2011 Year in Review

2011 Get Busy Living Year in Review

Great memories this year

Last week, I shared a worksheet to help you do an annual review. Thank you for spreading the word about it. I’m happy to hear many of you are filling it out!

Now it’s my turn to do my annual review. I’ve decided to share all my answers from the same worksheet I gave you. It might encourage you to fill it out, if you’re still on the fence.

It’s helpful for me to celebrate accomplishments, learn why I came up short, reinforce good habits, minimize bad habits, and begin to focus on 2012.

I hope my experiences and lessons will help you.

I’ve written my answers and added some notes to elaborate on some.

10 greatest things that happened in the past year: 

  1. Started and finished my iPhone app, Photo 365.
  2. Photo 365 got featured as New & Noteworthy, App of the Week, and What’s Hot. Made it to App of the Week in 45+ countries!
  3. Started Get Busy Living and have grown it to 5,000+ visitors a month.
  4. Formed my own business, Get Busy Living LLC.
  5. Got engaged and married in the same year! Elvis was in the building!
  6. Got to take epic wedding photos like this. I think I had more fun doing it than Eleanor. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
  7. Created my first free ebook, Get a Life That Doesn’t Suck.
  8. Designed and sold my first ever Get Busy Living t-shirt. Still looking for a present for you or someone else?
  9. Traveled to Bail and stayed at the best resort I’ve ever stayed at thus far.
  10. Ran my second half marathon in February and finished right under my goal of 2  hours.

Writing things down made me realize how much I got done this year. I know I could have done more, but it’s a great start.

This is by far the most progress I’ve made since went from crawling to walking.

– My first goal for this year was to start a blog. I started brainstorming on a topic last year, even though I’ve had this domain for two years. I didn’t know the direction I wanted to take this blog. When I finally decided that I love to write about personal development, that’s when I got started. I started with no one reading it, but have built it up to the way it is now. I’m thankful for having a great community, getting to know many of you, and learning from you.

– Because of the income I was earning the first 30 days from my app, my family’s accountant suggested it’s best if I formed an LLC. I decided to name it Get Busy Living LLC. It’s pretty broad so I can do different types of businesses under the name. Forming an LLC was a goal of mine this year, so I’m excited that became a reality.

-The wedding photos were fun. We did them in Taipei. We were blown away by all the comments we got about them. I told Eleanor we should do them every year, but she’s not so sure about that. Like I said, I thought it was pretty fun.

– Eleanor loves Bali. I had never been. So when I went to Taipei in February, we planned to go to Bali. We stayed in Ubud. I was in charge of finding a hotel, which I love doing. I can spend hours researching.

I found a chain called Komaneka. Highly rated on Trip Advisor. They have three properties in Ubud. After debating which one would be the best one, I picked Komaneka at Monkey Forest.

We took a taxi to hotel. We checked in and found out they didn’t have my name!! Oh crap! Did I really book the wrong property??

They called another property to see if I had booked there. I did. My mistake. I booked the Komaneka at Tanggayuda (try saying that last word a few times fast). I was bummed because the reviews for this one were so good.

They had a shuttle that would take us to the other hotel, which was about 20 minutes away.

My mistake turned out to be a great one. This property was perfect. Even better I think than the one at Monkey Forest. It was secluded and so quiet. We had a private villa with a pool overlooking rice fields (pic). The other one was right in the city center. We really got to know the small staff there in just four days and was sad to leave. Eleanor is dying to go back, and when we do, we’ll stay there again.

-I proposed to Eleanor in Bali, so it make the trip more memorable. In order to do that, I had to figure out how to buy a diamond. She wanted an Elvis wedding and I gave her what she wanted. If you’re ever looking for a quick fun wedding, Las Vegas is the way to go.

-I’m happy about the T-shirt because I have wanted to create a T-shirt line for about four years. Next year, I plan on adding more designs. Stay tuned!

I’m most proud of these three accomplishments from last year:

  1. Started this blog, Get Busy Living, and still going strong!
  2. Started work on my iPhone app and released it for sale eight months later.
  3. Forming my own LLC.

Tough to just choose three, but these three I’m most proud of. If at the beginning of the year, you told me I’d have all three by now, I would have started doing fist pumps.

