2016, for many reasons, wasn’t the best year for a lot of people.

I’m not the kind of person to get hung up on celebrity deaths or US politics, but I do understand why a lot of people are frustrated, angry, or sad.

And there’s no doubt we did lose a lot of great talent in 2016 – David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, George Michael, and the list goes on.

2016 was a good year for me overall, and that’s what I prefer to focus on as opposed to external events that I have no control over.

Still, I felt it was important to process this last year and close the chapter on it – just like I did last year.

As always, I will be following Michael Hyatt’s process. These are the seven questions he asks himself every year so that he doesn’t drag the previous year into the new one. Here they are:

  1. If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be?
  2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
  3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of?
  4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
  5. What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year?
  6. What was missing from last year as you look back?
  7. What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?

And now, here are my answers to these questions (I hope you’ll take the time to answer them too).

My Answers to the 7 Questions

1. If the last year were a movie in your life, what would the genre be?

  • Action. There was nothing particularly spooky or romantic about the year. It was funny at times, but not enough to where it was comedic. It was mostly fast-paced and intense. There were some challenges along the way, as there always are, but there were also breakthroughs, and what I remember most is engaging in meaningful projects with people I love and respect.

2. What were two or three major themes that kept recurring?

  • Just like last year, there has been a steady flow of opportunity, which I am immensely grateful for. In a time when many people are struggling, I consider myself fortunate, and couldn’t express more gratitude if I tried!
  • Who am I, what am I here for, why am I the way I am? Discussions on personal identity grew as a theme and became more important to me due to the influences in my life. I realized that I have a choice – to accept myself as I am and be who I am, or to pretend. Pretending sounds exhausting – best be authentic instead.
  • I feel like I’ve been encouraged to express myself more, especially musically and creatively, again influenced by the people I’m getting to know and spending more time with.

3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are most proud of?

4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?

  • I feel like I was recognized and acknowledged for my work in 2016 more so than any year preceding it. If anything, I would love to see more people learn from and get value from the content here on TME.

5. What disappointments did you experience this past year?

  • I didn’t achieve many of the goals I’d made for myself. But I also know now I was being somewhat unrealistic, and I’d set too many goals. I’ve since learned that two or three per quarter (90 days) is about right. More importantly, I did achieve two high-priority goals.
  • Not connecting with enough people. It seems like I was better able to prioritize it in 2012 and 2013, but then again, it was also my job. Plus, there is a time and place for all things, and it seems like focusing on my work and objectives in this season has been necessary and even prescribed.

6. What was missing from last year as you look back?

  • Rest, and by extension, fun. Same as last year. I’d even put time to rest and take breaks in my calendar, but I just didn’t take it. Summer was laid back, so that was good, but I still didn’t take enough time to get away and recharge. This was especially apparent when I went to Banff and Canmore with my sister, and felt an immense sense of peace. This year, I haven’t had as much time to plan as last, so I don’t exactly know when my breaks are going to be (besides #FoodFridays, which has given me something to look forward to on a weekly basis). I do know that I will be going to Japan, probably in late October or early November. I also discovered a post by Michael Hyatt called How to Better Control Your Time by Designing Your Ideal Week (incidentally, this is something I’ve talked about before too), and that’s something I’ll be studying to get a better handle on things.

7. What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?

  • Your identity is connected to your passion, which has a direct impact on your output. Your identity is also connected to your weaknesses, illnesses, fears, and so on.
  • When you’re creating a community, you need to be thinking about your audience and what they will respond to.
  • Even when similar themes and situations seem to repeat themselves in life, your past does not dictate your future. Just because you feel the same does not mean that things will turn out exactly as they did before.

Final Thoughts

What did you take away from 2016? How will you be processing the year so you don’t drag it into 2017?

Let me know in the comments below.

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David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe

Founder & CEO at The Music Entrepreneur HQ
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a performance schedule with Long Jon Lev and Adrenalize. If you'd like to be notified whenever the blog is updated, click here to subscribe.
David Andrew Wiebe