Doctor SpinCreativityLife DesignThe Epic Year Approach

The Epic Year Approach

Design your year by planning at least four life-changing leaps.

I’m going to try the Epic Year approach.

What do you remember from a specific year in your life?

When it comes down to what we remember from past years of our lives, we tend to remember … the epic stuff. What do you remember from a specific year?

Most of us will remember things like:

  • Having children or marrying someone.
  • Quitting a job or starting a new one.
  • Moving from somewhere to somewhere else.
  • Reaching a significant personal milestone, like finishing a marathon.
  • Starting a new company.
  • Being awarded or rewarded for a specific accomplishment.
  • Taking an amazing trip somewhere.
  • Completing an education or earning a diploma.
  • Meeting someone or doing something for the first time.

And so on.

Besides being positive and memorable, what these types of events often have in common is that they seem to propel our lives forward.

How many such leaps must one take to feel that your life is moving forward?

To me, the magic number seemed to be four; if I had experienced four leap-type events in one year, that year felt monumental in hindsight.

In 2010, I married wifey on a Caribbean beach, took a job in New York, started blogging in English, and got a studio apartment in the Financial District on Manhattan. Those were four significant leaps in my life—and a life-changing year for me.

In 2013, by contrast, I can remember quitting a job and starting a freelance business. That’s two giant leaps for sure, but honestly, I can’t remember anything else but hard work from that year.

In retrospect, 2013 doesn’t stand out as an epic year in my memory.

Now, I’m sure that marrying someone new each year would be very memorable, or having a new kid, or closing your old business and starting anew. But there are plenty of leaps that won’t require divorce, procreation, or jumping ship prematurely.

Like blowing past a significant personal milestone. Or doing something that you’ve been afraid of doing your entire life. Or experiencing something extraordinary for the very first time. Or teaching your kid to ride a bike!

Doing or experiencing something that you will remember four times a year for the rest of your life isn’t easy. But it is possible.

I like to call such years “Epic Years”.

Achieving four major leaps each year isn’t easy (nor should it be), but I’ve found such a yardstick to be valuable and fun.

I will, for sure, do my very best to have Epic Years moving forward.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Prints/Instagram)


Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.
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In 1996, Nick Cave submitted a petition to the MTV Video Music Awards demanding the video for his duet with Kylie Minogue be removed.
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