2016 Review Exercise

One of my many, many emails I get from fellow fitness professionals trying to sell me their programs intrigued me with the headline “Your Must Do Exercise for 2017”.  It was basically an advertisement to sell a $60 journal/planner, and while I have absolutely no desire to pay that much for a planner, I took a look at the exercise.  Even though it was sent by a fitness professional, this exercise had nothing to do with working out.  It was a writing exercise, so I decided I would share it with all of my two followers.

Take a look back at your planners/calendars/journals from 2016.  Then, using your notes as a guide, answer these questions:

  1.  What was the smartest thing you did last year?
  2. What two things do you hope to never happen again?
  3. What were the three most high stress moments from last year?  What could have made them go smoother?
  4. What are four things that went really, really, really well? Why did they go so well?
  5. What were five things you did last year that you could do better?

Some of these questions were simple and fairly easy to answer.  Others I’m still debating the answer after a few days of deliberation.

  1. The smartest thing I did all year was moving to Whidbey.  Getting out of Oregon, finding the writing community, and meeting other like-minded individuals/writers/fitness professionals was the smartest thing I have done since moving to Washington in the first place.
  2. Two things I hope never happen again:
    1. Feeling like I bombed at a presentation/talk
  3. My high stress moments for 2016
    1. Preparing and giving my presentation at the AAZK conference.  One factor that would have made it easier for me was if the conference organizers had given me a clue how many people would potentially have been interested in it.  Other factors that I CAN control were if I had spent more time preparing for it, using my practice sessions more productively, and really focusing on speaking to my audience.
    2. Moving to Whidbey.  Moving is always stressful, even if it’s the best move of your life. Remind me to tell you all the story of our move to Washington from South Carolina.  Best move of our entire lives, and one of the most stressful, filled with illness, flat tires, horrible TSA agents, drugged cats, and everything else you can imagine that could happen moving 3000 miles away.
      That being said, our move to Whidbey would have been less stress if we had been living closer, or hadn’t been in Oregon in the first place.  But we would never have considered Whidbey if we hadn’t experienced Oregon, so this moment proves that some stressful situations have strong benefits.
    3. This Christmas was pretty stressful.  Looking for gifts for my friends, Chris’ family, and all the beautiful children that I just don’t know that well was HARD!  Of course, if I knew them better or spent more time with all of them, it would be so much easier.  But that’s easier said than done.  My friends and family live in South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky.  I live in Washington.  Having a little bit more money would be helpful too, but I am learning to live frugally, and I will say this year was one of the better years for Christmas on a budget.
  4. Four things that went really well
    1. Whidbey Triathlon- my first participation in a triathlon in any capacity was me joining a team for the swim portion.  I rocked it, mainly because I prepared and practiced, but also because I had two kick-ass team members!
    2. Getting my CrossFit Level 1 Certification- I studied.  A LOT!  That has it’s advantages, apparently.
    3. My last Toastmasters speech of 2016- I told a story of my relationship with Hekili from when I was an Animal Care Specialist at SeaWorld.  Hekili was one of my favorite animals I’ve worked with and we had a special bond.  I think this speech went so well because I told a story rather than tried to lecture my audience.  This is a good lesson, and probably why I bombed my workshop.  I need to share more stories!
    4. And for the life of me I can’t figure out WHY this went so well, but this summer I ran a kids’ fitness class we called ZooFit.  While kids are not particularly my forte, I will admit that the class was a lot of fun.  I was able to have a little creative license in designing classes.  We got to romp and play outdoors, act like animals, and I was able to impart some animal facts to young kids.  They loved it, the parents loved it.  I actually had a decent time.  But for some strange reason, after I returned from vacation in the fall, we tried to do the class again, and it bombed.  We got no interest from parents or kids. What gives?
  5. What are five things that could have been better?
    1. My writing- spending more time on it, focusing more on it, disciplining myself to work on it, doing what I said I was going to do….
    2. My presentation at AAZK conference.  While I don’t plan on presenting at a conference in the same fashion as I did in Memphis, preparing more for presentations, talks, and interviews would greatly benefit my projects.
    3. EarthFit Bootcamp- October was a decent practice session, but if I want to see people get truly excited about Conservation Fitness, I need to up my game and produce a high quality, truly professional program.  We’ll see in April when I get a second chance.
    4. Eating well.  Okay, I admit, I didn’t eat this entire year as good as I should have.  I avoided palm oil.  I ate locally produced goods, including a bunch of produce I grew in my own garden.  But I didn’t eat as well as I should have.  This year I am upping my game in the processed food department.  In addition to avoiding palm oil, I am also cutting out all corn syrup.  This means no more Sour Patch Kids, marshmallows, or certain fruit snacks that are full of empty calories. I hope this is my game changer this year to eating better.
    5. Winter Warrior Fitness Challenge- like my EarthFit Bootcamp, my first attempt at writing a fitness challenge guide with meal plans and recipes wasn’t too bad for a novice, but for the next challenge I need to make it even better- easier to follow, more balanced meals, more healthy variety.  I’m hoping for my next chance in the spring when I try to sell “Spring Into Life”.


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