A Recap of 2015: On Working for Yourself, Writing, Productivity and Location Independence

Another year passed by. And I don’t feel nostalgic, don’t wish for things to be different, don’t have regrets, and don’t think it could have been any better.

I’m simply at peace with all that was, and looking forward to what’s next. I know what I want, am working on it and seeing progress as a result of that. And because of that things are exactly how I want them to be.

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That’s one of the many skills I’ve improved lately – the ability to smile for what has happened but let it stay in the past, and move onto what’s coming.

Great feeling!

So here are the changes I’ve made this year in different areas of life:

Self-Employed

I finally became self-employed and am now making a living off my writing. It’s a dream come true, which also makes it a reached goal (check out my process on turning dreams into goals here, or listen to the podcast episode on the topic).

But it’s not just one dream, actually. It also means I achieved other things I aimed at:

• turned my passion into a career;
• I work whenever, wherever and as much as I want (but I want to work a lot!);
• won back my time – I won’t be spending the best part of my life stuck in an office doing something I don’t like;
• I can travel whenever I want to;
• I’m working from home ( and I love it);
• I choose the projects I work on and have the chance to start something on the side whenever I feel like;
• I choose the people I work with.

The good news is that things can only get better from this point on as I’m consistent and motivated, and ready to keep hustling.

Productivity

That was the most productive year of my life.

And it’s not because I’ve found great resources or thought of new ways to hack productivity. But because I finally put into practice all I knew about getting things done and dealing with procrastination.

I write about that all the time, and even writing about it makes me think about it more and thus implement all the strategies, tips and tricks.

Here are the best things I now do daily in terms of productivity:

• I wake up early and immediately get to work;
• my most productive time is in the first hour of the day so I make the most of it;
• I work for 4 hours straight without any distractions (no communication, food, free time activities, side projects, or else);
• I don’t eat in the first hour of the day (that’s definitely not for everyone but I do feel much better and do my best work on an empty stomach. It never really feels empty honestly, and it helps me stay in shape. It just works for me. So the lesson here is to find what works best for you and make it a habit.);
• I use a to-do list;
• I keep in mind why I’m doing something and that helps me with getting it done;
• I let go of thinking about the past or worrying about the future and am more mindful of my current activity;
• I prioritize;
I track progress;
• I use systems and am being strategic.

And the best thing is that at some point productivity itself becomes a habit, and you start wondering why you’ve been procrastinating for so many years.

Writing

Some time ago I thought writer’s block existed, and that I had to wait for inspiration to hit in order to write something good, or something at all.

Now I know it can become a habit, like anything else.

I can write whenever I decide to now, and for hours daily without using up my creative energy.

The takeaway here is – even if you’re not a writer – that with enough desire and practice you get better, develop a skill, and can do it more easily and get better results.

Check out the exact habits that help me write a lot daily.

Blogging

Let’s Reach Success got more popular, and now there are over 320 posts in the archives.
I started accepting guest posts this year, and am sometimes posting other people’s useful content (3-6 times in a month).
You can check out the top posts for each month in 2015.

Books

I created a book store on the site.

The new editions this year are:

The Beginner’s Guide to a Successful Morning Routine
Morning Pages: All You Need to Know About Writing in The Morning
The 10 Mental Habits That Will Become The Pillars of Your Success
Productivity Hacks, Habits, Myths and Mistakes (Newest)
The Characteristics of Highly Confident Individuals (mini eBook)

Podcast

The Let’s Reach Success Podcast is the latest addition to the site and my newest project and hobby.

Honestly, I’m surprised at how fast I took the decision to do it as I know this exact side passion has taken weeks or months for many people before they actually started it. Pat Flynn was even thinking about it for a year and a half before actually taking action. And he’s the master now.

I quickly did my research, installed the free software to record and edit audio, ordered a mic, brainstormed the general idea of it and saw how others are doing it, and got the first episode out.

I’m having fun and it’s easy. But it’s true that podcasting is more time-consuming than blogging.

But from the moment I decided to become a podcaster I knew I had to stay consistent and was okay with the fact that no one may listen to it.
Here I talk about my initial idea, why I’m doing that and how side projects help us grow.

I started the show in the end of November with the goal of making one episode a week.
We’ll see how this goes, as the project is still in its initial phase and there could be many possibilities from here on. Which I’m looking forward to.

Location Independence

I’ve been reading about location independent entrepreneurs and digital nomads for years. But now that I combined this interest of mine with my decisiveness and desire to take action faster and see results, I actually planned out my first experiment. I’ll spend a month (or two if I decide to stay) in the Netherlands this summer.

It will be an adventure – I’ll be living abroad while still freelancing. I want to be more independent, see what else I need to live outside my country (as it’s a cheap one – Bulgaria).

I can’t say it’s a big thing. It’s not traveling the world for a year or moving to Thailand without letting others know, or else. But that’s also not what I want.

And honestly going to Holland is the least risky thing I can do in terms of location independence, but once I do it I’ll feel even more independent and will know I can move onto bigger things. So again, it’s more about personal growth.
I say it’s not risky as I love the country, am quite familiar with it, and have many friends there.

I chose the beautiful city of Utrecht on purpose. I don’t have anyone I know living there (although the country is small and getting from one place to another is really a no-brainer), it’s an amazing place, a big one, with great nature, center, history, nightlife, etc. I felt really good there and am looking forward to spending some time there working on my projects, and maybe even meeting like-minded people.
So that’s it for now.

In 2015 I also traveled a bit, met many people, partied a lot, changed some things in myself and my life, but these have less to do with personal development and my digital endeavors.

Oh, and I read a lot too, of course. But I’m constantly sharing the lessons I learn after that, so no need for further explanation here.

So stay tuned on how these will go.

And, please, share your opinion, advice or how your year went in the comment setion below. I’ll appreciate it and I wanna hear it.

All the best and have a fantastic 2016!

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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