2012 Annual Review: Did That Just Happen?
Staring head into the last few days and nights of 2012, I can’t help but feel a great sense of gratitude for the past year. I spent part of the day today looking back at journals, Facebook posts, pictures, and calendar reminders to really soak in everything that happened. I wrote a 2011 Annual Review post last year and it’s amazing to see how far things have come. Here are the top highlights from this year of service, adventure, and fun.
1. David And I Completed A Summer To Serve
By far the pinnacle experience of this year was traveling across the United States doing volunteer work with my brother David. We drove over 12,000 miles, traveled through 29 states and stayed in 35 different cities, and directly impacted hundreds of people.
Despite being three months straight of 12-16 hour days, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. We went sailing, skydiving, horseback riding, ziplining, hiking, and trampolining. We went out with our friends several nights a week. And we got to stay with dozens of amazing hosts all over the country.
As I sit here typing this out, it’s almost hard to believe it even happened. Good thing we took lots of pictures and video.
2. I Worked For Free All Year
Early on in the year, I sent an email to fifty close friends offering help on their projects or businesses. Several of them took me up on my offer and I had the chance to work on some cool stuff.
I also performed 100+ hours of pro-bono life coaching with dozens of clients. Several of them made huge shifts in a matter of a couple of weeks and it was an honor to work with them all.
3. I Started Martha Beck‘s Life Coach Training Program
Most coaches have been coaching for most of their lives. I was always the friend, co-worker, or manager that people reached out to for advice. I put myself in positions of leadership to have as many opportunities to serve as possible. And I studied coaching techniques and even took some programs and workshops before I started coaching in 2011.
Despite having a solid background in the space, I decided to make a sizable investment in a comprehensive life coach training program. It has been one of the best decisions that I’ve made so far.
Even if I was to never coach again and go back to a corporate job, it has been totally worth it just to work through all of my own stuff. Through the program I’ve done dozens of hours of intense thought work to identify and turnaround thoughts that have been holding me back for years. The work has been difficult, but today I have a sense of lightness that I haven’t had since I was a little child. All things said, it was definitely worth the investment.
4. I Sold Everything I Owned
I had location independence on The List of Adventure for a while and I decided to take the leap and do it at the end of February. It’s unreal to believe that I’ve been traveling full time for ten months now.
A lot of people ask me if it’s hard to live out of a suitcase. There are slight discomforts from time to time, but I wouldn’t trade those for the freedom that owning very little offers me. At any given moment I can be anywhere in the world on a minute’s notice without worrying about someone to watch my plants, pets, or apartment.
5. I Drove… A Lot
Jenny, Sean, Nicky and I drove to TEDxCMU to see Sean deliver his first TEDx talk. Jenny, Sean and I drove from New York City to Austin, TX for SXSW. David and I drove all over the United States this summer. Genevieve and I drove from Phoenix to Washington, DC.
I drove “cross-country” from one coast to the other six times. I drove a little over 25,000 miles this year and I estimate that I spent around 420 hours (or around 17 days straight) in a car this year.
That sounds like a great deal of travel, but it went by like nothing. I’ve written before on how I view my car as a portable classroom and this year has been no different. With David, I listened to dozens of hours of podcasts and then had deep discussions on the takeaways after each one.
Some people hate driving. When I get step in to my car, I feel back at home.
6. I Became A Better Father
No, I didn’t father any children this year, but I did get the chance to be around a lot of them throughout my travels. I carried them on my shoulders around the house, helped them get ready, read stories to them, and even held them when they cried.
I also had many heart to heart conversations with my friends around parenting. I learned what works and what doesn’t work and I got to see many examples of family dynamics (from some pretty amazing parents). Even though I’m not ready to take that giant step yet, I got a lot of practice.
7. I Spoke My Truth
Sometime in March, I committed myself to living a life of authenticity. I got into several conversations around this idea when I was with friends in SXSW and then coupled with reading Lying and Radical Honesty, I took the plunge into the No Lie Zone.
For the most part, the quality of my relationships all increased tenfold. The more I shared, the more people trusted me. I did have some painful moments and I even lost some friends along the way, but it was from a place of not wanting to lie anymore.
I’m going to explore the concept of authenticity a great deal in the upcoming year, so things are going to get a whole lot more transparent around here.
8. My Goals Guided Me Along
Last year I came up with three simple goals for 2012: 1. Do epic shit, 2. Create things that matter, and 3. Give and love freely.
I think I did pretty well in all regards.
Looking forward to 2013, my number one focus is going to be around building my business. I don’t have a solid number in mind though, I just want to make more money than I spend. That’s always been my definition of wealth and with that said I’ve been a wealthy man since I’ve graduated college.
Another thing that is important to me is continuing to live a life rooted in authenticity. I’ve been toying with an idea that I’ll launch next year around this concept. Finally, I want to get out of the country next year. I have hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles from travel hacking and next year will be the year that I dip into them.
In the interest of keeping things simple, my goals for next year are:
1. Make more money than I spend
2. Be courageously authentic
3. Live abroad
2012 was a great year full of all those juicy L’s (laughter, light, love, life). It was a blast and I’ll never regret a single moment of it, but 2013 will be the year of execution. Play + Pay = Hurray.