I’m not here to talk about all the amazing things I accomplished in 2018 or even talk about 2019 New Years resolutions (because I don’t believe in them).

I recently read James Clear’s Atomic Habits and one of the habits he’s established is to do an annual review of himself. He answers three questions, and I will too:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

What went well?


I got married! After dating for two years and being engaged for a year, Monique and I finally got married. The day was perfect. Also, I cried... A LOT. Marriage is even better than I expected.

Side projects:

I started stuff! That stuff includes: TL;DR newsletter, Cultivate & Keep, The Diary Of An Indie Hacker, finally setting up my personal website, Indie Hackers of San Diego, Unconventional eBook. Maybe by the end of the year I'll finish up a couple others I've been working on.

New opportunities:

I became the Head of Growth for Baremetrics. It was so hard to leave Cordial and I'm grateful beyond words for the company and everyone there. I'm excited to the turn the page on this new chapter of my career!


I did more reading than I have ever before. I even read 4 books in 9 days while on vacation in Hawaii. The full list of books I read are:

  • Atomic Habits
  • It doesn't have to be crazy at work
  • Half way through 12 rules for life
  • Tribes
  • Getting Real
  • Essentialism
  • Hooked
  • Wild at Heart
  • Rework
  • Shoe Dog
  • Managing Oneself
  • Growth Hacker Marketing
  • Anything You Want
  • Visioneering

Reading has been so liberating. Something I’ve learned is that there’s no right or wrong way to read. Skip around, read multiple at once, don’t finish the ones you’re not interested in any more. It doesn’t matter. Just read.


We were lucky enough to find incredible deals and opportunities to do more traveling than we've ever been able to before. We went to Cancun on our honeymoon, to Seattle with friends, Hawaii on vacation with Monique's family, and to Boston for a marketing conference.

What didn’t go so well?

Diet & exercise:

Admittedly, I've loosened up a bit since getting married. Eating out, forgoing the morning workout, and having an extra serving or two have been all too tempting, too many times. I'm excited that we're really getting better about this and establishing new habits and routines that we really enjoy, but a "failure" on my part nonetheless.

Family losses:

Life has funny timing. My grandpa passed the night of my wedding rehearsal dinner and my father passed the day after I accepted a new job. I'll get around to writing more about this soon.


I always knew having a budget was important. What I realize now is that sticking to the budget is what really matters. It’s one thing to have a budget but it’s another thing to actually use your budget. Thankfully, we don’t have any debt, but we consistently spent as much as we earned. Hindsight is 20/20: every dollar that you spend is money not being saved.


I’ve never struggled with focus before. I have one important thing... and I do that one thing. But what happens when you have 3 important things? It gets messy. Instead of focusing on three different things at three different times, my focus was split (and not focus anymore) between three things vying for my attention simultaneously. Some fantastic lessons from both Seth Godin and James Clear have helped me realize that deep work requires uninterrupted and focused work for an extended period of time in a specific place and at a specific time.


The two hobbies I've always really enjoyed are playing guitar and basketball. Not exceptional at either, but some of my favorite things to do. I've basically given up both this year and haven't paid any attention to either. And I really miss them.

What did I learn?

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable:

The fact is that the good things in life (fulfillment, joy, health, wealth) are hard. The bad things in life (hardship, poverty, illness) are easy. So instead of resisting what’s hard, embrace it. Rethink the signals you perceive as bad (fear, discomfort, strain) and reframe them to be what’s good.

Challenge conventions and best practices:

Goodbyes are hard:

Moving out of my parents house, my grandpa’s passing, my dad’s passing, leaving a job I loved — saying goodbye is never easy. I haven’t had to say goodbye like this before. As cliche as it is, “goodbyes are never forever.”

Face yourself:

Marriage doesn’t force you deal with someone else, it forces you to deal with yourself.

Connect with more marketers:

I really want/need to get more involved with the SaaS community, other marketers here in SD, people who I can get advice from, and aspiring/current entrepreneurs

Habits are everything:

James Clear says in his book that every action is a vote towards the person you want to be. Don’t think about the things you need to do; think about the person you want to be. Now I understand: habits aren’t about doing more or less of something, it’s about becoming someone.

2018 was both the most rewarding and the most challenging year of my life so far. Rewarding in that I married the love of my life, moved into a rockin' apartment in one of our favorite areas of the city, have a fantastic job and career progression, and have been able to achieve some great things. Challenging in that I've learned some lessons the hard way and lost some really important people in my life.

That doesn't change the fact that I'm grateful for everything and will continue to lean in to what God has for me.

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