As 2014 comes to a close, I’ve been working through my annual review of things. I’ve been doing this for a few years ever since I read about it from Chris Guillebeau. You can see his here. I also quite enjoyed Nathan Barry’s review here (if you’re looking for another great read).
Personally, as far as things go, 2014 had a lot of ups and downs. I’ll take a look at a few areas before diving into specifics of what went well & what didn’t.
Table of Contents
Travel is a highlight of my life. I love exploring and adventuring this earth and finding out more of what it has to offer.
I traveled quite a bit this year, both for fun and for getting ready for 777. Here’s a few of the places I was able to get to explore this year.
- Chezch Republic
- South Africa
A few of the cities state-side I was able to visit:
- New York
- Las Vegas
- San Diego
Going forward, I’m going to work on combining work purposes with travel in order to be more intentional and relevant with my travels. I’m also going to be working on putting together more events when I’m in cities as I’m already doing the traveling – we might as well get together and have fun.
This has been an interesting arena. I’ve been a bit disjointed this year with fitness. I ran a couple ultra marathons (Comrades and Patagonia International Ultra Marathon) as well as a bunch of solo ultras & marathons. I also ended up doing the Swiss K42 marathon which clocked in at my longest marathon time ever (granted we were climbing Swiss Alps, but still).
After the Patagonia race, I got hurt pretty bad and my fitness goals changed from doing these impossible races to being able to walk and jog without pain. I think there’s nothing quite as demoralizing as an injury, so a lot of the work has just been mentally keeping myself together post-injury and not just whining to myself with my leg up on the couch.
The rehab seems to be paying off as I’m starting to run again without pain, but I’m working my way back up from a mile or 2 at a time and it’s a bit frustrating to deal with the setback.
This is one area that I’ve taken a massive step forward this year in how I handled finances both personally & in the business.
The first year that I quit my job, I was just scraping whatever I could together to make money.
The second year, I started to scale the business and make some big impacts with cool businesses & projects.
This year was one where I started to hire people and scale up beyond just myself. It hasn’t all been pretty or easy or simple, and while it might not show yet on the outside, I spent much of the year creating systems, getting our bookkeeping in line and setting up the business for success going forward. It’s been quite a headache, wrangling up the disorganization of the last 2+ years, but it’s been well worth it and I’m excited how this clarity is going to help me grow the business moving forward.
I’ve built some good relationship so far while in San Diego. I can do a better job of being a friend I think, but it’s going well:
- I started mentoring a college graduate and super smart reader in San Diego and I’ve been enjoying it a lot. I’d like to do this with one more person.
- I haven’t always done well at connecting with people more successful than me. In the past, this was something that I did nonstop and I need to get back to.
- I haven’t been very good at keeping appointments which makes me question my own priorities and focus.
- Travel has made building consistency into relationships & events harder, but I’m going to be planning out more of all my events in 2015 which should help with this in general.
What Went Well In 2014?
So despite always feeling like there are things that I wan to radically improve, 2014 was a pretty good year. Here are some of the wins of the past year.
- Despite some of my inattentiveness at times, Impossible continues to grow. Most of the last year and a half has been me building systems & processes behind the scenes so that I can finally shift my focus onto Impossible. I’m going to be doing that in 2015 and am pumped for what we can do here.
- We launched a paleo app that’s been in the top 20 on iTunes Health & Fitness for the last 6 months. We’ve pushed out 3–4 updates and have 2–3 more to do. We have an android app as well and people are loving the app. We have more of these on the way.
- I moved across the country and live in a beautiful place that gets 7 days of rain a year. Those 7 days of rain are miserable, but overall it’s pretty great :).
- We took another 20+ people bungee jumping this year with no people dying (continuing our fantastic zero fatality rate streak).
- I finished some of the longest ultras of my life and have pushed myself in ways I didn’t know I could. It’s also been very tough.
- I’ve become a better athlete this year than I’ve ever been. Between ultras, basic strength training and some of the gymnastic skills I’ve been working on for fun, I feel much more versatile and getting a lot more confident and having a lot more fun “playing” with different athletic endeavors.
- Ultimate Paleo Guide has grown & grown & grown as we’ve put systems into place and built it to be a fantastic resource with over 500+ posts, recipes and articles on paleo.
- I got a ton of documentation, processes finished and systems in place for Impossible to grow in 2015.
- I wrote 1 new course and 1 ebooks that will be getting published in January (stay tuned).
- I turned Cold Shower Therapy into book (get it here!)
What Didn’t Go So Well in 2014?
I almost didn’t want to share this part (it’s much easier to pretend life is always fun, easy and straightfoward), but doing hard things rarely is. There have been lots of downs in 2014 as well.
- I’ve struggled with consistency and discipline. In some ways, things this year were a bit “easier” and over the last couple months, I’ve really had to step things up as they got less easy. I’ve done a few small things over the last month to improve my discipline in a few small ways (I’ll be sharing that in the new year) and have been enjoying getting back to the basics.
- Long runs by yourself can get a bit boring. Especially if you have to run 18 miles on a Wednesday. That hurt my consistency some. I’ve got buddies that do some of these crazy distances and want to get better about co-ordinating with them.
- I’ve been “busy” and “inefficient” which is a terrible combo. I want to renew my focus on working less but getting more done and really digging into the things that I talked about in some of our popular blog posts last year.
- I’d didn’t use my travel as effectively as possible to help spread the brand and meet readers (you!). I want to do better at that.
- I’ve felt stuck sometimes with the brand as I can do so many things with it, but sometimes I feel like it’s confusing to have all the things I want to have on one site. Thinking about the possibilities sometimes leads to “analysis paralysis” and I’ve gotten away from having a bias for action. This has been bugging me the last 3 months and I have a solution already in the works for this that I’ll be unveiling in 2 weeks.
- I personally tend to focus on the things that go wrong more than the things that go right throughout the year. That leads to me being upset or sad even when things are going well. I tend to be impatient when I don’t get the results that I want immediately and everything seems to take longer than necessary for no apparent reason (which frustrates me to no end).
- I relapsed & started to struggle with perfectionism again (NO!). As the site grows, you want things to be better and more polished than ever, as the standards get higher, but there’s always a line between perfectionism & procrastination and I’ve been sliding toward the latter as of late. No more.
- Sometimes I get stuck in the ideas of what I “should” do or what “best practices” are, when I know that I can generally do whatever I want in whatever way I want and even tend to have more success when I do that.
- Running the distances I have has shown me how important recovery is as a part of fitness (as much as I loathe to admit it). I’m pretty terrible at recovery still, but I’ve gotten better at basic mobility stuff and I’m getting better everyday. I want to share more about this in the next year and have a new tool we should be releasing at the end of January to help you with it as well.
- I feel a bit unfocused with the podcast. I’ll be fixing this by creating a new 6–8 week series on improving mental fitness in the new year.
- I didn’t do many videos this year and I miss it. I like doing videos and I’m going to be doing more of them this year.
What Am I Going To Do About It?
It’s never enough to just analyze something if you don’t do anything about it, so despite this post being live now, I actually started analyzing some of this stuff about a month ago and have already built some habits for momentum going into the new year.
Have you taken time to look back on 2014? What went well? What didn’t? Be honest with yourself.