Another year gone! For the first time, as I read through old monthly updates and scrolled through my yearly calendar, I was shocked at how quickly time had passed. Things that happened last February felt as though they were just a few months ago.
In some ways this year was very dense. For the first time ever I felt like nearly every day of the year was accounted for in one way or another, almost always very high quality time with friends or family, big pushes in work, or some other activity. On the rare occasion I'd have two consecutive days with nothing scheduled I felt like I was in a different world.
Usually when I look back over a year I am shocked at how much I accomplished. I'm not totally sure I feel that way this year, or at the very least I feel like the things I did were more focused on either long term growth or relationships. That could be a very good thing, but it's enough of a departure from previous years that I plan on thinking about it a little bit to see if I need to alter my habits a bit. On the other hand, I casually mentioned a few goals for the year in last year's post, and they were pretty much all reached.
Here are some breakdowns of the highlights of the year for me
Cruisesheet grew a tremendous amount this year. Revenue nearly doubled and I am very proud of some of the work I did this year. I built a very complicated map generator, got my own mail server delivering millions of emails per year with excellent deliverability, increased reliability and tracking, and doubled or tripled our SEO results. Overall I think I struck a good balance of work time and non-work time, but I think I'm about 2-3 weeks behind where I would ideally like to be.
I've also been working on a deal with CruiseSheet that I hope to announce in the near future!
I began studying Urasenke tea ceremony last March and have really been loving it. Because of my travel schedule I'm not able to practice as much as I'd like to, but I really enjoy the groups in Hawaii and Vegas that I practice with and am happy with my progress. If I can keep up my pace I think I will be very happy with where I'm at next year.
For a few years I've been dialing back learning and dialing up executing, so it was nice to tilt the scales back a little bit.
My friend Todd has also been studying tea ceremony with me and it's been really fun to bond over it and help each other out.
I didn't put this one first because I feel like there are no really big announcements or changes. I really enjoy being married and feel like our marriage keeps getting better and better all the time. Every year I think that we have a near-perfect relationship, and then the next year that level gets redefined. I'm pretty sure we didn't have a single fight or argument this year, even a minor one. Of all of the things I'm grateful to my wife for, I think excellent communication is one of the biggest.
I continue to enjoy Vegas more and more. Our big discoveries this year were Lee Canyon Ski Resort and Lake Mead. Both are less than an hour from our house and are amazing ways to experience nature at a moment's notice. Vegas is amazing in the spring and fall and there are lots of opportunities to go outside and hike, but having a boat on the lake makes summers amazing and being able to ski makes winters amazing.
Our neighborhood grew a lot, as we now have 12 apartments together as well as friends who have moved to Vegas outside of the neighborhood.
In 2019 I would like to spend more time in Vegas. Because it's my default place I'm always eager to jump on other trips, but I feel great whenever I'm in Vegas and it's still my most productive location.
I went on four cruises this year, a new record! Over forty days total. On each one I had great high quality time with friends and got a ton of work done. It's hard to pick a favorite since all four were truly excellent, but I went on an Alaska cruise with five family members and it was really a special cruise for me. Other highlights were seeing dolphins and whales, going on an excellent scuba dive in St. Maarten, climbing rock walls, and eating a dozen lobster tails in one sitting.
Speaking of Scuba, I've probably gone on 30-40 dives this year, 90% unguided, and about 50% solo. I've always been comfortable diving, but underwater feels like home now and I love being able to go at a slow pace and really see everything down there. The biggest highlight was a recent dive in Kona with two friends where we went out at night and saw manta rays. It was absolutely incredible to spend 40 minutes with them.
Last but certainly not least, I had three Superhuman events this year! Two were in Vegas and one was in Budapest. They were all big successes and very gratifying as previous attendees have started to come to other events and the bonds between attendees have stood the test of time. In the spring all of the attendees of Superhuman 2 will have a reunion in Vegas that they organized themselves!
I don't have anything scheduled for 2020 yet, but I will definitely do 2-3 more events. I love working with people so closely, helping them apply leverage to really change their lives, and then get to see how those changes play out over time.
I think 2020 is going to really be an amazing year. There are a few big things I started in 2019 that will come to fruition this year, and I feel like things like work, time with friends, time with family, relationships, and my own learning and inner life are all trending in great directions. I also think it's going to be a big year for a lot of my friends and family members, and that makes me very excited.
I hope 2020 is the best year you've ever had, and I appreciate you using a small portion of your year to read my blog.
The title is saying goodbye in Kazakh. The biggest trip I did this year was a 2 week trip through central Asia with my Kazakh friends. Photo is from that trip on a mountain in Georgia.
I'm not sure how to even begin talking about 2017, except to say that it was a really exceptional year for me.
As I've said in previous years, every year of my life has so far been better than the previous. The primary driver is that I work for permanent, not fleeting, progress.
The net improvement year over year varies. Sometimes it's a small incremental improvement, and other times it's a huge one. I feel confident saying that 2017 delivered the biggest improvement ever.
The strange part of it all is that two areas that had been constant areas that demanded a lot of focus and time, dating and finances, both went to a 10/10 this year. I realized that part of my identity had become based around working on those things, so it's been weird to have both totally taken care of.
Ever since I was a kid, I was an athlete. My Dad is a big sports fan and he had both me any brother playing all types of sports from the very beginning. Growing up, it was all about baseball, soccer, and gymnastics. In high school, I was a receiver on the football team and a hurdler on the track. I thought about it once, and I think I've played about 13 sports competitively in my life. Though I know plenty of people who were much more successful in their athletic careers than me, I was always one of the first kids picked and always in great shape. I took all that for granted.
In college, though, a weird thing happened. I got fat. I was probably about 8% body fat going in to college, the rest of which was muscle. Even before winter break, the love handles made an appearance. For spring break, I went to Hawaii with my family and I was FAT. In about 6 months, I went from being proud of how I looked to being the guy on the beach with a t-shirt on.
Throughout college, I lost weight, gained it back, and lost it again, but I was pretty much chunky the whole time. Not severely obese or anything, but I was not in good shape, not confident, and physically lazy. I'll talk about it more in a later post, but to make a long story short, I did not have a lot of confidence upon graduating from college. My grades were not good, I lost my social confidence, I lived at home with no job, and I was fat. To sum it up, my life consisted of a bunch of bad habits and very little positive momentum. That's not good for a 23 year old.
I found CrossFit in the summer of 2009. I weighed about 220 pounds at the time and had previously tried running to shed some of the weight. It just wasn't working. I don't typically enjoy running and it's not easy when you are overweight. I'd heard my cousin was into CrossFit so I checked out their website. I was already hooked. I'm going to spare you a description of what CF is as many of you probably already know and the rest can easily find out. I'll suffice it to say that CF is an extremely challenging training regimen from both a physical and mental perspective. It doubles as a competitive sport and a social outlet. For those of you fellow CrossFitters out there, you know exactly what I mean. People don't just do CrossFit. They live, breathe, and eat it.