Three best lessons I’ve learned from last year are:

  1. Consistency is the key. Instead of starting and stopping, doing something consistently will lead to greater results.
  2. Planning, doing, and reviewing my goals really works. This was the first year I’ve done it and no doubt in my mind it’s a huge reason for the changes in my life.
  3. Take 100% responsibility for my life.

– The reason the tortoise always beats the hare is because of slow and steady consistency. If you ran a 5 mile race, would you start by running as fast you can? No way because you’d be passed out on the ground real soon! Yet that’s what we often do when we get excited about a goal.

Slow and steady will get you to the finish line first. Life is a marathon and not a sprint.

– Writing and reviewing my goals really helped. Some I didn’t achieve, but that’s my fault. I did achieve many rewarding ones though.

– I used to blame everything around me for my lack of success. I was a miserable person inside. Then I learned to take responsibility for all the choices I make. If I didn’t like something, I had a choice. If I didn’t do anything, that was my choice. No finger pointing. No blaming. The only person to blame is the person we see in the mirror every day.

Three personal developments I’ve made in the past year are:

  1. Goal setting
  2. Feeding my mind with inspirational or educational books.
  3. Changing my attitude about what is possible.

–  I fed my mind with more clean water. I went to the library often this year. I loved learning new things. I noticed I read a lot of book on entrepreneurship and personal development. I’m getting a free Kindle Fire soon, so that should get me to read much more next year.

– I realized I had to believe in myself first. I learned success is possible with enough time, consistency, and hard work. I’ve seen other bloggers and see their success so I know what I want to do isn’t far fetched. We all have access to the same information and resources. It’s just a matter what we do with it and how much we believe in ourselves.

If I could do things again, I would do these three things differently last year: 

  1. Have a better morning routine.
  2. Take more notes when reading.
  3. Exercised more consistently.

– Before this year, my morning routine was to wake up, have breakfast and get on the computer or start watching TV. Multiply that for nearly my whole adult life.

This year I learned our habits over time helps us or brings us down. One habit I wanted to improve was my morning routine.

I was doing well for awhile where I’d wake up, have breakfast, and reading something educational or inspirational before turning on my computer. It was a way to start the day on a positive note instead of checking email and Facebook first thing.

I’ve slipped and know I need to do a better job next year. Old habits are hard to break, but I will break this one.

– I’ve gotten most books from the library, so I couldn’t highlight in it. I took some notes, but should have done it with every book. Next year when I read, I’ll take notes or if I’m reading on my iPad or Kindle, highlight the important points.

– I ran my last half marathon in February. I was in the best shape of my life. Two days later, I left for Taipei. My plan was to give myself a week off and then regularly go to the local gym. That didn’t happen.

I went sometimes. After a month, I was too lazy to go.

After I came back, it was really hard to get back into running. I lost all my fitness, motivation, and momentum from before. Before, I’d run for an hour and feel great. When I tried to run for ten minutes I was tired.

So instead of completely stopping, I should have done some sort of physical activity no less than three times a week.

I’ve been working out regularly the last five weeks doing Crossfit (I’m typing this with four blisters on my hands), and I feel much more productive every day.

Three things I need to do less of in the next year are:

  1. Eat sweets
  2. Pointless web surfing and know nothing about the Kardashians.
  3. Complain

– If I eliminated sweets from my diet completely, I would have lost 20 pounds probably. However, I would have also been banging my head against the wall most of the time. I eat too much and know I need to cut back. It’s hard to say no to sugar. It’s so good! If I have an addiction, it’s sugar for sure. It tastes good, but it makes me feel more sluggish later. More sluggish means less productive.

– Pointless web surfing distracts me and takes away from valuable working time. I need to do better separating the two.

– I’ve done so much better about complaining, but I still catch myself doing it. I’ll complain about being tired or being too full. I’ll complain about being sore. Still complain about the job I don’t particularly like. I complain after I eat two big pieces of cake. It’s too much and I need to do way less of it.

Three things I need to do more of in the next year are: 

  1. Be a productivity Jedi. Focus on work in blocks of time. Similar to the Pomdoro technique
  2. Act and think more like an entrepreneur
  3. Create more

– I know I need to do a better of working when it’s work time. No distractions. No stopping. When it’s time my free time, I can spend more time on Youtube watching videos like this.

