If the number of 2016 posts in this journal were representative of productivity, it would appear to have been a mostly uneventful year. That certainly wasn’t the case. January felt like a continuation of December and only now is it beginning to feel like the new year has begun. And so, the time to grade myself on goal completion for the previous year and to set goals for the current year has finally arrived. I am a proponent of annual goal setting. When I make a solid list, refer to it regularly, and hold myself accountable I tend to meet many of them. Oddly, last year I didn’t make a solid list. Apparently I forgot to or lost it on my perpetually chaotic desk. Despite that oversight, several non-specified goals came to fruition and a number of pleasing events occurred.
- I have been wanting to travel for work more frequently. I had three opportunities. 1) A producing/shooting gig in Costa Rica (mentioned in my last post to this blog nearly a year ago). 2) A Facebook live-stream overnight trip near Joshua Tree for AirBNB. 3) A 2 month roadtrip around the U.S.with Erika (55 days—42 states—13,510 miles) creating a web-series for TYLT that will be releasing very soon.
- We at Butcher Bird funded and shot our first feature film. It is now running through the final stages of post.
- I convinced my mother to try a tandem sky-dive
- I lead some great climbing routes including the 1500ish foot Solar Slab, the unique Tunnel Vision, and the imposing Matthes Crest (which turned into a bit of an all-night epic because of a foolish attempt to retrieve a fallen camera).
- I descended a few undocumented canyons (some with the ever beloved Scott Swaney).
- I finally got to shoot video of a snow covered San Antonio Falls canyoneering descent (something I had been trying to do for quite some time and posted about here on this blog) and put together a 360 VR video of the Seven Teacups.
- Erika and I finally made it to Alaska and toured a glacier. We also made it to several National Parks we hadn’t visited before and attended Halloween in Salem, MA. We have now been to 45 of the 50 states.
- I got to do some great social things with friends like multiple game nights, an awesome bachelor party weekend in Zion for the Merrill wedding, visit my family multiple times, and introduce multiple people to their first ever multi-pitch climbs.
- The podcast continued (currently 46 episodes) and featured guests from all over the country recorded in their respective locales.
- Erika and I celebrated 10 years together touring the treetops of Wrightwood.
It was a rewarding year, but there are certainly places I fell short:
- Happy Canyoneering (my puppet talkshow short) did not move forward.
- Scuba Climbers (my Class C canyoneering documentary) did not move forward.
- I slacked on a proper physical fitness routine in the last half of the year.
- I didn’t make the strides towards big wall climbing I’d hoped to and climbing El Cap for my 40th birthday is seeming increasingly less likely.
- I still haven’t started work on a Death Valley Mars short I want to do.
- My office is still a disorganized mess.
- I didn’t try cross country skiing, dogsledding, or solo backpacking.
- I haven’t gotten back into a regular illustrating routine in years.
- And various other projects, responsibilities, etc. languished while my pile of books to read increased faster than it depleted.
And so now I sit compiling my list of goals for 2017. I look at where I succeeded and failed in 2016 and attempt to course correct. Where do I want to be in a year and how do I get there? Life is too damn short to squander.