At the beginning of the year, I had set a theme for the year. This 2022 was my ‘Year of slow living’ and I had put out many intentions for myself.
As I write this annual review, I take the help of my diary, my phone, my Google Analytics, my PayPal, my adthrive, my Spotify and my Amazon account to have an accurate review of my year.
And so reading my diary entries from the beginning of the year here were some of my intentions
- To live slowly and have abundant time with myself
- To do only one thing at a time and not fill my time each and every moment with things and tasks
- To be fearless and courageous in everything I do and expect only good things from life
- To take care of my energy and always keep a high life state and make sure I have good feelings more abundantly
- To be a mindful blogger and live with awareness and presence.
I won’t say that I’ve been able to achieve these in full 100% but I can say that this year has been a great starting point in establishing a ground in mindfulness and slow living for myself.
I write this annual review because I could never step into a new year without knowing how my year really went.
I share this here because I consider this blog as an extension of me helping me capture my thoughts, my learnings and any ideas that come to me that I consider would be helpful for my readers.
And even though this is about me and my annual review, I hope that this brings you encouragement to write your own and start the new year with the correct intentions.
So with this, I start my annual review by answering these 3 questions
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go well this year?
- What did I learn this year?
What went well this year
Table of Contents
This blog continues to be the best thing I have done in my life so far and I am so so grateful for this space which I can proudly say that I built from scratch.
I was consistent with posting on my blog for the entire year and I have received so much love and so many wonderful comments from people. Receiving them lets me affirm why I want to do what I want to do.
I have no writers for my site except for the few guest posting requests I accept.
I do this blogging thing completely as a side hobby along with my main teaching job.
I felt that I could have written more posts since I still have so many ideas and learnings I want to write down, but now that I calculated, I found that I wrote 63 blog posts this year and this is my 64th blog post.
Almost all my blog posts are more than 2000 words and some even exceed 4000 words. If I averaged at 2500 words, then it means that I wrote almost 1,60,000 words this year.
An average book is about 80,000 to 1,00,000 words. This makes me believe that I will actually be able to write my own book someday.
I am forever grateful to blogging that has helped me in my writing journey.
Also, at the start of the year, I had set the desire to gain at least 100k page views every month and start earning $5000 a month by this year.
It turned out exactly so and I have written more about it in my vision board post, How to make a vision board that manifests
I joined Mediavine in January, but soon shifted to the premium ad network company AdThrive, just as I had hoped.
My blog gained even more traction this year and lately has been crossing 200k page views every month and $7000 in ad income.
Here are my blog statistics for the entire year till December 27, 2022.
- 9,55,608 users
- 1,292,860 sessions
- 1,625,784 pageviews
P.S. This isn’t fully accurate as I lost track of my google analytics around March because of some technical issues.
I can’t be more grateful!
At the start of the year, I had high expectations of myself and I had planned to do a lot many things. However, as the year went by I found myself doing very less of the things I planned to do.
Earlier me would take this as something negative, would push myself hard and beat myself up and take it as ‘things that didn’t go well’, but this present me is actually happy with how little I did.
I could have been unhappy about my blog traffic and blog income and pushed myself to earn even more after comparing myself with bloggers who earn so much more with the same amount of traffic as me.
I could have pressured myself to work more since there’s still so many avenues I haven’t touched upon.
But I didn’t. I didn’t make an Instagram page, I didn’t care about Facebook, I didn’t try to capture every trend, I didn’t write blog post after blog post just for the sake of writing, and I am happy and satisfied with how my blog is doing and how much I could do.
I realised that deciding to do less is actually deciding to let things go.
By doing less, I saved my energy and I did other things well, such as enjoying gardening, going for daily walks, giving time to my morning routine, daily chores, exercise, and prayer, meeting friends, and going on my travels without caring about the things left on my to-do list and still things worked out just fine.
I am glad I did less because I enjoyed so much more.
This year I also set an intention to travel to at least 5 new places and do my first solo trip. This did come true as these were the places I travelled to this year:
I took one trip with my colleague, one with my mother, and one with my boyfriend.
Currently, I am writing this post as I sit in my Airbnb room’s balcony in Shillong which is in North East India from my first solo trip.
This was our fifth year of togetherness and I am deeply happy about how our love is growing. We hardly had any fights or issues this year and was just love and laughter.
I am thankful for his loving presence and the thoughtfulness he shows towards me. It is because my love life is so wonderful, peaceful and calm, I am able to focus on all other things better.
People say that as the years go by, the spark gets dull, but we’re getting even better with each passing year.
And I hope we always remain this way.