I know about the Pomodoro technique, but just knowing about it is not enough. I will make a strong effort to utilize it.

– If I’m going to have make my dream of quitting my job and being self employed, I’m going to have to make more money. That means learning more about entrepreneurship and creating something valuable.

– I get energized when I’m creating. That’s why I can spend hours on designing my t-shirt, customizing my blog, writing and editing a blog post, and other things. I want to do more of that.

Three things I need to stop completely doing in the next year are:

  1. Multitasking
  2. Driving while texting or checking my iPhone (seriously need to eliminate that for safety reasons)
  3. Work at my current job

This was tough because I know some things I should do less of, but I know I won’t completely eliminate. These three things I need to completely stop.

– Trying to multitask makes me less productive actually. I know it’s bad and it needs to stop.

– I used to be really bad about texting and checking my iPhone while driving. Now Eleanor yells at me, as a reminder to not. Nothing is that important to take my eyes off the road. I’ve read the tragic stories of people texting while driving. It needs to stop completely.

– After my app success, people asked me when I was quitting my job. Though I was bringing in over $1k a day for one week, I was hesitant to quit right away. First I wanted to see how sales would be when I wasn’t featured. I knew realistically I wasn’t going to be earning that much money a day for a year.

Since then, sales dropped and now have been sitting at a consistent level the last couple months. I expected that. It’s not enough money  to quit my job. Plus I’m putting back money into it adding new features.

(I’ll write a whole post on a Photo 365 update.)

Though it’s frustrating, I feel like I’m close. I didn’t make it a goal this year to quit my job. I didn’t think it was realistic. It would have been so sweet though.

I know other bloggers, who I’ve become friends with, are working to be fully self employed as well, so I’m hoping we can all make it happen in 2012.

Three reasons I didn’t achieve some goals from this past year are:

  1. Lost some momentum starting in August
  2. Didn’t focus on projects that would contribute to achieving my goals when I had the free time
  3. I underestimated myself

– Before August, I lived like a bachelor since I was still in a long distance relationship. My sink was full of plates and pots. Clothes all over the floor. My house would be lucky if it got cleaned once a week.

That also meant I could do whatever I wanted in my free time, and this year that was blogging and creating income on the side.

Eleanor came over in August for good, so I couldn’t spend ALL day long on the computer. If I did, I’d be sleeping on the couch. Therefore, I needed to be more focused, when I did have the time. I didn’t do a great job of adjusting.

– One goal was to do more guest posting to get more readers and traffic. I should have done more. I promised some friends guests posts, but I didn’t get around to them. I write slow. I edit slow. So it takes more time to create one post. I know it’ll take more practice to improve.

– Because I didn’t know I could do so much in a year, I held back some. Next year, the training wheels are coming off!

Three goals I want to achieve in the next year:

  1. Travel more
  2. Create more income streams
  3. Attend a conference like WDS or Blog World

– The first order of travel is to go on a honeymoon. I know it’s hard to believe, but we haven’t been on a honeymoon yet. We didn’t know where to go and didn’t have time right after the wedding. There’s no deadline, right?

I know somewhere where the water is crystal clear is on the wish list.

Lately, I’ve been learning about travel hacking, so I hope I can put to use what I learn in 2012.

– I need to earn more income to be self employed. Will do that by creating valuable products that will benefit others. I want to expand my T-shirt design as well. Of course I want to have another iPhone app done before the end of 2012.

– I’ve heard nothing but great things about both of these conferences. Being social with lots of people is not my element, so it would be something completely out of my comfort zone. I know the experience will be worth it though.

Smartest decision I made last year:

Taking 100% responsibility for the choices in my life. Deciding to start taking action instead of using hope as a strategy. Putting my head down and really working hard to get to this point.

Biggest risk I took this past year:

Spending $1900 on an iPhone app. Had no idea if I would even make any money from it. Spending that much money was a huge gamble, but one I was willing to take a risk on.

One sentence that sums up this past year:

A year of positive change, but it’s just the beginning of bigger things.

One year from right now, I want to describe my year like this:

It’s been another phenomenal year of growth personally and professionally. I’m excited to be fully self employed with a thriving business. I’m in great shape at my ideal weight of 180 lbs, and my marriage has only gotten better this year. I have traveled to many wonderful places, met many great people, and gained valuable memories I will remember forever.

