2011 Annual Review: Looking Back

by Dr. Christopher on January 2, 2012

What do you see in your crystal ball?

I first did this post in 2010, inspired by Chris Guillebeau, who has been doing his annual review since 2008 at The Art of Non-Conformity Blog (I highly recommend this blog to anyone who values an unconventional life or loves to travel).

The act of looking back and looking forward is a excellent strategy to make sure you are creating the life of your dreams that you envision for yourself.
Two days after New Year’s Eve … better late than never.


I’ve included my own self-reflection here as an example and for the sake of transparency.  My hope is that it inspires you to reflect, to understand where you’ve been, and to envision where you are going.

What didn’t go well in 2010?

  • Loving to treat people in pain but not understanding anything about running a business caused me to suffer some unnecessary stress and has delayed the financial income I imagine.

            Lesson learned: Everything happens for a reason.  My sufferring is allowing me to learn and grow from the experience.  I now understand the value in delegating, out-sourcing, and only spending my time on what I can be the best at.  

  • My behavior didn’t reflect who I want to be.  I haven’t been remembering names as well as I usually do.  I haven’t lived up to every promise I make.  I haven’t been able to give more of myself to people who need me.  All of this is a result of stress.

Lesson learned: You can only eat one meal at a time.  Can’t put the whole world on your plate and expect to eat it.

  • I did not pay off my loans like I had planned in 2011.  I also do not have health insurance, disability insurance, or a home of my own, yet.

Lesson learned: Patience is a virtue.

What did go well in 2010?

  • My personal life may not be where I want it to be, but my business is helping people.  While 95% of small businesses fail, Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic has not.  And I’m seeing twice as many patients on a weekly basis as I did at the end of 2010 (25 patient visits a week to 50 patient visits a week) and 33 people have been helped enough to let me know about it.
  • I’m addicted.  The creative aspect behind being an entrepreneur and envisioning a better world is like honey to a bee, sugar to a kid with ADHD, and bacon to me on a food binge.
  • I have no regrets and feel like I’m on the right path, exactly where I’m supposed to be in my life.
  • I’m alive another year!

What were your goals in 2011?

  • Writing – write 52 blog posts by the end of the year and finish an e-book.

This is my 61st post for 2011.  I wrote an e-book, but nobody ever heard about it because I didn’t share it.  However, after recently sharing it with a few friends who told me to share it, I will rekindle this desire and finish it this year. 

  • Business – treat 50 patients per week.

Awesome, achieved.

  • Travel – travel to 2 new places by the end of the year.  (Going to Hawaii at the end of January!  Let me know if anyone there would like to meet for a hike!).

Went to Hawaii twice.  I guess that is only one new place.

  • Financial – pay off student loans.

Not even close.

  • Relationships – when push come to shove, love comes first with all people I meet.  To meet more spiritual, health-oriented, fun-loving people in North Jersey despite the reputation that Jersey Shore has given us.

I have met more of the type of people who understand me, but I crave more.  Unconventional living seems to carry lots of judgemental eyes.  WHERE ARE ALL OF MY PEOPLE?

  • Health – get back to eating paleo 6 days a week, reduce some of my nagging injuries, and visually gain more lean muscle mass.

I’m back to my football weight from my college days, seem to be avoiding my injuries by not Crossfitting as much, and still need to get back to eating Paleo. 

  • Learning – continue to practice guitar and get more efficient at fixing chronic pain.

Very happy to realize that I’ve made consistent effort to play guitar more than I have in the previous years.  Love this hobby!

  • Lifestyle – take days off whenever I feel like it and to hike more.

Days off?  Wow.  I don’t know what days off are.

  • Legacy – to live up to the “best chronic pain doctor” in the tri-state area by getting more and more patients out of pain.  Also, to create a health center like never experienced before.  More on that in ten years or so.

Getting there!

What are your goals in 2012?

  • Writing – Continue the one-post-a-week routine and finish the e-book.
  • Business – Treat 75 patients per week.
  • Travel – Travel to 3 new places by the end of the year.  (Going to St. Louis and Cancun in January and would like to make it to Portland, Oregon this summer).
  • Financial – Pay off student loans!!!!  Have enough income to have health insurance, disability insurance, and my own house.  I also want to be able to tithe (give to charity) 10% of my net income.  Have picked a couple organizations.  More on that later.
  • Relationships – Nurture the fruitful ones, prune the harmful ones.
  • Health – I want to play rugby again, badly.  Get my body treated so I can run without falling apart.
  • Learning – Be the businessman I need to become so I don’t die trying to live.
  • Lifestyle – When I want to do something, I want to be able to just do it.  After all, isn’t America supposed to be about freedom?
  • Legacy – Same as 2011.  And in case I die this year, I want people (you) to be able to say I made their lives (and your life) better.

What is your theme for 2012, driving your choices and actions?

My theme for 2010 was “Taking Root.”

My theme for 2011 was “Bigger.”

This year was “bigger” for me.  My practice has doubled.  My dreams have come closer, and have only gotten bigger.  When it comes to manifesting my desires, I feel like I have a power than can bring it on.

My theme for 2012 is: “Bearing Fruit.”  Loans, enjoy your time in existence.  You’re out of here!

Your Turn (better later than never)

Get your paper out!  Look back at what you’re already created.  Look forward into your crystal ball to see what your future holds.

Make sure you write it down.  Writing your words out makes it real.

What didn’t go well in 2010?

What did go well in 2010?

What are your goals “Looking Forward”?

What is your theme for 2012, driving your choices and actions?

Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ.  He practices out of Guerrilla Fitness:Crossfit Morristown.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

becky johnsen January 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hey Chris…..lofty goals! I wish you success with them. Just remember that “life happens” and sometimes you just have to rethink things…..I am an expert at this! My theme for 2012 is the same one I ended 2011 with: Joy Rising!

There is so much joy in life, especially those who have been blessed with people we food health, love and careers we enjoy because they serve others at the same time that they do provide us with an income. Too often we focus on the negative. Example: If you treat 50 people in a week and all but one are satisfied…..who do you focus on ? I bet it is the one.

Joy rising, Chris! My wish for all those I love this year!

becky johnsen January 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

oops…should read blessed with people we love, food, health and careers…..

Dr. Christopher January 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Always back to reality with you Becky. I love it.

You’re absolutely right. I’ve been told many times, having come to realize it myself, that I expect too much of myself. It comes back to the battle you helped me with, Buddhist vs. Business Chris.

Appreciate you Becky. Let’s meet soon!

becky johnsen January 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I would like that…..let me know.

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