Dec 28, 2018 08:20:46

Past Year Review of positives & negatives

by @jasonleow | 561 words | 107πŸ”₯ | 107πŸ’Œ

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 107πŸ”₯
Total posts: 107πŸ’Œ
Total words: 46530 (186 pages πŸ“„)

Inspired by @flowen's post about the Past Year Review (PYR) method by Tim Ferris, here's my attempt at it.


Some background on how to do PYR, extracted from here


It looks like the following and only takes 30–60 minutes:

Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.

Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.

For each week, jot down on the pad any people and activities that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month.

Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask β€œWhat 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”

Based on the answers, take your β€œpositive” leaders and schedule more of them in 2018. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for shit now! That’s step one.

Step two is to take your β€œnegative” leaders, put β€œNOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2018. These are the people and things you know make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

That’s it! Let me know how it goes if you try it.


So here goes, in order of intensity, with the "top 20% leaders" marked:


βœ…  Positive

πŸ‘ Spending 1 month on personal solo retreat in Ubud, Bali

πŸ‘ Travelling with wife

πŸ‘ Taking parents and in-laws to Sapporo, Japan

πŸ‘ Taking treatment and surgery for a chronic medical condition, caring for the body and healing from it

πŸ‘ Learning about birth scripts and birth traumas (credits to wife for introducing it)

πŸ‘ Doing #1mvp1month, making/sharing 8 products, and learning from it

πŸ‘ Having something to look forward to and be inspired by, e.g. year-end Ubud trip, Kyoto trip and culture

Discovering a new city that I can come to love, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Eating my way through Penang, Malaysia

Witnessing the indie maker movement explode and learning from so many great makers

Connecting with people globally due to the products I made

Giving my first remote talk, and a first to a Japanese audience at Service Design Kansai

Learning something new - drone videography, pottery

Getting waterproof knit sneakers


❌ Negative

πŸ‘Ž Suffering chronic pain from my chronic medical condition

Hated all the renovation and construction work around my house (I didn't mark this because there's nothing much I can do about it, even though it's a leader)

πŸ‘Ž Being afraid to walk away from or saying no to toxic BS people, situations, work, content

πŸ‘Ž Veering off my usual design sprint model to offer customized consultancy packages - bad idea

πŸ‘Ž Taking on clients even when something was 'off'

Being afraid to say no to collaboration opportunities even when it's clear there's no alignment

Poor stress coping with junk food, coffee, fried food, sweets, ice cream

General overall feeling of ill-being


So to sum up, my positive leaders were travel, time with wife and parents, learning, making and inspiration. My negative leaders were poor health, toxicity, doing work that's misaligned and lacking control.


I realised this exercise is similar to my post about my conditions for joy and happiness, only that it also included a list of negatives, a not-to-do list, my conditions for pain and suffering. Very useful indeed to not just focus on what worked but also avoiding what didn't! 


πŸ”₯ Day 22 of the #200wad challenge.



From Jason Leow's collection:

  • 1

    @flowen thanks for the inspiration! :)

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Dec 28, 2018 08:21:06
    • 1

      @jasonleow thanks for sharing! ✌🏽

      lowen flowen avatar lowen flowen | Dec 28, 2018 10:23:28
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