Yearly Focus

2021 Focus: End Of Year Review

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me.
With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention.

I detailed my 2021 focus here (read that first if you want more context). I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year (quarter year, half year update, and three quarter year update) and now is time for a final review.

2021 Theme: Together

Self Grade: 5/10

At the beginning of 2021 I wrote “I want to think about what relationships are, what different types they can be and how I can nurture them. I want to think about my relationships, which ones are most important to me, which ones I don’t spend enough energy on and which ones I might be missing.” I did some of those things, but not all of them, and so I’m giving this a 5.

I had a few other articles and books flagged that I wanted to dive into but didn’t make time for. The good news is I still have them flagged and just because the year is over doesn’t mean I can’t read them.

2021 Challenge: Setup A Contact Reminder System

Self Grade: 8/10

After trying a few tools I landed on one that seems to be working pretty well, for me, called Dex. It is a personal CRM that gets your contacts from email, Facebook and LinkedIn and then lets you manage them in their UI. I’ve setup some reminders and am trying to get in the habit of using it to add meaningful interactions. That is the part that seems to require the most effort, keeping the data fresh with info about when I called or visited someone so the reminders are timely.

I only have a dozen or so people properly setup in there with reminder schedules and notes, but my goal is to setup others as I connect with them in the coming year until I hit the saturation point.

Overall I feel like I achieved what I wanted to with this challenge though, which was leaving 2021 with a system in place that can help me in the future.

2021 Habit: Weekly Reach Out

Self Grade: 7/10

I successfully reached out to someone in 38 of the 52 weeks in 2021. That puts me at a 73% success rate. Unfortunately I ended the year on a low note, with October and November being my worst months. Part of that is likely due me starting off with a bang and tiring out a bit. Early on in the year I reached out to a number of people I hadn’t connected with in a while and over time the low hanging fruit gave way to the more difficult opportunities. That is exactly what I should push through though to get the habit to stick, so I feel a seven is appropriate here.

2021 Exemplar: Brené Brown

Self Grade: 7/10

I was moderately successful here. I read one of Breé’s books and watched two of her TED talks but I never ended up listening to her podcast. This was the first year where my exemplar was more of a guide than a role model and I’m not sure I liked it as much as the years where I read a biography and try to reflect on the person’s decisions and how that allowed them to achieve the things they did.

2021 Bucket List Item: Run the Cascade Crest 100 in Under 24 hours

Self Grade: 2/10

After failing to even finish the official Cascade Crest 100 race, I signed up for a last-minute 24 hour race in Arizona where I was going to try to run an equivalent amount by completing ~120 miles. The logic behind it is that 100 miles on mountainous trails for the Cascade Crest is harder than 100 miles of a flat gravel loop, so the extra 20 miles made the challenge feel more equivalent. I vetted the idea with a few other runners who have done similar events and between their past races and some race results online we figured 120-130 miles on gravel would be a similarly impressive accomplishment.

I’m going to give myself two points here because I did run my first 100 mile race ever and I did so in under 24 hours. I debated if there can be partial credit, but in the end, this is my blog, so I can do whatever I want and I’m going to allow it. See you next year 🙂