2012 Annual Review: Looking Forward
I did it. I made it to Tuvalu, the penultimate country! It took a while to get here, but that’s to be expected.
Someone said they spent 20 minutes reading the Tuvalu Wikipedia page the other day. I said I was surprised it took 20 minutes—that’s the same amount of time it took me to run the length of the entire island of Funafuti last night.
Anyway, 192 countries down. File under your choice of: Wow, WTF, tired, or awesome.
Oh, the Review … Right
Something weird happened the other day: 2013 showed up. For me, it showed up all of a sudden, since I lost December 31 while flying overnight across the international dateline. But even so, it snuck up on me by more than just a day.
I’ve seen many of our readers’ Annual Review posts in the blog trackbacks, where some of you have been completing your own end-of-year analysis and looking ahead to this year. I’m glad to know the model has been helpful, and I’m sorry that this year’s review hasn’t been as comprehensive as year’s past.
The bottom line is that 2012 was fantastic, but it was indeed hard to not have the time at the end of the year to sort myself out.
All I needed was an extra week of December. You know, December 32-37? Next year I’ll plan better, but here’s what I’ve got this time.
2013! Will Be Big
So much with the past. Let’s look to the future! Here are a few of the things I hope to accomplish in 2013.
Finish every country (now an easier goal). With Tuvalu in hand, I’m now effectively at the end of the ten-year journey to everywhere. In April, we’re having a small party in Norway, the official final country—but hopefully that won’t be nearly as difficult to get to as it’s been for Tuvalu, Guinea Bissau, Eritrea, or any other number of countries along the way.
Lots of people are asking: “How does it feel?” And the honest answer is “I don’t know.” I don’t process things that way. It takes a long time for the depth and significance of accomplishments to set in, and often I don’t have important revelations about things until after the fact. When I know, you’ll know.
Write the next book. I’m now beginning the writing phase of QUEST (working title), my next full-length book. The due date is in August, which is a nice long stretch to work… when I’m not touring and doing other projects.
Launch of all-new biz. The long-awaited (and, sadly, often spoken of) new business project is still plugging along. It’s taking longer than expected, almost entirely because of my ineptitude, but the bottom line is that I’d rather do it right than rush it to market. Watch this space for more news soon.
Road trips, scaled. In about two weeks I’ll be going back on the road to meet readers across the U.S. First up: Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Nashville, Columbia (Missouri), and Dallas. All of these events are reader initiated and hosted. All tickets are free or low-cost —sign up here and bring friends!
This is the introduction of an all-new touring model, and I’m very excited about the long-term possibilities for it.
The Tour Rolls On
If this next leg of seven cities goes well, we’ll be doing many more. I hope to plan a European tour and another Asian tour soon. If you represent an organization, business, or bookstore that would look to sponsor an event, let us know!
Host WDS 2013. Last year we had a big success with WDS 2012. This year, as you’d expect, we’re kicking things up another notch. This time we’ll be in Portland’s largest theatre, home to the Oregon Symphony when World Domination is not being conducted. Every seat will be full, and our team has big things planned.
WDS has grown far beyond my initial expectations. I’ve had my share of flops and failures, but this project has turned out very well by all accounts. I’m fortunate to work with great people on it, and we’ll be offering the final round of tickets to those on the waiting list very soon.
Continuous improvement. As mentioned a couple of times recently, I’m dissatisfied with numerous aspects of this little operation, and I have a long way to go. You, the readers, deserve better! And I’m trying. Thanks to those who have stuck with me for so long. I assure you the groundwork is being laid to improve everything we do at World Domination HQ.
And a More Personal Goal
In addition to the usual projects, I also hope to figure out my life and avoid being too depressed about the end of the world. I’ve been “seeing every country” for a decade, including the nearly five years that I’ve been writing about it on this blog. Now what? Perhaps it’s a first world problem, but running out of countries to visit does create a bit of an identity crisis.
I’ve also been sad lately for reasons I don’t quite understand, and I don’t intend to write about it all the time. I’ll find my way out, and I know that one of the keys is to focus externally, keep doing what I can to help people and make things, and so on. Anything else I figure out along the way will help.
