The Accidental Annual Review

I’ve long been fond of the idea of getting away on my own to review the year that’s been, and plan and dream for the months and years ahead. The problem is, I just haven’t got round to doing it…until now.

I had planned this week off in between jobs with the thought that the move to Auckland would take place now. As it panned out, we did the hard work of moving a week or two ago, meaning I had a free week. Throw in the fact that we had planned a snowboarding weekend away, and then that a friend generously offered their holiday home to me for the week, and you have an ideal window for a time of solitary reflection (and snowboarding).

It’s been an enormously rewarding experience and I will definitely be more proactive about rigging up this sort of thing in the future. Here’s just a few thoughts on what I’ve learnt and what I’ll be improving for next time:

Go into it with a plan
Be ready with a few key objectives for the review.  A couple of days actually isn’t that long to evaluate your plan for life, so you still want to be productive.  Spending some time beforehand preparing an agenda would really pay off.  I didn’t do this but wish I had.

Disconnect
I’m not even a high-flying executive and I appreciated the fact that the cellphone reception was poor.  I wasn’t expecting to be so disconnected, so I spent too much time trying to get signal on my phone and hence less time just enjoying the isolation.  In future making a conscious decision to disconnect would definitely help.

A cosy house was good
I’m still a bit undecided about whether it would be better to do this sort of soul searching while tenting in the wild or in a cosy house with handy access to comfy chairs, hot chocolates and blankets.  This time I went for the latter, and really enjoyed it, but I’ll do a solo camping mish sometime to compare.  This was the set-up that worked for me…

Focus
I spent a large portion of each day snowboarding.  I enjoyed it, but for future reference I think I would be better to keep snowboarding for snowboarding trips and serious life planning for serious life planning trips.  But just because I can, here’s a self-take of me at the snow, showing the glorious weather I had down there.

If you haven’t done anything like this I would wholeheartedly recommend it.  And if you have done stuff like this and have any hints or thoughts please share them in the comments!

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