A few years ago someone shared with me a simple exercise that can help one celebrate the wins of the year and identify challenges and opportunities for growth

Most of us are pretty crap when it comes to celebrating our achievements, we usually give them about 5 minutes and then move on to the next life hurdle. And we almost never look back to see what we learned or how we could do things differently.

A Retrospective Exercise

As we are at the end of the year it’s time to look back and identify what worked, what didn’t work and what actions are required in order to make 2019 even better

I recommend you take 1 hour and sit down and make a short list of the things that went well, didn’t go so well and specific actions to make them better for next year

  • What worked – (What did you get right?  What made you smile? What are you proud of?)  


  • What didn’t work – (What could be improved?  Where did things fall down? What opportunities are there to do things better ? )


  • What specific actions do I need to take – (how can I fix what didn’t work? )


Paul’s 2018 Retrospective

Question 1 – What’s worked?

Book reading – I have read over 20 books which may not sound like a lot but when you have two young children it’s pretty hard to find any time for yourself. For me it was waking up at 4:45am so I could get at least 30 minutes of morning reading in before the kids wake or I have to leave for work.

My kettlebell training – This year I was booked in for the Strong First Girya level 1 (SFG1) which meant I had to be physically ready for it. My kettlebell proficiency was already in a pretty solid place but 12 weeks of coaching and dialling everything in and I was pretty happy where I was at.

Unfortunately SFG1 didn’t happen for me as I got sick on the way to Australia. 🙁   There’s always 2019 I guess

In September the Millers took a holiday to Byron Bay.  It had been over 10 years since I had been there and a lot had changed, both good and bad. The place was far more commercialised but with it brought amazing food and it was a lovely break for the whole family

We started a Farmers Market. When Krystie and I first met we were both working as mobile Personal Trainers in London and on a Wednesday we would both finish at lunchtime and meet up at the Belsize Park Farmers Market where we would buy our organic produce and sink a coffee while sharing stories of our morning. We both loved the market and as newly daters it was a magical time. Fast forward 7 years and while on holiday at a market in Byron Bay the idea of Te Awanga Farmers Market was born

I spent time learning from some super smart people. At the end of 2017 (implementation 2018)  I headed up to Auckland where a good friend of mine was hosting Dr Perry Nickelston of ‘stop chasing pain’ fame. On the workshop was another super smart chap Dr Phillip Beach author of Muscle and Meridians – The Manipulation of Shape. A deep dive into lymphatic systems, fascial slings, embryological morphogenesis, vestibular systems, sensory homunculus were just a few of the gems from the weekend

Question 2  – What didn’t work

I need to put more adventure back into my life. For many years adventure has been a huge part of my life. I have been fortunate enough to travel to 5 of the 7 continents in the world and have visited over 50 countries. I have jumped off bridges, out of planes, soared through the sky’s on hang gliders, paragliders, rafted, canyoned, swam with dolphins and sharks, ridden elephants, done multiple helicopter trips, consecutively hiked the three largest mountains in the UK in under 24 hours, cycled across Switzerland and so much more.

But since having kids it’s slowed down to the point of nearly non existent. Yes I still occasionally don some spandex on the weekends and cycle the Tuki or maybe the odd hike up Kaweka J but it pales in comparison.

I need to spend more time meditating.  In 2017 I was strong with my meditation and did at least a 5 minute (mostly 10 mins) meditation most days. 2018 I lost the flow and only meditated on average two times per week. I am a big believer in finding time to stop, do nothing and simply be with the breath. And I know the more consistent I am with my practise the more mindful and chilled I become. A few days of missed meditation and I become short with the kids and probably a pain in the ass for Krystie to be around. Not cool

I need to stop getting injured. 2018 was the blunt force trauma of injury. I tore the ligaments in my ankle playing football, I knocked myself out after trying to jump from one tree to another. I tangoed with a zipper (no need for details) I fixated my wrists after trying to perform a jumping push up on inverted wrists.

Question 3  – What actions do I need to take?

How to have more adventure  

Action – book some family trips into the diary. Time to jump on google and see what’s out there for adventuring as a family.

Thought I might start with some family glamping (yes I know I am getting old) Has anyone been here https://www.canopycamping.co.nz/birch-hill.  Would love to know what you think

How to meditate more



Prioritise meditation time just as I would training time. Book it into the diary and use an app such as calm that gives one a daily reminder.

How to stop getting injured

I am not going to confine myself to the fact I am getting older and maybe my judgement is not what it once was. 🙂  


Continue bulletproofing myself and hope for the best 😉  

That’s it for today,

Paul “bring on 2019” and Krystie “off you go and meditate” Miller