It’s already that time of the year again where we look back on the last year of our lives and look forward to the next. It is useful because it allows us to review what we did right, and what we can improve on in the future. You can see my previous years here:
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018
Here’s a look back in what I did in 2019.
- New Years started in Chiang Rai, celebrating with Kemji and some friends up there. After Chiang Rai, we went to Pai and met another friend there. We flew a small airplane back to Chiang Mai, which was a fun first time experience.
- After spending a couple weeks back in Bangkok, Kemji and I drove to Khao Yai National Park for a few nights, staying at a resort outside of the park and later a night inside the park at a lodge. We also visited the Mahanakorn Glass Skywalk in Bangkok atop Thailand’s tallest building.
- In February we moved to a new apartment in Bangkok and lived with 2 other friends for 6 months.
- In March we attended our friend George’s wedding in Bangkok.
- In April I did a 30 day Vlog challenge, as well as another 5 day water fast. We also celebrated Songkran (Thai New Year) in Bangkok.
- In May I took Kemji’s dad and niece to Koh Samed for his first time to an island. We also went south to Koh Tao with friends for scuba diving.
- In June, Kemji and I visited the US and road tripped from Las Vegas to Colorado, visiting the Grand Canyon, Paige, and a trip down to Phoenix to visit a friend and his family. I also camped at my uncles campout (and it snowed), and saw John Fogerty play at Red Rocks.
- We celebrated July 4th in Lakewood, and shortly after headed back to Bangkok for 3 weeks.
- In August we flew to Prague for my friend Chris and Martina’s wedding, and started a 45 day trip around Europe, visiting Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. We then road tripped to Austria with our friends David and Charlotte, and then drove to Germany to visit the worlds largest sauna at Therme Erding.
- From there, in September, we flew to Helsinki and met two other friends, Chris and Sam, and did a 2 weeks trip around Finland and Norway, exploring the sauna culture of Finland, and the fjords of Norway along with the northern lights in Tromso, ending our trip in Amsterdam before heading back to Bangkok mid-September.
- In October, Kemji and I went to Koh Samui followed by Koh Tao for more diving. Towards the end of October, I flew to the US for 3 weeks to visit family, flying to Minnesota with my family, and eventually went on the Flogging Molly Cruise to the Bahamas with my brother and friends in early November, departing out of Ft. Lauderdale.
- I returned to Bangkok in mid-November and 3 days later my cousin and her husband came to visit Thailand for 10 days – it was a fun, busy trip exploring Bangkok and the surroundings. They left in early December. We attended Wonderfruit Music Festival north of Pattaya in mid-December, and currently we’re in Phuket for New Years.
WHAT WENT WELL THIS YEAR?
Health: This year was average on the health front – I stayed quite active, ate well, but with all the traveling it was hard to keep a routine so it felt like my health was cycled. A lot of parties mixed in made the year seem like I made little progress with my health.
Knowledge: I was able to read a fair bit this year and reflect a lot more on life in general. I suppose being 30 years old brings that as well, but I felt like this year was enlightening for a number of reasons.
Relationships: I was able to spend time with family and friends quite a bit this year, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m always grateful for the amazing people that I’ve been able to hangout with and call friends, as well as family.
Business: It was an interesting year for my business as well, and I’ve learned a lot this year and grown. 2019 was the best year of my career so far, so it was a successful business year.
WHAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL THIS YEAR?
Health could use more consistency. I see health as a long term game, that can’t be cyclic. It’s not about being healthy for a month and then unhealthy for a month. I need to work on being more consistent in taking care of my sleep, what I eat, and what I drink. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the year, I need to put more emphasis on taking care of my health, and I think it starts with less late nights out partying. Aside from that, I didn’t do a Vipassana course this year – primarily due to being away on the road as much. I will make a stronger effort in 2020 to attend one of the courses.
In 2019 I also planned to perfect the handstand, which didn’t happen. Though I’ve made good progress, I haven’t yet reached my goal.
I also wrote much less in 2019 than average. Again in part due to my lack of self-discipline in this area, but also being on the road, distracted, affected it. I have many half written posts that I want to finish and make 2020 a year of more writing, reading, learning, and growing.
WHAT AM I WORKING TOWARD?
I’m working towards more of the same stuff I was working toward in 2018. More mobility work, and just staying as active as I can.
I plan to certainly make more adventures, but nothing in the books yet. Visiting the pyramids in Egypt is a possibility, but otherwise really focusing on my body and mind further.
2019 was a fun year, perhaps one of the best. I felt like I grew a lot this year, and have a slightly different perspective on life that makes me a slight bit wiser, which is all I can hope for.
I also realize in 2019 how pessimistic people have become in the western world. It’s strange amongst the circle of people you hang with and how much it shapes your perspective of the world. I’ve tended to hang out with optimistic people who strive to be better each day, take responsibility for the outcome of their lives, benefit the greater good, and learn everyday. The result is a bubble of people who all think the world is a fascinating place that is improving each day.
I think the media, especially in the west, has tainted the view of life on this planet. While there are many issues ahead of us, I’m optimistic we will solve them. While the West may be in decline or on the verge of it, the world as a whole is getting better by almost every metric we can measure. I will copy from my 2018 post:
I wrote a post on Optimism earlier this year. There are many reasons to be optimistic, and that post may help. I’d also recommend Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now, which Bill Gates said was one of his all time favorites. Well worth the time.
This article came out recently, among many others, and is worth reading and thinking about – we just had the best decade in human history:
I didn’t write too much this year, but this post is perhaps one of my favorites of all time, if not, for 2019:
With that, I will end with a few things from James Clear, who I’d highly recommend checking out (as well as his book Atomic Habits);
Life is too short to not be pursuing the best opportunity you know of.
And from a post he made on Twitter:
Habits that have a high rate of return in life:
– sleeping 8+ hours each day
– lifting weights 3x week
– going for a walk each day
– saving at least 10 percent of your income
– reading every day
– drinking more water and less of everything else
– leaving your phone in another room while you work
I wish you all a happy new year, let’s make 2020 the best year of our lives.
Thanks for reading.