I am a very goal-driven person, though I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in them. If there is a goal or change you want to make in your life, why wait for the new year? I have found it much more effective to do many experiments, set many goals, and make many mini-changes throughout the year. This being said, I do like using the end of the calendar year as a point to reflect. What went well? What did I accomplish? What did I learn? How have I progressed over time? What patterns or changes in my life or lifestyle do I see? Now that I have done an Annual Review for the past 2 years in a row, it will be fun to look back and see my growth and progression over time.
Way Less Travel In 2017
103 days traveling
Versus 145 days in 2016, and 150 days in 2015
About 33% less year over year
Days out of town:
12 Europe - Barcelona, Santorini, Mykonos, Prague
7 Lake Tahoe (2 trips)
7 Mammoth (3 trips)
7 Baja (4 trips)
6 CO - Aspen and Denver
The rest in CA - SD, SF, Santa Cruz, Sac, Palm Springs/Joshua Tree
Not only did I take less trips this year, I also travelled much less for work. Much more of my job was over the phone versus in-person. The combo of less travel and more working from home meant a whole new lifestyle and routine. It was really good to have a year focused more on routine and less on travel. I had about 20% more surf sessions this year. I ran 600 miles. I had a consistent yoga practice. I started swimming. It was such a great year for lifestyle that I wouldn't be surprised if the trend continues and in 2018 I have less than 100 days out of town.
Health and Fitness
"Keep hammering." -Cameron Hanes
Smashed My Running Goals
600 total miles (vs 365 original goal, vs 100 miles in 2016)
102 total workouts
250 miles January-June. 350 miles July-December.
Biggest months: 73 miles in October, 67 miles in November, 64 miles in August
Best trail run: Convict Lake, Mammoth CA (Runner up: West Fork Trail, Sedona AZ)
Best city run: Barcelona, Spain, 8 miles (Runner up: Austin TX, 8 miles)
Surf City Half Marathon (2/5/17): 1:46:24 (8:07 pace)
OC Half Marathon (5/7/17): 1:40:21 (7:40 pace)
Long Beach Marathon (10/8/17): 3:48:36 (8:43 pace)
Running a marathon has been a bucket list goal of mine for at least 10 years. I got into running around 2008 after reading Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About The Bike, and then again around 2011 after reading Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body. Each time, knee pain and IT-band problems caused me to stop. But at the end of 2016, I got talked into running a half marathon. It was brutal, the last 3 miles I had excruciating knee pain, and I barely finished. But I did finish, and it sparked something in me where I actually started to believe that if I trained the right way, I could get better at running. The key was a consistent daily yoga practice, and a consistent running practice. My goal at the beginning of 2017 was to commit to a full year of running and yoga, and run at least 365 miles. I signed up for a couple half marathons, and if those went well, would make a go at a full marathon. I ran the Surf City Halfie in February, and it was a completely different experience from my first halfie that previous November in Big Sur. I finished in 1:46, compared to 2 hours in Big Sur, and had no knee pain whatsoever. In May, I did the OC Halfie, and finished at 1:40 and felt really strong. I signed up for the full marathon in Long Beach for October, but started to get ankle pain on my long training runs above 17 miles. I took it pretty easy in September, and I went into October truly not knowing if I was going to be able to do the 26.2. I didn’t really have ankle pain during the race, though around mile 20 I had everything pain with another 6 miles to go. Around mile 23 I was exhausted. At mile 26.1 I almost started to cry at the realization that I was going to actually do it. I finished with a time of 3:48.
Fittest Year On Record
245 Days I Exercised
Compared to 183 days in 2016 and 150 days in 2015
34% increase year over year
11 snowboarding days
10 open water swims
A few bike rides, SUPs, and hikes
117 surf sessions
Compared to 98 in 2016, about a 20% increase year over year
Only 17 sessions were outside of North Orange County (12 in Baja, 2 Trestles, 2 Austin Texas Wave Pool, and 1 in Santa Cruz)
Added Swimming to the Fitness Game
10 open water swims
1200 yards (approx 6.8 miles).
My longest swim was 2100 yards in 38 minutes
I would either swim at Bayshore in Long Beach, or in Corona Del Mar. It started off as a way to do cardio the day after a long run where I wanted to take it easy on the legs, but after a few swims I really started to love it. On a hot summer day I’d much prefer a 45 minute open water swim to a run. I love being in the salt water. I love the rhythmic nature of swimming. The focus on the rhythm of the breath, combined with the silence from being under water, makes it very meditative. I can’t wait till the water warms up next summer! And maybe a triathlon in 2018? We will see!
