Happy New Year!!! – Looking Back In Gratitude

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A few weeks back, my buddy Rick Hevener shared a link with me from my New Years post of 2013. Instead of encouraging people to make new years resolutions, I encouraged them to look back at all they had accomplished in the previous year. They were called New Year’s Accomplishments.

As humans, we are critical of ourselves and others. Very few of us take time to celebrate what we’ve done right. I have a new habit of writing down three things I am grateful for each day and then journaling about all the things that went right in the previous 24 hours. I learned this from my boy Jeff Olson in his book The Slight Edge. It is a good thing to do and I encourage you to do it.

Today, I want to take my advice from 3 years ago and do a recap of last year.

I don’t know if I’d call this the best year of my life, perhaps it was. How is one measure something like that? What I do know is that it was the biggest, most action packed year of my life. I learned a lot and was challenged beyond my wildest imagination. I only hope that 2017 has bigger things in store, but let’s take a minute to look back on the accomplishments of 2016…

Held Seven Culinary Ninja Seminars in Las Vegas, NV, Gilroy, CA, Truckee, CA, Del Mar, CA, Morristown, NJ, Thornton, CO, and Jacksonville, FL. While they are a lot of work, these are always fun for me because I get to help people hone their culinary skills. I met some amazing people and am grateful for the opportunity to teach what I love!

Fed all of the staff and volunteers at the CrossFit Games Regional in Portland, Oregon and brought our Paleo Nick’s food booth to Carson, California for the third consecutive July for The CrossFit Games. With Ice Age Meals growing, this was a challenge at both events, but we made it happen and had fun in the meantime. The post games pool party in Carson was one of the most memorable times of the year for me.

Shot videos five different times with this handsome guy! Posted over 50 new cooking videos and recipes to PaleoNick.com. In the midst of everything else, this was a challenge at each shoot. But, we charged forward and produced some really nice videos as a result. Thanks, Jesse!

Traveled to Mexico, Minnesota, New York City, Colorado, and Nicaragua with my family and Thailand with my friends. One of my favorite memories was captured in this picture. Instead of giving gifts to each other, my brother, sister and parents all put our money together and bought toys and sporting goods for the poor people of rural Nicaragua. While we could have done so much more in the form of school supplies, chicken and pigs. It was a great experience for the boys. We can always go back…

Purchased a 4,000 square foot freezer facility for the expansion of Ice Age Meals. This was a huge challenge and only a pipe dream at the beginning of the year. By sharing the dream with others and working hard, only a few short months later, we had the keys in hand. Thank you to all of you who helped Fund Our Freezer. We have outfitted it nicely and already outgrown it in some ways…

Appeared on the local news four times and on ABC’s nationally televised “Shark Tank”. This was a turning point for my business and for my life. I never imagined the impact going on the show would have. Filling out paperwork, answering emails, sending in videos and keeping it all a secret in the midst of everything else going on was perhaps the challenge of my life. I am glad it paid off and I am grateful to ABC for the opportunity.

Made time for hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking, and camping with my family and friends. The hike Jessie and I took in this picture was one of the highlights of the year for me. We celebrated our 13th year of marriage and snuck away to Colorado for a concert and some R&R. We rarely get quality time alone, so this day was like a dream and one that I’ll never forget.

I could go on with pictures and other highlights, but I just wanted to share a few.

If I had one thing that I would say trumped everything else, it would be the building of my team at Ice Age Meals. We started the year with six people and ended with a team of thirty-five. These are the people I interact with on a daily basis. They are the glue that holds everything together and makes all of the above possible. I look forward to continuing to build the team in 2017 and can only imagine where we’ll be one year from now.

I should probably give some awesome advice or witty wisdom, but I’ll leave that for tomorrow’s post. All I can say is that, while there were difficult times throughout all of the above, I feel blessed to lead the life I live. My new motto is, “livin’ the dream, things couldn’t be better.”

The one thing that I’ll leave you with is this: “No matter how dirty your past has been, your future is spotless.” No matter what you’ve done, tomorrow is a new day and next year is a new year. Let’s make the most of it…

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading this, thanks for taking an interest in my work and thank you for helping me help the world…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(All decked out with my friends, chopping sugar cane in Thailand. Does it get any better?)

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