2016 you slippery devil. The general consensus is that 2016 was the worst. I tend to disagree. Yes, we had to listen two highly unlikable humans argue for 9 months, withstand non-stop media coverage, our grabby president elect seems to have a fairly loose grip (see what I did there) on reality, and the Gators and the Bills were weak-sauce. But I’d make the case for optimism as follows:

  1. In 2016 Travel is cheaper than any point in history, you can travel far for very little % of an average income. I just bought a flight to Cuba for 300 bucks RT. Cuba.
  2. In 2016 Almost every city in America makes at least one outstanding beer.
  3. In 2016 You can get groceries, meals, or take out delivered to your home without ever talking to a human.
  4. In 2016 The quality TV, podcasts, sporting events (world series anyone?),  is at an all-time high.
  5. In 2016 You can see an Instagram of a place like the Trolltunga half way around the world, and actually go there.
  6. In 2016 There are literal self-driving cars, virtual reality, and virtual assistants.
  7. In 2016 You can start a real, profitable business for $100 bucks. It has never been easier to build your own path upward. If they tell you otherwise, move along.

I recommend you turn off the news, log out of facebook,  go on as many adventures possible, and drink a good beer now and then.

Anyway, Looking back 2016:


  • Volunteer 10 Hours Per Month. Check and Check. Between serving on the board of the IM Able Foundation, and spending time with my”little” (who is 6’2″.) I was able to spend a good number of hours helping others every month, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
  • Double Down on Dog Training: . Meh. George can catch a frisbee in a pretty badass fashion. He’s good off leash,  and he’s a hell of a trail dog. He is also insane, and we have the house damage to prove it.
  • Cut Mortgage in Half:  50% fail. We made progress, but didn’t get down as low as I’d like.
  • Finish Last 10% of Remodel:  Check. 
  • Break Ground on Lake House: . Check, loads of progress here. 
  • Read 12 Non-Fiction Books. 14. Side note: 6 of these were in one month during my 25 day digital detox (Alexander Hamilton, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (ok 75%), The Shelf Life of Happiness, A Foolish Voyage, Hillbilly Elegy, No Place to Hide, The Erie Canal, Age of Daredevils, The Immortal Irishman, Between the World and Me, Around the World in Six Years, Glorious Mis-adventures, Dispatches From Pluto, Issac’s Storm)


  • 15 Days Overseas:  14. So close. (UK, Norway, Mexico)
  • Visit Hawaii: America’s 50th state is also my 50th. Done and Done. 
  • Surf 5 Days: 3 Days. +1 point for those being on the North Shore.
  • Canal Trip: 100% Fail.
  • 1 Overnight Moto-Trip:  100%, fail. Barely turned the thing on.


  • 3x Adventure Races:  2/3
  • Bike Around Seneca Lake: . Fail. 
  • Mountain Bike 20+ Times:  16
  • 5 Million Steps: 5 Million steps works out to about 13,698 steps 0r 7 or so miles per day.  Almost made it man: 4,525,251. 


  • Create Detailed 18 Month Plan: One that outlines exactly why, how and when we’ll grow (or shrink???) Hard Fail.
  • Hire 2x Top Tier Team Members:  1/2, but one feels like the right number
  • Find 1 “local” client: Fail.
  • Optimize Work Days, Times, Locales:  I’ll call this a win, spending so much time disconnected really helped me to understand where and how I waste most hours.
  • Reorganize Biz Logistics, Incorporation, Banks to PA:  Check.

About my annual review: For the last 5 or so years, I’ve tried to look back at the year before and see how it stacks up, while also setting goals for the year to come. I find the exercise invaluable as a mechanism to be inspired to do more cool stuff. The Life, Fitness, Business, Travel categories work best for me, but if you’d like to do your own I recommend checking out my buddy Chris’ Template to get started.

NeilCallanan Truths, Uncategorized

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