078 – Closing the Chapter on 2017

by | Feb 8, 2018 | Podcast

Dragging your last year into your New Year is a bad idea. You may have emotions, thoughts, and ideas that need to be processed, and if you leave those stones unturned, you’ll feel mentally and emotionally cluttered heading into the New Year.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I close the chapter on 2017, and share what happened through the year.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Reflecting on 2017
  • 00:50 – Closing the chapter on 2017
  • 00:58 – Michael Hyatt’s method for processing the year
  • 01:58 – If the last year were a movie in my life, what would the genre be?
  • 02:25 – What were the two or three themes that kept recurring in my life?
  • 03:21 – What did I accomplish in 2017 that I’m proudest of?
  • 04:09 – What do I feel I should have been acknowledged for that I wasn’t?
  • 04:24 – What disappointments did I experience in 2017?
  • 04:33 – What was missing from my life in 2017?
  • 05:20 – What were the major life lessons I learned in 2017?
  • 07:12 – Final Thoughts


2017 is over. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

In my life, there was quite a bit of push and pull. Not just at the gym, but also in terms of how I experienced time.

Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying:

Time is relative; its only worth depends on what we do as it’s passing.

I can’t even begin to unpack the depths of what that truly means. What I can share with you is that my life slowed to a crawl during the summer months, and quickly picked up afterwards. It was strange.

My summer was a life-defining one, and has had a huge impact on who and where I am today.

I made some excellent memories in 2017, but I’m still excited to close the chapter on it because I’m looking forward to what 2018 brings.

So, as with last year, I will be following Michael Hyatt’s process for closing the chapter on another year. It doesn’t make sense to drag your last year into the new one, so we must take adequate time to process our experiences.

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Here are the seven questions he asks himself, the same ones I will be asking myself:

  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?

Without further ado, here are my answers.

My Answers to the 7 Questions

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

  • Adventure and new experiences became the theme of the year, especially as summer approached. I spent some time away in British Columbia in August, and then two weeks in Japan in November. Both trips embodied a mix of familiar and new experiences I will value and treasure for a long time to come. I tried new foods, went new places, made new friends, and pursued new experiences.

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

  • The first half of the year was dominated by conversations about business and what it means to be an entrepreneur. It helps that my best friend is a business owner as well. These were valuable conversations that formed the basis for questions I’ve asked other people in real life and in podcast interviews.
  • Discussion and rumors about relationships grew significantly this year. I shared and listened to people talk about girlfriends and boyfriends, engagement, marriage, honeymoons, children, and so on.
  • Moving became a bit of a theme in August. I didn’t expect to be moving sooner, which I recently did, though I’m still in Calgary at this point. I’ve had a lot of conversations about California, and the word has randomly popped up in a lot of places. These three themes kept coming up while I was in Japan as well.

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

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

  • Nothing specifically. I feel like the people I’ve been working with have been kind, supportive, and complimentary. I would love to see more of my work reach more people, but that’s been true every year.

5. What disappointments did you experience this past year?

  • Not finishing Flashes of Elation is probably my greatest disappointment. At least I got the manuscript done.

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

  • There isn’t much I can think of. I lived by my three theme words in 2017: Adventure, health, and collaboration. I worked out harder than ever. I took vitamins and supplements. I changed my diet and quit energy drinks. I went for a lot of long walks. I got outdoors and into nature. I made a new best friend. I took breaks and got away from my life in Calgary a couple times. I went overseas for two weeks. I went to a business event and ended up meeting a new collaborator. I played musical genres I’ve never attempted before. I became more spiritual. I collaborated with people I respect and admire. Much of what I said would happen in 2017 indeed happened, but it was more than I’d even bargained for.

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

  • I love what I said last year, and I quote: “Even when similar 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.” This was a major theme in my life during the summer. There were some situations that appeared to be repeating, but turned out differently than expected. Now I feel like I was talking prophetically about things to come.
  • You can take a break, and it’s okay. On July 3, I was sitting down to have lunch with my best friend. Normally, I would be getting together with Maveen Kaura at 1 PM. You might know him as the co-host of another podcast I’m a part of called Using Your Power. My friend said to me, “Why don’t you call him and see if you’re still getting together today?” As it turns out, we weren’t. Maveen pointed out that there probably wasn’t much point in engaging the marketing work we needed to do, because summer was just beginning. My friend and I ended up going to Banff and had a great time. Surprisingly, a lot of things kind of worked themselves out while I was away that day. I was able to hand in some of my work a little late, and no one had any issues with that. That may not be how things go every single time, but sometimes you need a break, as I did, and taking that break won’t cause everything to fall apart. It’s okay.
  • Be aware of your surroundings before leaving on vacation. I was extremely burnt out, and had no choice but to leave a couple of projects hanging. For the most part, this was okay, but one client didn’t like it too much. Communication is always best when it’s clear. So, if you’re going to be away for a couple of weeks, make sure everyone knows what you’re up to. Even then, your clients may not be entirely happy with you. It’s never a good idea to leave them hanging, so if you can, try to have someone handle your work for you while you’re away, or have a system in place to deal with it.

Final Thoughts

What a ride. When I first started closing the chapter on the year in 2014, I’m not sure I had much to process or say. That’s clearly been changing fast.

My theme words meant a great deal to me last year compared to other years too. That’s another reflection for another time.

Have you taken the time to close the chapter on 2017? What did you learn, and how did you grow?

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