At the beginning of this year, I compiled the highlights and lowlights into a 2,000+ word blog post. This practice of self-reflection was extremely rewarding.
Reviewing my year left me feeling proud of where I had been, what I had learned and what I had accomplished. This task of self-reflection provided me with additional clarity, momentum and motivation to continue moving forward, closer to my goals. Doing this will do the same for you.
Here are a few reasons that you should conduct personal reviews:
- to focus yourself
- to evaluate your progress
- to learn from failure
- to repeat successes
- to improve and grow
Not convinced? Well, let’s look at the data.
The American Psychological Association analyzed 138 studies and 19,951 participants and found that the more frequently that participants monitored their progress towards a goal, the more likely that they would achieve that goal. Furthermore, studies have also shown that consistently documenting your progress had led to improved levels of satisfaction, well-being and happiness.
So, if you want to be successful and happier, it’s time to start documenting your progress. Because I like you a lot and want you to be happy and successful, I’ve put together a guide showing you exactly how to conduct personal reviews in 15 minutes or less.
I use the following items to structure my monthly reviews:
- Work I got done
- Projects I’ve moved forward
- Personal learning I’ve been working on
- Health and fitness challenges I’ve been doing (none this month)
- Other big life events
- Things I’ve learned and want to remember
- Hopes for the next month
I’ll be sharing my monthly reviews for the above reasons and to hold myself accountable for my goals.
Without further ado, here’s what went down in March!
Work I got done
1) Released my first vlog about quitting my job
Thanks to my amazing and talented (and patient!) friend Emma, I shared my first vlog with you in which I discussed my decision to quit my job, move to Colombia and build the dream lifestyle I’ve wanted for so long.
The feedback I received from you all was overwhelmingly positive. I will tell you that this gringo is very appreciative of your support. Most importantly, I hope I have inspired some of you to take action in your own lives.
2) Designed and launched my web design portfolio website
Since college I’ve been designing websites. My first sites were good lawwwwwd ugly.
If some of you remember Different Hunger back in the day, you already know this. Well, over the years I’ve refined my craft and now am proud to present you with my portfolio website showcasing my best work.
If you or anyone you know is in need of website or graphic design, give me a shout. For those of you who like money… I’ll give you a $200 referral fee!
3) Completed CANDOPUSHTHRU.com
I had the pleasure of designing and developing a website/blog for my good friend and massive inspiration, Cavan Valance. Cavan is a CrossFit competitor, online fitness coach and 1st Phorm Brand Ambassador. The best part of all of this is Cavan’s story because the radical transformation he has made is really incredible.
A few years ago Cavan weighed 290 lbs and was at a serious low point in his life. He was unhealthy and depressed. He knew he had to make a change. He started playing lacrosse and coaching when he had time to get things moving in the right direction. After a family tragedy, things got real, fast.
Cavan changed his mindset and worked his ass off even more so than before. He is now a physical beast, happier and more driven than ever before. You wouldn’t even be able to recognize Cavan compared to where he was a few years prior. Cavan now is a shredded 210 lbs and the happiest and most fulfilled he’s ever been. He took control of his life and now is committed to helping others do the same through his website and coaching programs.
I am very proud to have been involved with this project to have helped Cavan with his website and help spread his message and story. Cavan helps others change their mindset and improve their fitness by providing them with customized nutrition and fitness plans, as well as providing individual 1:1 coaching. His clients’ transformations are pretty incredible.
If you’re interested in working with Cavan or learning more, click here. Tell him I sent you!
4) Closed a new web design client
While I was in the process of packing my life up in NYC, I was able to book a new web design client. The timing couldn’t have been better as I was soon to be leaving the comfort of a steady paycheck.
After about 20-30 failed cold calls, I was able to close one. Praise the lawd.
5) Launched a new instagram account. Surpassed 1K followers in less than 2 weeks!