Now it’s Your Turn

If you’re doing an annual review post and want to add it to the list, please leave a comment with a link to your post.

Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Non-conformity

Annie Andre at Practical Adventure-ology

(They ones below used the worksheet as a guideline. All fantastic. A must read.)

Caroline Leon at Life is Limitless

Noch at Noch Noch

Alex at Milk the Pigeon

Carrie Smith at Careful Cents

Caleb Wojack at Pocket Changed

Lauren Kimball at Lamiki

Marv and Jo at Intrepid Motion

Tia Sparkles at Your Life Your Way

Amanda Abella at Grad Meets World

Mei at Mei Ying


Thanks to all of you for a great 2011 and hope yours was as great as mine was.



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  • Awesome post and an awesome year. My year did not turn out as well as yours but I am encouraged by your success and my goals and regrets are similar to yours.

    • Thanks Allen. We’ve all had different years, so we all have different things we are proud of accomplishing. I’m sure you had a great year in some areas. Hope your 2012 starts off well!

  • What a great post Benny. Boy, I don’t think you left out one single thing. What fabulous accomplishments you’ve done in just this year alone.

    Looking back you have to be so very proud of yourself. I know I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting your blog and reading what you share with us. And you’re even now an app creator, that’s a big accomplishment.

    I don’t have plans of writing an annual post but I do have everything jotted down that I have accomplished this past year and the areas I definitely need to still work on. I still consider myself a work in progress.

    Thanks for being so open and sharing this with us. Once again, congratulations on all of your accomplishments and I wish you and Eleanor a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


    • Thank you Adrienne! Yeah I guess the post got pretty long..hahaha. I thought about splitting it up, but decided to keept it all together. I’m pretty pleased with how this year went. I did a lot and learned a lot. I know you accomplished so many things this year! Congrats! I look forward to following along in 2012. Happy Holidays to you as well!

  • Benny what a great post and I’m so impressed by how much you’ve achieved. Thanks to your awesome post last week, I wrote my own annual review using your template! Thanks again for the inspiration 🙂

    • Thanks for reading mine Caroline. I just read your and enjoyed it. Glad you found my template useful. You accomplished so much! I forgot you had done stand up. That’s really awesome. I know this year for you, like me, was just the beginning. I know your 2012 is going to be even better.

  • Just found your website a few days ago, but I really like your theme. Congrats on the achievements, I look forward to reading more! Also… Bali looks AWESOME!!! Wow.

    • Hey Kyle! Thanks so much! Welcome to my little blog here. Definitely go to Bali if you get the chance. People call it the Hawaii of Asia and it’s so much more affordable than Hawaii!

  • Hi Benny

    Thanks for getting this started – wedding photos sounds fun. We just did ours in Beijing…. my gown got SOOOOO dirty hahah

    I’ve done my annual review and published my post, “A pat on the back for 2011”, the link is http://nochnoch.com/2011/12/22/a-pat-on-the-back-for-2011/

    Would be great if you decide to link to it. Thanks in advance 🙂

    I’ve excerpted some of the questions to put in another post that I’ve been writing, hope you don’t mind that. It’s given me great direction and reminded me to be proud of myself instead of being overly critical

    Appreciate the encouragement you give us via your blog. I’ve been reading it for a while now, but only recently became slightly more active in the discussions. Took a while to come out of my shell with my depression and all

    One thing I was pleasantly surprised about the blogosphere, is how supportive everyone is, compared to the scenes in a corporate, where competition and getting people ousted seems a common theme…

    Take care for now
    Noch Noch

  • You are truly the inspiration of the year, I think. 🙂 My year wasn’t as great in terms of achievement but I’m really excited for 2012 because I know that things are turning around!! Really happy for all your successes, Benny. It’s nice to know someone is out there living their dreams in the biggest possible ways!!

  • Awesome year! I just printed out my worksheet and I am going to work on it this weekend. I shared your link in a blogpost on Sparkpeople.com, so hopefully we can get more people focused on truly living in 2012.