What about you—what are your big goals for 2013?
Feel free to share a few things (or just one) that you hope to accomplish this year.
Next, better get to work … there are now only 363 days left.
After finishing your book, I became really excited about starting my own business, so I started two but last year was a busy one for me so didn’t really made good progress on any of the two.
This year I hope to find more time to develop them and hopefully start making some money.
Also I just started writing a novel so hope I can finish it soon.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Become fluent in speaking French – March (Moving to France in about oh, ..7 days!)
Build a business that inspires people to achieve their dreams.
Start learning Spanish.
You’re right, you WILL get everything sorted out. I hope it is soon and that you emerge from this better than ever.
One of my primary goals for 2013 is to complete my first collection of approximately 25 paintings. I’d like to complete them by June and I’m going to try, but if working at that rate means not creating my best then I will complete the collection as soon as I can.
I also hope to help my 17 yo son get into the university this fall and get into a really great routine with my other home schooled children.
And as always, exercise more and eat more nutritiously. I should cut back on my coffee consumption, but somehow, I don’t think that I will! Have a joyful New Year everyone.
Those are excellent goals! I have a few in mind, but the biggest one for me is to stop TALKING so much and start DOING. Hope the sadness passes for you. I know what that feels like.
The annual review is actually one of the big takeways I have from your site and I implemented it in full this year.
My big goals for 2013 are:
– foster and maintain more meaningful relationships
– pay off debt and clear up my financial situation
– create a full income from writing services (>1500€/month)
– live in another country than my home country for >3 months
– write and sell an ebook
– learn one additional language
– further reduce stress level
– continue learning
thanks for the inspiration and good luck with your journey in 2013!
2013 will be fantastic. Good luck on your upcoming book, Chris! Keep writing. People need it.
Great post! Always inspiring to hear your travels as it reminds me to be intentional about planning my own travels. What had been your favorite place so far (if that’s even possible to answer)? One of my favorites was Austria – beautiful place and the people were so nice! Prague is great too though with all the history as well as the cool young hang out spots.
Also, your year end review is motivating me to do the same reflection. Afterall, the “unexamined life is not worth living” according to Aristotle because we will never learn new things or appreciate what we have if we don’t. So thanks Chris and thanks Aristotle for the reminder!
As for my plans next year, I am looking forward to writing my first book, my first screenplay, working on my first movie, and releasing my first product along with my awesome business partners and fellow entrepreneurs this year! So excited!
As a suggestion: Make it a goal to go to the moon, Mars, somewhere else “out there”. It would make it so much easier for the rest of us to follow in your footsteps. And I’d be perfectly happy to do whatever I can to help you realize this one if you decide to pick it up!
Going to use all the HACKED miles I have earned through Chris’s credit card tips and go to Europe in 2013 with my honey-bunny…
First, keep up the good work Chris, you are an inspiration!
My goals for 2013 are to keep moving my blog forward, launch my “live” workshop event, then turn it into an e-course. Most importantly keep engaging with my readers, they are what keep me motivated.
Great goals Chris! Being that I’m a homebody, I love reading about your adventures.
My goals for this year is to create one of the top online magazines for new women entrepreneurs. No small feat, but I’m up for the challenge! The journey is already fun :).
I understand about being bummed. I had an amazing 2012– I quit my job in January and spent 8 months (and all of my money) traveling around. How could 2013 ever top that? Now I’m wandering around (figuratively, unfortunately), hitting walls again, not quite sure what direction to head in for the rest of my life. I am trying to remain positive as well, but it’s hard going and a definite first world problem (who am I to complain about too much opportunity). You’re not alone!
Hi Chris – I’m a long-time lurker/subscriber to your blog and I’ve really enjoyed your adventures – both travelling and with your other activities (WDS, $100 start-up). I’ve started my own annual review & have 13 goals for 2013 – the most important one being to take control of my health before it starts controlling me. Hurrah for zumba!
