid SEO almost any mind so far, and it feels like I can get more out of my website if I get at least the basics of SEO in place. Hopefully, I can bump my daily visitors a bit, and help more people find my newsletter and services.

Invest in family

Alright, the personal goal. Thanks to COVID, Michal and I have been spending almost all of our time in the same few rooms, with close to none of the options for temporary escape or stress relief. This and a few related stress factors have put a lot of strain on our relationship and our family. This year, I want to invest in our relationship and get back to having fun, instead of just frantically trying to keep a household afloat.

In short, I want 2022 to be a year of coming into my own, carving a path for myself professionally, while taking care of those who mean the most to me. I’m sure COVID will throw us plenty of curveballs along the way, but I’m going to do my best to make the best of our next trip around the sun.

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Photo by MIO ITO on Unsplash