    Merry Christmas 🙂


  • Benny,
    This is so amazing. You accomplished so so much and got married to boot. I want to attend a blog conference too. It’s def on my list like you.
    I wanted to say that,I’ve noticed there is a lot of back lash on the web lately about people doing an annual reivews. Mostly they say that people should not wait till the end of the year and the beginning of the year to start their goals. But i think in a perfect world that might be true.

    sometimes we just need to do it when we can and the end of the year is a reminder or wake up call that it’s time to take note of all the good things we did and all the things we need to improvement through out the year.

    Have you noticed the negative posts about the annual reviews?

    question: 5K subscribers. HOLLY COW Benny. It’s time to do something with it PRONTO.

    Merry Christams. I think the first year wedding gift is a diamond right? Hahahahhaha

    • Whoa – didn’t realize there are negative posts about the annual reviews….
      Not cool. but I guess everyone has a right to their opinions
      re whoever made that 5K subscriber question – it’s not about quantity for one, and as long as there’s one subscriber we should keep going!!! i dont even know if i have 5 haha…. and anyways, I think Benny’s blog will just keep growing.
      We can all work hard together 🙂
      Take care Annie – I love your writing too!
      Noch Noch

    • Annie,

      I haven’t seen many neg posts about annual reviews. I was reading Srini’s blog where he wrote about not looking back and just looking forward. So he doesn’t believe in doing a review. I believe you read the post because I saw your comment there. I just think people have different ways of doing things. Someone like to run to lose exercise. Someone else likes to do dance classes to exercise. In the end, they’re exercising. I’m sure there are tons of successful people who have never done an annual review. Then there are others that like to do it and it has benefitted them. No reason to be negative about it though, right?

      As for the timing, we shouldn’t wait till the new year to start our goals. I actually didn’t start goal setting until April of this year. I had my blog and I had started my app, but was just trying to improve it each week. In April was when I started setting goals and reviewing them. When I hit a goal, I’d make a new one.

      It’s just natural for people to see the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 as a new start. Like you said, it’s a great reminder. In the end, no matter when you start, there are still 365 days in a full year. So 365 to get s#%t done. Hahaha.

      Maybe I should clarify my subscribers. I took that number from Google analytics. I looked at unique visitors thinking that was more reliable than overall visits. As for subscribers, I do have 670 at least check. My goal was 1000 by the end of this year. I came up short, but I know that’s all my fault to not push harder.

      Merry Christmas to you too! Is it a diamond ring? Eleanor’s been talking about a new car as a present. Hahahahaha. I told her to not hold her breath. 🙂

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  • Benny,

    Once again your such an amazing man and kudos to all of the success that you have created for yourself and your wife this year. Next year is going to be one amazing year for you and I look forward to the growth that you take and the new things that you share with your community as well. Have a great new year man.

    • Thanks Justice! It’s been a great year. Looking forward to more growth this upcoming year. I want to make sure I’m moving forward and not backwards. I’m sure you’ve got great things planned for 2012 as well. Happy new year to you as well!

  • Hi Benny,

    I really like your posts! 🙂
    I’ve been thinking about starting an LLC, and hope 2012 will be the ideal year to do it.
    I’m not yet confident whether leaving my job would be possible next year, though (even with increasing sales and apps being featured in a row, the income from my daytime job is still way higher). So I’ll leave the latter as a goal for 2013. 😉
    Wish You Happy Holidays!

    • Thanks so much! If you keep putting out great apps, an LLC might be a good idea. It protects you in case anyone wants to sue you. Plus there are some tax benefits. It seems like you like your job, so it makes staying longer much easier. 🙂

      Happy holidays as well!

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  • Hi Benny again, I was thinkig the other day, as we sat around Xmas dinner, everybody tends to reminsece a lot over year’s end. then i remember that in my old company, we’d do mid year reviews too, and every quarter we’d have a “chat” with our bosses and subordinates… maybe we should all do this for our life too, and not wait till end of year to check and balance ourselves, give ourselves a benchmark and cheer ourselves on for the rest of the year… ?
    What do you thinK?
    Noch Noch 🙂
    p.s. yes I added you as friend on FB…

    • Hi Noch,

      Actually it’s a great idea. What I was doing for most of the year was doing a review every week. I’d see what I did well and what I didn’t. That helped me stay on track. It didn’t take too long either. Then every month do a review. Again just to review what went well and what didn’t. Again, it doesn’t take that long but is really helpful.