I’ve been testing out a few strategies to grow Instagram followings online. Instagram is a hot and rapidly growing platform that can be used by businesses to generate serious amounts of revenue if used properly. I created this account in order to just that down the road. Essentially I am working to build a platform that can be used for promotional purposes. I am still testing a few things out so don’t want to share the account name just yet, but if you have any questions about growing your brand’s Instagram following online, let me know. I’d be happy to chat.
6) Surpassed 1K instagram followers on Different Hunger
We have reached over 1K followers on @differenthunger! If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow along.
7) Created description page for Goal Planning Worksheet including user feedback
My goal with each and every post I share on this website is to entertain, inspire and provide you with valuable, practical advice that you can implement right away.
To make things super simple, most of the posts I share will include step-by-step guides, worksheets, checklists and more that you are able to download.
The first download I shared with you was the goal planning and motivation worksheet to help you achieve your goals. The worksheet includes six research-tested steps to effectively plan for your goals as well as tested “motivation hacks” to increase and sustain your motivation.
The feedback has been great…!
No, I didn’t pay them, I promise 🙂 If you missed out, download your worksheet here.
Projects I’ve moved forward
1) Slowly and steadily growing Different Hunger community
Different Hunger subscriber base grew 20% and our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram have been steadily growing as well. We’ve got a lot more exciting stuff coming up, so be sure to sign up for email updates!
2) Launched Different Hunger vlog
As I mentioned above, I launched Different Hunger’s vlog. Check out the blog and YouTube channel to watch more videos!
Personal learning I’ve been working on
1) Getting “in the zone”
Now that I am on my own and dictating my own schedule, I need to make sure that I am consistently having productive, focused days. My weekly reviews have helped with this dramatically. If you’re not already conducting personal reviews, I highly suggest you start.
2) Continue to eliminate the non-essential
Recently when cleaning out my apartment, I forced myself to cut down on my belongings as much as possible. I ended up giving away a large bin of clothes I didn’t wear often to a nearby shelter. This is a large improvement from the old, clothes-hoarding Matt.
I need to continue to eliminate distractions in my life, both in my personal and professional life. To help you do this in your own life, use the goal planning worksheet to identify the most important elements of your life, and eliminate the rest.
Other big life events
1) Quit my job!
March 25, 2016 was my last day working for THE MAN. As I’ve mentioned before, my thought process was this…
If I’m spending 75% of my waking hours in a job that doesn’t fulfill me at the end of the day, I owe it to myself and to the world to make a change.
There’s never a perfect moment for whatever it is you’re wanting to do, so start now.
Just take action. Especially if you’re a twenty-something like me.
If you spend your twenties and thirties afraid of taking risks, you’ll spend your fourties in regret.
Things I’ve learned and want to remember
1) Happiness is proportionate to the number of family members / friends I can randomly call and have a conversion with at any given point in time
Prior to and after making my decision to leave my job, I called on many of my friends and family for advice. They were incredibly supportive and offered up many words of advice and encouragement.
Having these types of people in my life, led by my amazing parents and family, have helped me immensely. Knowing that you have a support system at any time, is truly fulfilling and rewards.
The more the better, so start surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting individuals.
2) As humans we want to be inspired
As I mentioned above, the support I’ve received following my announcement to quit my job has been incredible and I’m very thankful for everyone’s words of encouragement.
We as humans want more out of life. We want to be inspired. We want to do great things. One of the most motivating ways to do this is to see others do remarkable things and have their zest and passion rub off on us. This is one of the main reasons I quit my job and moved to Medellin.
Inspiration allows us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations and is a strong driver of the attainment of our goals, productivity, creativity, and well-being.
But, inspiration is meaningless without action.
So next time you get fired up by a TedTalk, any Instagram quote or an article you read, apply it to your own life. It doesn’t have to be a major step.
Just. Take. Action.
Hopes for the next month
1) Close two new design clients
2) Establish a morning routine to improve productivity
Thanks for reading this month’s review! If you have any questions or comments, let me know below.