Ok, so I don’t know about you guys, but this was pretty much the fastest year of my life.
Seriously, it feels like 2014 was just a couple of weeks ago. I guess time flies when you’re having fun and working hard.
I’m not going to lie, this year was a bit of a struggle for me. I felt like I worked really, really hard at a lot of things, but progress in every single area was mindblowingly slow. I am not the most patient person in the world (not so surprising coming from a HIIT-enthusiast), and it was tough to feel like I couldn’t control the speed and progress of all of my professional, personal, and athletic goals.
Yet despite my impatience, I did still make progress. I’m incredibly proud of everything I’ve worked so hard for and how 12 Minute Athlete has grown this past year, and really excited for what’s to come in the future. As I did last year, I’d like to take a little time here and reflect on any accomplishments and failures from this past year, both personal and business-related.
As always, if you’re interested in this stuff, awesome—if not, I promise I won’t be offended if you want to go do a workout instead. Either way, I appreciate you guys and all your support SO FREAKING MUCH. Thank you for being awesome and for helping to create a community that has changed my life and so many others’ lives as well.
Important: We need your help! Even if you skip the review, make sure to check out the reader feedback section at the end of this post. We have a really, really short survey we would LOVE for you to take part in. (Here is the link if you want to go straight to it!)
And now, for the review:
What Went Well in 2015
Despite everything taking way longer than I wanted, looking back it was a pretty exciting year. 12 Minute Athlete has grown a lot as a brand and community, and I continue to grow personally and athletically as well. A lot of awesome things happened:
Super Athlete — After talking to countless app developers and companies that told us the features in the Super Athlete subscription would be pretty much impossible to do unless we sought out funding (which we have purposely avoided), we persevered and finally got out the features I’ve been wanting to implement for a really long time. This included adding tons of new workouts via Workout Power Packs, pushing the latest workouts from the site straight to the app, rep tracking, cool data vis, and more. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can read about the Super Athlete subscription and all the new features in the app here.
Videos — You guys seem to be liking the short video format we’ve been doing for social media! And although I’ll definitely do some longer video workouts and tutorials for YouTube, the plan is to continue with this short format since I really enjoy creating these and you guys seem to be connecting to them. Make sure to follow @12minuteathlete on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so you don’t miss these.
Nutrition Certification — I successfully studied for and received a Precision Nutrition level 1 instructor certification, which was super cool and just made me love food even more than I already did.
New 12 Minute Athlete team members — Our team is growing! I’m very excited to welcome our newest team member, Kersten Kimura from Urbanjane.co. Kersten is a NASM certified personal trainer, writer, nature lover and a fan of kettlebells and HIIT workouts, and we’re really excited to have her on board. And Gretchell is still our rockstar working behind the scenes on all the super important day-to-day stuff!
Challenges — We started doing a few more challenges this year, and overall they went really well! The Get Strong For Summer 5 Day Workout Challenge was my personal favorite and I loved how motivated and involved you guys got.
Handstands — I’m happy to say that my handstands got way better this year. I worked on them consistently (I spend at least five minutes on them five or six days a week), and it paid off big time. I still have a ways to go before I’m able to do all the cool upside down things I want to do including freestanding handstand push ups, one arm handstands, and more, but I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come. Check out my handstand journey and all the lessons I’ve learned here.
12 Minute Athlete Holiday Recipe Cookbook — We launched our very first cookbook this year! The Holiday Recipe Cookbook is full of my very favorite holiday-themed protein bar, muffin, chocolate truffle, bread, and healthy dessert recipes and has gotten an awesome response so far. It’s available at 30% off for the next few days so make sure to grab your copy now (use code HEALTHY at checkout).
Growing Community — Our community is growing fast! We’re up to 50,000 email subscribers, 8,000+ Instagram“>Instagram followers, 15,000 Facebook, 350+ Google+ followers, and growing. I’m so proud and thankful for each and every one of you.
Gymnastics progress — I’ve been keeping up with my gymnastics practice this past year and although it’s painfully slow, I’m getting much, much better. I successfully got my first front and back walkovers this year, can do a stand-to-stand bridge, and dive five (assisted, but still!) back handsprings in a row! I can’t wait till I improve a little more and can actually show you guys some more of the stuff I’ve been working on. It’s crazy challenging but so much fun.
Cool partnerships — We did several really cool partnerships this year, including a day training with the Army Reserve, a sponsorship by Gnarly, a seriously amazing sports nutrition company that I absolutely love, and a workout post with Champion, among others. We’ve already got some really cool partnerships set up for 2016 as well, and I’m super excited to work more with other awesome companies and brands that I really believe in.
What Didn’t Go So Well in 2015
There were a few things that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped for this past year, but mostly everything just went so much slower than I wanted. Here’s what wasn’t as awesome:
Android app — Although we did successfully launch the 12 Minute Athlete beta subscription for Android earlier this year, we then got stuck in beta mode and have yet to release the full version to Android users. This is super frustrating for us as well as for users wanting to use the full subscription features. We are working on getting this update as soon as we can, but if you know any awesome Android developers, please let us know!
App — Although I’m pretty excited about what we’ve launched so far this year, there are so many more app updates we are hoping to get implemented soon. If you have feature requests, send them to [email protected].
Travel — I didn’t travel nearly as much as I would have liked and most of my travel was US-based. As someone who is used to moving across the world (or at least across the country) every year or so, it’s been tough for me to stay put in one spot for so long, but I know it won’t be this way forever.
Responding to your questions — We get a lot of emails, Facebook messages, tweets, comments, etc., and as much as I want to respond to every single one of them, I know I’ve missed a lot of your questions this year. With Kersten on board we are planning to be much more organized this year and will hopefully be able to respond to many more of your questions and feedback.
Looking Ahead to 2016
Apple Watch App — Once again, it’s taken longer than we hoped, but I’m super excited to announce that there will be an official 12 Minute Athlete Apple Watch app coming soon!
Challenges — Kersten and I have been working hard this past month to come up with some really fun challenges for next year. We will still be doing the 100 Burpee Challenge the first weekend of each month, but there will be a lot of new ones as well with more fun prizes to help keep you motivated. We’ll announce the challenges on the site, but make sure to follow 12 Minute Athlete on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to take part.
More Cool Super Athlete Features — For all you Super Athlete members out there (and for those thinking of joining), we are working on adding some really cool new features for you guys! Stay tuned.
New Look of 12 Minute Athlete — A whole new updated look is coming really soon to the site, so keep your eyes out for it! This is something we’ve been working on for quite a while now and I couldn’t be more excited to finally introduce it to the world.
Help Us Help You! We Want Your Feedback
Quick Survey —As we continue to grow as a company, I want to make sure that we’re addressing all of your needs. So we would be so grateful if you would help us help you by answering a few crazy simple questions for us!
It would mean the world to us if you could fill out this really short survey for us with your feedback.
The survey is only 5 questions long, will seriously take you less than three minutes, and we would be forever grateful for your responses.
Your Stories —Lastly, we want to hear more of your stories! If 12 Minute Athlete has had an impact on your life in any way, whether it’s been to help you lose weight, learn a new awesome skill, changed your view of health and fitness, or something else entirely, we would love to hear from you and possibly feature your story on the site. Please get in touch at [email protected]—don’t be shy!
And just in case I don’t say it enough—you guys absolutely ROCK. Thanks for being such an amazing community, I can’t wait for what the future holds.