My 2023 Annual Review

The year of turning 44.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

Time for my 2023 annu­al review.

In this post, I’ll do my best to answer these three ques­tions: 1This format is inspired by James Clear’s annu­al reviews.

What went well this year?
What did­n’t go so well this year?
What am I work­ing toward?

Here we go:

What Went Well This Year?

Being a good dad. I have four basic prin­ciples for how I see the role of being a parent:

  • A child needs to feel secure.
  • A child needs to feel loved.
  • A child needs to feel seen.
  • A child needs to feel challenged.

If you can ful­fil these four needs, nature will take its course, and the child will devel­op into the per­son the child is sup­posed to become. I try not to under­es­tim­ate these four needs, just as I try not to over­es­tim­ate my poten­tial role as a “sculptor” of my son’s per­son­al­ity. This approach has worked well in 2023.

Being a sup­port­ive hus­band. I try my hard­est to be the best sup­port I can be for my wife. The chal­lenge is avoid­ing the idea that being sup­port­ive should yield any spe­cif­ic returns. I want to avoid mak­ing the rela­tion­ship trans­ac­tion­al in nature. I sup­port “the team” altru­ist­ic­ally to the best of my cap­ab­il­ity — and then we share the exper­i­ences of win­ning and losing. 

Being an accep­ted lead­er. In 2023, I’ve been in a pos­i­tion where I’m lead­ing a small group of com­pet­ent indi­vidu­als. Each of them could eas­ily assume the mantle of lead­er­ship them­selves — and do a great job. I cher­ish this hum­bling exper­i­ence because it pre­vents me from enter­ing a head­space of induced self-import­ance. Leadership is about the team’s net out­put and being of ser­vice, noth­ing more. 2Silfwer, J. (2023, November 29). Existentialism for PR Advisers. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​e​x​i​s​t​e​n​t​i​a​l​i​sm/

Being a trus­ted advisor. I feel that I’ve matured as an advisor dur­ing 2023. As I became a con­sult­ant at a fairly young age, I’ve long felt that I must con­stantly dis­tin­guish myself. I still prove myself reg­u­larly, not because I yearn for respect and val­id­a­tion, but because trust takes time to cul­tiv­ate in any new rela­tion­ship. I’ve grown more com­fort­able with my pro­fes­sion­al value — a value that per­sists wheth­er it’s extrins­ic­ally con­firmed or not. 

Clean think­ing. As for per­son­al devel­op­ment, I’ve made some head­way worth not­ing. I’ve made a series of good decisions, taken sev­er­al steps I’m happy with, and found more effi­cient struc­tures and pro­cesses in my life. I cred­it this pro­gress with some­thing I call “clean think­ing” — the unsen­ti­ment­al applic­a­tion of Occham’s razor onto the chaos of human exist­ence. 3Silfwer, J. (2023, November 17). Mental Models: How To Think Better — Faster. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​m​e​n​t​a​l​-​m​o​d​e​ls/

Better English. I con­sciously strived to improve my English, and then, after ten years (2010 – 2020), I called it quits. Then, my pro­fi­ciency improved expo­nen­tially. Once again, my every­day curi­os­ity got the upper hand on my long-term goal-set­ting. Cést la vie. 4Silfwer, J. (2020, September 10). The Blog Project: 10 Years of Improving My English. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​i​m​p​r​o​v​e​-​m​y​-​e​n​g​l​i​sh/

What Didn’t Go So Well This Year?

Goal-set­ting was off — again. This is my 10th annu­al review. As I strive to for­mu­late my main goals for the upcom­ing year, I’m amazed how I nev­er come close to achiev­ing any of them. My annu­al reviews show­case a decade’s worth of com­pletely missed tar­gets! It’s an achieve­ment in itself, almost. This time, I’ll try to think dif­fer­ently about set­ting goals for 2024. The 10th time is the charm, right?

Creating some­thing note-worthy. Speaking of goal-set­ting, I didn’t man­age to pub­lish my online PR course this year, either. I’m also con­stantly re-writ­ing a book on pub­lic rela­tions called “Amplify.” Plus — I’m striv­ing to push Doctor Spin to become an appre­ci­ated resource for PR pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents. Sure, I’ve put in decent efforts, but not enough to get any­thing across the fin­ish line.

Crossfit. In 2023, I learned that CrossFit didn’t work for me. It simply wasn’t the kind of phys­ic­al free­dom I was search­ing for. The search for “the ulti­mate” phys­ic­al regi­men will surely continue.

What Am I Working Toward?

No more annu­al reviews. Formulating what went well and what didn’t go so well for ten years straight has lit­er­ally taught me one thing — goal-set­ting is not my cup of tea. 

  • As an intrins­ic­ally curi­ous and motiv­ated per­son, I don’t appre­ci­ate “yes­ter­day’s me” telling “today’s me” what to do. It causes me to back­fire and rebel against myself.

My life is more pro­duct­ive and reward­ing when I allow myself space to roam free and explore. For a tem­pera­ment like mine, rig­or­ous goal-set­ting often has adverse effects. Hence, this will be my last annu­al review.

If you’ve enjoyed these annu­al reviews — thank you.


Please sup­port my PR blog by shar­ing it with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1 This format is inspired by James Clear’s annu­al reviews.
2 Silfwer, J. (2023, November 29). Existentialism for PR Advisers. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​e​x​i​s​t​e​n​t​i​a​l​i​sm/
3 Silfwer, J. (2023, November 17). Mental Models: How To Think Better — Faster. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​m​e​n​t​a​l​-​m​o​d​e​ls/
4 Silfwer, J. (2020, September 10). The Blog Project: 10 Years of Improving My English. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​i​m​p​r​o​v​e​-​m​y​-​e​n​g​l​i​sh/
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has

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