I am a huge fan of the book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. I first highly recommend that everyone gets the book. It’s a book that will inspire you to start better habits and become the type of person that achieves those big ambitions that you want out of life.
James Clear posts an annual review every year reviewing his habits and behaviors. I have done the exercise back in December and I found that even though 2020 was a challenging year like it was for many, there are many things that I should recognize.
Just like James Clear he asks the following questions
1. What Went Will This Year
2. What didn’t go so well this year
3. What did I learn?
What went well this year?
Paying off debt. I am not 100% out of debt yet but I have paid a large portion of it this year. This situation can be overwhelming and for years I have put it off, but honestly thanks to this pandemic I was in the fortunate situation to continue working at my warehouse job and prioritize this. The key habit that made this successful was tracking money daily. I started tracking money in March.
Tracking money in 2020
Highway Driving. This is a separate article that I can write in detail but years ago I was in a accident and I developed a phobia while driving on busy roads and highways. I focused on conquering this phobia in 2020. I had the opportunity to drive more when our country went into lockdown as my girlfriend’s car was readily available when she had to stay home for work. My Routine initially was driving on the highway to work at 6 am in the morning when there was no traffic, and I slowly progress to rush hour and then to busy highways. My longest trip is from London to Kitchener on Highway 401 and I am proud of myself I conquered this. The habit eventually reduced since my girlfriend returned back to work and I didn’t get to use the car as much, but with that said I am grateful she allowed me to use it. Thanks Babe
Highway Driving Sessions in 2020
Cycling. I haven’t ridden a bike in 10 years…. until 2020. I started slowly to get my balance back but then I built up to riding to work and back, and then doing long bike rides in the parks throughout London Ontario. I thoroughly enjoyed it and its amazing cardio! Didn’t do a lot of bike rides as I would like but it was fun to reintroduce it again. As soon as the snow is gone, I will be doing it again without question.
Cycling Sessions in 2020 :
Audiobooks and podcasts. I didn’t track this habit a whole lot because the times varied depending on the day However, I did listen to 16 audiobooks. Some of the books I read multiple times like Atomic Habits and Can’t Hurt Me. I also listened to podcasts a lot more this year. My favorite podcast that I found was School of Greatness and I have listened to 50 episodes.
Here are the books I listened to this year
1. Greenlight By Matthew Mcconaughey
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear (I listened to this one 10 times in 2020 )
3. Wise as Fuck by Gary John Bishop
4. 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
5. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
6. Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
7. Can Hurt Me by David Goggins (Don’t know how many times but it was certainly more than a few)
8. 5AM Club by Robin Sharma
9. Success Principals by Jack Canfield
10. How to Quit your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams: A Guide to Transforming Your Career by Kenneth Atchity
11. I will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
12. Unfuck Yourself by Gary John Bishop
13. Stop Doing that Shit by Gary John Bishop
14. Crushing it by Gary V
15. Crush it Gary V
16. Secrets of the Millionaire mind by T Harv Ekter
1. Greenlight Matthew Mcconaughey
2. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
3. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Parents. My relationship with both my Dad and Mom improved a lot this year. The saying is you often appreciate things more when they are taken away from you. This lockdown proved just that. Both my parents are in their mid-60’s right now and to be honest let’s just say hypothetical that they live till 80. If I only see my parents 5 times a year, in the next 15 years that’s only 75 more times in my lifetime I get to see them. I made sure that each opportunity I got to see them I took it. My two favorite times in 2020 was going to Elora with my mom (hometown), and going to Port Bruce with my father multiple times. Grateful for two amazing parents in my life
What didn’t go so well
Physical Health. My weight fluctuated a lot this year and I am not happy with it. At least I am not at my heaviest which was 300lbs. Right now I weigh 280. My lowest weigh in was 262 in 2020. This is beyond frustrating because in 2019 I was 300lbs and got to 250 and I was feeling really good. However after the weight loss in September 2019 I started to slip into my old habits and then moved up to 270 in the beginning of 2020 and got back to 260 by mid-2020, and then again back to 280 by the end of the year. Yeah, gyms were in lockdown but this is my fault. Surprisingly when I was just doing cycling and bodyweight workouts, I lost the weight. 2021 I will need to focus on my system so that I lose it and keep it off for good. No excuses
Here is a summary of my Resistance workouts in 2020 this does not include the cycling sessions
Total 84 Workouts
No major PR on any lifts but these were my best lifts of 2020
Squat 225 for 5 reps
Military Press 135 for 5 reps
Bench Press 225 for 1
Deadlift 235 for 5 reps
Acting. I had the intention this year of returning to the theatre scene after a five year lay off from theatre acting and didn’t get to do it because of the shutdown. Even though this was a situation out of my control, I wish I still prepared for it. Auditions were still happening in the virtual world. I could have easily prepared monologues, or study more, but I didn’t. However, I did get to attend a few table reads virtually over the internet with various theatre communities in Canada. I will say this when I got the opportunity to do that, time stopped and I was very joyous when I was involved with just that. This gave me confirmation to keep going
Here are the plays I got to participate for online table reads
1. Office Hours by Norm Foster
2. 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose
3. Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
4. Rumors by Neil Simon
I also auditioned for 1 TV Show (Jason Mamo's Sight) and 2 professional plays virtually. Not a lot but I did do.