Yoga is the new meditation
I did 184 yoga sessions this year, which is about every other day. I love yoga. To learn, I practiced for a couple months with guided online videos, and did 1 week at Core Power Yoga and a couple sessions at YogaWorks. When I practice now, it’s usually at home by myself, and unguided. I like yoga because you get so many different things from it:
Sleep focus from 2016 continues in 2017
316 days I got more than 7 hours of sleep
Compared to 300 in 2016
I really focused on my sleeping habit in 2016, and wrote about it twice (9 More Minutes and You Snooze You Lose). I rarely get less than 7 hours, and rarely wake up to an alarm clock. Sleep is a keystone habit, meaning it’s one of the big reasons why I had my best year of exercise, running, and surfing.
Diet focus from 2015 continues in 2017
303 days not eating meat
Compared to 287 in 2016
243 days not drinking any alcohol (66%)
284 days having less than 2 drinks (78%)
This was a big focus in 2015, which was the year that I became pescatarian and tried to really cut back on drinking. I like to say that these days I have a “flex-etarian” diet, meaning I’m pretty close to vegan at home, pescatarian when eating out, and allow myself to eat meat when I’m with groups or traveling. After 3 years, I still like my low meat, high plant-based diet, but I also like the flexibility and not feeling the need to label my diet anymore.
Best Streak of 2017: 64 Day Streak No Alcohol
At the end of summer, after a few days of being ridiculously hungover, and knowing that my first full marathon was about 2 months away, I decided to go sober for at least 60 days. Very similar to sleep being a keystone habit, not drinking is probably the most important of all keystone habits in my life. There is nothing that can ruin a day like a hangover. When I look back on the year, and I see my accomplishments with running, and the amount of fun I had exercising and surfing and doing yoga, a lot of that can be attributed to a lot less drinking.
(*Best streak of 2016 was 160 days not hitting the snooze button, where I learned that the best way to accomplish that is to just get rid of my alarm.)
The goal is no longer to do more, but to focus on quality, consistency and improvement.
The past 3 years for me have been a huge focus on personal improvement and lifestyle.
Inputs and Outputs
"The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Books I Read
I read about the same amount of books this year as in the previous 2 years.
Favorite Book of the Year: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the autobiography of the founder of Nike
Runner up: Origin by Dan Brown, I would describe this fiction books as Elon Musk + Sam Harris + Spain art conspiracies (similar to Da Vinci Code) x murder mystery
Rebirth by Kamal Raavikant
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
Born to Run by Chris McDougall
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
Marching Power by Rusty Young
Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
Origin by Dan Brown
Artemis by Andy Weir
Born For This by Chris Guillebeau
Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss (ongoing)
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss (ongoing)
I write to gain a deeper understanding of the books and articles I read and podcasts I listen too. It helps me better communicate the ideas I hear, and the opinions I have about those ideas. My writing is a place where I can link different ideas and pieces of information. For example, My Death Clock was a post I wrote where I link ideas from Steve Jobs, Seneca, Tim Urban, and Ryan Holiday. Most of all, it's fun to write and engage in deep thinking, and try to get my thoughts out of my head.
The Career Kickstarter
As a potential business idea that never went anywhere, I created this 30-page guide to teach college students how to start building a successful future career. In part 1, the goal is to build self-awareness through a strengths test and a DISC personality test. In part 2, I pull from Reid Hoffman's book, The Start Up of You, to explain the Permanent-Beta mindset and entrepreneurial approach required to succeed in today's job market. In part 3, the focus is on building an ABZ career plan, also an idea from The Start Up of You. I created a website and spent about $100 doing targeted Facebook advertising, only to result in zero downloads and no sales. The failure was fast, and also inspired another guide, this time not intended to sell, but to give to the managers in my company.
I created this 50-page Leadership guide for the District Managers in my company. I try an explain the most important things that I have learned about leadership in the past 10 years of my career. I hit on self awareness, EQ training, dichotomies of leadership, Extreme Ownership, execution, goal setting and systems implementation, and building team culture. I'm pretty proud of the content and final product that I delivered.
Favorite Photo of the Year
The Streets of Mykonos
Financial and Career
The biggest thing on my mind entering 2018 is the next chapter of my career. I have no clue what I am going to do post-CWP. It's scary and exciting. I know I'm going to miss the CWP people, the events, and the impact I made there. But after 10 years, I feel like I'm ready for the next adventure.
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