      So yes it’s great to do it throughout the year, and not just at the end of the year.

  • Hi Benny, I read your post after a friend tweeted the link. Love the review idea! I did that once a few years back but it wasn’t as detailed as this one. Your template definitely made me think hard as I’m writing the answers down! I’ve just posted my own review: http://meiyingt.com/my-year-in-review-2011/

    Congratulations on your marriage and all the lovely things that happened to you in 2011. Cheers to a better year in 2012! 😉 (I hope you’ll reach your goal of being self-employed by then!)

    • Hey Mei!

      Great name. That is my mom’s name. 🙂

      Glad that my worksheet made you think a bit more. Thanks for the kind words. I’m excited to see what 2012 will bring. I wish you success as well. I’m off to go read your review. Thanks Mei and hope to see you around here more often!

  • Wow Benny you really got me jealous there. The ten things that happened to you in the year are all marvelous. I especially love the trip that you made with your girlfriend which eventually led to your wedding. Bali of course is the ultimate resort for everyone so I will say you nailed it Benny.

    Good for you

    • Thanks Martin! Bali was amazing and a trip we won’t forget. Hope you had a great 2011 as well. I wish you much success in 2012!

  • Awesome, Benny! What a great format for reviewing 2011!

    I have no plan for a year in review, but I’m thrilled with what has been happening with my blog. I started it about 6 months ago and have gone from no readers and no visits and no impact to over 3,000 visits a month, winning (unbelievably!) Steve’s Aitchison’s best blog of 2011 award and created my first ebook I’m offering for free on my site. Not too shabby for the time I’ve been at it.

    My goals for next year are to create and launch another ebook I’ll sell at Meant to be Happy (not everything can be for free!), launch a newsletter and start making something more than pocket change from my blog.

    Congrats on all your successes, Benny! You’ve definitely been a motivation to me and countless others!

    • Hey Ken!

      Congrats on the award! I did see that because I was curious to know who would win. Glad to know it was someone I knew! That’s exciting that you’ve just been doing it for six months and have had so much growth. I’m with you in wanting to make more than pocket change from the blog. We have to look at our blog as a business and not just a hobby. I’m sure your ebook will have tons of value for your readers and be worth the money.

      Wishing you a happy new year Ken!

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  • Hi Benny,
    Congrats on the awesome year especially getting married! I am at the start of my online journey, but your story has really inspired me. I think having a clear path set out for your goals is really important. I hope you manage to achieve your goal of self employment in 2012!

    • Thanks so much Jay! Congrats on starting your journey. You’ll hit rough days and days you want to quit, but you’ll have more great days that keep you moving forward. Happy new year to you!

  • Great post, Benny. Looks like you had a lot of good things to look back on in 2011! For me also, it was a largely productive year, not necessarily in financial terms, but in ways that made me a better person. I have been able to face a lot of my deficienies and tackle them as well as doing a lot of soul searching too. I hope to continue on the path to a better life in 2012.


    • Improving as a person is a great foundation for success. Now in 2012 you can start to do more and hopefully do better in the financial area. Good luck on your 2012! Hope to hear a year from now about your great year.

      • Thanks. Wish you the same and I hope I will have good things to report in a year!


  • Wow, you kicked some serious butt this year, incredible! Congrats on your engagement and wedding 🙂

  • Laura Kimbakk

    Benny, I want to officially say Happy New Year and thank you for sharing yout template with us. Here’s my year in review: http://lamiki.com/2011/12/imbalance-burnout-and-change-2011-year-in-review/

    Looking forward to an awesome 2012 🙂

    • Happy new year to you Laura! I look forward to reading your review and learning more about you. I’ve added your post w/ the other fantastic reviews.

  • Hi Benny,

    I’ve been to your place before, but should make it a point to visit more often. I really like the tone and design of the site, and your posts of course. And that is quite a list of accomplishments!

    Of all the habits I’ve changed over the years, adjusting my morning routine is probably the one that made the most difference.

    I look forward to reading more of your content in 2012.

    • Thanks Craig! I went to your blog and noticed many bloggers I’ve gotten to know comment there. Don’t know how I missed your blog earlier but do like what you do over there. Will be by there more often for sure.

