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As 2012 comes to an end, I want to take some time and review both what went well and what didn’t in the previous year.

What went well

2012 was a year of milestones, transitions, and firsts.

I graduated from Westmont College with a degree in Communication Studies. One of the best days of my life. There is nothing like seeing the culmination of your efforts over several years, and getting to share that moment with the family and friends you love the most. Truly an amazing experience. 

With the end of college, it was time to start making some money, and in 2012 I started two jobs. The first was in January with AppFolio. They are a property management software solution and were a wonderful company to work for. I worked for them for 3 months, and along the way I had a great time meeting some really amazing people and learning about a new industry.

However, during my time with AppFolio, I received an offer from Citibank to join their Commercial Banking Credit Program. This is a pretty incredible program that I am currently going through, and it involves formal credit training and gives me the opportunity to learn a ton and meet a lot of people. It was tough to leave AppFolio, but this program was too good to pass up.

With the new job with Citi came the opportunity to live in New York City for 6 weeks as part of training/orientation (I also get to go back in 2 weeks for 10 weeks, but I’ll talk about that later). Born and raised in Southern California my whole life, New York City was a completely different animal. Everywhere you turned there were buildings towering above, and the whole city was just so fast. I was truly blessed to meet some amazing friends out there, and I am excited to spend more time with them in a few weeks.

Shortly after graduating, and after months of hard work in the gym, I finally dunked in a game. This was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. As a kid, you watch all the high flyers in the NBA and only dream of soaring and slamming the ball through the rim, and I finally did it (and several times since).

In June of 2012, I traveled with three of my friends from high school to Costa Rica. This was my first real time traveling out of the country, and I absolutely loved it. Costa Rica is such a fantastic country: the people are so kind and happy, there is endless activity and adventure, and it is completely beautiful. While we were there, I got to surf, ride horses, zipline, ride ATVs, kayak, snorkel, go white water rafting, go caving, and rappel down waterfalls. Simply an awesome time.

Joe tattooI also got a tattoo . It is on the inside of my left bicep and says “Arete.” It is a Greek word that doesn’t have a literal English translation (feel free to look it up on Wikipedia for more information), but in essence it means living life with excellence and virtue in everything you do and living life to the fullest. I learned about this word in one of my communication classes in the fall of 2011 and loved what the word meant and thought it was a fantastic way to live life. I had always wanted to get a tattoo, and one day realized that I had to just do it. I could debate the pros and cons endlessly, but I needed to act. So I went out and got it, and I love it!

In September, my dad and I launched The Unlimited Project! While it has been time consuming at points, I am so thrilled with our decision and have loved every moment of it. Every day brings with it new ideas, opportunities, and adventures. I can’t wait to see what will unfold in 2013 (and you will get a little preview in the next post).

As a challenge to myself, I completed a 31 day Paleo diet challenge. This is easily one of the most difficult things I have done to date and every day tested my willpower. Fortunately, I made it through, and eating that first burrito the day before Christmas might have been the greatest gift of all. While I appreciated the experience, there is no way I will follow a strict Paleo diet going forward. I like a little bit of carbs in my life, and definitely will be reinstating items like black beans, oatmeal, and popcorn back in my life.

With the help of the awesome team at the Westmont Business Society, I hosted and put on the first Business Idea Competition at Westmont College and had the honor of donating $1000 to the winning team.

I also tried out Krav Maga, line dancing, and salsa dancing. All three were interesting activities, and I will see if I continue to pursue them in the future.

What Did Not Go Well In 2012

2012 was an awesome year and I loved every minute of it. That being said, there are still (and always is) room for improvement.

The biggest area for improvement is prioritization. A lot of time, I get too many ideas and overextend myself. I want to do a million things, and as a result, I do a lot of things poorly, or things get left by the wayside. I need to realize that I only have so many hours and the day and need to choose which items are most important. So often, I want to work out for an hour, play basketball for two, work on the blog, hang out with friends and family, and learn a new skill, all while working at Citi for 8 hours. Quite simply, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and sleep is one of the first things to go (as my friend Chris says, there is time to sleep when you are dead. I believe in this and often only sleep 6 hours a night). I need to focus and prioritize on what is most important and what I want to pursue. While a lot of different things may sound cool, I need to establish which ones are worth my time and energy. I need to ask myself, do I really want it, or just kind of want it?

That is why, in my next post where I look forward to my goals and pursuits for 2013, I am going to break down and emphasize key action items rather than a million small things. The goals will still be lofty and will take everything I have to pursue them, yet not to the point where I am half-heartedly pursuing a bunch of different things.

The other item for improvement is balance. I have this passion to succeed and help others, yet sometimes I need to take a step back, relax for a second, and enjoy all that life has to offer. That isn’t to say that I get complacent or lazy, but that I don’t want to be going so hard that I wonder where all the time has gone. I don’t want to miss out on valuable time spent with friends and family. Balance is a focus for 2013 as well.

Going Forward

This post focused on what went well and what didn’t in 2012. In my next post, I will discuss my goals and pursuits for 2013.

Now it’s your turn. What’s one thing that went well in 2012 and one thing that didn’t. Feel free to leave a comment below or share with us on Facebook.

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Top image courtesy of dicktay2000

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