2014 Reflections

Where has the time gone? For goodness’s sake it feels like Jan 1st, 2014 was just yesterday! Never mind. Let me recap the goals I set for myself for 2014 and see how I did. Here goes:

  1. DONE: Run the Athens Half Marathon (read the “down side” below)
  2. DONE: Maintain weight at or below 91kg – I’ve actually averaged 86kgs with 83.5 being least and 89 max
  3. DONE: Go the gym 5 times a week. Nailed this one, I go 6 times a week now
  4. DONE: Read one book a month. I’m averaging more than 2 books a month actually. I’m burning through the iBooks store and that one hour on the bike in the gym 6 days a week is a big contributor to that.
  5. DONE: Make a short movie; I’ve done several with the start of the Mahmood’s Garden Shows initiative as well as several others. Nothing narrative though.
  6. DONE: Get a comprehensive health check. All A-OK.
  7. DONE: Get one international client for GB

Here are the goals I did not reach 🙁

  1. Read 4 fiction novels in the year. I just read Wilbur Smith’s Vicious Circle. Disappointing story that was too.
  2. Dedicate Sundays and Wednesdays to no TV. Yeah sure!
  3. Organise a photography exhibition
  4. Start a Yoga Studio
  5. Start the GB Saudi brand in Dammam
  6. Get a massage every 6 months

So overall, I think the progress was okay. Let me share with you some of the other accomplishments:

2014 Accomplishments

  1. My Self
    1. Health
      1. Completed the Athens half Marathon
        1. The down side of this was having to undergo an ORIF Hip Surgery on 30 June with three 10cm screws. My right femur’s neck fractured probably because of the double whammy of planned drastic reduction in weight, and training for a full rather than a half marathon (I downloaded the wrong app, one for a full marathon training rather than half which doubled all distances etc. I didn’t realise that for a while but when I did, I threw caution to the wind and went with it. Bad move!
      2. Completed the Al-Areen 10k Challenge
      3. Maintained weight at 86k – down from 116.5kg
      4. Maintained approximately 10,000 steps per day
        1. over 4,000,000 done
        2. approx 3,220 km logged
    2. New and Scary Things done
      1. Spoke at the EO Rule Breakers Event in Munich, Germany
      2. MC’ed the Think Pink 10-year anniversary Gala
      3. Did the iFly thing in Singapore
    3. Gardening
      1. Overhauled and replenished a lot of the garden
      2. Seed nursery for the first time in 3 years – good results
      3. Started a weekly(ish) Gardening Show: The Mahmood’s Garden Show at mahmoodsgarden.com
      4. Built a deck in the front garden
    4. Travelled to my 42nd country – Ireland; list of countries travelled to in 2014:
      1. Dublin, Ireland
      2. Singapore
      3. Penang, Malaysia
      4. Munich, Germany
      5. Cologne, Germany
      6. New York, USA
      7. Washington, DC, USA
  2. My Family: I asked them to give me some feedback a couple of days ago (Arif chose to stay in NY this Christmas, so his answers are still to be emailed, when he surfaces from the various celebrations no doubt!) here’s some of their contributions:
    1. “More understanding this year, checked your temper at the door” – Amna
    2. “You brought a lot of kindness to the table this year” – Amna
    3. “Given a lot of emotional support to the family” – Hanan
    4. “You opened another opportunity for me going forward in my life” – Hanan
    5. “You provided emotional support to help me support the kids” – Frances
    6. “Kept everyone afloat financially” – Frances
    7. “We’ve done a bit more together this year” – Frances
    8. “You’re not tormenting the animals as much!” – Frances
  3. My Business
    1. Gulf Broadcast
      1. Another profitable year
      2. Exceeded 2013 turn-over
      3. Inducted one new member of staff (Ryan Andrews)
      4. Inducted our fourth intern (Latifa Algosaibi); the most successful so far!
      5. Signed new employment agreements with three new staff members to start in Jan and Feb 2015
      6. Re-envisioned the company’s mission, vision and core values
        1. Core Values: Risk Taking, Innovation and Learning
        2. Purpose: Helping Businesses Thrive (this one was unanimously decided just this afternoon!)
      7. Re-envisioned our product line and will be relaunching a refreshed offering in Jan 2015
  4. My Community
    1. EO
      1. Successfully managed EO Bahrain
      2. Handed over a thriving Chapter
      3. Successfully held the EO Majlis regional event
      4. Attended Penang University
      5. Continued as the Internal Awareness Chair at the Global Communications Committee
        1. Nurtured and launched the Translation Initiative which will have a major impact on the globalisation and growth efforts of EO
        2. Nurtured and launched the EO Nation Conversation / Transparency initiative, the inaugural event was held at the Great Hall of the United Nations in Switzerland during the EO Geneva University
      6. Inducted as a member of the EO Path of Leadership global subcommittee

