2016 was a good year for me. By far my most productive. But then again comparing something to nothing looks like a lot.
My first look back came in a Facebook post a year after back surgery. Apparently recovery was the kick in the ass I needed. I just wish the kick was a lot less surgery and more of an epiphany in the stars or some other hippy nonsense.
These are what I accomplished this year personally and the progress of Aesthetic Physiques.
WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN 2016
HELPED MY DAD LOSE WEIGHT
For as long as I remember my mom has been trying to get my dad to lose weight without success. I found the Slow Carb Diet and for the first time since middle school my dad is below 200lbs. All without doing any exercise.
Most importantly his rock bottom has gotten higher. Meaning when he falls off the wagon he gets right back on without unravelling his success too much.
HAD MY FIRST (NON-FAMILY) SUCCESS STORY
I’m sure you’ve seen the story I put up about Joe. If you haven’t go check it out, I’ll wait.
Helping people like Joe and my dad are worth all the hours I put into this website. Besides that, Joe is a great guy who deserves all the success that comes his way.
INCREASE VIEWS TO 2000+ A MONTH
At the start of the year I would be lucky to get 100 people to the site. Then I figured out that if no one shares your stuff on Facebook, very few people will see it even if they Like my page. So more shares will tell Facebook to put the post in front of more people. Moral of the story, share my posts! Please and thank you.
The biggest bump this year came from my post on Anabolic Fasting, the diet from Cory Gregory. I’d like to say I planned this post but I was just documenting what I was doing. Apparently, people were looking for something like this.
GET MORE INVOLVEMENT WITH CHALLENGES
What is going to make or break Aesthetic Physiques is the community aspect. Without involvement from the readers I’m basically talking to myself. With a community, there is accountability, friendships and most important support when you don’t feel like working out or eating healthy.
This was one of the reasons I started the 30 Day Challenges. I want people to come together to push themselves beyond what they thought they could all while maybe making some new friends.
IMPROVED MY WRITING
When I started Aesthetic Physiques in June of 2015 I had no clue what I was doing and hadn’t written anything creative since 3rd grade. If you are wondering I wrote a short story called “The Day I Got Hair Like Don King”. It was probably my best work to date.
Over 2016 I feel like my work has only improved in content, structure and consistency. Yea there are some strange ones, but I’d like to think I hit on more than I missed.
What’s the best way to get in front of people that have no idea you exist? Go to where they are already looking. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I was able to get published by two websites (The Huffington Post and The Distilled Man) that already have a huge audience.
This was a big step and confidence boost for me. This is going to play a huge roll in 2017.
GAINED 15 LBS. OF MUSCLE
The winter of 2015-2016 was the quarter of Deadlift Everyday. Max deadlifts for 125 straight days really makes you question how hard you had been working out previously. In that time, I was able to pack on 15 lbs. of muscle and finally start lifting some serious weight (for me).
This also got me to love lifting really heavy. Something I hadn’t done with a lot of drive before.
DEADLIFT EVERYDAY FOR 125 DAYS
Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t lift heavy every day because it will lead to overtraining. Well you can shit on that, because I did.
Deadlifting everyday was first and foremost to help my lower back get stronger and second to try something that people say I couldn’t do.
What happened was me getting stronger than I’ve ever been, falling in love with heavy lifting and it made me start questioning everything that is “conventional wisdom” related to lifting.
Overall I’d say it was a success.
PUBLISHED BEGINNERS GUIDE TO FITNESS
I wrote my 2nd ebook “The Beginner’s Guide to Fitness” and released it on Amazon and Smashwords earlier this fall. The Beginner’s Guide to Fitness outlines everything you need to start getting healthy from motivation to nutrition to your first workout program.
Plus it’s only .99 so even if it sucks, you didn’t lose much.
Directly loading up my spine gave me nightmares for 2 years. That’s how I had hurt my back so I found it to be a justifiable fear. This year I wanted to squat again. So the 30 Day Squat Challenge was born.
I am now squatting 2-3 times a week. As of this writing, I had just hit a PR of 225 for 5 reps. Not a lot of weight based on my size but it was a milestone and I owned it.
I started by doing bodyweight squats then progressed to the bar and eventually added more and more weight. It’s a very humbling feeling when a 130lb girl is squatting more than you. But I trusted the process and kept looking forward.
I took it slow, never pushed it to failure and stopped when I felt my form slipping. Slow progress is better than no progress and everything is better than being layed up.
