2013 – A Quick Recap, Orangutans and Lessons Learned

2013 – A Quick Recap

As the year closes it’s always good to recap on what went well and what we can work on for next year. 

Taking inspiration from Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review I will do this for my year by focusing on the following:

  • What went well this year?
  • What could have gone better?


Let’s start on the positives:

What Went Well?

1)      New Books

I released two new books this year of which I am very proud (The Frictionless Lifestyle and 22 Ways to Simpler Living).  As the year ends I am also coming close to finishing the first draft of my new book (details in the new year).

After struggling long and hard writing and releasing my first book I am starting to get the words down much quicker for my new projects.  Blogging has helped this process along with the practice of just writing and when I do write staying focused on the writing process.  Simple I know but it also works!


2)      Simpler Living

My journey into simplifying my own life has also continued and deepened.

Casting away more of the superfluous and unnecessary continues to improve the quality of my life, thinking and general being.  I will not be racing off into the woods anytime soon to live off the land but I have found that simpler is often best for me in most things in life.


3)      Music, Travel & Wildlife

It takes a whole lot of fruit to keep this lot happy!
It takes a whole lot of fruit to keep this lot happy!

As longer term readers will know, these three (music, travel and wildlife) are amongst my biggest passions in life.

I have travelled to some amazing locations this year (Malaysia, Borneo, New York and Marrakech).  New York is a long term favourite destination for me of which I don’t think I will ever tire.  The others were new and Borneo offered up the chance to see Orangutans in a semi-wild environment which was a dream come true.  

I have also been lucky enough to go to many amazing gigs this year.  Seeing a great band live never gets old for me!


What Could Have Gone Better?

1)      Focus

With my blogging adventures I’ve found it easy to distract myself with trivia and a little too much stat checking at certain points.  I think this was starting to take some of the joy out of blogging for me so I caught it but it is an area I want to watch in 2014.  I want to stay focused on just writing from the heart and hopefully you will enjoy reading what comes.

I have also found my focus drifting with my exercise regime at times during the year.  Again, this is a case of me distracting myself (by reading too much by too many different authors/experts).  I can and will read practically anything fitness/nutrition related if I don’t check myself.

I intend to refocus my efforts in these two areas in 2014 by focusing on:

a) what I enjoy

b) limiting my external information sources (to cut down on the potential for information overload)

c) setting some personal challenges related to these areas


2)      Expectations

Someone I worked with some years ago and respected very much once told me

Your problem Carl is you expect too much of people”.

It was said with respect but also as a friendly warning.  That person was right.

I don’t really suffer fools gladly and do have high expectations of others around me.  I think this has come from having some pretty amazing and strong willed people in my life from early years.  However, this can sometimes bite back by leaving me feeling disappointed in how others have reacted (or not) in certain circumstances.

Having expectations of others is of course misplaced.  You just have to love them (or not) for who they are.

I intend to work on this for 2014 and beyond. 


There you go.  These are a few key areas I intend to learn from and build on in 2014.

How about you?  What do you have in your targets for 2014?


For More:

See  Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review