My oh my, what a year it’s been! Every week between Christmas and New Years, I take a step back and review my theme, goals, and progress made throughout the previous 365 days.  And while there are still a few days remaining in 2017, I’ll provide a recap of this year and spend the remaining days planning and drafting goals for 2018, which (hopefully) will find its way to my blog.


My theme for this year was synergize. At the end of 2016, my look back at the year caused me to realize I had done a poor job of saying “no.” I had overcommitted myself to too many things that had very little overlap between them.

I made an intentional effort in 2017 to scale back and more importantly, begin reshaping my involvements so they provided more collaborative.

How this played out:

1) I launched a community group for Entrepreneurs – instead of being apart of bible studies, then having a separate group of people I “actually” hung out with, I made them one. Seems simple, but I had a disconnect that needed reconciling.

2) Turning down leadership involvement – There have been quite a few opportunities where I’ve been asked to lead and/or become a member of particular groups. I’ve said no to 90% of these requests but have also countered with a recommendation of someone else in my inner social circle.

3) Travel = Work + Pleasure – In an unexpected turn of events, I’ve been traveling much of this year. In doing so, I’ve overlapped many business trips with get togethers with friends and family. I’ve had the chance to see more family members this year; more than I have in the past decade.

Assessment of “Wheel of Life” goals

I also track goals I set forth at the beginning of each year. They’re broken out across several categories and get measured periodically throughout the year. The numbers represent performance: (actual/goal)


  • Workout at least 3x/week (170/156) – A
    I made it to the gym more often than I expected with my travel schedule. While I surpassed my frequency, I think next year will be divvied out across # of strength training sessions, yoga, and recreational “workouts” (paddle boarding, climbing, frisbee, bowling, etc.) 
  • Weight 195 at +/- 5lb – A
    I’ve stayed rather consistent. I came into the year weighing 190 lb. Throughout the year, I’ve fluctuated from as high as 197lb to as low as 187lb during heavy travel periods. I currently sit at 192. I don’t really have an “ideal” weight, but I do want to keep active and not neglect personal health or nutrition.

Personal Relationships

  • Meet up with Lucas one-on-one 20x this year (18/20) – B
    Fell a little short here. While I had lofty ambitions of meeting up with Lucas, the boy I mentor, once per week at the beginning of the year, Month 2 was when I realized  how often I’d be out of town and was forced to adjust. Twenty was an arbitrary number I plucked out of the sky. Regardless, I adore these times and they keep me grounded, so I will look to continue them in 2018 but at a more realistic count. 
  • Eat dinner with parents once/week (59/52) – A
    I’m proud of this. Even with my travel schedule, I’ve been able to have dinner with my folks at least once per week. This goal was largely encouraged by this blog post by Tim Urban, discussing the brevity of life and more importantly how little time we spend with our parents once we graduate. 
  • Meet up with accountability partners once every other week (9/10) – B
    I started this goal in October. I still haven’t figured out how to meet up with these individuals consistently during the week, especially when travel is involved. 2018 will be focused on ways to better the quality of our time together as well as discovering consistency, especially if in-person meetings aren’t possible.

Spiritual Walk

  • Journal every weekday (268/260) – A
    This has engrained itself into a habit that I do religiously almost every morning. I think my final count may actually be off as I only counted days where I completed a “full” journal cycle at the beginning of the year. Full journal cycle would include: thanksgiving, scripture, prayer, to-dos, goal check, and daily thoughts. I’ll likely write an in-depth blog post on how I journal since a few people have asked me if I could send my template to them. This is something I’m recommitting to in 2018 and hopefully for much longer. 
  • Fast once per month (6/6)  – A
    I began committing to fasting once a month in June of this year. I love it. I don’t necessarily do it for the health benefits. While there’s more and more research emerging on the benefits of intermittent fasting, I do it because of the sense of inner peace and clarity. If you’re curious about the specifics, a typical fast for me runs ~30 hours, from dinner to breakfast of the following day. Something I will likely keep doing once per month in 2018 in tandem with my technology disconnects.


  • Host a dinner once per month (12/12) – A
    I set this goal when I bought my house last year. I wanted to use this as a place to welcome and serve people. I’ve had wonderful conversations and really fun nights around the dinner table and the back porch, conversations that can’t be replicated in public settings. I’ll likely continue this in 2018 but scale back frequency while increasing the # of guests per event.


