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Book writing. I wrote a book! (Well, mostly.) In last year’s review, I shared that my biggest failure during 2016 was not finishing my book. Naturally, completing the manuscript became my primary area of focus for 2017.

I finished the first draft of the manuscript in November, and we’re working on edits now. There are still many improvements to make and, truthfully, a few months of work left, but it feels really good to see literally years of work all coming together.

Writing this book has been the most challenging professional project of my young career. My brain seems to be good at doing things on shorter time scales (e.g. going to the gym each day, writing weekly articles), but maintaining focus on the same project month after month is not natural for me. I’ve learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses during the process, and I’ll be sharing more about that once it’s all said and done.

Systems building. Because I spent nearly all of my time writing the book, I had virtually no time to work on the other aspects of my business, which, you can imagine, also happen to be fairly important. Thankfully, my business still had a great year because, with the help of my assistant Lyndsey, we have built a variety of systems that enable the business to run without constant attention from me. These include systems for selling The Habits Academy, sending out email newsletters, driving new traffic, and more.

As a result, we had a great year. Here are some quick stats…

  • 216,415 new email subscribers this year
  • 327,105 total email subscribers as of December 31, 2017 
  • 9,333,641 unique visitors this year
  • 26,044,115 unique visitors since launching on November 12, 2012

I work on this business every day, but some of these numbers still surprise me. Twenty-six million people have read my writing in the last five years. That seems impossible. Of course, before I get too self-congratulatory, I should point out that I have friends who get more visitors in one month than I got all last year, so there is still plenty of room for improvement. But still. I never thought my ideas would have an audience like this. It’s crazy.

Weightlifting. Exercise is a core part of my life. Regular readers will know that I have a background as a college athlete and that I’ve been training regularly in the gym for almost a decade now, but this past year was my most consistent year yet.

In 2017, I exercised 188 times for an average of 15.7 workouts per month. My typical training session lasts about 45 minutes to 1 hour. My focus remains on building strength, and every training session includes lifts like the squat, bench press, deadlift, and clean and jerk. I’ve written about my process for recording my workouts previously and I’m still following that format.