As a partially superstitious person, I was highly optimistic about 2019. The year embodied my lucky number (aka my birth date) of 19, something that only happens once a millennium. Due to its once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, I felt that good luck was on my horizon. My more logical side was also optimistic, as I had a lot of positive momentum coming into 2019. In the previous year, I recognized several personal faults and embarked on a mission to remedy them. With a confident outlook and potential serendipity on my side, it was no surprise that 2019 ended up becoming one of my best years ever.
This past year revolved around a few key themes. The first focused on enhancing my happiness and peace of mind. As nonchalant as I seem, I always used to have a million things clashing in my mind, which led to a lot of self-induced stress and angst. Nothing in your life will be right if you aren’t firing on all cylinders. In 2019, I became more self aware and recalibrated my priorities. As someone in their 30s, mental and physical health became more relevant topics, so I adopted a number of new routines: meditating for 10 minutes in the morning, getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night, cooking my meals to manage what I consumed, and exercising consistently. I also learned the value of literally doing nothing at all. By taking better care of myself, I’m now feeling the most physically and mentally balanced in a very long time, and I’m quick to eliminate anything that could bring me unnecessary stress.
Feeling more at ease, I became significantly comfortable with myself. The second theme of 2019 touched on my independence. I’m an extroverted introvert by nature, but I deliberately spent a lot of time by myself this past year. Be it staying in on weekend nights, or taking weekend trips by myself, or ultimately going on a two week solo romp around Spain and Portugal, it felt really empowering and refreshing to be alone. I gained a greater confidence in myself recognizing that I can do anything I want, and nobody can tell me otherwise. I, alone, dictate my narrative.
The final theme focused on impacting my surroundings. As I’ve become older, more experienced, and wiser, I’m more aware of how I could affect those around me. It can be as simple as giving close friends advice, coaching my team at work, or providing affection to my girlfriend Liz, I can offer the world a lot. Stealing a quote from my all-time favorite book The Alchemist: “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too”. I tried to connect and share ideas as much as possible in 2019, dabbling with photography, podcasts, writing, and networking in 2019. You recognize your true value based on the ripple effect of your impact. However, I’m only willing to offer myself to those who warrant it. I’ve faded out people who don’t reciprocate effort or eliminated those who are simply toxic.
I believe in goals and having milestones helped me steer the course to a rewarding 365 days. We all set new year goals and resolutions, but most of us seriously pursue them. Don’t cheat yourself. Revisiting my 2019 goals:
- Go on 2 international trips: My solo trip Spain/Portugal and my friend Allan’s Bachelor party in Mexico City.
- Become a better leader at work who can lead and motivate a team, while continuing to maximize my value: This has been a far bigger challenge than I had expected, as I’m still growing in this aspect, but my current job has really prepared me for future leadership roles
- Create a community and connect like minded individuals: I produced one networking event in January (Friends of Friends) which turned out pretty good. I wanted to do another one, but things got in the way. However, I participated in some good mixers with my friend Matt.
- Cultivate and build a relationship with a significant other who shares the same wavelength: I met an amazing woman named Liz and she’s helped me grow in so many ways.
- Smile more: A number of people have told me that I’ve looked really happy. 🙂
Other highlights of 2019 include: New Year’s Day fried chicken at Barney and Leslie’s, 5 Millennial Trash podcast episodes, trips (Seattle, Spain/Portugal, NYC, Central Coast, the Bay, Mexico City) , GNO with Jenny and Sorah, photowalk with Nike, 34th birthday in Vegas, the homie’s weddings (Allan, Jason, Steven, Toby/Vicki), two bachelor parties, a few Disneyland trips, seeing my cousin who I haven’t seen in 20+ years, any adventure with Liz, etc.
All in all, it was a great end to a decade where I’m glad that my lucky number blessed with great fortune. 2019 is one of the best chapters ever, not just for all the memorable moments, but also the incredible gains for me as a person, and it’ll serve as a foundation for more stories to come. I extremely appreciate everyone that had a part in making it amazing. Cheers!
My 2020 goals:
- Enhance my personal brand digitally and IRL
- Get paid for 3 freelance or consulting gigs
- Determine if I want a career working with corporation or startup
- Pursue a personal challenge or creative project every month
- Create a new podcast show
- Grow as an encouraging and supportive significant other
- Take 1 international trip and 3 domestic trips outside of California
- Fully pay off 1 of my private student loans
- Hit $X in liquid savings