I want to take some time and share my “annual review” with you.
Since I’ve committed to blogging daily for the next 10 years this “annual review” thing is something I’d like to do every year.
I think it’ll be interesting to be able to quickly review the highlights of each year in one place. So without further ado, here we go…
What Happened this Year
1. My parents met my kids for the first time: Emma is 4, Lily is 2 and Benji is 1. And this summer was the first time they met my parents. I don’t have time to explain the backstory about why they haven’t met before, but the bottom line is that I’m working on reconciling my relationship with my parents, which I’m happy about. So I’m glad they got to meet their grandkids! I’m looking forward to rebuilding a relationship with my parents in 2017.
2. I completed a “productized service” coaching program: I’ve been wanting to make the leap from freelancer to entrepreneur since I feel more like an entrepreneur at heart. But it’s been hard trying to do it by myself. So I hired a coach this year who specializes in helping freelancers and consultants launch and grow a “productized service” agency. It cost $6,000, which was a lot of money for us, but it paid off. I learned a lot and numbers 3 and 4 below are a direct result of this.
3. I launched Insurance Funnels: I launched insfunnels.com this year as part of my goal to create an agency and not just work as a freelance copywriter. To be honest, this was super-stressful and it was one of the hardest parts of the year. For a while I was frustrated because I felt like I didn’t make as much progress as I wanted to. But after reflecting on it today I realized it was good and I’m thankful for what I did do.
4. I created my first online course and coaching program: I created a 6-week coaching program for insurance agents called the Insurance Funnels Academy. I also created a 20-part video course, with the help of my friend Wayne, called the Facebook Ads Bootcamp for Insurance Agents. The Academy was moderately successful and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t even marketed the Facebook Ads course yet! (It’s on my agenda for early 2017).
5. I took Emma snowboarding for the 1st time: This may have been the highlight of the year for me (this and the 2-month RV trip we took to San Diego). We spent 3-days at a cool little cabin on Mt. Hood with my wife, her sisters and all of my siblings. It was the first time me and my siblings had all gotten together like that in years! So that was cool. Here’s a little video of Emma’s first snowboarding trip.
6. Emma started gymnastics: this was one of the things we started while on our 2-month RV trip. Emma loved gymnastics and we want to get her back in now that we’re home.
7. I joined CrossFit: I started doing CrossFit in September down in San Diego and have been training 3 days a week since then. It feels good to be back in shape.
8. I launched this blog! I made a 10-year commitment to publish a daily blog here at jmonen.com (I’m on Day #52 now!). This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now so it felt good to finally pull the trigger and just commit.
9. Spent 69 days traveling in the RV! This is what I’m most proud about this year. A dream of ours has been to take a long-term RV trip and we got to do that this year. We left Yacolt, WA on August 24 and returned on October 24. You can read more about it here and here. In addition to this trip we also took 3 other shorter trips in the RV:
RV Trip #1: 3-day trip to Astoria in January
RV Trip #2: 3-day trip to Bend in April
RV Trip #3: 4-day trip to Cape Kiwanda in June
Total Days Traveling in RV: 59 + 3 + 4 + 3 = 69 (9.8 weeks)
10. Had Six 1-Day Silent Retreats: I went to something called the Kingdom Business Summit (my notes here) in May. And the speaker, Wez Hone, challenged us to spend more “extended times” with God. In my spirit I felt led to start spending Mondays with God. This didn’t make logical sense because I was super busy at the time. But I’m glad I did! I want to do this again in 2017. I spent these days down at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refugee. These “silent retreats” helped recenter me and provided the time and space I needed to hear from God better.
2016 in One Sentence
This was a year full of adventure and trying new things, like living in an RV for 3 months, starting new business ventures and launching this blog!
Overall it was a great year and I realize I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a heavenly Father who loves me, a beautiful wife who is also my best friend and 3 amazing kids who are super cute and fun to hang out with! And I get to work from home to enjoy all these people more. It was a good year. It wasn’t always easy but overall I can be happy with my progress.