Well, there goes another year. Every time a new year rolls around, my initial impression of the past year is that it was pretty uneventful compared to previous years. Then I go through my blog archives and think about what has happened, and I realize that it has been, again, a pretty monumental year.
First some highlights:
As expected, dating was a big theme this year. I started out with a new relationship and ended the year with a failed attempt at another. I definitely had a fantasy that I would fall in love with the first person I met and settle down with her, but that's not how it happened. Still, it feels good to be dating again and I do feel like I'm moving towards finding someone to settle down with.
The downside of dating is that I do find it incredibly distracting. I'm not sure if it's like that for everyone, but I frequently have the impulse to take months/years off from dating again just for productivity's sake.
Last year I asked my readers to introduce me to women they thought I might be a good match for. My first relationship of the year was due to one of those introductions. The bounty is still there: introduce me to someone I date for 2+ years and I will cross off one of your bucket list items with you. Please make sure the woman knows she is being introduced.
Wow, lots of travel. Too much, honestly, but I wouldn't take any individual trip back. I fell in love with Budapest, went to Japan a bunch of times, went on two cruises, and visited around twenty countries including ten new ones. I'm up to seventy or so now.
I barely took any trips alone this year, which has been a big improvement. Some time last year I realized that I don't get much out of traveling alone anymore, so I always book trips with friends.
I have WAY fewer trips booked this year than I did a year ago. Just one trip to Bangkok that I'll probably bail on, a trip to Cambodia and Japan that begins today, and one epic cruise. I have no trips booked for all of February and March, which is pretty crazy for me.
I've owned my place in Vegas for approximately one year now. In that time I've done a lot to it, including completely ripping out and replacing the kitchen, furnishing it, building a tearoom, automating everything from the lights to the curtains, and half of the bathroom renovation. I have really loved doing all of this.
My friends Todd and Kai have also bought places in Vegas, so we have a little community going there. I've begun to make some new friends there as well, but my social circle there is not nearly as robust as it is in San Francisco.
My home office in Vegas is really fantastic and motivates me to work, so I'm planning on spending a lot of time there with my head down this year. A HUGE thank you to Ergo Depot for outfitting my office for me.
Work has been okay this year. I wrote another book, Superhuman Social Skills, which I'm really happy with. It was equally well-received and successful as Superhuman By Habit. I had hoped to level up and write an even better book, but it appears that I did not do that. On the other hand, it was a #1 bestseller in two or three categories, so that was really good.
I also wrote another book which I haven't gotten around to editing and publishing yet.
I've been working on CruiseSheet a lot, too. Despite the improvements I've made, though, sales haven't really increased. I have a big todo list of stuff to try to increase sales, so I'll be working on that this year.
2015 was a really big year for the island. We got the yurt built, complete with woodstove and staircase, and all of a sudden the island is habitable and comfortable. The trips to the island with friends and family have again been a real highlight of the year. I'm chomping at the bit to get back there, maybe in March.
I came in twelfth in my event at the World Series of Poker! This was a major accomplishment for me, as I've only played in the World Series once before and narrowly missed getting into the money that time. As a result I've moved up to $20/40 Limit and have done well there. I really like poker not just because of the money I make, but because I feel like it's some of the best brain training available.
This Next Year...
My biggest priority for 2016 is to get some focus and discipline back. Travel and dating eroded it a bit, and it's frustrating to see things linger on my todo list.
Part of focus and discipline is going to be simplifying. I've been expanding a lot and now I need to consolidate and trim the fat. This includes small things like closing credit cards and bank accounts as well as large things like possibly selling my RV.
I also need to refresh some of my systems. For example, there's no reason I shouldn't have several blog posts queued up in advance, but I don't. Not every event makes it onto my calendar, not every task makes it to my todo list.
I'm going to try traveling a lot less this year. Cruises are very high-productivity for me, so I won't cut down on those. I'll definitely go to Budapest and Tokyo at some point. But I'm going to book fewer trips just because there's a deal there.
I'll be dating some more this year, again hoping to find a long-term girlfriend. The hardest part for me is finding women I'm interested in dating, but I also have some to do in terms of being a good boyfriend. I've learned a lot on that this year and will be putting those lessons to good use.
My next cruise is 23 days long, which is a huge opportunity for writing for me. I have a pretty ambitious idea for a nonfiction book, and I also have a third of a fiction book written that I'm eager to finish. One way or another I'll probably put out another book.
The two-year writing bet ends in approximately two months and I can't wait. It's done a ton for me, but there are also downsides to it of which I'm eager to be free. My ability to write well and quickly has increased significantly, but some of the joy of writing has been sapped.
Photo is a cool ceiling in a Dubai mall.
I'm currently in Guangzhou, on my way to Cambodia to do a biking trip. Should be interesting!
I hope you had a great year and that you make sure your next year is even better. Thank you for reading in 2015!
You may not have blog posts lined up, but personally i've been enjoying your posts a lot more recently than when I remember you mentioning in your post that you have a bunch lined up (a year or two ago?). I really stop everything and read the post now when i get the email.
The dating and relationship stuff may lead to unrealistic expectations. If you are happy go lucky with your life, and don't like anybody pressuring you or expecting you to do this or that, then you are better off being single. Almost every relationship is going to lead to some form of "rules" that the partner is going to want you to be under. It will lead to arguments and breakups if you are simply not willing to sit still and play along with the game.
I am a one woman man. I am a home body type person. I can withstand being told to do certain requests and giving up my freedom to roam. Although, I do have my moments where I get persnickety with her when I get tired of hearing her continually planning out every future date on the calendar.
In this particular relationship, we both have a respect for each other's space. I think that's because we both have been in suffocating relationships in the past.
I can't believe the year's over already! As I look over my past year, it feels like the things that happened last January were just a few weeks ago. Trips blended together to create a whirlwind of a year that, as asual, was packed with a lot more than it feels like at first glance.
This was a frustrating year for Sett. At times I really got into the groove, but a lot of times it felt like I was putting out fires and struggling to figure out how to make Sett earn money. It's a bittersweet decision to stop actively working on it, but it feels good to start this next year without that obligation. I've already written about this in detail, so I'll move on.
You can't control definitively whether you'll succeed or fail, but you do get to set the parameters. The way I live my life, I will either be an big success or a huge failure. There are a variety of potential paths ahead of me, and zero of them lead to comfortable success or minor failure. None of them lead to numb mediocrity.
How do you adjust these parameters? You set goals and accept risks. If you set goals low and don't accept many risks, you have no chance of huge success or huge failure. You'll end up somewhere in the middle. Maybe you'll end up a bit better off than you expected, or a bit down on your luck, but you'll be somewhere in the range of "fine". On the other hand, you can set extremely high goals, leave yourself no reasonable plan B, and take massive risks to get those goals. It's the only way you'll even reach them, but you may fall short and crash.
In my case, I've put all of my eggs in the SETT basket. I hope it becomes a huge success that makes me a lot of money, gives me some power to improve conversation on the internet, and all that. At this point I've invested two years of my life into it, with no plans of changing that allocation going forward. I've passed up many smaller opportunities that could have made me money. I do have some money saved up, but it's hard to count it as a backup plan when I know with certainty that if SETT failed I'd use it to start another company and go all in.
I work as smart as I can, I live frugally, and I plan for contingencies-- I'm not reckless, but when a calculated risk presents itself, I'm all over it.