This year I feel like I got much better in my mindfulness practice, and I owe it all to the podcast ‘The way out is in’ and the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Mindfulness made even ordinary mundane things deeply joyful this year and I found myself feeling deep joy even on perfectly ordinary days.
I incorporated moments of mindfulness in little everyday tasks and enjoyed drinking tea, watering plants, walking, taking bath, washing the dishes, cooking food, and doing all such everyday things mindfully.
I found that mindfulness makes even dull moments so interesting and a joy to do it instead of taking them as a nuisance.
I wrote some posts around it and here are some:
- Why thankfulness is mindfulness
- How to truly enjoy long walks
- Not rushing with my body
- How to start practicing mindfulness
Other best things that happened this year
1. My dog Bella gave birth to four babies and I kept one with us. We named each one of them after Young Sheldon’s series. We named them Moonpie, Sheldon, Missy and Moo (the cow).
We kept Missy with us and I love them both so much.
2. This was my first year of living alone and I am happy about how it turned out. It was difficult in the beginning and I was scared about how I would sleep alone.
But living alone, let me know that I am actually strong and much capable of enjoying my own company. I learned to live well alone and didn’t feel a bit bored or lonesome.
I’ve written more about my experience in this post, 8 things I learned since living alone
3. Living alone this year, I also started gardening and taking care of plants. I developed a relationship with plants for which I am very happy.
I did a balcony makeover and really took care of how my surroundings made me feel. This kept my life state high and made me live more joyfully and better focused.
I have written more about this in my post- Why I enjoy cleaning my home and not dread it.
4. Another thing I am very happy about is getting a cat this year. It truly felt like a gift from the Universe as I had been wanting a cat to keep me company in Kolkata for so long.
This came true as one fine day, on my evening walk, I found a kitten just near my home. I quickly brought her home and she has been with me since then.
I named her Mia and she has been such a joyful addition in my life.
5. Regular walking, stretching and exercise.
6. This is not to boast, but more about being transparent. I grew up in a family that underestimated me a lot. Most of them had the idea that I couldn’t do anything in my life.
When I dropped out from college, most of them thought my life is done and I would be a failure in everything henceforth.
But that was in fact my turning point and I have written about it in my first blog post, ‘27 years of my life so far’
I didn’t grow up in wealth. Though my mother didn’t make it known to others, I grew up seeing financial difficulties and experienced what a toll it can have in life and all the hardships that come with not having money.
But I had always been a firm believer in abundance being our birthright & this year I saw this become my reality.
This year was about manifesting more abundance in my life which is helping me live more wonderfully and experience the good things I dreamed of earlier.
I feel deeply grateful and this makes me want to open up and share my work even more and live more abundantly in gratitude, for it was really gratitude and sincerely sharing my heart to the world that changed my life.
7. Feeling more joy in day-to-day life. I even wrote a post on this- What brings me joy in my life?
8. This year I started listening to podcasts and I totally loved and enjoyed them so much. This new year I am going to be starting my own podcast titled- ‘Heart of Living’
But here are some of the best podcasts episodes I listened to:
- Elizabeth Gilbert on Fear, authenticity and Big Magic
- Connecting to our roots: Ancestors, continuation and transformation
- How to accomplish your dreams in ONE HOUR A DAY with Steven Pressfield
- Are you truly there for your cup of tea?
- How respect can change the world
9. Lastly, going on my first solo trip which I enjoyed so much. I felt so free and alive as I walked the streets and explored on my own.
Living alone, going on slow walks by myself and enjoying my own company gave me the courage to do this.
Will write about my experience in my coming post. I am grateful!
So these were all about what went well this year, now about the things that didn’t go well and that could have been better.
What didn’t go well this year
Before I decided to fully dive in to make this blog a success, I was fully devoted to academics and I aspired to do very well in my academic life as an assistant professor of Sociology.
My nature is such that, I can only focus on one thing well. If I try to devote my attention to more than one thing, I will suck at both things.
Hence because these past two years I have devoted my focus only to growing my blog, my academic life has suffered.
I didn’t do much reading or research except for the class notes I had to prepare.
I got accepted into the PhD program at TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) this year, but since I didn’t get study leave from my college authority, I wasn’t able to join. And to be honest, I felt kind of relieved.
I even thought of quitting academic life altogether, but I recently went to a sociological conference and it made me realise that I actually love my subject too.
So this next year, I will try my best to devote at least a bit of my attention to my academic life as well, do more readings and write papers, and take it as an experiment of how it goes.
This year I read very less, but I did start listening to podcasts as a way of gaining knowledge.
