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Mind-mapping 2017

I’ve been waiting to do this Year-in-Review thing for a while now and I kept postponing until the last minute. It’s Dec 30 2016 and I’m finally sitting down to write it.

So every year, I’ve followed the tradition of setting new year resolutions. 2016 was special because I actually managed to complete 80% of my new year resolutions – talk about a home run!

For my 2017 resolutions, I wanted to do something different. I came across this mind-mapping technique to figure out what I want to do in my life next year, shared by a former Google career coach.

Yesterday I set aside an hour for myself and started mapping out my life in 2017. This was the outcome:

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I’ve blurred up my 2017 resolutions because

  1. Hello, privacy! 🙂
  2. I don’t want to jinx my resolutions

While I was creating this mind-map, I realized there are so many things in life that I haven’t put more thought on. For example, “What makes me happy and how I can implement more of it in 2017?”

I have been very happy, just that it’s mostly been “go with the flow” happiness. When I took a hard look at everything in my life, my past, present and future, I realized the things that I miss so dearly that made me truly happy.

This mind-mapping trick is so powerful and I advise all of you to do it once a year (plus drawing on paper is so much fun).

Anyway, here’s how the incredible 2016 went.

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Travel

I traveled a lot this year. I made 7 major trips in total, one trip being a month long vacation to Australia (with mini trips inside it).

Health

I reduced my weight from 68.8kgs to 63.5 kgs. Much of this was due to having a healthier diet and 3-4 days/week exercise routine.

I started running longer distances (11kms in one go) and really enjoyed those runs. Part inspiration for running longer distances was from this Oatmeal comic.

I started practicing mindfulness and being grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life.

I started writing a lot this year – at least once a week. A lot of that stuff might never get published, but I’m happy I’ve documented all of that. Writing has helped me organize my thoughts in a much better way and has (I think) matured my thought process. It’s definitely a good habit to have, so I’d urge you to try that as well.

Work

Big year at work and so many firsts.

I hired 8 people (mostly trials), parted ways with 6. This year was the first time I had to let go off people in my team and it felt horrible. BUT I learned from my mistakes and hired some great people on the way.

I learned to become a better manager and develop better processes.

We built useful integration partnerships (including a fruitful partnership with Asana) for Hubstaff, an useful process to grow our organic traffic and our team together grew Hubstaff from $776,000 to $1.7M+ in revenue this year alone!

Interestingly, we hit our milestones of $1M in ARR and

$100,000 in MRR for the first time this year and it was such an incredible moment for us.

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Outside of my work at Hubstaff, I worked with a couple of freelance clients. One bad client experience later (that taught me a lot), I decided to become very selective on the kind of clients I want to work with.

I’ll put more focus on documenting everything I’m learning in the form of a book, email course or a product. That is one of my goals in 2017.

Relationships

I started dating someone this year and I’m grateful to have met such a beautiful person. 🙂

I consciously decided to spend more time with family and contribute more towards household chores. I’m happy I did that and I look forward to continue that practice in 2017.

I started spending more time with the people that matter in my life (even if they don’t live in the same city or country as me). Be it on phone, trips, Skype calls, pub-crawls.

How was I able to find more time? Here’s some advice from my boss, who I’m so grateful to be working with:

I don’t want our company to be the lifeblood of our folks’ existence. Everyone has their own life outside of work. At the end of the day, all that matters is that the work gets done (and done right).

Practice his philosophy and you’ll have all the time in the world.

Looking ahead in 2017

  1. Build a side-project (product, email course or book) and write more on my blog.
  2. Focus on more long-term relationships with people.
  3. Be less busy. Spend more time with loved ones, because they won’t be around forever.
  4. Keep practicing mindfulness, the habit of writing and self-reflection.
  5. Give back something to the community.
  6. Travel more and work remotely from an exotic location.
  7. Always have something to look forward to and have lots of fun.

Madhav Bhandari

I’m a SaaS marketer and I share my thoughts here on growing a SaaS business with a bootstrapped budget.

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