      I do need to make my morning routine much better. What is your morning routine like?

      • Yes, some great people commenting at my place!

        The first thing I do every morning is write. I’ve found it’s the best time and commit to an hour each day. Makes the rest of the day that much better. But before all, I have to hit the treadmill 🙂

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  • Hi Benny,

    My name is Lenia and I am from Greece. I just discovered your blog through Adrienne’s blog and I am very happy for that. With this post I learnt a few things about you, your goals and your achievements. I am surprised and …Congratulations 🙂 ! You did many great things the past year.

    I read your about page and you know something…I agree with you: I don’t believe and don’t accept the “get a real 9-5 job” story. That is the reason why I did my revolution during 2011 and now I am trying to get busy living but with my own rules and not by following other people’s rules or society’s standards!

    Well, I am really new to the blogging world as I started blogging two months ago. You can learn more about my 2011 achievements in my blog in the following url :http://www.yourlife-yourchoices.com/3/post/2011/11/you-did-it-lets-celebrate.html/

    I know it is too early for me to put a url in your blog but I just follow what you say in your post!
    Whether you keep it or not it doesn’t matter. What it does matter is that I have just discovered a blog that “speaks the same language” as me….and I am not talking about english but about goals and life choices 🙂

    I wish you a happy New Year and all the best for you and your family!


    • Hello Lenia! Thank you so much for your great comment! Thanks for finding me through Adrienne’s blog. She’s a wonderful person. I’m glad we speak the same language. Not everyone is going to understand our attitude. They might think we’re crazy when we mention our goals, but what’s important is that we do what we want. At the end of our lives, we don’t want to live a life of regret. We want to know we did everything that we wanted.

      Happy new year to you and I’m going over to read your post!

      • Thank you for your answer! Off course, I agree with you 🙂
        I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for you and your family!

        • Thank you Lenia and wish you a great start to 2012!

  • Hey Benny,
    Great wrap up of the year. It was fun to watch your growth and the year that you had. Glad that it all slowed up a bit in August – it’s a good sign for a long and healthy marraige. Excited to see next year unfold. I did my own internal review of the year at EDLL and was excited about how the year turned out but even more excited as I began looking ahead realizing that one year under my belt has put me in a better position to really make 2012 great. Good luck with everything next year!

    • Thanks Aaron! It’s been great to get to know you this year. I didn’t imagine I’d meet such diverse and awesome people through blogging when I started. It’s one of the best parts. Thanks for your guest post last year. It was definitely my favorite guest post. I know many people loved it because months after it was posted, it was still getting retweeted. I’ll have to retweet it again this year because it’s that awesome.

      One year of experience is great. I know I learned a lot and am ready to take more action in 2012. Happy new year to you!

  • Thanks for the excellent worksheet, Benny! Loved using it to do my review 🙂

    • You’re welcome Tia. You had an amazing 2011, but well deserved!

  • This is great. Showing us all your weaknesses reminds us that successful bloggers are human like the rest of us. You’ve done really well this year and I’m sure you will be able to quit your job in no time.

    • Thanks Ramy. Just wanted to show what’s been going on behind the scenes. It’s not as easy as it looks, though I do love the rewards. Thanks for the motivational words!

  • Benny, I love this list! Holy Cow! When you red it did you just feel so amazed and proud? I hope so!. I love the photo of you and your wife on the front of your blog! How lovely is that ! I really do like your post, good job 🙂 keep it coming!

    • Colleen, when it was time to write it down, I did feel pretty amazed! A year ago, I would have not had much to write down. Last year I did so much and am proud of it. Now this year I want to do even more and build on what I did last year. I’m glad you love our photo. I love them too. That was a day I’ll never forget. The pics turned out amazing and we couldn’t be any happier. Thanks for reading Colleen!

