Let’s Celebrate! How Was Your Year?

How to Set Your Team Up for Success
How and Why to Calculate Your Savings Rate

Celebrate First YearI’m pretty sure that most bloggers each have their “anniversary post”, particularly after their first year of blogging. Well, today it’s my turn. And interestingly, it corresponds with the tail end of the calendar year. So why wait for New Year’s to reflect? Instead, let’s take a short journey back right now and celebrate our accomplishments together!

My first post was November 18, 2017. It was hectic getting set up, but my wife is pretty adept at this stuff, so she absolutely played an important role. It was exciting and frustrating and rewarding all at the same time.

I remember reading many accounts of popular bloggers’ first few posts, and whether to focus on consistency or quality or quantity. Well, I tried to focus on consistency and quality. Based on feedback from my regular readership, I seem to be doing OK.

I didn’t worry too much about search results or aggressively growing readership or any of those professional blogger metrics. I actually know many of my readers in person. One them actually pointed out the other day that I held the #1 Google spot when you search “deliberate change”! That’s pretty neat.

Deliberate Change Google Ranking 2018-11-25

But back to the early days now: I started off strong with some long and detailed posts, but then life got extremely busy early in 2018. I was a volunteer instructor for a back-to-basics financial literacy course, volunteered for the FIRST Robotics competition, and then somehow wound up leading a non-profit organization!

Did I Just Overcommit?

Through that phase, I kept thinking back about how I wasn’t even following my own advice. I was trying to promote the idea of adding margin to your life, while simultaneously losing my own margin. I was starting to get burned out and stressed. I was running out of time to even ride my bike to work. Something had to change. I felt like a hypocrite.

And so I cut back.

I hate reneging on my commitments. My word is very important to me. Sometimes we make mistakes, and sometimes we have to manage internal and external customer expectations, and sometimes we simply change our minds. Whenever I commit to something, I feel awful not being able to follow through.

But sometimes you have to recognize that the situation has changed, and that your commitments need to also change. In my specific case, I elected to post once every other week, instead of every week. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it freed up a lot of time for me, and still allows me to post routinely.


This connects nicely with the idea of motivation. I was asked recently why I blog. Well, it really boils down to encouraging and helping people to live a deliberate and purposeful life, and inviting them follow my journey towards the same.

There are many different ways to live, and people will argue and fight constantly over which one is better. But I firmly believe that most of us in the developed world have a choice, and are much better off if we exercise that choice. No complainy-pants allowed. In fact, that was the entire basis of my talk last month on how you can retire sooner than you think.

There’s another motivation I have, too: In the weeks leading up to my decision to actually start blogging last year, I had a great conversation with another London ON FIRE member around the same age as me. He was commenting about how he wished he could read or learn more about what his dad was thinking and experiencing at our age. And that got me thinking about my own kids. So in a way, DeliberateChange.ca™ is my way of journaling, with the hopes that the boys will actually read it one day!

Commitment Brings Growth and Accountability

Sprout Growth Celebrate
So now, as I reflect on my content, I also notice how it’s changed and morphed. I started off planning a combination of financial and lifestyle advice with a heavy leaning towards money-saving tips and how-to guides. But I found myself gravitating more to the lifestyle and community-focused posts. Of course I still bring in plenty of the financial side (like my recent post on savings rates), but I’ve focused more on how to improve ourselves, our communities, and our decision-making abilities.

I love how my desire to follow through on commitments has actually helped me be accountable. For example, I encourage readers to give people chances, and to fight for what’s right, and to seek and destroy laziness and incompetence. I even revealed my secret to remembering names, with the hopes that more of us will follow suit.

But every time I write something like that, I remind myself to do it, too. And not just for a short window of time before and after the post. But continuously.

Why? Because I love to learn. And I love to help others learn, too. Whether that’s by directly teaching them, or by providing them opportunities to learn, or by showing them how to manufacture their own opportunities. DeliberateChange.ca™ is just a digital manifestation of the same. And it’s only valid if I take off the mask and we share the journey together.

So What’s Next?

Treasure Map
At the start of the year, I asked what your plan was. And I revealed at least a few hints of mine. I’m not going deeper into that at the moment, other than to say that 2019 is going to be a very exciting year! We started laying the ground for change a few years back, and as time progresses, we adjust course as needed. Remember, you don’t need to have all of the details mapped out for the entire journey, as long as you have an idea of which way to go and what the next steps are in the short term.

So get out there and meet new people. Read more blogs. Open your eyes to new ways of thinking and new ways of doing. Don’t be afraid to make a risky commitment. And don’t be afraid to adapt it as time goes on.

Pencil with ShadowYour Turn Now!

How was your year? Did it shape up the way you thought? Anything really neat and memorable to share? How will you wrap up 2018, and how will 2019 be different?

How to Set Your Team Up for Success
How and Why to Calculate Your Savings Rate

Your Turn Now! What's On Your Mind?