2017 Personal Review

Summarizing an entire year is difficult, especially if you’re like me and want to capture every detail.

So I’ll frame this past year using something that hasn’t changed – my values.

Here was my 2017 through the lens of health, wealth and relationships.
(Click on each to jump to that section. With one bonus category: travel)

Health in 2017

Fasting

While I’ve been intermittently fasting for the past 2 years, it’s always been daunting to do longer fasts. My first successful 36 hour fast was jumpstarted by the flu.

Since then, I’ve turned to water fast to increase my recovery rate, from the cold to unexplained skin rashes. It’s also helpful to jumpstart a “cut” to reduce belly fat. I’m now a fan.

If you ever have an unexplained medical non-emergency, I recommend looking into fasting as a potential recovery tool.

Skin Health

For the first time in my life, I had skin problems. Unexplained rashes, itches, and ending 2017 with unexplained hives. While I’m grateful the problem is temporary rather than permanent, it’s a reminder that my body is always changing (and aging).

These skin problems made me more empathetic to my mom and other friends who’ve struggled with eczema all their lives.

I looked into natural and diet-based approaches, and taking Vitamin D + Calcium has helped more than taking a cocktail of prescription drugs.

I’m now more aware of skin health and factors that affect it, from the products I use to re-evaluating the foods in my diet. Speaking of which…

Diet

Ever since reading this resource-use-by-protein chart, I’ve drastically reduced my beef consumption. I no longer buy beef from the grocery store, but still enjoy it when eating out.

2017-annual-review-health-reduce-beef-consumption
Yup, those tall ass bars belong to beef.

I’ve adopted much more of a canned-food diet by consuming sardines and oysters (which are also very high in protein).

I’ve also flirted with vegetarianism this year. There were days in which I “forgot” to eat meat, so now I don’t think a vege/vegan based diet is not out of reach if I really wanted to experiment with it.

The results? I look and feel just as healthy as before, while spending considerably less money on groceries.

Mobility

I used to be uncomfortable just sitting cross legged for a few minutes.

Then I discovered yin yoga this year, which focuses on holding stretches in a meditative state.

After practicing this type of yoga, I can sit comfortably cross legged for up to an hour at a time. The increased flexibility and joint comforts are real.

I look forward to developing my flexibility through deeper poses. All of which I’m excited to practice in my…

Home gym

I’ve had a power rack + barbell set for 3 years now. Working out of my garage has been a pleasure in terms of time & cost savings from not going to the gym.

But my garage was always messy and dusty, so I thoroughly cleaned it up and installed gym matting. What a difference!

fitness-health-2017-annual-review-home-gym

Transforming my garage did wonders for my workout habit. I spend more time in the garage stretching and rolling about now, because the space is more comfortable to play in.

If you’re in LA, hit me up for a workout.

Giving up porn for a year

As I edge closer to 30, I no longer want porn in my life. Porn is like fast food for one’s sex life: unhealthy for the mind.

Ever since my niece was born, I’ve become more conscious of how women are portrayed in media and how I can improve my mental orientation towards women.

I figured – if I can give up porn for a year (I actually started beginning of December), then I can give it up for life.

Funny detail: I made a bet with 4 friends that if I fail with this challenge (honor code), then I have to split one bitcoin between the 4 of them. This is a lot of money. The challenge is called Bitcoin or Bust 😂

Health going into 2018

fitness-health-2017-annual-review-back-muscles

Going into 2018, I look forward to…

  • Achieving the lotus-sitting pose.
  • Returning to meditation (I restarted my Headspace subscription)
  • Returning to a physical group activity. I’m choosing between salsa dance, rock climbing and volleyball.

Wealth & Career in 2017

Writing as my strength

I’m no stranger to changing careers. I dodged a trajectory into accounting to become a business analyst, then became a UX Designer, then transitioned to writer-digital-marketing type of person.

