Annual Review 2016 & My Hopes For Trauma Happy Finance’s 1st Year

Welcome to Monday here at Trauma Happy Finance!

This was the first year I had the emotional energy, time, and motivation to do a week’s worth of thinking at the end of December 2016. This was also the first year I had clarity of mind and a real desire to look at what I want my future to be. So I conducted my own Annual Review to help me plan ahead and really trust my head and my heart when I ask myself what do I want my 28th Year to look like?

And I know we’re only one week and four posts into Trauma Happy Finance but I want to put my 2017 goals for myself and this blog here, out in public.

Although this is my first time doing a full Annual Review, I look at the final product less as New Year’s Resolutions put into an Excel spreadsheet and more as a list of steps after a deep dive into my head. Excel keeps things organized. You can find the template I used at the end of this post.

I started my Review by thinking about the things that went well in 2016:

  • Rebooted my daily meditation practice
  • Lifting three times a week
    Running three times a week

I fell off the wagon for all three of those things at least twice during the past year. I got in a real depressive slump about it along with feeling crappy about my life and my job. I’m so happy to have closed out 2016 having fought the Laziness Dragon and put those things solidly in place in my daily schedule again.

  • I started taking theatre classes again to feed the performative side of me
  • Through lots of hard work in therapy and daily self-care I got back in regular touch with my friends
  • I learned to be a big fan of myself
  • I rebooted our daily dog toothbrushing and fur brushing sessions

And many more things that I’m so proud of myself for doing (or restarting) in 2016!

I also make a list of things that I’m not proud of. What things I wish went better.

  • My anger was at its hottest at some points this year and I didn’t like being consumed by that ugly part of myself
  • I feel the growing emotional gap between myself and my sibling got bigger this year
  • I took longer than I wanted to get out of my depressive funk and connect again with friends and exercise regularly again

Really taking the time over many days to think about what I was able to accomplish in 366 days made me proud and a little surprised. To read my list of accomplishments back to myself and smile about the progress makes me more hopeful about what I can do in a another year with a good strategy and measurable goals in place right from go. And really thinking about things that disappointed me reminds me of what is important to me right now. I don’t want to exacerbate those disappointments. So now I know where to spend my efforts in 2017.

Taking the time to do these steps and swimming around your own mind makes for a better objective-based foundation for your year-long goals rather than just saying, “I want to start going to the gym,” or “I will become fluent in French.” While those are valid ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and also valid things for someone to have on their Annual Review Excel spreadsheet, I think the process of just choosing things to do before looking inwards doesn’t work as well. You’re just choosing things that seem impressive, not things that are truly are important to you. Or at least thats’s how my Resolutions would go in the past. This process of first checking in with yourself then picking out realistic steps forward makes the things you choose more meaningful.

1. Post three articles here every Monday, Wednesday, Friday of posts at least 500 words in length and having been edited with at least one pass
2. Journal for at least 880 words every single day
3. Do at least passthrough of my NaNoWriMo 2016 novel/sci-fi/autobiography — do at least one sanity pass
4. Ensure that the articles I write here speak to an audience of people like me: those who have had to grow up with a parent with a major mental illness and are trying to figure out how to find lasting happiness and how to become a human that they like. That is the founding reason I started this blog. Because I was sick of not finding the community that I wanted.

By the end of the year, I want to make daily writing a solid habit. I want to make editing myself a solid habit. I want to make publishing a solid habit. I don’t want to let the tears I cried writing my NaNoWriMo novel go wasted in a rough draft that never gets looked at again. I want to build a consistent, solid writing portfolio to be able to attract freelance writing clients.

I have one big business goal for 2017. I want to make freelance writing my side hustles. I have a dollar goal in mind for the year for me to call it a success but I want this blog to be solid content first, but also an investment vehicle.

Friends & Family
1. I don’t call and just talk with my sibling a lot. I want to make a 25 minute phone call with them a consistent part of my week.

2. A less solid goal in the Friends category is to not let my defensive shields go up so quickly around my friends, to let them in but to also not let myself get consumed.

I will meditate 40 minutes in the morning and at least 10 minutes before bedtime every single day of 2017. I’ve gone through enough times of sitting regularly and not sitting regularly. This is the year I make sitting integral to my days.

1. Run my second half marathon in Spring 2017

2. Run my first full marathon in Fall 2017

3. Run at least one 5K and one 10K

4. Cut out soda

5. Add 30 pounds to each of my main lifts: squat, bench press, deadlift

1. Do 1 pomo of Secret Project #1 daily

2. Graduate college with my undergraduate accounting degree

3. Make one new recipe every month

4. Read one new book a month

Financial (Earning)
1. Make X dollars of side hustle income this year (I’ll share my dollars earned and my dollar goal come December. Call me superstitious, but I don’t want to jinx myself!)

2. Make sure some of those side hustle dollars come from writing

3. Get an accounting job at a Thriveal CPA firm after graduation

Financial (Saving)
Set a higher savings rate of 51%. I want it to hurt. I want to have to make tougher choices. I want to save more than I earn.

I want my 2017 to be a ‘Year of Foundation-Building.’ I want to build lasting things for myself like this blog, my writing habit, my meditation practice, my education, and my body so that I’ll have a solid Foundation of New Miguel so when I willfully jump into the scary black hole that is the future, I’ll have many sturdy parts of myself to fall back on. I want to give Future 2018 Miguel some evidence-based memories of earning money on the side from my nurturing and creative side. I want Future Miguel to have even more self-love, self-compassion, self-esteem because of the daily persistence 2017 Miguel had. This is my ‘Year of Foundation-Building.’ It is atop this 2017 bedrock that I build Miguel Manalo. And I’m happy you’re here with me.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to me! Are you ready? Let’s go!

I’m using a predefined Excel template that I got from The Art of Non-Conformity (AoNC). Get it here.

And here’s how Chris Guillebeau at AoNC does his own Annual Review. I borrow his format and steps heavily.

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