So 2014 was a very eventful year, to be sure. To tell you the truth, though, those successes weren’t felt much because I felt that something important was missing. Something was taking the happiness energy out of all these successes. That something was some challenges with my family, and when I thought about this and talked to the kids and my wife, it was glaringly obvious that I did not prioritise them as much as they – and I – would have liked. I chose to spend most of my energy on the business and then the a large chunk of what was left was invested in my own pursuits. Although I tried to involve them, that attempt was not enough.

With this realisation, I determined to change the goals for 2015 completely and give priority to the family. I’m going to achieve this is by reducing the number of goals and consolidate them into a TOP 5, rather than go for a laundry list that will once again not allow me to direct my energy where I want it to go; strengthening my relationship with my family and enjoy our time together.

Other than setting the Top 5 list, I will also have a theme for 2015 for the first time, and that theme is going to be GROWTH. Determined and defined growth for My Self, My Family, My Business and My Community. This by the way is one of the best values I learnt being a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. Thank you #EONation and thank you Samer Kurdi for your #EO360. These concepts truly changed my life over the last couple of years.

My 2015 Top 5

2015 Theme: GROWTH

  1. MY FAMILY: Re-establish connections with my family and be more present and available to them. I intend to be pro-active in this sphere rather than reactive.
  2. MY SELF: Continue with the health journey. As in 2014, I do better when I set a tangible goal, like the Athens half marathon. The health goal for 2015 will be to climb Kilimanjaro in June.
  3. MY SELF: For my right brain, in 2015 I want to be able to play 3 – 5 Jazz tracks on the saxophone by the end of the year, and be proficient enough at it to enjoy the experience and make it a sustainable new hobby.
  4. MY BUSINESS: As to the business, I’m setting an achievable goal to grow revenues by a minimum of 30% over 2014 and also achieve budgeted financial goals.
  5. MY COMMUNITY: I’m going to continue to serve in the EO Global Communications Committee and Path of Leadership sub-committees until June. I’ll make myself available to help my community in other ways beyond June 30th.

I invite my family to hold me accountable to these priorities, and remind me once in a while to measure against them so I don’t lose track. The task now is to create quarterly tactical “rocks” to allow me to achieve the big goals of 2015. From there, I will break those rocks down to monthly and weekly tasks. Having such a conscious effort at achieving these goals will ensure a better chance at success.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about your own lists and successes of 2014. I do not want to hear any advice please. With all due respect, if you have a personal experience you can share that will help shed light on any challenges that I might encounter with my Top 5 items, please do share that. Avoid the words “should” and “I think”!

Have a wonderful, bountiful and peaceful 2015.

Much love.

1 Comment
  • Mohammed Almulla
    28 January 2015

    I sow your self-reflection last year, and this one is more detailed than the last one

    For me, it sends the right message, so thanks for sharing such unique practice in public, sharing is caring, sharing is engagement, sharing is teaching, thanks again for your spirit

    Here are some files that show my practice of planning and self-reflection
    you may be interested to see this one : برنامج العادات الحسنة

    thanks again for you trying to be the best of you

    My regards
    Mohammed Almulla

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!
2014 Reflections