2024: The Year of Structure

Tags: yearly_theme

Every year for the last few years, I have a yearly theme. At its most basic level, it is a North Star to guide the year and what I intend to achieve, rather than using absolute and specific goals, it’s ultimately about the trend line in an area of focus. I find this a better way to improve myself with a simple focus.

Your 20s is a unique time and so deserves its own decade long theme. The Decade of Beginnings and Progression, the idea that this decade will serve as a place of beginnings and taking those starts into major foundational blocks of progression, a sense of stability and growth during this critical learning period.

2020 was very much a “goals” king of year, some are common themes you’ll see in later years, some just didn’t happen. Those were:

2021 was the Year of Recovery and Building, “trying to recover myself from slowly destroyed productivity and mental place (it’s not the worst but not the best); just trying to recover and build myself up to introduce systems and processes to move forward and up.” While that ideal at the time didn’t quite work out as intended, my mental health has for sure improved since, yet it feels so long ago that I don’t really remember.

2022 was the Year of Progression, uni was coming to a close and it was important to move on and up. That year was a success, as I had finished uni despite COVID with a grade I was happy with, attended RDC in person in the UK for the first time, and moved to full time employment that lasted the whole year. The trend line made it clear improves were made.

2023 was the Year of Documented Growth, a year to document my life and see what changes have been made, seeing what habits I’ve built and focused on. It hasn’t turned out like it should, the trend line is not there to really say it was as good as last year, I think the problem was that I jumped too far didn’t build the foundational structure needed so I’m redoing my theme again but with a better focus on the structure needed to do last year’s theme.

As the years make painfully clear from my writing, productivity is not something I do well if doesn’t have the structure around it, the virtue of a schedule and travel caused my uni work to be the best of the class until it was not, having a work schedule caused me to focus my sleep around things that was going to happen.

It’s these things which make me think back and look at trying again to do the right thing, build that structure, build those habits.

That is to say there are some major trends I’ll be tracking (somehow):

These sorts of things need to be reviewed frequently so that you can look back and see the change that otherwise doesn’t feel like it happened. If it’s worked, there should be some decent outcomes like:

Maybe after all this blubber of saying I’ll improve, not much has changed and that means more time to change up how things approach. Maybe it will just be a year of quarters compared to a whole year of focus. You never know what will happen in the future, you can only be optimistic about it now, developing the systems needed to make it happen while introducing accountability when it doesn’t. At least I can say I’ve tried.