I love the Christmas and New Year period each year. Not only because of the holidays, delicious food, and time spent with family and friends but also because it’s a fantastic time to reflect on your life over the prior year.
Each year as part of my annual reflection, I use my daily journal from the year to identify:
- What I am grateful for
- My progress towards goals I have set
- What I learned over the year about myself and the world around me
- What I want to get better at and improve for the next year
- Specific habits and behaviours I want to implement to improve and
- My themes for the new year
Given one of the major things I want to change for 2020 is to write and publish more, I decided that it was only fitting that I publish this!
You can read my annual review in 3 parts:
- Part 1: What I’m Grateful in 2019
- Part 2: My Lessons Learned in 2019
- Part 3: Goals & Habits Check-In
Let’s dive into Part 1!
What I’m Grateful For in 2019
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been practising a daily gratitude habit. I say ‘practising’ because often this hasn’t quite been a daily habit, and more like a 3 x per week habit. Essentially, what this habit involves is sending a message to my cousin Ryan identifying 3 things I am grateful for.
I’ve loved this gratitude habit as it’s been such a powerful way to be mindful and present to the abundance I have in my life, especially when things have been challenging.
Here are 10 things I’m most grateful for in 2019:
#1 My wife Parnel and her love, support and always making me laugh (especially at myself).
I often work through challenges and problems by talking it out, and Parnel is such an incredible listener. We’ve been married for over 7 years, and have been together for 15 years, and I’m so grateful that we continue to grow together as a couple.
#2 Our team at Art of Smart Education.
Despite a number of challenges throughout 2019, we had a record-breaking year, supporting more students than ever before. This was only made possible by some incredible people, from new faces joining our team (Ange, Camille, Daniel), those stepping up to new roles (Sheree, Dom, Adrian, Momoko, Conor, Terry and Brooklyn) and those who have been with us for a number of years continuing to go the extra mile to support our students and our mission (Fiona, Laura, Shagun, Elisabeth).
#3 Getting multiple injuries and being unable to exercise for 4+ months.
I was incredibly frustrated and angry about this for quite some time, however, it’s helped me identify a number of issues with my posture and how I move my body that would continue to create longer-term issues for me.
As a result, I’m now grateful as I’ve been able to start identifying these now while I’m young, so I can correct these to ensure I can continue to move well as I get older.
#4 Playing indoor soccer with my sister.
We grew up playing backyard soccer together every afternoon, but never played in a team together. This year I joined her mixed indoor team for a season which lots of fun. It was great to see her each week and have fun running around chasing a ball again. It brought back so many great memories from when we were kids.
#5 Being able to do work that I absolutely love that is in alignment with my personal mission.
I am fortunate to be able to wake up every day excited with lots of energy to start work – in fact, it doesn’t feel like I’m working, because I enjoy what I do so much. I’ve felt throughout this year that I’ve really found my purpose and calling in life and I’m so grateful for this!
#6 Travelling with Parnel to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.
With the Great Barrier Reef under threat, Parnel and I really wanted to go and visit it while it’s still alive and beautiful. We were able to swim with a sea turtle and see some stunning coral, while also spend time bird watching in the Daintree.
#7 Exploring Japan with Parnel.
Ever since accidentally discovering Japanese history in an attempt to make up spare credit points while in the final year of my Arts degree at Sydney University, I’ve wanted to visit Japan. Over two weeks Parnel and I explored Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara and more, learning more about the fascinating history and culture of Japan.
#8 A houseboating adventure down the Hawkesbury River with a group of good friends.
I had always wanted to go houseboating, and a good friend organised a 3-day trip that despite coinciding with one of the hottest days of the year, was absolutely magical. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve organised to go again in 2020!
#9 Selling my final shareholding in myEd.
After over 8 years since co-founding myEd Online with Yohan, we finally sold our final shareholding in the business. I’m incredibly for grateful Daniel taking over as CEO when I stepped down and for guiding the business to greater success since I left.
I’m also so grateful for the friendships and life lessons the journey with myEd has given me. It’s been my real-world MBA.
#10 For the mentors I have in my life.
I’ve got a huge personal mission, and running a business at the best of times is challenging. I’ve got so much to learn, and I’m so grateful for some fantastic mentors I have in my life whose experience and wisdom I can learn from.
Now it’s your turn…What are you grateful for from 2019?
I’d love to hear what you are grateful for from 2019 – let me know by leaving a comment below.
Read the next two parts of my Annual Review here:
Hey, I’m Rowan. I’m the CEO of Art of Smart Education and I’m on a mission to help 1,000,000 young Australians answer the big question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school & how do I get there?”