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What Went Well in 2010

2010 was definitely my best year yet. It was full of awesome stuff. Lots of learning. Lots of new things. Lots of new people. Lots of new places. I’ve always spent most of my time looking forward and not looking back to the past but I’m realizing that it’s a valuable practice to look back on the lessons you’ve learned and to see how far you’ve come. This post is a bit of an overview of what happened last year.The last couple of weeks I’ve been doing an annual review. I first read about the idea when Chris Guillebeau posted about his review at the end of last year. Over the course of this year I’ve been thinking about how I could benefit from a review and finally decided to do one this year. The first year is unique because there’s nothing really to base the review on. Subsequent years have goals from the previous year to be measured but the first is kind of open ended. Though I did have goals from the previous year, they were vague and scattered.This year wasn’t the most fun per se(it felt like a lot of work and not really getting anywhere), but I’m putting myself in a much better situation for later. So much was new this year, I felt I was just trying to get a hold of things and sort them out. I was pushing myself to think of new ways to do things and trying to really pin down what I wanted. Probably the biggest decision I made this year was to stop being carried down the river of conformity, to really think for myself. I still catch myself back in the old mindset but it’s getting much easier the more I think about it. One of the problems with it though is that it does require a lot of thinking and researching. If you don’t want to just do what everyone else is doing then you need to be prepared to find out what exactly you want to do. That can be a lot of work. Actually doing it can be even more work.There were a few big events this year that I’m happy they happened. I’m sure next year will be an even longer list but this one ain’t bad for not having a plan!Lifestyle I moved homes, jobs and vehicles. All in about 4 months at the beginning of the year, I left I job I didn’t really care for, moved to a new home that was much nicer than the last, and moved to a vehicle that suits my lifestyle to a T. I do like getting new things but what I liked most about all these moves was that they didn’t have to happen but I pushed through anyways. I was in a comfortable position, in a decent job, with a pretty good car that worked well and living in a nice home.None of them fit just right though. There were little things here and there that didn’t quite jive. I was doing exactly the same thing at my job every day. There wasn’t any way in the near future I would be able to do something different and exciting. So I made the tough decision to leave and take another job that paid more but was going to be much more work. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. Moving homes was another great decision. Going from a place that was kind of noisy, dark and further away from where we wanted to be worked but it didn’t work great. So after some digging and tough decisions, I’m happy to say I’m in a much nicer place. Going from a Honda Civic to a Toyota 4runner was a similar decision. The car would have been just fine to keep but I wanted to go 4x4ing to find great adventure locations and the Civic just wasn’t cutting it. The 4runner was more expensive and uses more gas but every week I smile when I get back from a great snowshoe or hike and the truck is covered in mud.Fitness and Adventure Running, skiing, riding, hiking, snowshoeing and just about everything else that’s human powered has become such a huge part of my life now. If I don’t go for a ride or a run almost every single day, I get fidgety and start feeling couped up. Almost every week in the summer, beach volleyball, rugby, Ultimate frisbee and trail running kept me busy and fit. I didn’t keep that momentum up into the fall as much as I had hoped but it was still enough to get me through the toughest race I’ve ever done. A friend and I did the Cumberland Momar Adventure Race in about 7 hours and it was a brute. My legs cramped up on the ride and I barely made it to the finish. Right after I said I would never do one again. We’re already planning the next one.I also picked up ski touring which I’m extremely happy with. The gear was a huge dent in the wallet but it was well worth it. I’ve already been skiing 4 times this year and every time it’s been a new adventure and a hell of a great time. My plan is to ski at least 20 more out in the mountains and on the resorts by April next year. I’ve never ridden that much in a season in my life! Although I’ve snowboarded for the last 10 years, I still decided to go with skis. I was anxious to find out if I had paid a huge amount of cash for something I didn’t like to do but I can’t think about doing anything else right now. Pretty sure my decision was good.Travel I wasn’t able to get in any travelling but am saving up for a couple of trips next year. I’ll be heading to France in May next year just for a couple weeks and then down to Portland for a few days in June for the World Domination Summit. I’m also toying with the idea of heading to Thailand for a bit in November. We’ll see how that goes when the time comes.WritingLooking back on the posts I wrote this year was interesting. After writing my brains out while travelling last year, I hardly wrote much this year. My plan is to settle down in a bit of a rhythm for next year and put some consistency in place for everyone reading. It’s pretty lame when a blog goes dead for months at a time. It’s definitely tough keeping that writing up for the whole year!You can check back on all my posts from 2010 if you want. My favorite posts were the ones from the Minimalism Challenge earlier in the year. I was just hoping to clean up some crap before we moved by trying to simplify all the crap I had. I ended up changing the way I look at stuff in general. The challenge was well worth it and I’ll be doing another early next year.One of my goals for next year is to really get to work on PureOutside, one of my outdoor sites. I’ve got a lot of huge ideas for the site and it’s just getting stored. I wrote a bit on that site this year and shared some movies but not nearly as much as I had hoped. Next year, I’ll be rockin’ out a lot more over there.The most fun writing this year was at Island Adventurer, my local outdoor site for Vancouver Island. The fun stuff usually goes there like running the 47km long Juan De Fuca trail,  making a video during the Gutbuster race on Mount Tzuhalem, and snowboarding on Green Mountain.LessonsMake deliberate decisions and you will be very happy with them. Actually thinking about all my decisions this year made it a bit more work but much more rewarding.  Just going with flow can be easy at first but you rarely end up with exactly what you wanted.Setting goals will get you farther than you can imagine.  Even though I didn’t have a cohesive over all plan for this year, I still made many goals along the way and stuck with them. The only reason I was able to do most of the things I did was I made a goal and I followed through. I can’t even imagine what next year is going to be like focusing on the goals from the annual review every single day.Forget everyone else and think about what you want. Ever since high school, I’ve had this obsession with thinking about how other people see me. It’s horrible to think that way all the time but it’s what I did. I’m pretty sure everyone thinks this way, some more than others. The ones that don’t really care are the awesome ones. They get shit done. They might be a bit unorthodox in their methods but if it works then it works. There is 2 parts to this one too. There is the long term and the short term. Long term planning and designing of your life requires guts but it’s not that hard as long as you just think about it. Setting those goals and completing those small tasks are all that stand in the way of exactly what you want but it all starts with the decision to do it. The short term is harder. The small steps that are required to get you where you want to go that may not be the way everyone else does it. You may not be walking on your hands down the street but some of your tasks are going to require you to forget everyone else and just do it anyways.What went well for you in 2010? Did you have to make some tough decisions? How did they turn out?