Thank you for sharing the ups and downs & I hope that 2013 is a great year for you. Sometimes things can seem sad & tough – I work on the “one day at a time” approach & try and find even small things that can brighten up some of these dark north-west rainy winter days. And before we know it, spring will be here, the days will be longer, and the sun will be out…
What’s new in 2013 – “Well, Everything!” To start, I’ve never actually taken the time to write on any blog, post anything on any web, and the like. Nonetheless, you have to start somewhere and why not here. My wife and I will be starting our new business, of course inspired by your book (The $100 Startup). So excited that my wife will be putting in her notice in the next couple of days.
Thank you for sharing all the information on your travels.
Best for the new year to Chris and everyone!
I’m with Bastiaan: get yourself a ticket on one of Branson’s Virgin Galactic flights this year.
Have you seen all 50 states?
Yes, a couple years ago I met AONC readers in all 50 states (and every province in Canada as well).
I’m really breaking things down this year in a way I’ve never done in the past. I started in December actually and I’m still feeling strong. Changing my top 3 focuses each month allows me to attend to my changing needs and desires.
My overall goal in 2013 is to publish posts on my blog regularly. To support this, in January, I’m writing for 20 minutes everyday. It’s really amazing to see how something almost always comes up when I sit down to write. Yet when I wait to feel inspired, I’m often waiting for a while or writing in long, intense bursts followed by writing droughts (which feels icky).
I’ve also informally been taking note of how much easier it is to write when I am regularly inputting inspiring things into my system. Since I’m happily unemployed right now, I’m constantly reading blogs and books and that’s feeding my own creativity.
First Chris, thank you so much for sharing a part of inner self with all of us!
All your efforts have had a positive impact on so many, especially me:)
This past year, having traveled across South America, I realized just how much I still don’t know. I have learned a lot about myself and about values in life that have an impact on our happiness in the present moment. Having said that, I still have a lot to discover and so much I want to share with others. Sometimes, it feels that I could have probably chosen better words, taken better actions to have an influence on others, but the only way I will get better is by just doing it and learning from it.
This is my major focus for 2013! I am working on launching a project on leadership development from questions I have received from readers. I’ll start with this and see where it will take me:)
Thanks again and all the best to you for 2013!
I’ve been feeling similarly in terms of ennui and gloom. Might I attribute it to your heavy traveling schedule, and also, planes give off a lot of radiation and EMFs, and for sure your sleeping patterns must be all kinds of unpredictable… I am positive that none of your readers fault you for feeling less than stellar, or not performing to your expectations. Relax and let if flow, my friend.
Start walking across Europe!
I have six months to train, sort out my life, and finish the projects I’m working on, and then . . . I’m starting in Edinburgh and heading south and east. I plan to work on farms to learn about that (wwoofing/helpxing), work on my French and Italian, write, and generally change my life considerably from being a dreaming academic. I have enough money for a year. My goal for this year is to start earning money through writing so that I can get all the way across Europe without having to rush.
In 2013, here’s my 3 word focus for myself and my business:
Losing the ability to see what is wondrous about our existence is what turns us into mindless drones (or zombies, if you prefer). Running through life mindless screws a lot of things in our world up. We need to mark the wonder – to take a moment to spot the dew on the spiderweb. To let what we choose to believe in amaze us. To let people do the same. In 2013, I will make sure that I mark the wonder around me – and help others to do the same.
It would be so easy to give in to defeat, despair, exhaustion. Easy but not right. Giving up is not allowed. Neither is slowing down because that could jeopardize the work done to date. 2013 is going to have some gangbuster pushes and I need to keep it up.
There are two key elements to this. First, I need to continue to get closer to and strengthen the community of good thinkers, artists, and generally cool people – in ROC and beyond that I’m building around myself. They’re important. Second, the key focus for Storychick in 2013 needs to be growing a community of supporters/believers – the rest will stem from there.
If you follow this sort of thing 2013 in numerology is a 6 year….so big changes to be expected in all aspects of life. 4 days into it and have had my fair share already.
Scary but to look at it positively…exciting.
Cheers to everyone having positive changes in 2013 and traveling as they so desire…… however one may interpret that.
