100 Things That Made My Year (2018)
I started this new year unexpectedly in hospital.
Whilst everyone celebrated and sent out last minute text messages, I sat on a chair by my mum in a hospital ward in a remote part of West Africa.
There was no way I could have predicted this scenario.
Life continues to surprise us and teach us important lessons.
Thankfully, things are looking up and I’m now heading back to the UK.
Hope to share more in the near future.
At 36,000 feet and with not much to do, I’m taking stock of my life and it occurred to me to write down 100 things that made my year.
All going well, I’ll make this a regular each year.
I’ve previously written that gratitude is the antidote for optimism.
This is my list of things I’m grateful to have experienced last year.
So here it goes in no particular order.
100 Things That Made My Year (2018)
1. I celebrated 7 years of marriage to Mary. The best years of my life so far.
2. The Humble Penny became aged one. I had dreamt of getting past 6 months.
3. Elias started at the same school as Joshua. We’ve been planning this for years. So happy to see it become a reality.
4. I read the bible in one year. This transformed my life in ways I can’t write in a sentence.
5. New friends came into my life. Something I’m very grateful for.
6. We travelled to 5 countries. An unusual year for travel – Holidays and weddings. We spent time in France, Greece, Spain, Nigeria and Portugal. Greece was the best of all. I particularly enjoyed visiting Lindos:
7. My parents became mortgage free. Huge joy for me.
8. Mary created Marz Party, a party business for all things kids.
9. I started serving at my local church.
10. I escaped a suspected skin cancer and looked ahead.
11. I covered over 2.5 million steps walking around London, Kent and bits around the world.
12. My closest male friends and I met up about 4 times. I loved the great company.
13. I was privileged to have coached more than 20 people face to face about their financial lives.
14. I professionally mentored 2 people for 6 months each. Learned so much from them.
15. The Humble Penny won some awards and we made some media appearances.
16. Our family life was more fun than usual as the boys are growing up.
17. Mary went away abroad with her girlfriends. I was happy she was happy to be away.
18. I recorded 2 podcasts. These helped build my confidence.
19. My face went up on The Humble Penny’s homepage. This took some deliberation.
20. I created a good morning routine and woke pretty early most days to stay ahead.
21. I worked in partnership with Mary like never before. She endured some of my frustrations.
22. We enjoyed a mostly vegetarian diet.
23. We built a small studio at the back of our garden as my birthday present. I’ve always wanted one of these and was happy to finally have a creative space.
24. I read at least a dozen books. Some of my favourites were The War Of Art and Show Your Work
25. Somehow (don’t ask), I managed to write 2 pieces of content per week for 52 weeks. I started last year and never stopped.
26. We survived turbulence in our main family business.
27. My mum and dad took on important titles from our native homeland. We enjoyed celebrating and dancing with them.
28. I thoroughly enjoyed my day job and the many challenges it brought helped me grow.
29. We diversified our incomes further.
30. The Humble Penny had visitors from over 79 countries.
31. I turned the TV off for most of the year.
32. I kept a gratitude journal and wrote in it on most days.
33. I asked myself the important questions – What’s the meaning of life? What’s the meaning of work? Etc.
34. I had some good collaborations.
35. Our financial net worth increased.
36. I started creating FIRE SuperPower™ to help folks take action and achieve Financial Independence.
37. My prayer life improved drastically.
38. I received an iPad as a gift and gradually started going paperless.
39. I talked on the Steps To Investing panel as an expert. Never could have predicted this.
40. I took on coaching from two amazing women, who were instrumental in opening specific doors for me.
41. I created 113 mind maps as I brainstormed for various bits of content.
42. We watched a spectacular sunset from Rhodes as we looked across the sea into Turkey:
43. I earned the most I’ve ever earned in a month early in the year.
44. I attended the Iron Sharpens Iron men’s conference and enjoyed the company of 750 other dads, grandfathers, sons, brothers, husbands, uncles.
