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2016 In Review - COMMITMENT

This time around I took the annual review a bit more seriously, which is why I am posting this at the end of January. Turned out when you take things seriously, they take time. Who would have thought? This is brand new information!

I do feel like this more-thorough approach results in a much clearer picture, and with the word for 2017 being “CLARITY”, I like all things clear. This year, the plan is to start on the annual review sometime mid-December, with regular reviews throughout the year – I am experimenting with weekly, monthly and quarterly reviews, to cut down on the amount of time it takes to look at the entire year.

The word for 2016 was “COMMITMENT”, and with buying a house, and getting married, I feel like I have committed myself to enough things for FEW years.

Here’s what I set out to do at the beginning of the year.


Grow. Create. This year I have spent more time and money than ever before on coaching. I am a believer in my own medicine. Some coaching relationships worked out, some did not – as is always the case with relationships. Yes, to growth. I have not created as much as I would have liked – but this particular disappointment is a constant, and part of me wants to lean into self-compassion, and tell this disappointment to go fuck itself.

“I have not accomplished as much as I would have liked” seems to be a natural human condition, more than an accurate assessment of productivity.

Read. Teach. Share. I have not read nearly as much I wanted to. Which brings me to my desire to be a bit more structured about this in 2017. I have done an aggressive cull of my “to-read” list (from 150 to 30), making it way less intimidating, and finally cashed 10 outstanding credits I had with Audible. I have also deleted blog reading and podcast listening apps from my phone – the only entertainment options = music + full length books. This seemed to have worked – I have already read five out of my twelve books for the year, so I am planning to CRUSH that number this year.

Teaching came in my forms. I taught some, and learned some. Share – yes. Many things I shared. But many I also kept to myself. On purpose.

Be a gentle(r) guide. I have impressed the fuck out of myself in this particular area. Now, not to let it get to my head and keep improving. And to remember to apply this to myself, not just others.

Say I do. I totally did. He did too!

Nest. Yes.

See my grandparents. Yes. It was bittersweet, and I did my best to focus on the sweet.

Ask brilliant minds for help. I’ve encountered some brilliant minds, yes. I realized some minds are not as brilliant as they appear, once you look closely. Asking for helps remains difficult. Working on it.

Keep hugging people. I kept hugging the fuck out of people. This one keeps on giving, and you know what? I am keeping it. If you have not yet been hugged by me, please let me know. I’d love to change that.

Bucket List Update

*Note that I am also planning Operation Bucket List overhaul soon – reviewing all the items, dumping the ones that no longer speak to me, and, of course, adding a bunch of new ones!

  • do a handstand push-up (thanks, CrossFit Open!)

  • participate in a powerlifting competition – thank you, IronLionTraining for the in-house meet, and a bench press PR at 147lb!

  • snatch 100lb – this one was in the works for YEARS!

  • participate in BattleFrog Race – glad I said “participate”, not “finish”, as this turned out to be my 3rd DNF

  • run a race barefoot

  • do a Polar bear dip

  • try surfing (in Costa Rica)

  • sleep under the stars – yep, that time sleeping at a bus shelter in Nicaragua. Good times!

  • pay off debt – except mortgage

  • have a logo designed – finally! unveiling coming soon.

  • get paid to speak – yes, yes, yes! My first non-academic speaking gig in Florida, more coming in 2017!

  • have a dinner date over Skype – many of these took place this year!

  • shave my head – creative interpretation for the win!

  • write my personal mission statement – wrote one for 2017 (technically in 2016), and very happy with it!

  • see something weird in Portland – well, I saw Portland itself, so yes!

  • take Italian to Russia

  • see ballet at The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow

  • go to Hermitage in St. Petersburg

  • get married

  • throw a large family picnic – yep, our wedding!

  • take a working road trip – yes! two weeks, roaming the US in my Subaru, and working from the road

  • read 12 books every year (read 22, few books here that I’ve been meaning to read for a while: “Into The Wild”, “Into Thin Air”, and “Alchemist”)

  • see a new country every year – Costa Rica

Missions Completed: 23

Made Progress On These:

  • visit every US state – Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Oregon

  • be able to tell merlot from shiraz – continuing on Operation Wine Snob In Training, but still sticking to Italian wines. Given that shiraz is by definition Australian, I may want to switch the country of origin here.