“In addition to the usual projects, I also hope to figure out my life and avoid being too depressed about the end of the world. I’ve been “seeing every country” for a decade, including the nearly five years that I’ve been writing about it on this blog. Now what?”
My suggestion: Travel back to your favorite places you have visited and spend more time there, seeing that country more in-depth, getting to know the locals more closely and learning from them.
After all, this is not the end but the beginning of seeing things more thoroughly and sensing things more deeply. Taking things more slowly and deliberately is life-enriching — like yoga versus sprinting. Deep breathing versus panting. Just another way to savor being vital and alive.
Like a light on a hill, my friend. Keep shining! The joke of all this is that this is actually the beginning of a journey, not an end!
I can only imagine the disorientation involved in finishing such a monumental task! I too take time to process such momentous events, so I understand. Good luck!
My goals for 2013 are as follows:
– Write a novel
– Submit work to outside publications
– Practice my French until I complete the equivalent of a semester in college
I had to keep it moderately simple to not get overwhelmed, something I’ve been struggling with lately, as I haven’t yet been able to quit my day job. Ergh. :/
I am starting a postpartum depression recovery group, a real food group and will self-publish my hubby’s book this year. I also want to add a member to my family, travel to Spain, Portugal and Costa Rica and start a new buisness that will supplement our income by helping others to realize their potential and worth as parents!
Thank you for your book ($100 Startup), Chris! I read it during my vacation last summer, and simultaneously developed a plan for a business that will propel myself and my family forward toward the things we want in life. The business is the sale of extremely rare wood to woodworkers, and early testing has shown that our customers are thrilled to get their hands on it.
My goal for 2013 is to make this business strong and stable, and work out the kinks! It is going to be fun. Best wishes to everyone else here who is working to make their journey through life a good one!
I think the sadness is so natural. I was watching a documentary the other day and an Australian musician was talking about one of those defining moments you have. He was in a pub and him and a fan were exchanging life stories in 60 seconds (as you do in pubs) and she said ‘i just like you’re sad songs’ and he said ‘they are all sad songs’.
You’ll find a new frontier.
The big goal for 2013 is to become fluent in Persian. My wife’s from Iran, so I’ll have a native speaker to practice with, but it will still be a very difficult task to achieve without a very good system of motivation and progression!
Congratulations on making it to Tuvalu! I hear it’s gorgeous.
Like Zoey said, you’ll find a new frontier. In fact, you’ve built so much over the past few years, and it’s exciting to see what newness will spring forth in the next 363 days!
It is probably normal to question and wonder “what now?” after such a huge task is so close to being achieved.
We will keep you in prayer.
All the best
In 2013, we are launching App Camp For Girls, a one-week summer camp program in which girls will learn how to design, create and launch an iPhone app. An idea that’s been percolating for awhile, but really got liftoff at World Domination Summit 2012. (I used my $100 to pay the designer for the logo!)
For me personally, the challenge is to focus on this one big project and keep it moving forward. I am easily distracted and love to travel (Norway? I would normally have signed up to join you!), so staying put in Portland is a challenge.
Oh I do love the idea of December 32 – 37! But then I wish every single month had an extra week although if it did I’m sure that I’d still be left with a huge list of undone items.
Going forward in 2013 I have decided to stop whining about how there’s not enough time.
There are 24 hours in a day. I will make the absolute most of those hours and do my best at all times.
Reading that you made it to Tuvalu filled me with inexplicable joy. I’ll miss reading your updates from the different countries, but I’m looking forward to the next era. 2013 for me means working on my microbusiness with my copy of $100 Startup by my side.
I am going to finish my book. It’s my 2nd novel (the first has been put away forever) and I started it for NaNoWriMo in Nov. It’s at over 100,000 words now and still growing, though I sense the end is coming soon. Then I will edit it and publish it. I realized that I’m tired of saying I’m a writer, I want to actually be a writer.
My goal is to build a successful business, and become a successful illustrator and writer in 2013!
Congratulations on accomplishing so much!!!
