What we learned from 2018 - The Year End Review


Reading time: 8 minutes

What you’ll learn

  • What happened behind-the-scenes for Kizo Performance

  • How you can use a Gratitude Jar to change your perspective

  • The 5 Life Lessons 2018 taught me

Wow, 2018 is already gone.

How did it go for you? Pause for a moment to think back and reflected on what has happened.

As 2018 ends, there is a natural tendency for reflection. Rewinding the tape to hash out the highlights and challenges that we have faced as human beings.

 Let me tell you how 2018 went for me.

Quality Relationships Take Love and Effort

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Getting two people to agree on something—challenging. Compromise, love and connection are important. My main relationships were with my wife, family, and close friends. There were also less frequent relationships through consulting (consultant-client), coaching (coach-athlete, and coach-coach) and personal development.

The Gratitude Jar

My wife and I were finding that life got overwhelming and challenging at times during the year. There was failure, setback and adversity. And what do we do when that happens? We think and talk about what could have been. Imagine having a tool you can go to refill your battery when it needs just a little more juice. That’s what the gratitude jar is. For step-by-step instructions on how to make your own, go to our Instagram post.

Kizo Performance is Born

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First steps

January 2018 is when Kizo Performance was officially born. It had been an idea in my mind since 2016 when I was still a Master’s student living in Europe. With strong support from loved ones, courage to veer off the well-worn path and turning intention to action, the idea came to life.


Here are some of the milestones we achieved in year #1:

  • Registered company

  • Built a website

  • Designed Professional logo

  • Created social media pages

  • Become CSPA certified

  • Added Stripe integration into website

  • Launched first product into e-store


In 2018, we equipped 1000s of young athletes, coaches and parents with mental skills to perform and be happy.

  • 8 individual clients

  • 10 organizations/teams

  • 1 non-government organization

  • 2 pro bono organizations

The Company Philosophy

Lots of shower thoughts about the company philosophy of KP have shaped and guided it. Reflection has been crucial in making it concrete and measurable. Here is what we are at so far;

We equip athletes, coaches, and teams with mental skills to perform and be happy.

The KP Team

While it may seem that I’m the only person who runs KP, there is a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes you wouldn’t know about. My wife, parents, sister, and close friends have contributed their ideas, time, effort, feedback. They have connected me with people who have opened doors for collaboration, promotion, and contracts. I am thankful to all the people who act as our brand ambassadors and spread our message.

My wife, Josipa has been my biggest supporter since day 1. Long discussions with her about how best to explain concepts to young athletes, how to market our services, and how to enhance our effectiveness were crucial in guiding the mission and vision KP.

Our athletes, coaches, teams, athletic directors and parents have been instrumental in developing new tools and protocols to enhance performance in sport and life through many conversations.

A huge supporter has been my brother (not by blood, but through connection) Amir Salehnia, founder of an amazing Instagram page called FootbalTalksTV. We spent countless hours discussing our businesses and bouncing ideas off each other, giving motivation when it was needed, and being real when it mattered. If you’re into soccer, check out his page. Seriously. It’s the best football news page out there.

When we change, everything around us changes too

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It’s been an interesting year for personal development as I developed new skills I had never done before. I’ve come to understand that changing myself changes my surroundings. It’s my choice how to change myself, and as a result impact my surroundings. The only way to have an impact on anyone is through our own transformations. In overcoming our own fears, challenges and failures.


My wife Josipa and I got a package of individual and group dance lessons from my parents. So we started to work with Wanda, our awesome dance instructor who patiently guided us, counting the rhythms for cha cha (slow, slow, quick, quick), jive, Waltzer, tango, slow dance, and foxtrot. I have come to understand that it takes repetition, rhythm and connection to learn dance effectively.

Working out

Having gone through a major weight-loss transformation in from 2015 to 2017, 2018 was a year of getting stronger, not skinnier. I’ve noticed that tracking workouts on a simple pad on the wall worked for me, as did food journaling periodically to become self-aware of my eating habits.


I have reacted with strong emotion in some situations. I could have calmed down and been composed by taking a deep breath or doing a quick inner prayer right in the moment.

5 Life Lessons Learned in 2018

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ONE: Marriage takes work.

There is a lot of understanding that goes into communication. Listening and not giving advice are paramount.

TWO: Small insignificant moments can be the most important ones.

It’s the eye-contact, smile to a passer-by, and noticing a lost child in a busy street. Being in touch with the Soul of the World (see the Alchemist) is important.

THREE: Quarterly goals are amazing as they gave me the vision.

Daily intentions are critical as they gave me focus, and a lot of times a funny thing would happen. I’d write down my daily intentions and as the day unfolded, I would almost spontaneously end up doing them because of some reminder that comes up from my brain.

FOUR: Reading gives me perspective into the world and insight into myself.

It takes a lot of time to read a book. Reading fewer high-quality books is better than reading lots of alright books.

FIVE: Micro speed, macro patience.

We have 1440 minutes in each day. No excuses. Want to learn a new language? Make it happen. Want to exercise every day? Do it. Want to spend time with your significant other? Find a way.

“You can do so much in 10 minutes time. Ten minutes, once gone, are gone for good. Divide your life into 10-minute units and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless activity.”

~Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA

The KP Team wishes you and your loved ones happy holidays, and may 2019 be filled with effort, love, and humbleness.

About the Author

Zoran equips athletes, coaches, and teams with mental skills to unlock top performance and do so with a smile on their face. His love for coaching and human performance development led him to study how elite performers prepare for competition. He has two MSc degrees in Sport & Exercise Psychology and has worked with athletes from various sports. Zoran is a CSPA certified mental performance consultant (CMPC), a high-performer and a husband.

Instagram: @KizoPerformance
Facebook: @KizoPerformance
Email: kizo.performance@gmail.com

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