Looking Backwards: 2016 in Review

It’s that time of the year, reviewing what has been done, assessing what was good, discarding what was not, and moving forward in a better situation than I was before.

After my theme and goal setting at the end of 2015, I moved into the new year with hope and optimism. This year was very interesting to say the least. I’ve experienced the lowest lows and the highest highs.

However, I think 2016 will go down as the most significant year for me since marriage.

Read on to find out why…

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Creating a Body of Work

I’ve only just begun to write consistently, but why? Why now??

Podcasts are a big part of my weekly routine. I usually absorb them at 2x speed while working, running errands, running, or whenever I have a spare moment. I love listening to people talk about ideas, get some tips about business, web development and life, and occasionally get my motivation engine lubed up.

About a month ago, I was listening to this Fizzle podcast about the true definition of success, and this line came up: Read More

My January 2016 Plan

Every year, I try to make some New Years commitments, and I’ve written about those here. One of the activities I’ll probably engage in on a monthly basis is setting some deliverables to get done that month.

There are several reasons for doing this, but in the spirit of going pro, I want to start building a good body of work now. The reasons for this are financial and professional, but also for my own self gratification. I’m a doer and achiever by nature, and if I’m not seeing consistent progress on something, I can easily get discouraged.

Instead of seeing how far I’ve come, I only see how far I have to go still. Not good.

To combat this, and to state it all publicly, for January, these are my basic plans: Read More

Looking ahead to 2016

Every year, we make resolutions. Some make decisions, other make mantras.

I’m a fan of all these things, and relish in the chance to engage in self examination and set some goals for myself.

For 2015, my mantra and goal was to “trim the fat”. This meant a couple things:

  • Lose fat, not just weight, and be in better health.
  • Focus on one or two things professionally.

At the end of the year, the last three months of 2015, I lost about 27 pounds, and went from a 31% body fat count to a 21% body fat count. Not bad. I’d like to be at 12% or under. I’m adjusting my diet and workout routine to be rigorous enough to get there this year.

I also narrowed my focus from web development and copywriting to just web development. This suits my personality better, I enjoy it more, and it’s been the more stable work for me over the last year. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it this year, but 2015 was a great opportunity for me to begin to stabilize as a freelance web developer.

So, what’s in store for 2016? This is what I’ve been thinking of for the past month, but I think the new phrase for the year is: “Go pro, write and be generous.

Here’s how this breaks down: Read More

Time Track with Toggl (or Lose Your Pants!)

Toggl Tracking Screenshot

My “on the clock” time, since October, when I started tracking my freelancing work with clients.

Time tracking (with Toggl) is a pretty new experiment for me… but I’m loving it.

One of the most influential podcasts of my “20 Hours Ahead” formation has been an interview with a Genesis developer by the name of Bill Erickson on The Matt Report. Erickson uses systems and time tracking to maximize his revenue per hour by measuring the time it takes to complete a task and trying to improve on or automate it.

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Getting Through the Mopes, the Blocks and the Stalls

It happens…

The time will come in this 20 Hours Ahead Journey that you stuck. You will not feel like doing the work. You will not feel like you’re progressing, and you will certainly feel like somewhere along the line, you made the wrong decision to learn something new, to put yourself out there, and strike out on your own.

For me (and maybe for you), these crisis come in three different forms. Naming them helps, and being able to identify when they are happening is even better. There’s nothing worse than waking up a week or two into a mopeblock, or stall and wondering where the time has gone.

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