2012: A Year In Review and 2013 Outlook

One habit I wish I had developed a long time ago is taking the last few days of December to look back on the calendar year and evaluate what went right and what went not-so-right.

I’m not a big fan of New Years’ resolutions (there couldn’t be a worse time to try and instill a life-altering change on yourself), but I did this exercise to help me reset my sights towards my goals and help define what I want to get out of 2013.

My actual review spanned five pages in my journal, but here is an (extremely) abbreviated version for readability purposes. The whole thing was extremely insightful- I can’t recommend it enough to anyone that wishes they would have gotten a little more out of the last calendar year.

5 Things I Did Well in 2012:

1. My comfort level in starting conversations with random strangers is now to the point that it can be off-putting to some (a ‘problem’ I am happy to have after spending 22 years in a social cage).

2. Made meditation (10 minutes) and reading (25 pages) part of my daily routine, and it has immediately paid dividends towards my mental energy and focus.

3. Only took one drag off of a cigarette the entire year. . .habit kicked!

4. Sold over $300 worth of old things that I no longer used (mainly video games) on eBay.

5. Made a conscious effort to pursue the things I am most passionate about, and as a result I am now a published ebook author, quickly becoming proficient in the Olympic lifts to the point where I could soon teach them to beginners, and am doing social media for a new brewpub that is going to serve their own craft beer.

5 Things I Learned:

1. I am going to face a lot of haters on my journey to career independence. . .and thus far I’ve done a pretty good job of ignoring them.

2. In regards to my next job, no matter where it is, I A) must have a short commute B) be near a CrossFit/Olympic lifting gym if I don’t want to be miserable.

3. It’s inevitable that while being in my 20s I am going to feel like something is missing and that I need to have everything ‘figured out’ tomorrow. This is dumb, and instead I should just enjoy the ride.

4. Making coffee is an art, and I love doing it. Starbucks has bastardized this art and turned coffee into fast food- a commodity.

5. I want to write full-time. At the beginning of the year I thought being a personal trainer was my calling, but my yearning to write all the time has evolved to a completely different level that even fitness doesn’t approach.

5 Things I Will Do Better In 2013:

1. Write more. As in at least 1,000 words a day.

2. Speak slower and more from my diaphragm.

3. Touch people more (in a friendly manner)- my group of friends for whatever reason isn’t the biggest on hugging/handshaking hello and bye, and it’s silly, but I feel like we would be even closer if we did.

4. Call people on the phone more when driving longer than 10 minutes instead of listening to music. A few of my friendships from college have waned simply because I’ve been too lazy to call and chat for a few minutes here and there.

5. Drink a large glass of ice water upon waking up. The body is automatically dehydrated in the morning, and on top of that I am a coffee addict which probably isn’t helping my systems. I do this when I remember to and I unquestionably feel better and wake up faster on those days.

Five Awesome Memories From 2012:

1. Riding the subway from my apartment in Queens and stepping out from the underground and into Manhattan for the first time.

2. Getting to go with my parents to Gettysburg (my father is a massive Civil War junkie and had never been).

3. Going tubing for the first time with some of my best friends on a beautiful autumn night at Caesar Creek State Park.

4. Working a New York Red Bulls game and getting to hand statistics to Gus Johnson who was doing away radio for the San Jose Earthquakes of all things.

5. Seeing two of my all-time favorite musicians- MC Lars and Macklemore– live, two weeks apart (and getting on stage for the former).

Bucket List Check:

I knocked out a few things on my life list this year:

1. Write and publish a book

3. Get this blog hosted with its own AndrewElsass.com domain (8/20/2012)

5. Get a tattoo of something meaningful (3/24/12)

17. Visited three new states (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) leaving me at 23/50

23. Go kayaking (6/10/12- Norwalk Harbor, Connecticut)

59. Attended one of the three Triple Crown horse races 58. Belmont (Elmont, New York)(6/9/12)

Bucket List Items I Think I Will Realistically Complete in 2013:

9. Do an interview for a print outlet (hoping my local paper will write something about my ebook)

17. Visit at least two new states (all depends on where my job search takes me)

24. Go skydiving (one impulsive weekend)

33. Compete in a CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, or similar competition (at my current training rate I will definitely be ready)

76. See an Ohio State away game at a Big 10 stadium (that’s not Nebraska- already been there)

Most Viewed Source Of Inspiration In 2012:

Bring it, 2013.

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