I loved the links for the year end review u posted. Very helpful – thanks! Out of that review my big focus this year is finding more creative outlets and creating a side source of income. And my word of the year is “unhidden” — putting myself out there and risking more, trying more and sharing more. Sure to make for an anxiety-filled, ahem, exciting year ahead. :). Thanks for continually posting good stuff.
For most of the five years you’ve been traveling to every country, I’ve been making plans to move to one of them and teach Art at an international school. I’m looking forward with excitement, as that day is about to be here. I understand sad, though. As happy as I am about all of life, my 22 year old “project” (my daughter) has fallen in love with a wonderful young man and I’m feeling expendable. I’m grateful that you’ve been so motivational to me to step outside of “comfort” and design a life of my own. Thank you for helping me look forward with great anticipation.
We as humans tend to like to busy ourselves in order to escape our real selves. I am all for short and long term goals but I think that being able to truly feel and acknowledge our emotions in the present moment can be enormously beneficial.
Eckhart Tolle provides a great explanation of this:
Tolle claims there is a deeper sense of self than the ego, a conscious presence which may be known in various ways. One method he recommends is simply to listen to the voice in the head without judging it in any way or getting caught up in its contents. Just by ‘watching the thinker’ in the head, he says, “You’ll soon realise: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it.” That I am realisation is “a sense of your own presence … (arising) from beyond the mind.” And as one becomes aware of this deeper self as a conscious presence, so the involuntary thinking begins to subside, giving way to stillness, peace and what he calls “the joy of Being.”
by the end of 2013, i will be finished designing and building my own tiny house (in a miniscule 150sf). living in simplicity and sustainability with maximum freedom.
congrats on tuvalu!
This will be my year of goal setting and planning …implementing some of the dreams I have for years in my mind. I try to start my business as a side activity to my day job….marketing my expertise as a consultant to the outdoor sports industry just for fun because my big cause job is very boring. And Chris, I have a new goal for you – a lifetime goal for an adult person…if you are curious just write
Congrats on your final country!! My new years resolution is to help people live happier, healthier lives, and MAKE A LIVING doing it!!!! Thanks for your books that have helped me on this journey!
Really Great Year Chris,
Feelings come and go like waves on a beach. If you acknowledge them, explore and accept them, they soon transform into other feelings.
Sadness is natural response to the end of a journey (seeing all the countries). It will be replaced when another goal is set that challenges you to grow and expand in a similar way.
After over a year in retreat to deepen my inner practice, I am ready to come out into the world again.
I want to invite people to wake up, to leave the trance of life behind, to challenge their own thoughts, to open their hearts, and to find their way to the river of joy that wants to flow through all of us when we are truly present to life.
Thank you for being you,
Congratulations on reaching Tuvalu. I met a minister from there on a rough flight in Fiji, if all the locals were as friendly, I would love to visit.
My main goals for 2013 are to host an international education summit to teach teachers how to allow kids to reach for their own dreams rather than trying to make them all average; to complete a leadership program for middle school kids and to get distinctions on 3 more units towards a psychology degree.
Thanks for sharing your journey Chris and trust the Universe will present you with a new adventure soon, maybe for now it’s time for some time out while it prepares the next big thing.
In 2010, I began the process of extricating myself from a management role in a large tax practice. 2011 became all about creating my independent tax practice, but from a lifestyle design perspective. 2012 intentionally was all about transitioning my tax practice into more of an information marketing business. 2013 continues this trend, and will really be focused on growing the business, and also removing the necessity for my physical presence. Got to the current place through intentional design and implementation, will get to the next phase via the same.
I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been feeling sad about the end of the world. I think that working on bigger and better projects will be good for you (ie getting on the moon)
For me, 2013 will be a major year. I plan on finally quitting my job in the middle of the year to take my own business full time (which I’ve started in 2012) as well as moving to Australia to start anew, both for love and for a genuinely fresh start (I currently live in NJ) and am documenting that move on newyorktosydney.com
I’m looking forward to WDS in July and what the future has to offer!
Happy new year and greetings from Ubud, Bali!
