My Successes and Failures of 2014

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. 

Health Room, Successes and failures 2014, luke jones

2014 has been a pretty crazy year. So much has happened and so much has changed in a short space of time. I’ve taken risks, achieved goals, messed up a whole load of times, and learnt a lot about myself and the world around me. It’s been a great one.

As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on wins and losses over the past year. My intention definitely isn’t to boast, or to put myself down either. I just wanna look back to see where I’ve come from, and use it as an exercise to help me improve. Hopefully it will be interesting for you too, and it might even give you some lessons to take away.

This post is largely inspired by an article by Leo Babauta posted a couple of weeks ago on his blog  Zen Habits, and I highly recommend checking that out too.

So, here goes…

My Successes

In no particular order:

1. I made the switch to blogging full time.

When I first started Health Room, I knew that it was something I wanted to make my full time gig. But for quite a while, I had one foot in, one foot out. I was trying to run the blog like it was a full time job, but at the same time I was still applying for other jobs and going for interviews. I wasn’t fully committed to either thing, so I couldn’t give my best. When I decided to solely focus on the site and drop the job search, all of a sudden I became way less stressed and more productive. It was as if a weight had been lifted.

2. I moved into a new place.

In Cardiff, with my girlfriend. It’s a big step for us, and I’ve loved every bit of it. It’s nice to be a bit more independent, and it’s another stage on the journey to becoming a proper adult (as scary as that sounds). It’s also made our relationship even stronger, which is always a good thing.

3. I joined the CCFL Global Academy. 

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m one of the founding members of the CCFL Global Academy, an online movement with the aim of healing, uniting and empowering families and communities across the world. I’m the healthy habits guy at the academy, and every month I give a webinar or two on how we can live more authentic, healthy, happy lives. Go take a look at this free video series if you’re interested in finding out more.

4. I’ve expanded my comfort zone.

Things like webinars with CCFL and manning my own stand at a health and fitness expo have really taken me out of my comfort zone this past year. That kinda stuff scares the crap out of me. But facing your fears and insecurities is the only way to grow and overcome them.

5. I’ve written articles for big sites and magazines.

It still seems surreal to me that I’ve written for sites like Mind Body Green and Natural News. I’ve also contributed to a few magazines, including Thrive Magazine, and a few others that will be out in the new year. It’s nice to be able to share the message with a wider audience!

6. I’m feeling a bit healthier.

Maybe because I’m a little more relaxed about my diet. Maybe because I’ve been meditating more, and worrying less. Maybe because I’ve got a clear sense of purpose and direction. Maybe because I’ve been around great friends and family. Maybe because I’ve adjusted my training, worked on my posture, set exciting fitness goals and visited the chiropractor regularly. Likely it’s all of the above…

7. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot.

About blogging, social media, running a business, mindfulnesscorrecting posture, eating healthily, being in a relationship… So many things. I almost feel like I’ve learnt more important things in this past year than during my entire time at school and university.

8. I’ve spent time doing the things I love.

I’ve been really lucky this year to have spent most of my time doing things that I enjoy. Reading, writing, moving, exercising, helping others, and seeing friends and family. And I’m really grateful for that! I had to take some risks to get there, and I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I’m really happy about the path that I’m on right now, and I know the general direction I want to head.

9. I travelled.

Nothing crazy, but we managed a nice trip to Turkey, where we had an awesome adventure and ate some pretty good vegan food. I’m definitely aiming to travel some more in 2015.

10. I published my first eBook.

Plant Based Diet 101 – The Ultimate Guide to Healthy, Sustainable Eating Habits. It’s a handbook that summarises the most frequently asked questions when it comes to plant based nutrition. I put a lot of work into the book, and I’m really happy with how it turned out! Go check it out here if you’re interested!

My Failures

Although I had quite a few successes this year, there’s still a long list of things I didn’t achieve. Failure is quite a harsh term, and instead I like to think of them as learning opportunities – chances to grow and become a little wiser.

Here’s some of them from 2014:

1. I still get some health issues.

No doubt I’ve made some progress, but I’ve yet to solve the puzzle completely. I still get ulcers and digestive problems from time to time, and I still don’t know 100% what causes them. It just goes to show how complex this whole health thing is, and how little we really understand it. But I’m learning a lot on the journey, and still enjoying it.

2. The handstand challenge.

On numerous occasions, I’ve set the goal of practising handstands every day. For some reason I really wanna be able to stand upside down for a while. But because of a niggling wrist injury (and an overzealous approach) I’ve yet to get that habit to stick.

3. YouTube

One of my big goals this year has been to get regular on YouTube, but as you can see, that’s not really happened yet… Yeah there’s a smoothie recipe, and a short film about Vegfest, but other than that, not much is going on. I really enjoy making videos, but for some reason something else always seems to come up. Maybe it’s because putting videos out is a little scary and time consuming, I don’t know. I’m definitely gonna sit down and look at the real reasons as to why I haven’t been able to keep it up, and sort them out for the new year.

4. I’ve yet to return to martial arts. 

Another big goal of mine is to get back to martial arts, particularly BJJ. Even though it’s something I’m really passionate about, I haven’t really been in a position health wise and financially to get back to it. I feel like a much better person when I’m training regularly, and I’m determined to make it in 2015.

5. I’ve had to pull out of a few projects.

I was fortunate that after jumping into Health Room wholeheartedly, opportunities started coming my way pretty quickly. Initially I said yes to everything. I didn’t want to miss out on something that could potentially take the movement further. But if you say yes to everything, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin, and you end up not being able to do anything very well. That happened to me a few times, and it’s meant I’ve had to pull out of a couple of projects, and decline quite a few business opportunities that were going to take too much time. I don’t like letting people down, but it’s important to do a few things well, rather than several things poorly.

6. I’ve lost touch with a few friends.

As I said, things have been really busy this last year. I’m lucky that I made some great friends in uni and school, but when everyone is working in different parts of the country, it can be hard to keep in regular contact. Sure we speak now and again online, but there’s no substitute for meeting face to face. That’s definitely something I want to pay more attention to next year!

7. That pesky meditation habit…

As I’ve said before, I go through phases with meditation. Sometimes I’m on point, meditating daily. Other times I drift off, and my practice is inconsistent. I’m on a roll lately, but I know it’s a really fragile state, that can easily be knocked off the rails. So I definitely have a lot more work to do. Guided meditations are definitely helping though!

8. I still overdo it sometimes.

It’s true what they say, that old habits die hard… One of my habits has always been to push myself a little too much, and although I’ve been working to combat that, I still revert back to it now and again. I go a bit too intense at the gym, even though I know it will give me ulcers… I put a bit too much pressure on myself to get a load of work done, even though I make my own deadlines… Although I’ve gotten better at taking it easy, I’ve still got improvements to make.

That’s about all I can think of right now, but there are likely many more things I’ve missed out. As I said, I see each of these failures as lessons that help highlight what’s important to me, and what I can do better next time around.

Overall, 2014 was an exciting, productive year. I’ve really enjoyed running this site and writing for you guys. Thanks for all the support, I really appreciate it. It’s always cool to hear off readers who have benefited in some way from the ideas that I share, and that’s a huge part of why I’m doing this, and why I’ll continue to do so for a long time!

Have a great Christmas, and happy new year. I’ll be back in a few weeks time!

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Thanks for reading!

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Luke Jones

Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

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