TRAVELED TO GREECE AND SAN FRANCISCO
My wife and I went to Greece and Turkey this April and then San Francisco in October. I love the ancient history of Greece and Italy (I recommend Italy over Greece btw) but most importantly, I love seeing other cultures and eating their food. From Greece, I developed a love for Greek coffee (or Turkish coffee) and now make my own bastardized version on the weekends. I also ate more moussaka than I ever wanted to.
While out in San Francisco we did all the touristy stuff; Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Muir Woods and rode a cable car. We also hit Napa Valley for a wine tour. I love me some wine!
I was able to cross off 4 things from my bucket with these 2 trips.
I’ve read more books this year than I have the rest of my life. To date I’ve read 12 books and they weren’t picture books either!
Starting a reading habit by setting aside 20 minutes every morning before I leave has been a complete game changer.
TOUCHED MY TOES
This might sound peculiar but I had never been able to touch my toes with a straight leg prior to this year. In an effort to increase flexibility, I added stretching to my workout routine this year.
This has done wonders for my hips and back after a long day of sitting. No more back pain and I’m 43% of the way to being Gumby.
WHAT IS TO COME IN 2017
GET 5000 VIEWS IN ONE MONTH
The most views I’ve had in one month was 3000 during the Squat Challenge. If I can increase that to 4000-5000 views by year end through challenges, social media and guest posting I think I’ll be in a good spot to eventually transition out of my day job and focus on Aesthetic Physiques full time.
DO 2-3 GUEST POST EVERY 6 MONTHS
2017 is going to be the year I spread my seed all over the internet. Yes, you read that right.
I plan on submitting posts to top fitness websites starting this month. What better way to get street cred than to be published where the pros are?
GET A COURSE OUT
I hesitate to call Aesthetic Physiques a business because a business requires money transactions. As of now there aren’t any.
Well that’s going to change in 2017. I’m going to be coming out with a comprehensive course to help you get in shape. I’ll cover motivation, nutrition and workouts. It’ll be big and worth every penny.
I’ll keep you updated on the status of that project as I get closer to releasing it.
START MY OWN CLOTHING LINE
I’m starting my own clothing line. It was supposed to be a 2016 thing but some problems arose, so 2017 it is!
At first it will be just t-shirts (slim and normal fit) but eventually I’d like to add some sweatshirts and other stuff. Be on the lookout for that here.
START A COMMUNITY
Again another 2016 goal but there were a few things in the background I had to clean up prior to putting in a community page. Like I said earlier, a community will be the only way this website survives. This is why I put the Your Turn section into the posts and put the Contact Me page up.
I want to start a community where people can help and support each other getting healthy and reach any goals they may have. Having someone there to support you when you want to take a nap is going to be the difference between you becoming a better version of yourself and you being the person that peaked in high school.
My wife is from the Middle East (no she isn’t a terrorist, I asked before we started dating) and we might be heading to Jordan for a family member’s wedding sometime in 2017. I figured I would learn conversational Arabic prior to leaving just so I’m not the stupid American sitting in the corner.
I’ve been saying I wanted to pick this up for the past 3 years but this time it’s going to stick. Plus, it will give me brownie points with the in-laws. Best son-in-law award coming to this guy!
Ahh, the fickle bitch that is abs. Starting in January, I’m going hardcore diet so my abs can come out to play for the summer. I’ll be using all my tricks that I’ve outlined to keep myself committed to the cause. 2016 was about strength, 2017 is about aesthetics.
I’ll be posting everything on Instagram, so if you want to see what it takes, follow me on the gram as the kids say.
DEADLIFT 500 AND SQUAT 315
In addition to getting abs, I want to hit all time PRs in deadlifts and squats. To date the most I’ve ever deadlifted was 385lbs and squat I believe was around 250lbs.
It’ll be a tall task, but if I keep progressing the way I have and not get stupid about it, I’ll have no problem hitting those numbers. Not bad numbers for a guy that’s missing some of his spine.
PULL OFF A KICK ASS BEST MAN SPEECH
My best friend is getting married in September and I’m doing my first best man speech. I’m not good at public speaking but I want to knock this one out of the park because he did such a great job for my wedding.
If I can get people to laugh, I’ll consider that a win. If I can make someone spit out their drink, then I might just pull a Costanza.
GET INTO BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
I work out like an athlete and a bodybuilder, I know nothing else. A lot of people want to exercise at home with limited equipment so I need add more to my repertoire. I’ll be starting Gymnastics Strength Training in the winter to kick that off.
It will help me better serve you and selfishly it will help me get more flexible and increase my strength.
What are some things that you’ve been putting off for a while that you finally want to tackle next year?
What are your goals for 2017 and how are you going to succeed?
If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. 2 out of 3 people are obese today, let’s start a change.