  • In bed by 10pm, asleep by 10:30 every weekday – sleep 6.5+ hours (202/240) – C
    Yikes. I knew this would be a challenge for me. My circadian rhythm is extremely stubborn and does not do well with changes. My biological clock typically shuts my body down around 10:30pm CST and wakes up at 5:30am CST. But that means 11:30pm EST and 6:30am EST, or 8:30pm PST and 3:30am PST. The shifts in time zones and daylight savings makes this one of the most challenging things for me to adapt to.  I’ll recommit to this in 2018, but if anyone has tips on how to get a better night’s rest, especially traveling across different time zones, I’m all ears. 
  • Travel once per quarter outside of Texas (29/4) – A+
    This was a huge surprise for me. As you can see, I planned to travel outside of Texas once per quarter at the end of 2016. Work blew that number out of the water. I’ve enjoyed the travel, but I also need to learn to balance it with times of being still so I’m not go-go-go all the time. Next year I’ll likely include “still” days where there’s nothing planned on the agenda and I’ll allow my mind to wander. I find this is when I’m at my creative best. Below is the detailed list of destinations this past year. *(v) stands for personal vacation. The rest are work trips, though they often turn into personal trips as well.


  • Charleston, SC
  • Houston, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Orlando, FL
  • NYC, NY
  • Vegas, NV (v)
  • Dallas, TX
  • Charleston, SC
  • Orlando, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Hilton Head, SC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • NYC, NY (v)
  • Washington DC (v)
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charleston, SC
  • NYC, NY
  • Charleston, SC
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Chicago, IL (v)
  • Charleston, SC
  • NYC, NY
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Asheville, NC


  • Sell 2.5MM in revenue ($2,104,015/2,500,000) – B
    Close. Despite falling short, I still feel good about this number. My sales in accrual revenue have averaged 100% annual growth for the past three years, so while I didn’t hit the number, I feel good about the pace I’m learning and iterating. I think 2018 is really when I begin to hit my stride. 
  • Launch XCL group (1/1) – A
    I was very excited to get this group up and off the ground. The vision has been trapped inside me the past year and bits and pieces are beginning to fall into place. While there are some things that still need to be hashed out and I need to do a better job steering the direction of where we’re headed, I can celebrate this year on the quality of individuals and their commitment to the mission. 
  • Pay off 20% of home (25k/25k) – A
    Done. Hated writing the check, but it’s one of those things where the cost benefit analysis makes it worthwhile.

Professional Development

  • Read 24+ books each year (35/24) – A+
    I’ve surpassed this goal by quite a bit. I read (and reread) some really good books this year. In the process, I branched outside my usual faith, business, and leadership genre and explored memoirs and classic literature; I really enjoyed it. I’ll look to intertwine them into my reading list for 2018. If anyone has recommendations on fiction books or memoirs, I’d love to add them to the list. 
    • Meet my 5 mentors once per month (4/5) – B
      I didn’t find a fifth mentor, but I feel good about the ones I have. I’m realizing that once a month for five people isn’t doable alongside everything else, so I’ll likely scale back to once per quarter in 2018. 

    • **Get Bartending License (1/1) – **A
      This was a fun one that wasn’t planned at the end of 2016. I had a sudden urge to learn more about alcohol and mixology so I tacked on bartending class halfway through the year. I realized I had two weeks in Austin between trips so I signed up for a course. It was exhausting but was highly entertaining and highly worth it. Overall, it’s refreshing to go back to a task that doesn’t always require critical thinking; I found it a good change of pace. And worst case scenario, bartending is now my fall back option if this business stuff doesn’t work out. 
    • 45 days of Spanish lessons — every other day (77/45) — A+
      I started this in October and have been taking Duolingo lessons. While it’s likely not conducive to being conversational in Spanish, it’s been a great way for me to learn vocabulary. If I have the time next year, I’ll likely find a tutor and begin more intermediate-type conversational lessons. I’ll probably finish out Duolingo in 2018 and reassess. I really should have listened to my mom and taken Spanish instead of Latin in high school. Won’t make that mistake again.

    New Year. New Better Me.

    That’s the overview of my year. I’m already beginning to think through how I want to be challenged next year, but it’s good to start with an accurate assessment of the current year and reflect on how much growth has taken place.

    If you’re looking to do a little self-reflection at the end of 2017, I’ve attached a resource I refer to before diving into goal-setting. They can be found below.

    Happy New Year, folks. Here’s to many fun and exciting journeys ahead.

      The document for end of year reflection can be found by clicking here.