I read only 11 books this year and they were:
- The Buddha in Daily Life
- The 4-hour workweek
- Authenticity project
- Psychology of Money
- Jane Eyre
- The Miracle of Mindfulness
- The Millionaire Fastlane
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull
- The midnight Library
- The invisible life of Addie Larue
- Talk like Ted
I am happy that I didn’t do much this year, but I am not very happy about not sticking to my newsletter ritual this year.
I had decided to send a weekly email newsletter to my subscribers, but I got distracted for two weeks and then I left sending newsletters again.
If you are reading this, and want to subscribe to my newsletter, please do join me on my email list.
My focus for next year with regard to my blog will be to grow my email newsletter and be consistent with sending out newsletters as much as my blog post.
I am keeping a target of getting 50,000 email subscribers next year. Let’s see if I am able to fulfil it in my next year’s annual review.
Another thing that didn’t go so well this year was eating healthily. This year I started living on my own without my mother.
Being a single daughter, my mother did all the cooking for me. In the beginning, living alone and managing everything on my own felt hectic.
I didn’t enjoy cooking at all, but slowly with mindfulness my relationship with cooking changed.
And as much as I am happy about learning to cook for myself and starting to enjoy cooking, I still wasn’t very consistent in eating healthy food cooked by me.
This was especially because, during lunchtime at work, I always eat food from the canteen as I find it very difficult to prepare tiffin for myself.
This next year I want to specifically set an intention around healthy eating and say no to take away and outside food.
What did I learn this year
1.Doing things slowly improves the quality of everything you do.
2. Mindfulness makes even ordinary tasks deeply joyful.
3. Our body affects our mind as much as our mind affects our body.
In one of my diary entries, I’ve written,
How we carry ourselves, how we walk, how we do our chores, how we lift things, how we hold things, everything matters in how we feel. How we act with our bodies automatically affects how we feel. This has been my biggest learning so far.
I have come to know that the more graceful we are, the more joyful and deeply happy we will feel.
When I walk lightly, slowly and with grace, I automatically feel deeply happy and joyful. Moving slowly with grace even in bits and pieces through my day has helped me feel so much peace. I wonder how I will feel when I become always mindful and graceful.”
I’ve written more about this revelation in my post the power of graceful movement on mental well-being.
4. The Universe loves to receive gifts and the greatest gift you can give her is the gift of your work to this world. When you go against all odds, against all self-doubt and share your contribution to the world, the Universe loves it.
And for this, the Universe gifts you back in return- joy, courage, confidence and abundance much more than you can even imagine.
5. Not sharing your work and your talents because you are scared, because you fear judgement because you don’t have enough courage is a crime because you are stealing the world its magic only you can give.
6. We must allow ourselves to get discouraged. There is a far greater risk in not allowing ourselves to get discouraged than it is in getting discouraged.
This is because we get discouraged only when we are trying to do something meaningful. We get discouraged only when we are trying to make a change. We get discouraged only when we are trying to create value. We get discouraged only when we are trying to get out of our comfort zone.
The truth is- we get discouraged only when we step out of our comfort zone and step into our bravery.
If you never allow yourself to feel discouraged then it would also mean that you never allow yourself to move out of your comfort zone, you never allow yourself to explore your heart’s calling, and you never allow yourself to grow through uncertainty.
Again, I’ve written more about this in my post: Allow yourself to get discouraged.
7. Your relationship is a reflection of your relationship with self-awareness.
8. Not caring about what people think is an energy saver. Not fearing missing out is an energy saver. Not trying to go after every desire is an energy saver. Not trying to explain your POV to people who won’t get you is an energy saver.
9. Joyfulness is the only secret to manifesting our desires. Do more things with joy, do more things that are fun and tap into the feeling of joyfulness and you will become a champion in manifesting.
10. Making life simple or complicated takes the same amount of time and energy. What you choose to focus and spend time on is all in your hands. A great part of success hinges on what you do with your free time. Choose wisely, but also create space. Make time for hobbies and create more, consume less.
Notes from my diary
Notes to myself
Don’t bring the same set of complaints and apprehensions from last year into the new year
Only focus on me and what I love and who I love and don’t give any energy to what I don’t want in my life
Not to speak ill, complain or compare anyone
Always keep me in a high-life state.
10th january 2022
A grateful mind is always settled. A mind that is thankful is always at peace. It is only when we are running out of gratitude or thankfulness that our mind feels unsettled. A grateful and happy mind is always settled.
– 8th febuary 2022
It is all about taking things slow and coming back to myself. Even though I don’t feel good being distracted and burned out, I must remember that they are all teachers and an essential part of my learning process teaching me that no matter how long I have been on this journey, I must continue to nurture my habits every day and keep returning to them just as a beginner.10th March 2022
Even though I consider myself a happy and cheerful person and there are not so many things that bother me, I realize there is indeed suffering inside me. I find it hard to cope with my insecurities, anger and attachment. I want to forgive, but this has been a challenge for me for so long. When I listen to the podcast (The way out is in), I realize that it’s not only me who is struggling, but we all are. And that lets me be kind to myself. My true self is pure, and I must be in touch with her often.
