As the new year approaches I’ve decided to take some time out to reflect on the last 12 months and also look ahead to 2014.

2013 has been a huge year for me personally. So, what’s happened? Well, in short, I stopped going through the motions and started to take control of my life a bit more.

Above all I want to enjoy my life and leave behind me a story that I’m proud of. In 2012, and early 2013, I felt held back, sheltered and unable to fully express myself. Now, things are totally different, and I feel like I’m gradually unlocking my potential and utilising the drive, desire and motivation that has been pent up inside of me for years.

Anyway, that’s enough intro, let’s jump in take a look at what has gone well this past year.

What went well

Quitting my job

After years of debating and dreaming, in 2013 I finally quit my job to pursue a freelance career, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Since making the leap, I’ve almost felt like a new person and I’m certainly much happier. There’s been some highs, a few lows and one or two times where I’ve questioned why I left full-time work. Overall though, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

Working for myself represents a huge personal milestone in my story. I proved to myself that I could overcome fears, push myself and pursue the career I’d been dreaming of for years.

Half marathon

For years I’ve wanted to run a half marathon and always put it off. It was one of those things I’d tell myself I’d “do next year” and never get round to.

In 2013 I finally gave up on excuses and laced up my running shoes. In all honesty, I didn’t train as much as I would have liked to, but I was very proud to tick ‘complete a half marathon’ off my list of goals. It was one of the toughest and most rewarding challenges I’ve ever taken on.

Las Vegas

I’ve always wanted to visit Las Vegas and in 2013 I ticked it off my bucket list (and I’m sure I’ll return again).

Looking ahead: 5 goals for 2014

Reflections over with, it’s now time to look ahead.

I’m sure 2014 is going to be an exciting year and below are a few areas I’m focusing on improving during the new year.

Income vs Time

Since I started freelancing my income has been up and down, though I’ve made at least as much as I used to at my 9-5 job every month since leaving. During 2014 I’d like to try and stabilise my income a little more and try to find a way to drive some revenue outside of consulting (basically, earning money not directly connected to my time).

Travel

Last year I went on a trip to Las Vegas and it was one of the best holidays of my life. Vegas aside, I haven’t traveled as much as I would have liked to over the last few years. This year, I want to focus on travleing more. I already have trips to Hamburg and Madrid booked up, but I’d like to sneak in a few more trips as and when I can.

Writing

I really enjoy writing and I don’t do it enough. I’m now setting aside set time each day to write, so that hopefully I’ll have something to look back and reflect on in years to come.

Reading

I have a long reading list and I’d like to start getting through it. Reading is something I enjoy and ge† a lot out from. Too often I choose to watch something on Netflix or watch some TV over reading. in 2014 I’d like to start prioritising reading and make it part of my daily routine.

Health/fitness

I’m not horrendously unfit; I play basketball and football twice per week and also go out for runs every now and then. I’m not where I want to be though. In 2014 I’d like to start paying closer attention to not just my fitness, but my overall health (sleep, diet, hydration, exercise, etc).

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