This Happened to Me in 2023: Year in Review

Hey, you. Yes, you. The one who is reading this blog post right now.

How are you doing?

How was your 2023?

Was it a good year for you? Or was it a bad year? Or maybe somewhere in between?

Whatever your answer is, I’m glad you’re here.

Because I want to share with you my 2023.

The good, the bad, and the ugly. The highs, the lows, and the in-betweens.

The achievements, the challenges, and the lessons.

Why do I want to share this with you?

Well, for two reasons. One, because I think it’s important to reflect on our past and learn from our experiences.

As the wise philosopher Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

And two, because I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire you, motivate you, or at least entertain you.

So, are you ready to hear my 2023 roundup? Then buckle up, grab a snack, and let’s go.

My Goals and Achievements in 2023

At the start of 2023, I had three main goals: to focus on my health, family, and business.

These were the same goals that I had in 2022, but I wanted to continue and improve them in 2023.

After all, they say that consistency is the key to success, right?

So, how did I do with these goals?

Well, I think I did pretty well, considering the circumstances.

Let me tell you more.


Health is wealth, as they say. And I couldn’t agree more.

Especially after the pandemic that shook the world in 2020 and 2021, I realized how important it is to take care of our physical and mental well-being.

That’s why, in 2023, I was kinder to myself and more mindful of my health.

I reduced the items on my calendar and learned to chill more.

I realized that chilling is a good way to boost my creativity, which is essential for my work and life.

I also tried some new things to help me focus better at work, such as running a scented diffuser at my work station and listening to music crafted to put you in the zone.

Did you know that aromatherapy and music therapy can positively affect your mood, memory, and productivity?

Of course, I also did the usual things that are good for my health, such as eating well, sleeping well, and exercising well.

Well, maybe not so well on the last one. I admit that I sometimes overdid it with the exercise, which caused me some physical ailments.

More on that later.


Family is everything, as they say.

And I couldn’t agree more.

Especially after the lockdowns and restrictions that kept us apart in 2020 and 2021, I realized how important it is to spend quality time with our loved ones.

That’s why in 2023, I made more time for my wife and kids.

We celebrated my birthday with a family vacation in Desaru. The waterpark was fun and it was nice to have the kids outdoor and having fun.

My wife and I also went to France and London in April, and travelled with another couple who are our good friends.

It was great to catch up with Anton, an ex-colleague who was really supportive while I was working for Ingeus.

I also made more time for my friends, both old and new. I started a regular eating and drinking session with an old friend Steven Lock.

Hours felt like minutes with our random banter.

I also caught up with Phyane, whom I last met probably 19 years ago.

And I met Michael Han, a lawyer whose writing on Facebook is what keeps me on the platform.

Coincidentally, we both stay in Pasir Ris.

I’m grateful for all the people who are in my life and who make my life better.

They are my support system, my cheerleaders, and my partners in crime.

They are the ones who make me laugh, cry, and grow. They are the ones who make me happy.


Business is booming, as they say. Well, maybe not for everyone. But for me, it was.

Especially after the economic downturn that hit the world in 2020 and 2021, I realized how fortunate I am to have a thriving self-employment and a growing content creation.

That’s why, in 2023, I continued to work hard and smart on my business.

I had a steady content assignment with Rolling Arrays, and I started with Visier as their fractional head of marketing.

My podcasting work with CNA is into 50 episodes and I think you should still hear me in season 3.

I also had some ad-hoc assignments from BIPO, HP, and X10. I got a few speaking assignments, too, and one of them was in person, courtesy of KellyOCG.

My latest assignment was a book deal to write a book on self-employment. Currently, under the first edit, it should be out early next year.

I’m proud of all my projects and achievements in 2023 (You should be of yours too).

They are the result of my passion and skills, my dedication and discipline, my innovation and collaboration.

They are also the ones that make me fulfilled, challenged, and rewarded.

My Challenges and Struggles in 2023

But wait, before you think that my 2023 was all rainbows and unicorns, let me tell you that it wasn’t.

It was also a year of challenges and struggles, both personally and professionally.

Because life is not always easy, and sometimes it throws us some curveballs that we must deal with.

So, what were some of the challenges and struggles that I faced in 2023?

Well, let me tell you more.


Remember how I said that health is wealth?

Well, sometimes, it can also be a pain in the ass.


Because in 2023, I had some health issues that caused me a lot of discomfort and distress.

As I mentioned earlier, I had some physical ailments due to overdoing it with exercise.

I had some back pain, some knee pain, and some shoulder pain.

I felt like an old man who needed a cane and a wheelchair.

I guess I was trying to be like Tom Cruise, who is 60 years old and still does his own stunts.

That’s why I will be seeing a sports doctor in early December to see what can be done.

I also did a full body checkup with Mito Health and found out that I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

I’m taking supplements that they suggested and will review them in due course.

I hope these measures will help me improve my health and prevent any serious problems.

But it’s not just my physical health that I had to worry about. It’s also my mental health. Because in 2023, I had some stress and anxiety that caused me a lot of worry and sadness.

I felt like a depressed person who needed a therapist and medication.

That’s why I tried to do some things that are good for my mental health, such as breathing execrises, journaling, and making the extra effort to connect with others.

I also tried to avoid some things that are bad for my mental health, such as comparing myself to others, dwelling on the past, and worrying about the future.

I hope that these things will help me improve my mental health and prevent any serious problems in the future.


Financially, things are still a shit show.

Year after year I kept telling myself that THIS would be the debt-free year.

Time after time, my frivolous spending habits show me the middle finger and tell me I’m wrong.

This year was financially tougher because of my first corporate tax bill and a huge hybrid battery replacement bill for my car.

These two cost so much that I had to cancel our CNY 2024 Bali holiday.

I also had to pay off some debts accumulated over the years, such as my unsecured loans and my credit card bills. I felt like a broke person who needed a loan and a budget.

The good news is I don’t have any new unsecured loans and my final few would be done and dusted in 2 to 3 months time.

Hopefully, it will all be downhill from there.

Oh, and I am going back to listening to Dave Ramsey. I think I need a father figure to always nag at me in case my will gets weak at times.


Remember how I said that I had a passion and skills for writing and creating content?

Well, sometimes, they can also be a source of creative frustration and doubt.

Because in 2023, I had some creative challenges and struggles to overcome.

As I mentioned earlier, I am still struggling with my YouTube channel.

I did get to do a few sponsored content, which I’m happy to receive, but I couldn’t keep up with the regular episodes.

I also felt meh with my own podcast. I couldn’t catch up with the production value of many others.

I felt like a mediocre person who needed a coach and a mentor.

One thing I did pick up was that planning removes 50% of unnecessary wing-it work.

For instance, scripting, storyboarding and planning may seem like extra work for an individual video creator like me.

But without them, I would be shooting, and reshooting videos all day.

Which is what happened many times and led to many burn-out moments.

Plans are of little importance but planning is essential

Winston Churchill


So, that’s it for my challenges and struggles in 2023.

I know they were not easy, and sometimes they made me feel like giving up.

I lost count of the number of times I checked LinkedIn jobs when I was pushed to the edge in my independent work.

But I also know they were not the end of the world, and sometimes they made me stronger. Because every challenge and struggle is also an opportunity to learn and grow.

It was a year of mixed emotions, but I’m grateful for all the experiences and opportunities that came my way.

I’m also thankful for those who supported me and inspired me along the way.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, and I hope you had a good 2023, too.

I would love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below and tell me about your 2023.

What were your goals and achievements? What were your challenges and struggles? What were your lessons and hopes?

I wish you all the best for 2024!

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