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I like to do an annual review every year, to reflect on what happened and to help me plan for future action as well.
If you haven't already, I highly recommend taking some time to do a personal retreat—even if it's just a few hours—to do this type of exercise!
My 2023 Annual Review:
What went well this year?
2023 was a landmark year for me, one I will remember for years to come.
Launched the Extra Focus book
I can't believe I did it—I'm actually an author! Of a book! It was so much work but I finally did it. Definitely the primary accomplishment of the year.
I had 2 goals in mind for my launch of the Extra Focus book: 1) sell 1,000 copies within two months and 2) sell 10,000 copies within two years. I ended up completely blowing past both goals. I sold a thousand copies in the first two days and ended the year with a total of 10,865 copies sold, hitting the 10,000 goal in less than three months from launch. Unbelievable. (thank you everyone that's bought a copy or two!)
Grew the newsletter
This newsletter grew by nearly 20,000 subscribers this year. For those that joined in the past 12 months—so glad to have you here! On top of that, I launched the paid newsletter at the start of 2023 which has gone great. It's allowed me to prioritize the newsletter without needing sponsors just to keep the lights on, which is really a great win-win scenario! (thank you everyone that is or ever has been a paid supporter of Extra Focus!)
Finished ADHD Coach training
I started my training at ADDCA back in 2021, and after a bit of a break I finally finished it this year! I still have to do a lot of coaching hours to get certified, but it felt to finally complete this! (if interested, I do have a coaching interest waitlist).
I ran an 6-week course on ADHD with my friend Trina Haynes which went great! Really looking forward to doing some more in this space in 2024.
Now that I've finished writing my first book, I want to do more speaking gigs to talk and teach people about ADHD. Near the tail end of the year, I gave a talk for the Small Bets community which went really well and I'm hoping is the just the beginning. If you're an event organizer or know of a potential speaking opportunity, please let me know!
I also talked on a bunch of podcasts this year which was a ton of fun.
What didn't go so well this year?
Not everything went perfectly though, here were a few difficulties I encountered along the way.
Building apps on the side
In addition to writing, I'm a full-time front-end developer that aspires to build apps. I started the year working (with friends) on two different apps: Polar Habits, and a second unnamed app. Ultimately, I just didn't have time to give to either of these projects while I was trying to finish my book. I left the Polar Habits team early in the year, and the other app has been on a bit of a hiatus. I hope to bring that one to life this year. (Let me know if you want to be an early user.)
Creating content for YouTube
Amazingly, I actually grew by 40k subscribers this year! But I started the year with the intention to create at least 12 videos—aka one video for every month of the year. I ended up creating... one. Oops. Hoping to change this in 2024.
A couple of months into 2023, our youngest son (6 at the time) was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was extremely tough in the beginning, and our little guy has been so incredibly resilient. It's gotten to where it's just part of our life now, and we're really thankful for technology that makes management much easier (we're now using an Omnipod and Dexcom G6).
What am I working toward?
My theme for 2024 is Establish. Now that I've finished my first book, I want to really start to establish systems for maintaining the work I do. I want to embrace building a sustainable business that allows me to continue the work in helping people with ADHD.
In the past few years, I've rarely used a schedule or had any sort of plan, I was just winging it most of the time! The nice thing about my brand of ADHD is that I am pretty darn good at winging it, so I've been able to see some incredible success in the last couple of years.
But this year I want to start implementing systems, actually have some sort of schedule for the year and a plan of attack. This year is going to be big for me, and I want to do everything I can to support that.
A few goals or targets in mind for this year:
- 📙 Extra Focus Book. Continue to promote the book and expand with an audiobook version and beyond.
- 💬 Start my ADHD Coaching practice and eventually offer a group coaching program.
- 📮 Lean into creating more resources for paid supporters of this newsletter.
- 📺 Actually release 12 YouTube videos this year!
- 🎓 Create a self-paced Extra Focus course so people can go even deeper after reading the book, and just as another way for people who don't like to read to learn the content from the book.
- 📝 Start working on my next book?
What dreams are you working toward in 2024? Is there something you can do today, this week, this month that you'll be glad you did in a year from now?
Jesse J. Anderson