Year in Review: 2013

December 2013

in Self-awareness

Another year has come and gone. Review time!

At the end of every year I perform a complete review of my life, my goals, and my projects. I’ve done this for about ten years now, and found it valuable every time.

Here’s a summary of my review for 2013. When performing my review I go into much more detail than what’s below. Details on how I go about doing this can be found in my free guide 8,760 Hours.


Overall, 2013 was a pretty awesome year. I made progress on a lot of things I thought were important, completed a bunch of projects, made a lot of exciting changes, and learned a lot.

That said, I still didn’t do everything I originally set out to do, I didn’t fix all the things I wanted to fix, I didn’t take enough time to enjoy life, and I didn’t learn all the things I wanted to learn. 

Things that went well

  • Tracked just over 5,000 pomodoros throughout the entire year.
  • Moved to the Bay Area in California (including getting US bank accounts, etc. which was an incredibly frustrating experience).
  • Started full-time work at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute.
  • Created my Tangibles list, maintained lightness throughout the year.
  • Coded a custom web-based order-tracking web app for a company in Ontario. The software company hired to continue with the project after I completed phase one, upon seeing my code, that they’d hire me on the spot.
  • Started a new relationship!
  • Had the best culinary experience of my life.
  • Embraced Evernote and started using for recording all kinds of useful data and ideas.
  • Started keeping a daily record of “awesome things” in my life in an attempt to improve gratefulness.
  • Started really using Omnifocus for task management.
  • Used Beeminder to track various metrics.
  • Meditated for over a thousand minutes – what started as a one-month competition with a close friend turned into over 1000 minutes of meditation that I plan to continue all through 2014.
  • Cleaned up the homepage and general layout.
  • My How to Get Motivated poster was downloaded (from what I can track) over 35k times.
  • Wrote and sold an Anki ebook guide, Anki Essentials, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
  • Did a lot of climbing, almost exclusively indoors, but I’m okay with that.
  • Read various books, like How to Measure Anything, Linchpin, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, The Lean Startup, etc.
  • Started learning how to play go. Still a major beginner, but have made a bunch of progress.
  • … and many other miscellaneous projects.

Things that did not go well

  • Haven’t kept my productivity as high as I want.
  • Didn’t write enough.
  • Didn’t develop or maintain a cardio exercise habit.
  • Spent way too much money on food, especially eating out.
  • Didn’t take enough time to enjoy life; feels like 2013 flashed by.
  • Too low energy levels, and didn’t succeed in figuring out why or how to improve this.
  • Too much eye strain and general difficulties with my eyes, and didn’t succeed in figuring out why or how to improve this.
  • Didn’t read enough material outside of my standard exposure.
  • Not enough time spend on personal development.
  • Not proactive socially in Bay Area.
  • … and various other miscellaneous failed projects.

In Closing

It was a good year. When I first started doing these reviews I felt my life was all over the place, and I regularly rated many of my life areas as “needs a lot of work” and less than five out of ten. These days, my reviews go more like “everything here is good, though I’d still like to improve xyz…”, and for this I’m extremely grateful.