Traveling. In 2019 I went to Saint John New Brunswick. I really enjoyed it and then set the goal to see all the provinces and territories in Canada. Early 2020 me and my girlfriend Stephanie booked a trip to go to British Columbia but again because of the lockdown we cancelled our trip. Fingers crossed for 2021 and we will have to play it by ear, however with that said there are a few placed I went to in 2020 in my own province that were fun. Here is where I traveled in 2020
Spring bank Park London
Just because you’re not in the plan doesn’t mean you can get out of house and explore today
Spending Money. Even though I was happy with the progress I made with paying off debt, I think I could have easily paid more off. I did improve my spending habits since I daily tracked my money, but I would say 50 % of the time when I pulled out my debit card I didn’t need to. Will need to focus on become a more cautious spender.
What did I learn
Have $1000 in savings at all times when paying off debt. Shit happens, and when you are paying off your debt, random emergency do pop up. It’s not a matter of “If it will happen” it’s a matter of “When will it happen” To say that an emergency won’t arise is very ignorant. If your still not convinced look at 2020. When you have to use your $1000 you pause your debt snowball and save your $1000 again before going back to aggressively paying off debt or else it will bite you in the ass.
You can get in shape without a gym. When I was at my lowest weight in 2020, I wasn’t in the gym. I was doing bodyweight circuits with my girlfriend Stephanie, walking and eventually cycling and I felt great and it wasn’t taxing on the body. When the gyms opened up, I was doing cycling, lifting, and in addition my warehouse job too. I am beginning to wonder if it was just too much on the body causing the body to over eat because cortisol was too high. None the less we are in our second lockdown in 2021, I am honestly reconsidering my gym membership and building my own home gym over time. Right now back to bodyweight workouts
Warren Buffet’s Goal setting Formula. I am in the same boat as a lot of you on this but we have way too many goals! Too many outcomes will lead to a scattered brain, going in multiple different directions and accomplishing nothing. There is a story on Warren Buffett who was giving career advise to one of his piolets. He advised to write out his top 25 goals and then on a separate piece of paper to write out the top 5 of those 25. He then latter advised him to throw out the 25 ambitions list and focus on completing those top 5 goals and to not even consider the other 20 goals until those 5 things are done and accomplish.
Don’t Focus on Goals, Focus on your systems instead. James Clear of Atomic Habits strongly believes in focusing on your systems and not on your goals. Now he doesn’t think goal setting is not important because it is. Goals sets a direction of where you would like to go, but once those goals are set, you should put them on the shelf and focus on your process as the goal will eventually will take care of itself.
Winners are trackers. I made the most progress in 2020 when I tracked my habits, and I made little progress when I didn’t. When I was at my lowest weight, I tracked my weight daily, when I got back to my highest weight, I stopped tracking my weight daily. I paid off most of my debt, when I tracked my spending daily, and made little progress when I didn’t. If you look at my tracking money habit in months October and November, I would say those were my worst two months financially out of 2020.
That its! Thank you for reading my post.