As much as I believe that true growth cannot be measured, there is something gratifying about tallying up the numbers.
Of course, measurable goals mean little if they don’t get us closer to our outcome, and if the way we reached our goals isn’t sustainable or repeatable.
As part of my annual review and planning process, I look at my results from the year before. I look at:
- what I did and achieved
- whether it got me closer to my outcome
- how I did it – was the process enjoyable and sustainable, or stressful?
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that even if I hit the “goal,” if I didn’t enjoy the process I won’t feel compelled to continue toward that same goal.
I’m still in the middle of my process (I spend all of January in planning), but because I like to celebrate my accomplishments, I wanted to share some of the top highlights from last year.
My Core Daily Ritual Stack
Over the past several years, I’ve built a stack of daily rituals (you might call them habits) that power my days and weeks. I am really proud that I continued all of my existing streaks in 2017, and added some new ones. It’s not always easy (ok, it’s often not easy), but somehow I’ve managed to get it done.
Here’s a summary of my current daily rituals, the number of days I completed it in 2017, and the streak count as of December 31, 2017:
|Ritual||Days Completed in 2017||Streak as of 12/31/2017|
|My Daily Recap™️||365||4 years|
|Daily Writing||365||unknown |
|Posting to my Blog||113||63|
A Few Notes About My Rituals
Fitness First is my ritual of getting out of bed without hitting snooze and putting my fitness before anything else.
Meditation measures only my morning meditation practice. In addition, I often do an afternoon or evening practice.
10,000 steps a day is typically the minimum I do, although sometimes I really have to work hard at it. Here are some fun stats from 2017:
My 2017 Step totals:
My Daily Journaling practice is a practice of journaling throughout the day. In 2017, I wrote 2,493 journal entries, not including My Daily Recap.
My Daily Recap is a structured evening journal entry that I created to rewire my brain to focus on the positive and help me get momentum.
A Content Explosion
I typically write a lot, but sharing my content with the world hasn’t come so easily. Outside of local, in-person workshops and speaking engagements I haven’t put myself out there as much.
2017 was my breakout year for sharing. I more than doubled my output from 2016; in fact, I matched and exceeded my combined output from 2013–2016. And I did more live videos than ever before, including my first webinar and first Facebook Live broadcasts.
Here are the stats:
< y Circus Life Broadcasts
A weekly show I started in 2016 to share a lesson I learned in trampoline practice that applies to life and business more generally.
|New Visitors||+ 26.5%|
|New Users||+ 28.36%|
|Returning Visitors||+ 70.33%|
|Sessions by Returning Visitors||+ 56.8%|
|Average Duration on Site||+ 69.5%|
Again, putting aside how much any of these matter to my outcomes, it’s nice to see growth.
More important: I sent my first emails to my community at the end of the year.
How I Did It
I love to look at my numbers, but it’s the story behind the numbers that is most important. How did I achieve this?
There were three main components:
(1) Creating and Claiming My Space
I’ve spent years building a stack of rituals, including the ones listed above, to create space in which I could nurture and produce my best work.
And I honored that space. I honored my own boundaries. I did the deep work that Cal Newport talks about.
(2) Letting Go
This required a lot of letting go on my part: of expectations, perfectionism, limiting beliefs. And also a lot of commitment and discipline.
Beyond that, this was as much — if not more — in the undoing as it was in the doing.< hen we look at metrics, we often fail to account for the things we stopped doing.
Here are some of my undoings from 2017:
- Clearing Clutter. I cleared a decade’s worth of clutter from my home, including about half of my wardrobe.
- The Year off of Facebook. Technically, that was only the first 6 months of this year, but it counts.
- 3 weeks offline. In March, I spent 3 weeks completely offline, while still in New York (i.e., it wasn’t a result of lacking access). I was accessible by phone and text, and that was it. I did not check social media or email in those 3 weeks.
- No TV. The last time I turned on my television was May 29.
- No Podcasts. I cut out all podcasts in 2017, to focus on listening to my voice.
- Limited Books and Courses. I didn’t completely cut out books, but I did limit drastically the number of books I read and courses I took. I essentially cut out the “infotainment” that we tend to believe gives us stimulus for producing content.
(3) Steadfast Commitment to Myself and My Process
- Here is what you don’t see in the numbers:
- The day I walked through a blizzard to 3 gyms and 2 fitness studios before I found an open fitness studio.
- The days I got out of bed at 4 am to fit in my morning workout when I had to be onsite at an event at 6:30 am.
- The nights I walked around the Union Square subway station at 11 pm to complete my daily steps because the gym was already closed for the day and it was too cold to walk around outside.
- The nights I came home at 10:30 pm and<< mpleted a blog post even when I was exhausted.
- The inner battles that waged whenever I went to hit publish on something that didn’t feel “complete” or “perfect” or when I got in front of the camera to broadcast an episode of my show while still in workout mode.
- The dozens of times I “didn’t want to,” “didn’t feel like it,” had doubts, fears, panic attacks, or other resistance or obstacles …. and did it anyway.
- No matter what came up, I found a way.
- This is where the growth happens. And that’s what matters. Because that’s what I can take with me into 2018.
How to Use Your Wins to Plan
- Equally important is where I go from here. My next step is to review how I got here, whether it’s sustainable, and how I need to adjust.
- Where did you see your biggest growth in 2017? Is it sustainable in 2018, or do you need to adjust?< hr>
I keep meticulous count of every streak except the daily writing streak, in part because it tends to happen on its own. My goal is to write at least 1,000 words each day. Typically I write 3,000–5,000 words a day. Because my writing is scattered across different containers, it’s hard to get an exact word count. This is one of those places where I’m learning to detach 😉 ↩