What an amazing year 2016 has been! This has certainly been the fullest year of my life so far. I’m excited to share you some thoughts, lessons, and achievements from 2016.
This is the fourth year I have published my annual review and goals for the upcoming year. If you are curious about how I have honed the process, here are the yearly reviews for 2013, 2014, 2015 and the goals setting posts for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. This annual review process is inspired by Chris Guillebeau who has been publishing his annual reviews for several years and has a free spreadsheet for you to download and do you own review.
Because I am largely an optimistic person by nature, I tend to look back at most things as having been successful. And of this positive bias, this process is valuable because it enables me to take a brutally honest look at what did not go well, so that I can keep learning and improving. If you are someone who sometimes feels you have not gotten much done this year, you might actually be surprised once you go through this review process as we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can achieve in a year.
This post will look at what went well and what did not for 2016. My hope for sharing this is to both inspire you to conduct your own annual review, and to give some insight into how I structure the process and reflect upon my year.
- Speaking in front of 500+ people, 20+ speaking days
- Launched Uncharted Family Podcast
- Successful Conductors book pre sale campaign. We raised $7275 for the book and are talking with publishers now. It took lots of personal emails and phone calls, plus some sponsors and trading speaking for bulk orders of books.
- Coaching: More than a dozen new business clients. I’ve niched down to focus on adventurous entrepreneurs who want to start a business so they can travel the world full time.
- Art of Adventure podcast surpassed 100,000 downloads
- Over 50 videos recorded, surpassed 100,000 views on Facebook and YouTube, thanks to the Facebook algorithm favoring videos. Plus over 10 hours of live video broadcasts.
- Moved to St. Louis and connected with hundreds of entrepreneurs (a “Boomerang” as termed by Travis Sheridan, director of Venture Cafe in his AOA interview)
- Face to face with a Mountain Lion
- New Countries: Belgium, China
- US National Parks: Redwoods, Joshua Tree, Saguaro
- AdventureQuest in Bali
- Uluwatu, Bali
- Wreck diving, Bali
- Ozark River Canoeing, USA
- Mt. Shasta
- Moved back to St. Louis, MO
- Played in the Bali Nusantara Frisbee Tournament. This was really cool and one of my key 2016 goals. Our Bali pickup group practiced for several weeks and the level of play went up dramatically when we returned to our casual games.
- Podium in a Pro Cyclocross race. After 8 races, I was finally able to get enough fitness and handling skills back to crack the podium with a 3rd place – getting back in shape is hard!
- Frisbee League in St. Louis. This is a coed league and most players are vastly more experienced and many are more athletic, definitely a challenge.
- Learned Standup Paddle-board Surfing – my new favorite type of surfing.
- Regular dancing in Bali. I can’t believe I didn’t dance more growing up!
- 7 day water fast. This was much harder than I expected it to be. I wanted to get to a point of ketosis and have lots of energy, but it never happened and I was just tired the whole time. Interestingly I did an interview with Sir John Hargrave at this time, who was 14 days in to a 21 day fast and we were able to compare notes (He fared much better).
- Ayahuasca Ceremony. I did a three day ceremony in Bali in March (more on this in a separate post and podcast episode).
- Kambo Ceremony. Amazonian frog medicine – it was like hell for 15 minutes and I felt great afterwards – but then I always feel great.
- Session with an Oracle. Aveen Banich is a board certified ophthalmologist who has trained for over a decade to understand her visions beyond our plane of reality. I had an amazing call with her, which led me to begin seeking a business partner and recording my dreams.
- Vision Quest in Montana. I headed to the back woods of Montana for four days of fasting and journaling before Axel was born. I jumped in the glacial lake and was cold for 12 hours! I didn’t get any amazing realization, but I did reconnect with nature.
- Increased coaching income to 4-5 figures/month. It took a lot of coaching hours to feel comfortable raising my rates and being convicted of the value of my work.
- Raised $600 (through parties) and donated $2000 to charity. We got the year off to a good start with a NYE party for charity and held four successful theme parties for charity.
- My son was born November 23! Axel Wind Wayan Loudermilk. Check out my episode on Uncharted Family about how we chose his name – Axel means “King of Peace”, Wind came to me in meditation and is linked to Heidi’s Anisazi Foundation trail name, and Wayan is Balinese for “Firstborn”
- I found and built an amazing relationship with Axel’s mama and my partner, Heidi Van Campen
- Journaling about Axel’s birth. I wrote dozens of pages during my vision quest in Montana and continue to write regularly about my experience as a new father. I think that I have experienced as many feelings in the last month as I have in my whole life.
- Non Violent Communication. After a recommendation from a friend, I studied NVC and I use it just about every day in all my relationships – it helps me understand other’s experiences so much more clearly and without judgement.
Bucket List Items Achieved
- Became Lord Derek Loudermilk of Sealand (quest for noble title).
- Drank the best beer in the world: Westvleteren #12. When I was in Belgium for the Travel Storytelling Festival, I took a trip out to Brugge and found a shop selling individual bottles for 15 Euro.
- Painted first Graffiti. One night, I was dropping a friend off and I met some Balinese kids doing graffiti and they invited me back the next day to do my own. I couldn’t think of anything good to write so I just wrote my initials – DRL – it turned out pretty cool though.
- Have my own theme song: Flow by DJ Freccero
- Start a family
- Learn a magic trick
- Podcast to 100K downloads
- Ayahuasca Ceremony
What did not go well in 2016
- I did not learn Indonesian or Balinese- which was one of my main 2016 goals. I did brush up on my Spanish with Duolingo in preparation for an eventual move to South America.
- I had to cut back on my reading volume due to preparing for Axel’s birth (about 70 books this year instead of 100)
- My email list did not grow much – My goal was to grow my list past 3000 and I only grew it by 100 or so.
- I hosted many small events – parties, coworking, and AdventureQuest, but did not put together a big event or conference like I had planned.
- I did not create a complete online course. My online teaching was limited to mostly Facebook Live topics around Conductors (I did over 10 hours of live video broadcasts however). I am ready to create one in 2017 thanks to the Great ECourse Adventure