2021 Recap (2022 Goals)

New Year’s Resolutions™ are overrated, but time-based goals are nice, and so are general life reflections. I find it’s valuable to put them in writing and in public, mostly for reference and reflection down the line. I’ve been doing these since 2016 (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and find them fun and useful.

2021 Was a Good Year (Recap)

2021 was shockingly adventurous. My word of the year was “commit,” and I dove deeply down the paths I wanted to (relationship, building my business, scuba diving and skiing, and health).

I got one good international trip to Costa Rica, and otherwise did a lot of travel within the US. Importantly, each trip had a purpose was also oriented around a group or people I wanted to spend it with. Less aimless, solo travel.

Agency growth exceeded our expectations.

I’m in a good place, though still quite busy. Growing the agency has been a masterclass in personal time management, delegation, and problem solving. This year, I hope to be similarly challenged, but on a new and evolving class of problems.

I’ll dive a bit deeper on each section below.

Career

I quit HubSpot, joined Workato to lead their experimentation team and program, and scaled the agency to 6 figures a month in revenue.

Busy, busy. I was bored before. Now I’m not.

I’m at the point in my career where I’m a bit abstracted from new technical challenges, and almost all of the problems I’m solving are leadership and team building. So both through Workato and the agency, I feel like I’m learning a lot and leveling up.

Omniscient Digital

This year at Omniscient was incredibly fun.

We’ve done almost 50 podcast episodes and have started to scale out decentralized content marketing. We increased our prices and optimized our sales process. We have two full time employees, one part time employee, several contractors. We’re hiring three new roles right now.

We wanted to get to $50k a month by the end of the year. Doubled that.

On a more anecdotal note, it’s simply fun to do. I get to flex creative muscles here and build relationships. I’m highly optimistic about our work in 2022.

Personal Brand & Professional Development

I spoke at one live conferences this year (CXL Live) and have focused on building my Twitter and LinkedIn followings. Also, I’ve done like 50 podcast episodes and built out my blog to like $750 a month in affiliate revenue. This was a pretty good seedling year for personal brand stuff.

I’m less focused on this outside of its facilitating function for growing my agency.

Next year, I’m hoping to do many more podcasts (of our own and to appear on others’) and continue to build out decentralized content marketing on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Health

Best year for health ever!

I finished my 18 month long “get jacked” project and ended up around 181 pounds and 8-9% body fat. Wrote a post about it here.

I did this through regular CrossFit, HiiT, and weight lifting, and also diet / nutrition coaching by my friend Garrett Conley.  I mainly wanted to see if I *could* get super fit, and I treated it like a long term challenge.

I like the lifestyle as well and find it quite easy to maintain. I also absolutely love doing CrossFit and weight lifting. More of a mental necessity at this point than a burden (and also a great way to meet cool people).

I also continued doing recovery work, including ice baths, sauna, etc.

Mental health was huge for me this year, too. I did a therapeutic MDMA session that was life changing, continuing having deep and challenging sessions with my therapist, did Wim Hof breathwork or meditation almost every morning, and kept a morning pages journaling habit.

Relationships

Relationships are good. I’m in a very good place here and this will be a huge focus into 2022.

Travel

This year I took several group trips and co-working adventures:

  • Costa Rica
  • Utah
  • New Orleans
  • Colorado
  • Miami / South Florida (several times)
  • Midwest for family

Also had a few group trips centered in Austin. Was lovely eliminating swim lanes in travel, bringing in both loved ones and adventure pursuits like skiing and scuba diving. Made travel feel more purposeful and less indulgent.

Hobbies

I went deep on music, writing about 7 songs and playing with a group of friends on the weekends.

Got super into scuba diving and did several dives in South Florida. Lots of ski trips this year as well, including to Utah (some of the best skiing I’ve experienced).

I’ve been trying to do fewer things and go deeper on them, and I think I’ve succeeded there.

I flirted with some random hobbies, like magic tricks and poker, but none of them stuck too hard.

Conclusion

Every year is better than the last.

2022 Will Be Even Better (Goals)

I’ve never felt more confident in my direction, both in terms of via positiva goals (things I want to add), and even more so, via negativa goals (things I want to subtract).

I always make a “scorecard” of sorts at the beginning of the year. I treat it like a big goal checklist, with big milestones like “achieve C1 fluency in French,” etc.

Here are some of my 2022 milestone goals:

  • 1+ coastal sailing trip and coastal sailing certification
  • 1200 club in lifting weights (almost there!)
  • $250k MRR at Omniscient Digital
  • $10k a month affiliate revenue
  • Consistent (1-2) BJJ classes per week
  • Buy 1+ property
  • Middle East / South America travel
  • 4+ dive trips
  • Record an album
  • Do a meditation or yoga retreat
  • Deepen relationship
  • Invest in love and stillness

Here are some things I’m removing:

  • Coding classes and learning (I’ll still pick up the patchwork I need to do little stuff, but no ML courses or anything crazy)
  • Social media (blocking in the morning, seeking <1 hr unproductive phone time)
  • Most drinking (the goal, really, is to have fewer hangovers, not less fun)
  • Long term nomadic/city hopping travel

Career

Very similar goals to last year, just scaled up. Again, heavy focus on building and scaling out the agency. I also want to build a top 1% experimentation program at Workato. I want to have a passive affiliate income stream from my blog approaching 10k a month by EOY.

Personal & Hobbies

Again, very similar with the addition of BJJ. Adventure related hobbies like skiing, diving, and sailing. Creative hobbies like playing and writing music, writing, and reading. Continuing my Spanish education and practice.

Health

Health will continue to be a huge focus for me, continuing CrossFit and other things I already do and adding in BJJ. I also want to do at least one Spartan Race (looking at Hawaii in August).

I also want to do another psychedelic therapy session and continue my therapy work. Setting a goal to do one meditation or yoga retreat as well.

Relationships

I’m basically just trying to deepen the relationships I have now, take them seriously, and be more vulnerable with those close to me.

Travel

Middle East and / or South America trip.

Conclusion

I’m excited for 2022. Every year has been better the last so far in life, and I expect as much moving forward.

Alex Birkett
Alex Birkett is a product growth and experimentation expert as well as co-founder of Omniscient Digital, a premium content marketing agency. He enjoys skiing, making and experiencing music, reading and writing, and language learning. He lives in Austin, Texas with his dog, Biscuit.

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