My 2022 Annual Review


When doing my annual review I characterized the year as foundational growth. As I laid out my goals for 2023, I realized none of it would be possible without the progress that I made in 2022. (Heck this Annual Review wouldn’t exist without the lessons of 2022). In this post, I go over how I got here, my key takeaways, and what I’m going after in 2023.

If you are interested in doing your own annual review, I used Tiago Forte’s Annual Review Template, which can be found here.

The prequel

I want to share a short back story about the people and books that helped me overcome my alcohol addiction and free my mind for 2022. There were two books I read in 2021, that completely changed the way I looked at alcohol. The first was Alcohol Lied To Me by Craig Beck and the second was Atomic Habits by James Clear. Alcohol Lied To Me changed my perspective on the term “alcoholic” and removed the stigma that I would be doomed to this condition for the rest of my life. With that mind shift, I considered my drinking problem a bad habit; not a predisposed genetic condition. Atomic Habits’ gave me the tools I needed to break the habit. I stopped looking for a cure to my disease, gave up on willpower, and applied Atomic Habits’ lessons. With these books combined with an amazing & supportive wife, I have been sober since October 3, 2021.

Now, onto the show…

How I got here

I want to start with how I got here, and give credit to those who have helped me in 2022. On March 17th, 2022 I stumbled on Ali Abdaal’s YouTube channel while researching the pros and cons of the iPad Pro vs the iPad Air (important stuff, I know). I was trying to find the right iPad to write down my notes while eliminating the need to take my laptop everywhere I went. (I wasn’t an avid note taker, but at the time I was in a lot of meetings that I needed to write notes for.) I liked Ali’s no-nonsense style and the speed at which he delivered the content. I decided to dig a little deeper into his content and see what he was about.

Most of the content circled around productivity and ways to enhance our lives (and still does!). In one of the videos, he talked about an expensive course that he attended called Building A Second Brain. I was intrigued, I had never heard of such a thing. I had a lot of questions. To be honest, when I first looked at the product I was uneasy about it and skeptical. “What is this witchcraft,” I thought to myself.

At the time the primary offering was the online course that happened at certain times of the year, and it wasn’t cheap. But, there was a callout on the website for the upcoming book aptly titled, Building A Second Brain and it was to be released in just a few months. I purchased the book and continued consuming the content offered by Ali and Tiago’s own YouTube channel.

These two particular people introduced me to the world of productivity and reframed the way I thought about personal knowledge management.

My takeaways from 2022

Be intentional with your time.

I have a family of four, a full-time job, a fixer-upper, and many side projects. Free time is scarce. I started using Dan Koe’s Power Planner last year to help me align my daily systems with my long-term goals. I immediately noticed how much time is wasted when we aren’t intentional with our schedule. I discovered small pockets of time everywhere throughout my day that added up.

“Things” never make the Greatest Hits.

I, like many, get caught up in the desire for “things” in the world. “If I could buy X, it will solve Y”. Never in my review did I reminisce about anything I purchased. Every time, it was the moments in time I spent with family and friends. Usually, when the things of the world were removed, the moments were the most special, such as taking early morning walks with the family.

Keep what works, toss the rest.

While researching productivity systems, I looked for the perfect one. I thought I needed to adopt a system wholesale. It eventually occurred to me this is an awful idea. We should adopt the systems and techniques that work for our life, and toss the rest. There are many things about Tiago Forte’s P.A.R.A Method that I love, and a few things that I hate, so I only incorporate the ones that align with my style of workflow. I have similar thoughts about note-taking methods like the Zettelkasten Method. My system has evolved into a blend of these two primarily (and some of my own techniques). Zain Rizvi’s blog post PARA vs Zettelkasten: The false binary covers this idea well.

Find your faith.

Last year I rekindled my relationship with my faith after long hiatus. It has been an invaluable companion for me. It has helped me let go of things in life that I have hung onto for too long. It has also helped me recenter myself in gratitude for who I have in my life.

I am not the type of person that pushes my own beliefs on others, so I won’t do that here; but, if you have questions regarding my faith, you can reach out to me via Twitter.

What I’m doing in 2023

My theme for 2023 is: Create, Take Action, and Share. I did a fair bit of creating in 2022, but I didn’t share most of it. This year I will share more of what I make and while I make it. Here is a list of my goals this year:

  1. Sell 3 pieces of furniture
  2. Write 12 blog post
  3. Publish 24 YouTube Videos
  4. Release my iOS app Fractions (A calculator designed with makers in mind) to the App Store
  5. Bike 1,500 miles
  6. Read at least 6 books

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