2014 Annual Review & The Word for 2015

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2014 is just about to be over. In fact, the new year has already started in Japan.

I’ve been writing some sort of year-end review last few years, but this will be my first following the format of Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review. Basically, he spends a week at the end of the year thinking what went well, what did’t go well, and what the next steps are.

I hear many people around me saying they don’t like New Year’s resolutions. Other common opinion I hear is that you don’t have to start anything new at the beginning of the year. If you want to start working out regularly or quit smoking, you can start on June 23rd, if you like.

But as someone from Japan, where the New Year’s Day is the biggest holiday of the year, the beginning of the year is pretty significant. I like having a fresh start, not to imply I can throw everything away that I didn’t finish in the last year, but the new year has always been the time to straighten up my back and put the best foot forward.

I’ve been picking a word or two every year to focus. I don’t think I wrote about it anywhere online for my word for 2014, but it was STYLE. Not just in fashion, but I spent this year thinking what my style was.

Before I introduce my word for 2015, here is my annual review of 2014.

What went well this year:

-I got to travel and meet many people

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In March I flew to Tokyo as a press for ANA’s launch of Vancouver=Haneda route, and although I was there for only three days, it was a blast. I had one free day in Tokyo and was humbled to have so many people come see me at the lunch.

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In April we had a road trip to Washington. In July, I visited Portland again for World Domination Summit and meet all my WDS friends and “Team Japan” – Especially, seeing Etsuko and Masatake – my comrades – are highlight from the trip.

14703456252_0d87893040_kIn August, I flew to Dallas for the first time to see John and Cali to celebrate the opening of Geek House.

Cali&Yukari

In September I attended a AGM for National Association of Japanese Canadians. Meeting many Japanese Canadians and learning the history made me realize that it didn’t matter that technically I am not Japanese Canadian. As people living in Canada with Japanese heritage—we should all work together to keep the story going.

—Many great friendships, new and old

I am very lucky when it comes to friends. I have many friends whom I look up to. This was another great year where I got to make many new friends and strengthen the ties with old ones. This year, I was particularly felt fortunate to bond with some incredible female business leaders, and for that, I am very grateful.

—I was rarely sick

I can’t remember hardly any day when I was sick in bed. Didn’t get a cold, didn’t get a flu (knock on wood), no major illness. I know I am very lucky. I did have some minor skin problems and some sort of allergy…so I will continue to keep watch though.

—Spiritual Growth

I am not religious, but I’ve first started praying every morning, probably in mid 2013. I’m happy to say I did continue this ritual and I did pray every single day in 2014. I also counted my blessings and practiced gratitude, and my stress level decreased significantly. I used to be unable to sleep when I was stressed out or worried about something – but these days, I feel at peace. This was the year I thought a lot about my own spirituality. (I wrote about it here.) It is a never ending journey and a practice, but I hope to continue with this in 2015.

On to the second question.

What did not go well in 2014?

-Overall work and financial management

I was all over the place in 2014. I had my business, then I had a part time job, and writing assignments, etc. I wasn’t focused on what I really wanted to do but rather I was doing what needed to be done. Because of this, I dropped the ball couple times. Also, one of the part time gigs I had didn’t work out – it just wasn’t worth my time and I had to change course, which was a good thing in the end. Some rough financial patches too. I feel good about the decisions I made in the end though, and hope to charge through the 2015.

—Few falling-outs from friends

Although I had many great friendships, I had a few falling-outs too. When I was going through it, I was sad and shocked, but now my wounds are healed and it’s funny now I feel like it was the best thing for me in the end.

—Inaction

I didn’t write the book. I didn’t even start. I had a big project but I still haven’t finished. This is related to my first regret above, but I need to really prioritize what I really want to get done in 2015.

Overall, good things outweighed the bad, and 2014 was a much better year than 2013. I know 2015 is going to be even better.

The word for 2015

My word for 2015 came down to me while I was in the shower. (This happens often)

My word for 2015 is CREATE.

I want to write a book, I want to write more blog posts. I have a show I want to start as well. I feel I’ve done enough “Thinking about starting“. Now, it’s time to actually do it.

I have two other words that I want to keep in mind other than CREATE – COMPASSION and COOKING. Parhaps these two are not as “life-changing’ as the first one, but I believe there is no such thing as too much compassion or too much cooking.

So there it is. How was your 2014? Do you have a word for 2015?

Thank you so much for reading my posts this year. I wish you a very happy 2015.