45. I enjoyed diverse beautiful music great for writing blogs. Some of my favourites were:
- Planet Earth II Suite – Hans Zimmer
- Time from Inception – Hans Zimmer
- Our Corner Of The Universe – K.S. Rhoads
- Dragonstone – Game Of Thrones – Ramin Djawadi
- Fight Club – Lorne Balfe
- Now We Are Free – Gladiator – Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard
46. This Martin Luther King Jr’s speech about “Your Life’s Blueprint” left a positive impression on me.
47. The Hate U Give was one of my favourite films.
48. I talked as little politics as possible.
49. For the first time, we enjoyed seeing life under the sea through a submarine tour.
50. We all swam in a shallow lake abroad for the first time ever as a family. We took this shot as a reminder.
51. I did some Yoga for the first time ever strictly for exercise only.
52. Joshua played the donkey for Christmas nativity. We were so proud of him.
53. I asked for forgiveness. Many times.
54. We worked with 3 large brands as sponsors for The Humble Penny.
55. Joshua learned to ride a bike within 30mins of unboxing it.
56. The subscriber base for the blog became 4 digits and 20k – 30k people visit the site monthly.
57. I visited a remote African village where my parents were born. I hadn’t been there for 25 years.
58. We were fortunate to give more money away than ever before.
59. I made a huge mistake that landed me in a deep valley. The only way to look was up. I learned a lot from it.
60. My dad survived a couple of health scares.
61. I thoroughly enjoyed my talk on how to start a blog and run it successfully at the Pop Up Business School.
62. I dreamt of doing a TED Talk and put the wheels in motion.
63. We thoroughly enjoyed the playgrounds of Jardin Du Luxembourg and the Paris subway over the Summer.
Josh climbed quickly right to the top thanks to all the forest school fun over the last year. Elias gets 10/10 for effort:
Great to experience the subway with the boys in a different country:
64. We continued to live fairly frugally and maintained a £50 per week food budget, exceeding it slightly on occasion.
65. Savings across the board went towards mortgage overpayments, leaving a small mortgage to pay off. Plus further investing.
66. My walks across Regents park during the Summer remain a top highlight.
67. The Humble Penny was revenue generating and diversified with recurring income.
68. I enjoyed seeing Regents Street and Oxford Street change through the seasons as I went on my daily walks.
69. I joined a prayer group with other young fathers.
70. I rediscovered library life and visited to read more often for personal growth.
71. Patisserie Valerie on Marylebone high street was my most visited coffee shop thanks to the daily free coffee from Barclays. I either ordered a hot chocolate or a decaf mocha.
72. I cleaned my bike from the shed and enjoyed cycling in one of the best Summers we’ve ever had in the UK. One a few occasions, all 4 of us cycled together.
73. I personally helped more than 20 people actually start their online businesses.
74. I experienced riding in an ambulance across heavy traffic in Lagos at 35-degree centigrade. The shock of no one giving priority to the ambulance will stay with me forever.
75. I spent more than 25 hours offering Free coaching across 6 Reader Case Studies. Priceless moments.
76. The Financial Independence meetups in London that I help to co-host was a big highlight.
Especially the one where I got to meet Brad from Choose FI
77. Planet Earth 2 was my favourite documentary of the year. It shone more light on sustainability and the environmental threat re plastics.
78. I thoroughly enjoyed music from the likes of Hans Zimmer, Skepta, WizKid and Simi.
79. Watching live Tennis at The Royal Albert hall made up slightly for not getting Wimbledon tickets yet again.
80. Watching our boys create amazing pieces using lego gave me more hope that I could be more creative.
81. My most listened to podcasts were Lead To Win, How I Built This and Entrepreneurs On Fire.
82. I celebrated turning 35. I can’t believe how old I’ve become. To some, I’m apparently young!
83. I did some travel hacking with AMEX and deliberately collected points.
84. We attended at least a dozen parties for 4 and 5-year-olds. These are more fun than you might imagine.
85. I won a leadership recognition award.
86. Thoroughly enjoyed working through Learn To Read In 100 Lessons with Elias. Before the age of 4, he could read quite well.
87. Over 800 completed both the Free Practical Money Course and the Free How To Start An Impactful Blog course.
88. We stayed debt free beyond the small mortgage.
89. My brother got into Team GB for the Paralympics but in the end, chose to row for Nigeria at the World Championships in Bulgaria. Very proud of him on all counts.
90. The World Cup fever with England was priceless. My sweepstake teams (Germany, Switzerland and Senegal) also got nowhere.
91. I ran a 5K most weeks of the year.
92. We actively recycled in the year.
93. My 10-year-old nephew (Chris) took his DJing to a whole new level and played at parties.
94. We had the most amazing Summer in the UK. Months of needed sunshine.
95. Date nights were a bit more consistent but with room for improvement still.
96. We made the effort to celebrate birthdays.
97. I met one person per week for coffee. Nothing beats face to face meetups.
98. We clocked up 2 free companion vouchers and look forward to some low-cost travel in the new year.
99. I danced more this year as the boys have grown a bit and now do more random dances to welcome me home daily.
100. I ended the year alive and healthy!
What were your top 3 – 5 highlights of 2018? Please comment below.
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.