When I feel sad I check in with my intuition and ask two things. 1) is this feeling mine? Often it is not – it is some group or society sadness, in which case I go into my heart, expand it and ask the foreign feeling to leave and feel better within minutes. If it is mine I ask 2) what is the message for me from this sadness? Often when I stay with the feeling and listen to what it has to say it shifts.
My goals for 2013
– travel to Singapore, Australia, NZ and Far East in general
– travel through Central America
– travel in the South American countries I haven’t been to yet (Columbia, Venezuela, the Guianas)
– expand my software business in Singapore
– improve my marketing
– systematize my current business more
– improve my Spanish, especially my written Spanish
– have fun as I travel – more dancing, surfing and singing for start!
2013 goal #1…determine at least one ‘passion’ with potential value to others…..
I am writing (and self-publishing) a book chronicling my experiences in the US Navy! It’s exciting and terrifying.
I want to offer you encouraging words about your sadness, but I don’t know what to say… words aren’t always the best vehicle of communication. I am sending positive energy your way!
My goals for 2013 are to;
– Set up my t-shirt business and make $50k from it
– Conduct 2 interviews a week for my blog (104 in total)
– Write 2 articles a week for my blog (104 in total)
– Become comfortable swimming
– Learn to surf
– Secure 5 magazines as clients for my writing
– Live in Berlin for 3 months
All the best with the sadness! The best thing I did in 2012 was go to a 10 day silent meditation retreat (Google ‘Vipassana meditation’). It did wonders for me. If depression was a 12 foot black dog that accompanied me everywhere I went for most of my life, by the end of the course it became a small puppy. That was my experience at least. Later in the year I got coaching and part of that involved NLP processes to get me to let go completely of all the other bad juju I was holding onto. I’m feeling the most free and liberated I’ve ever had in my life.
Finish university (B.Sc. of Applied Computerscience). Grow my experimental polaroid photography project into a constant stream of income. Avoid the 9 to 5/5 days a week desk job at all costs.
Thanks for sharing Chris – and best wishes for 2013. Looks like you have a busy year ahead. Your books, blogs and inspiration were part of the reason I picked up the courage to start my business in 2012, early days yet but things are going well – keep the updates coming!
BTW when will you be in Ireland next – we have the gathering event running in 2013 – the entire country is focused on welcoming one and all to the country – it’d be great to organise an event for you if your schedule permitted!
Thank you Chris for playing a part in our super successful 2012. WDS 2012 was a highlight. I’m grateful to be a part of the creative, energizing and positive world you have created. Hope to see you soon.
I have a first world solution to your first world problem: let’s make more countries 😉
Start a marketing services company for authors and small publishers.
I totally hear you about the identity crisis with the upcoming completion of your huge goal… maybe kind of like post-partum depression. Anytime that I have given a big project my heart and soul and it comes to a conclusion, I always feel a little sad… brings to mind the Robert Browning quote: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp — or what’s a heaven for?”
But I have no doubt you’ll continue generating big adventures and do much good for the world, Chris!
As for my goal, I want to keep growing my “Liberated Life Project,” launch a series of video interviews with folks who embody the phrase “Liberated Life,” and run another round of my e-course on “Fall in Love with Your Work.” I’ll be busy!
And, maybe I’ll finally get to meet you. Chris. I’m planning a California road trip in the next couple of weeks and will probably be in Santa Cruz around Jan 21… will try to catch your visit there!
Since 2012 was so crappy, I am looking forward to 2013! My plans include starting my own consultant business (learned from $100 Startup). I have an outline for two books to publish online and to start blogging again. Third goal is to get in shape. I also look forward to reading Non-conformist posts.
2013 started early for me. I had planned on finishing my book in January but got inspired and finished at the end of December. My plan is to continue writing daily and work on another book as well as continue my blog. Eating vegan again was my other goal. I grabbed a deal from Heather at healthyeatingstartshere. 28 day menu and motivation. So I’m back in the vegan game. Hoping for a great year. Same to you also.
This year I’m working on continuing with my blog, create more art, and become more social. I’m not a social person by nature, and if I could get away with drawing and staying curled up in a ball without leaving the house or showing anybody anything I would. But since I would love to be a freelance artist, somehow my work has to be out for people to see.
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