– 18th march 2022
I’ve been taking care of the few plants my mother had left here (Kolkata) and I love watering them. I love meeting them in the morning.
I’ve realised that just like building a relationship with an animal or human, it is also the same with plants. You develop a relationship with plants too slowly…. As you meet the plants and greet the plants every day, slowly you get to know the plants better and then, you will actually start loving the plants.
This way I feel, you can actually build a relationship with anything. You can be a plant-lover even if you weren’t in the beginning. You can be an animal lover even if you weren’t in the beginning. And you can be a lover of human beings too. You just need to be open and allow yourself to meet whom or what you want to love, often and give them your true presence.1st april 2022
‘I need to stop letting the judgements of others bother me so much. I felt the same way when I first started blogging. When I decided to share it with the public, I had to fight hard to remove the weirdness and overthinking.
I have come a long way from being a timid young girl and I need to remember this quote by Leo Tolstoy,
“If you care too much about being praised, in the end, you will not accomplish anything serious. Let the judgements of others be the consequence of your deeds, not their purpose”
31st may 2022
Prayers for June
Let only love get inside my heart. Let only understanding have space inside my heart. Let only compassion and kindness grow inside my heart.
Give me the strength to remove all distractions and go after my dreams. Let me move in awareness. Let me move slowly without rushing and when I am here, let me only be here.
Give me the strength to strengthen my determination and give me the courage to not let my immediate reaction overcome me. Make me a better lover, a better friend and a good daughter.
Remove all unkind thoughts and judgements from me and make me incapable of judging and complaining.
Let there be only love. I want to move about my day as if you are with me.
“May God be with me”
I pray to remember this at all times, and I pray to remember you.3rd june 2022
I realize that I really need to pray and work on my courage~ especially, the courage to speak up, the courage to stand out, the courage to speak the truth and the courage to be my true self at all times. It is not something that is there very natural to me.
I have been a timid and shy girl for most of my life and I hate to come into the limelight. If I know something, I don’t normally like to talk about it except in my blog and my diary. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad, but I sometimes feel that it’s necessary to share.15th july 2022
As artists we are powerful and our work becomes powerful when we emit and pour in our positive energy and frequency into our work. We can transfer our energy and positive vibration to the people seeing our work, watching our work, reading our work or anything. Energy can be transferred through the things you do and it need not even require our physical presence. It can still move people to the point of tears and make people feel strongly about the things ‘you’ feel.
Perhaps it was because of this reason that the paintings by Vincent van Gough were so powerful and became so well known.
He had poured in his true energy, feelings and intentions into his paintings that those who looked at them could feel the same emotions as he when he painted them with.
The world truly is magical and we actually are transcendental beings.
22nd august 2022
When we encourage and uplift other people, the uplifter also in turn becomes the uplifted.22nd august 2022
All living beings have a Buddha nature ~ so this means even plants and animals have a Buddha nature. Nature has Buddha nature manifested in them fully. That is why they make us feel so happy and calm without doing or saying anything, but just by being in their presence.
We too must strive to have such calming presence and energy that doesn’t need our doing or our saying. This is the ultimate I feel.11th september 2022
I feel I am opening up to myself more and more with each passing year. I just want to go on being more myself year after year. I love how I am unfolding. There is no one else I’d like to be, but me. Because in being myself, I am most confident, loving, courageous and understanding.
When I pray these days, my prayer is this, “To have an impact on people and influence people to good things”.
I want people to enjoy my work, my words just like the whole world currently enjoying Taylor Swift’s music.7th november 2022
December has been really busy and I haven’t made any diary entries. This post is sort of my diary entry on my blog.
I am thankful for how this year turned out. I am grateful to everyone who stood by me this year and for my dear readers.
If you’ve come this far, I thank you for reading my blog and wish you a wonderful new year.
I am so excited for the new year. May we live with courage, peace, love, joy and mindfulness in the coming year.
This much for today. Happy new year!
My top 10 blog posts of 2022
- 15 things to get rid of to simplify life
- My morning routine: 8 Things I do before 8 am
- A beginner’s guide to organising your life
- Habits of organized people
- 50 ideas to simplify your life
- Things to do at the beginning of every month
- Daily Habits to improve your life
- Toxic habits to quit immediately
- 10 toxic morning habits to quit
- 13 Rules that keep my life simple
Here are my Annual review from previous years