  • read the main works of the Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse – read four books by Sam Harris, and started on some stuff by Dan Dennett – umm, yeah, that stuff is dense.

  • grow a spice garden – I did. Then it died. Big fucking surprise. Will try again this year.

Couple Of Things That I Started, But Did Not Finish

  • read “Origin of Species”. Ok, honestly, I am sick of writing about how this one is not done yet. It’s 507 pages of dry. The current plan is to read two pages every day, which would have me finish at SOME point this year. Currently, I am ten pages behind. Oy vey. This is one of those “why am I doing this to myself again?” things.

  • meditate every day. Sigh. Meditating for me is like quitting smoking – it is probably going to take a dozen attempts before it sticks. In the beginning of the year, I set out to meditate every single day that year (there is a lesson about unrealistic goals in here somewhere). Then I missed ONE day, and did not meditate again for the rest of the year.

  • complete 50,000 words during the NaNoWriMo. Another failed attempt this year – I think I lasted a whopping two days. I think I need a bit more focus in terms of WHAT I want to write about during this month

  • write a book. I did not really think this one was going to be done this quickly, but I am happy to report that this is work in progress. It’s fucking hard. My writing coach is amazing though, and is helping me along. I am lucky to have her!

  • have a child. No, NO – no big news or anything. Just trying to wrap my head around this one for now. Hence, progress.

Other Cool Shit

  • flew Italian out to Quebec City for a weekend of cuddling and fine dining for his birthday

  • three amazing babies born to my close friends

  • took dance lessons with Italian

  • participated in a CrossFit competition – Tidal Summer Games

  • saw my face briefly in a documentary!

  • tried whiskey that is older than I am (thanks, Dan!)

  • flew out to LA for my first running festival – Born to Run

  • saw Tim Ferriss, Jonathan Fields and Seth Godin speak live

  • met Neil Pasricha, Molly Galbrauth, Erin Brown, and Jen Sinkler in person!

  • went to a Jays game

  • met the hosts of Barbell Shrugged!

  • interviewed on a bunch of podcasts, including Obstacle Order, Super Strength, Alpha Female and Overcome & Run

  • my coaching intern went on to become a full-time coach at Precision Nutrition!

  • my coaching client became the winner of PN’s grand prize for the most impressive transformation

  • Italian and I moved into our own house, and planned a wedding in our own backyard without killing each other

  • took my coffee snobbery to new heights, thanks to Nexus and Pilot Coffee Roasters (not to mention, Stumptown in Portland, Birch in NYC, and my discovery of Yirgacheff!)

  • another DNF at the Survival Run Nicaragua – team division!

  • experimented with putting our house on Airbnb as hosts

  • fell in love with some classic and some less classic cocktails – esp. Negroni, Campari Soda and Old Fashioned, and discovered my favorite bar in Toronto – Hitch

  • developed some mind blowing relationships

  • rode my friend’s beautiful horse (thanks, Brunke!)

  • started outsourcing some house stuff by hiring a cleaning lady – best thing ever!

  • had a bridal shower (who would have thought!)

  • travelled A LOT this year, going to Quebec City, Kansas City, Portland, LA, NYC and a whole bunch more places in US, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Russia

  • attended Girls Gone Strong, Word Domination Summit and Seth Godin’s Tribe Gathering

  • came 2nd in my first Savage Race in Florida

  • started olympic lifting regularly

  • worked on an exciting project with Equinox Fitness Clubs

  • had high tea at Royal York with my bff

  • another OCRWC in the books – this year in Ontario!

  • started decluttering my digital world – deleted LinkedIn, Twitter, and stopped Periscope videos

  • ran a fast 5k in 22:28 – just one minute and a bit slower than my fastest 5k ever

Not Cool Shit

  • family stuff

  • ankle injury

  • long-term relationships ended for some of my favorite people

  • seasonal affective depression, anxiety and panic attacks – yep, still here

  • my beloved Subaru has started showing signs of age

Here’s to another great year, y’all.

Hugs, SOLO


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