I do a past year review instead of setting resolutions at the start of a new year. For this review, I look over last year’s events and note the most positive and negative ones. I am adding a wrinkle to this year’s review by also examining my purchases, as suggested by Tim Ferriss.
WHAT BROUGHT THE MOST JOY?
Weddings – As I get older, more of my friends are hitting life milestones. I’m grateful to be included in these events and share unforgettable moments with them. I was involved in the weddings of two of my closest friends this past year. I had an amazing time celebrating with great food, alcohol, and company.
Travel – I traveled to two different countries this past year. I went to Vancouver in January for a bachelor party. I learned how to snowboard well enough to make it down the slopes without bruises on my butt.
I also visited Japan for 2 weeks during the fall. I ate incredible sushi, relaxed in an onsen, and experienced Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Japan.
Restaurants – My two favorite meals this year were at Sushi Chiharu and Paris.Hawaii. The service, food, and atmosphere at Sushi Chiharu, located in Osaka, was fantastic. I’ve ghost written more about my experience there on Yelp.
Paris.Hawaii provided a wonderful French and Japanese dinner. I got to learn more about wine from their sommelier throughout the meal. This opened my taste buds and deepened my appreciation for food and wine.
Reoccurring Events – Outside of special trips, food, and events, I enjoyed regularly scheduled time with friends and family. I stuffed my face with my mom’s home cooked meals every Wednesday night. After dinner, I head over to my friend’s house to get my butt kicked in Smash Brothers Ultimate. On Sunday mornings in the fall, I watched NFL Red Zone while munching on pancakes and omelettes. I experienced the thrills and let downs at our weekly Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies watch parties.
Appliances – A new washer and dryer made laundry less of a chore. That in itself was worth the price alone. Cleaner and longer lasting clothes is an added bonus.
Household items – A 2nd pair of glasses, parking rental, and an extra phone charger made my life more convenient at my girlfriend’s place. I no longer go blind or have a dead cell phone if I forgot something at home. I also sleep better knowing my car won’t be splattered with bird droppings overnight.
Learning tools – The Fluent Forever trainers and Anki mobile app were great investments. These two tools made it easy to stay on course with my Japanese studies. The Getting Things Done Trello Guide has also been a great purchase. The single page on Weekly Reviews was worth of the price of the entire document.
WHAT BROUGHT THE LEAST JOY?
Website/Writing – My website was hacked during the middle of the year. This was due to outdated plugins and inactivity. I had to contact customer support, get rid of the malicious code, and recover backups. It took over two weeks to get my site up and running.
I realized that I haven’t written anything in the past year. I abandoned my writing and felt guilty for it.
Lowe’s Delivery – It took over two months to get the washer and dryer in my home. The delivery was pushed back a handful of times. When it finally arrived, the dryer was dented and had to be sent back. I was annoyed with the numerous phone calls and scheduling coordination.
Work – I was given the construction administration (CA) duties of a new high rise building this past year. CA involves a never ending list of tasks, especially at the start of construction. There are drawings to review, questions to answer, and meetings to attend. These tasks can easily eat up half my work day.
With the other half of my day, I’m wrapping up other project with approaching deadlines. Juggling these conflicting priorities strained my attention and stressed me out.
DIY – After two years, I realized the noise coming from my bathroom was caused by a slow leak in the toilet. I spent hours researching the problem and the do-it-yourself fixes. Then I bought the replacement parts and tools. I tried three separate times to fix it myself but it still leaks. I am frustrated for spending all that time and money only to end up with the same result.
Travel Logistics – My girlfriend and I stayed at five different places across four different cities during our Japan trip. We brought 4 medium suitcases with us. So the transportation and luggage logistics were a handful. We had to spend time on our vacation coordinating the luggage delivery and train times instead of enjoying ourselves.
Lanai Garden – I spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours cultivating my garden. At the end of the day, I didn’t care too much about the vegetables or herbs. I used the basil once for pesto. The rest of the tomatoes and eggplants were thrown out. My other herbs, such as oregano and green onions, didn’t last more than a couple of weeks.
WHAT DO I WANT TO DO NEXT YEAR?
Dinners – The best part about the watch parties were getting together and sharing a meal with friends. I plan to imitate that experience by making time for dinner parties with friends every month.
Travel – I would like to stay in a luxury hotel for a couple of nights during my next trip. I stayed at a ryokan for a night during my time in Sapporo. It was great way to recharge during a long trip. I also want to limit myself to just one event per day to prevent vacation burn out.
Learning – Love of learning is one of my top character strengths and I plan to foster it more this year. I want to attend a class, activity, or event every month. I also plan to set aside more money for learning, whether that be classes, online courses, or books.
Writing – I plan to write at least twice a month this year. Those who have been following the site might have noticed that new posts are starting to trickle in. I’ll set up a Beeminder with penalties for not meeting my “deadlines.”
Spending – I want to spend less time debating purchases that are $25 or less. Some of these items have a huge impact on my life. This will help me save my time and energy for other decisions.
Similarly, I plan to pay professionals instead of doing it myself, especially if the cost is lower than my personal rate. I also plan to stop spending money and time on gardening since it doesn’t matter that much to me as a hobby.
Overall 2019 was a good year, the positive moments outweighed and outnumbered the negative ones. I am hoping that the plans in place for 2020 will make it another enjoyable year.