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.
Here are some of the highlights:
I went from having one coaching client to around fifteen per month this year. This has been one of the best changes in my year for several reasons. First, it's obviously a lot more income and more consistent income than before. Second, I derive a tremendous amount of satisfaction from it. I really like the people I work with, they're cumulatively making a huge amount of progress, and it's very satisfying to share in that. Last, I feel like I understand my readers better.
I got engaged in 2017 to a girl I met the same year. We'll get married next week in Vegas.
I think I'm going to keep this area of my life private, at least until I think about it more, but it's a big positive change that happened in 2017.
Island / Cabin
This year I (and by that I mean much more talented friends) built a cabin on the island. We also did some work on the trails and the yurt, though not that much.
Because we already had plans, we didn't start our island season until August, so we weren't able to make as many trips out there as previous years.
The island continues to be some of the best money I've ever spent and I can't wait to spend more time there this year.
I bought a few more pieces of art this year. One was a matcha bowl by a very famous Japanese potter from the 1800s. The Met has one of his other tea bowls on display, but I think mine is better. I also bought a couple more woodblock prints by Ogata Gekko, and a porcupine quill box by the Mic'mac Indians, also from the late 1800s.
I felt like my writing was just okay this year. I felt like my posts were consistently good, but none really stand out as being must-reads. Considering writing is no longer the #1 focus in my life, I think this is fine.
I also wrote Life Nomadic 2, which I'm hoping to publish soon. I think it's really excellent, but we'll see what people think!
I continue to like Vegas more and more, and our little community in Vegas keeps getting bigger and better. We now have 7 units in the same neighborhood and almost got an eighth. I feel like as a city it has continued to improve while other cities I'd consider living in have stagnated or worsened.
I also bought a Bentley to keep in Vegas, which was pretty fun until someone ran a red and t-boned it. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.
I was very happy with my traveling this year. In fact, I don't think I took any trips which I shouldn't have.
My strategy has shifted towards focusing on places I already know and love and getting to know them even better. For me those places are Vegas, Budapest, Tokyo, and Halifax/the island.
I don't think I went to any new countries this year, which is probably a first since 2008 or so. I did go to a new city, Chengdu, which I really liked. I'm still open to going to new countries, but I don't feel a strong drive to do so.
I did two great cruises (one transatlantic each way).
This started out as an incredible year for CruiseSheet, but I really let the momentum die as I got caught up with other projects and priorities near the end of the year.
In December I started getting serious about it again and hired an employee and I also spent time making some reasonably large changes.
As I said in the beginning, this was really an excellent year for me. Besides the big things I mentioned above, I also spent a ton of very high quality time with friends and family. In fact, I did a ton of traveling with family in 2017, which was really a first. Nine family members visited me in Budapest over three different trips!
Looking at my goals for last year, I did all of them perfectly except for taking CruiseSheet to the next level. It did make 55% more than last year, but most of the work that led to that was actually done in 2016.
I'm still trying to figure out my goals for next year. I reached so many important goals unexpectedly this year that it's left me reeling a little bit. So these are my general thoughts now, but I expect that when I look back on them next year I may have veered a bit.
My first live event will happen in early March. If it goes as well as I am hoping, I will do at least one more in 2018. I really like coaching but am happy with the number of clients I have now, so I'd like to find higher leverage ways to reach more people personally, and I think events could be a good way.
I hope to make a lot of progress on my cabin and the island in general, and to spend more time there now that I can work comfortably from the island.
I'd also like to add one more property to my weird little mini-empire. Top contenders are Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Tokyo.
I'm beginning to feel like it's time to add some new big goals, as I don't really have any big ones left to do. Two things I'm seriously considering are making a rap album and starting an art museum. I have a specific plan for each one, but I'll wait to share them until I commit to one of the goals.
I like the idea of alternating between audacious goals and consolidation goals. I feel like for a while now I've been doing the latter and it's about time for more of the former.
It seems like a lot of my friends also had a great 2017, so I hope you did too. Thanks for reading and for all of the support! Can't wait to have a great 2018 and share it with all of you.
Photo is a weird little eel from the Boston Aquarium
It is right opposite for me. Every year of this decade has been worse than the previous one. Perhaps, it is because I look for shortcuts to success and always end up being disappointed.
Your idea of 'audacious' vs 'consolidation' goals was a hidden gem in this post, Tynan, would love to read more of your thoughts there.
Hey Tynan, I'm a pilot planning to fly down to Puerto Rico within the next 30 days in my single engine plane, to check the place out "boots on the ground". I might have a free seat if you want to ride along - I know you're interested in getting your pilot's license someday. Hit me up if you're interested. Been reading your blog for like 10 years!
And just like that another year has passed! Every year of my life has been better than the last. I used to believe that this was a nearly universal experience, as every year you should become smarter, learn from your mistakes, build on your successes, deepen your relationships, etc. But I talked to some people who told me that their years are up and down. Very hard to comprehend, barring some major death or catastrophe.
Anyway, I like to write my annual wrap-up because it helps me get perspective on what I was able to do in a year, how I progressed, how I met or missed my goals, and it lets me set a little bit of direction for the next year.
I really fell in love with Budapest as I mentioned in my annual wrap-up post last year. In May I had the idea to buy a place there with friends (not so original, as I've already done things like this), and I went there in August. Within six weeks we had closed and moved into the new place!
Last year, I did a Year In Review to sum up and show my growth throughout 2012.
A few days ago, I planned on doing something similar for this year. But then, I wondered to myself about whether this year would really be considered a success or not. At first, I thought it would again be defined by running and Breakthrough, the same two subjects that summed up 2012 for me. Now yes those aren't the only two things I've done this year, but they have made significant impacts in 2013.
In March, I broke the sub-5 mile barrier in the mile. I had a rough cross-country season, but my state championship meet ended up going very well and I surpassed all expectations I had for myself. Currently, I'm in my senior year of high school and am training for what may be my last track season ever. I can say for a fact that I will be running faster times than I did last spring. I do have some ambitious goals I want to accomplish in this upcoming season, but even if they aren't reached, I know I have improved regardless. This year has solidified the fact that I'm going to continue to run after high school.
My experience with Breakthrough has also changed significantly. This summer, I got the opportunity to be a full-fledged teacher intern (I was a TA the summer before). Responsibilities increased tenfold and I had to deal with copious amounts of stress, but it was an enjoyable experience overall. I was able to bond with my students more and truly understood what it meant to be a teacher.