  • Hi Benny, I’m a Danny Gheesling blog boy who was lured here by a sister ‘Gheesling Gang’ member, Colleen. Really enjoyed your blog post! The sense of conviction and strength in your writing about the past year was inspiring…..Here’s a hint at how my girlfriend and I kicked the Sugar Habit : We started buying some really tasty sweets from the bakery section of our grocery store that were 100% SUGAR FREE. It’s amazing how many homemade pies, cakes, chocolates, cheesecakes, etc…Are now available with NO sugar at all (just Splenda sweetener) As long as you eat them in moderation, you can get rid of the desire without going off your diet too much. Even Hershy and Russell Stover candy companies have added big new lines of sugar free chocolates like : recess peanut butter cups, hershy dark chocolate, jolly rancher, peppermint patties, twizzler, and lots more. Just relace sugar free for sugar filled! But, do so IN MODERATION. Hope it works for you dude, it helped us. We now don’t use sugar for anything. See ya back at Danny’s blog.

    • Hi Frank! Thanks for coming over. I’ve just gotten to know Dan recently the last few months, and look forward to getting to know him more.

      I’ll have to try more things that are sugar free. That is a great suggestion. Last week i actually had a sugar free Hershey’s dark chocolate bar and it was delicious! Now keeping it in moderation is another monster I have to tame. However, thanks for the advice. I’m already drinking my coffee with Splenda and enjoy it. Just have to look to sugar free when I need my fix! Thanks Frank and see you back at Dan’s blog.

  • Epic year Benny! Best wishes for the same success in 2012!

    • Thanks so much Dan! Look forward to seeing you crush 2012 as well!

  • This was a great read!
    One aspect of your review that I really liked was where you list the reasons you didn’t achieve all of your goals. I love that you took responsibility for your actions and that’s evident in the list of reasons. You don’t allow for outside excuses that are out of your control – instead you take the responsibility. As such, you’re able to plan ahead for such obstacles and perhaps avoid them in the future.
    I will follow your example and work on my annual review today.
    BTW, I purchased your app to use in 2012 and I’m enjoying it!

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  • Marcin

    All the best in 2012 Benny! Get even more busy living 🙂 I’ll nail this year, for sure. I have some many plans and ideas that I just only wish I didn’t have to sleep…By the end of January I’m starting my first business and finally I’ll test all my ideas. 2012 will be the year of taking action. Main goal: quit my day job ASAP.
    Take care B! 🙂

    • Hi Marcin. Happy new year to you! I’m glad to hear 2012 is all about action. Quitting your job is great motivation. I hope you’ll be able to meet your goals before the end of this year. Keep me updated!

  • Hey Benny,

    I love this post because there are some milestones here that I would like to reach. I want to publish my first ebook, I want to get married, 5000 visitors to my blog a day, and produce an Iphone app.

    I like the way you are so personable. It like being in a friend house and just chatting. Even if, your doing all the talking. I will come back.

    Nice to visit you!

    Mike Cleveland

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks so much for reading. You have some great goals. Just make sure you don’t write them down once and then hope for the best. It’s going to take a lot of work, especially writing your ebook, getting 5000 visitors in a day, and producing an app. They are definitely possible because many have achieved each goal.

      Thanks for your comment! Hope to see you back here.

  • This has to be one of the most transparent posts I’ve ever read. Congrats on being what so many people should be but are not. It’s 2012 and all I can say about 2011 is that I’m glad I am alive. Could have died in mid-December but was blessed to live another day, month, year, maybe more.

    2012 is already a good year, my son played his first organized sports game (basketball last week). I love seeing him improve.

    Can’t wait to read what you do in 2012.

    • Thanks so much. I really tried to put it all out there. I’m glad to hear you survived. Must have been a scary thing. Life is really precious so we should make the most of our time here for sure.

      That’s great you got to watch you son play basketball! Life’s little gifts. I’m sure you’ll be watching many more games in the future.

      Happy new year to you and hope you have a great 2012!

      • Thanks as always for your encouragement. It will be a great 2012. I’ll be reading your blog more often.

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  • Ray

    Those are some great achievements benny! In such a short-time you were able to done all that within only a year. I would say for someone like me to accomplished those goal would probably take me about 2 years and up. I always considered taking things one by one and step by step. But after reviewing your achievements, i feel that i’m slacking off and need to be catching up to you!

    • Thanks so much! You know what I realized after writing that post? That underestimated what I could do. I definitely could have achieved more goals, but I didn’t think I could in that year. Don’t underestimate what you can do in a year. A year might seem like a long time, but it’s really not. It’s still early this year! Hope you can make 2012 your best year yet!