This past spring, I had a big realization. Writing and storytelling has underpinned every one of my career changes. Unlike my previous assumption, I can actually make money writing and blogging.

I also dreamed up a new dream – make a living writing about anything I want while building an engaged audience.

It’s with this dream that I enter 2018 confidently to build a career around writing and content strategy.

Cryptocurrency

While my income took a hit during this career transition, investing in cryptocurrency has been a wild ride.

Crypto is risky, interesting, and the biggest black swan investment opportunity I’ve seen in my lifetime.

I won’t be buying Lambos anytime soon, but cryptocurrency is now an integral part of my personal finance portfolio.

I’ll be blogging a lot more about cryptocurrency – if you’re into it, read my introductory crypto guides.

Wealth going into 2018

Going into 2018, I’m looking forward to…

  • Get my writing into 5 top publications
  • Deepening my cryptocurrency & investment knowledge
  • Starting a podcast (more details soon!)

Relationships in 2017

Dinner with Strangers

This past September, I was inspired by the idea of second degree dinners and started my own.

Since then I’ve hosted 5 Dinner with Strangers events – and it’s one of the most fun things I did this year.

second-degree-dinner-with-strangers-annual-review

As someone who works solo most of my days, the format of eating + conversation helped bring back a sense of community into my life.

Romance

2017 started with meeting an amazing girl and having that relationship crash and burn real fast. But in those ashes, I learned a lot about myself.

I realized that I was good enough.

I learned to love myself.

And I decided that I’m ready for a real relationship.

I used to operate in the gray zone of dating, undecided if I wanted to just meet new people or date someone seriously. I also had some hidden shame of wanting a girlfriend, for fear of seeming desperate.

Reading Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It changed everything:

The book was a powerful reminder to love myself, and embrace what I want. This means saying no to situationships and gray zones, which frees up my energy to pursue only serious romantic interests.

My growing family

This year, I saw the birth of my beautiful baby niece and nephew!

2017-annual-review-nephew-family

Holding my sisters’ kids in my arms reaffirmed 2 things for me…

  1. I do want kids someday.
  2. I ain’t ready for that shit!

Until then I’ll strive to be my nieces’ & nephews’ eccentric uncle.

Relationships going into 2018

Going into 2018, I’m looking forward to…

Bonus: Travel in 2017

2017 was my biggest travel year. I spent 8 weeks on the road…

  • Eating the best beef in Argentina, learned to appreciate wine a little more
  • Touring the bohemian art city of Valparaiso, Chile
  • Taking selfies at Macchu Picchu (of course)
  • Falling in love with Mexico City

I did this trip with two clear goals: increase my Spanish comprehension and give true nomad’ing a shot.

2017-annual-review-travel-machu-picchu
Possibly the best Machu Picchu pic ever

Two months traveling and working remotely gave me a new insight – I was chasing the identity of being a digital nomad. There were times in which I found myself caring more about projecting the lifestyle of a digital nomad, more so than really getting to know a new place and it’s people.

Fortunately, I was able to change my tune once I got to Mexico City, an amazing destination that may end up being my “second city” outside of LA. Now I care more about finding the gems that I want to continually return to, rather than crossing off new countries off a list.

I did return from the trip with stronger español. To maintain and grow my fluency, I enrolled in Baselang, an unlimited Spanish tutoring service for a monthly fee. Vale la pena (worth it) if you’re looking for consistent Spanish conversation practice.

Travel going into 2018

blog-mexico-city-decoration

Going into 2018, I’m looking forward to…

  • Touring Spain (first time!) in May 2018.
  • Revisiting Mexico City
  • Coachella 2018?

A Great Year Behind, a Full Year Ahead

Taking the time to write this turned out to be the ultimate gratitude exercise.

I’m so grateful for everything I was able to experience – my cup truly overflows.

Thank you for reading, adding to my experience, and for those of you who know – being in my life. Cheers to a great 2018.

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