Year-End Review: Reflecting on 2014

Well, it’s the end of the year, and that means it is the perfect time for looking back and assessing the year that has passed. When you’re not spending holiday time with family or sucking down eggnog (whether in latte, alcoholic, or nonalcoholic form — I’m not a fan of it in general), you’re probably reflecting on 2014 as well.

I recorded this at the beginning of the month on my way home from my day job one night. Just some thoughts about 2014 and how my year reflected (or didn’t) the 3 words for 2014 I wrote about at the beginning of the year.

Did you set goals or themes for 2014? How did you do?


Some quick notes regarding my voice memo, along with how I did for each word for the year.

Intention – 70%

  • Intention is the foundation for everything else, really. Until you form habits that become instinctive, you have to be intentional about what you do. Create habits and you are on your way. It’s about being proactive instead of reactive. I’ve laid a decent groundwork for this this year
  • My focus has been mostly on how I spend my time. I largely kicked the Netflix-late-at-night habit. I ran out of things to watch! Plus, the habit of getting up at 4 a.m. to get in the studio makes me unable to stay up late anymore. I’m an old man now, and that’s perfectly OK.
  • My Ideal Weekly Schedule experiment has worked really well. HUGE hat tip to Michael Hyatt and Dave Delaney. (Really, go check them out if you haven’t already. Subscribe to their podcasts and blogs.)

Boring – 85%

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” — Gustave Flaubert
  • The Ideal Weekly Schedule ties in really well with this, since it’s not fun or exciting to get up and paint at 4 a.m. It’s kind of boring to not stay up and watch silly shows on Netflix. But I’m making myself get in my “chair” and work at being creative, instead of being “creative.” – normcore. – I gave up social media for Lent. It was boring, but not in the right way. Don’t think I’ll do that again. I’ll probably do something more traditional in 2015, like give up a certain food and focus on the spiritual aspects, not just the asceticism.

Listen – 20%

  • Listening is the hardest thing for me to do. Probably for any of us, really. We all want to focus on ourselves instead of others.
  • Intended to listen to my “tribe,” but I haven’t really gotten a very big tribe yet.
  • Learned to “listen” to my canvases. Learning to not impose my own way on my art.
  • Also wanted to focus on my inputs, but I’ve largely ignored that. At least I gave up the junk Netflix habit.

One of my biggest takeaways for the year has been to be flexible and be okay with the fact that it may take 11 months (or more!) to reach a goal, but that’s why you write down your goals.

Well, we are about to celebrate Christmas over here, and you’ve got audio to listen to above, so I’ll wrap this up. Next week I hope to have some thoughts for you regarding plans for 2015. I think it’ll be a great year. What about you?