Looking Ahead to 2013

Well, the ball has dropped again in Times Square unleashing a new year. After everyone awakes from their sleepy hangover and ventures back out into the world on the 2nd of January, they’ll be planning and scheming how to make 2013 even better than any year previous. To say that 2012 was a success would be a vast understatement. I’ve been fortunate to explore many different business avenues, publish a ton of blog posts, and network with top professionals. Here’s a run-down:

I published over 57 different articles.

If you would have told me I would have this much success in writing and publishing in 2012, I would have called you crazy. To someone that had a hard time making it through English class during high school and college, writing seemed like a very daunting task not to mention creating new ideas and somehow separating yourself from everyone else out there looking to see their name in print and online.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to network with a few top individuals in the fitness industry that have allowed me to do the things I did in the previous year, but it wasn’t without road bumps along the way. The opportunity that started this whole thing was a contributing writer position open at Greatist.com. I applied once, working on two pieces until I thought they were nearly perfect, but was deflated when I received an e-mail saying that I wasn’t selected for the position. Well, if I learned one thing, persistence pays off. I reapplied and rewrote the two posts. Being selected to write for Greatist was one of the best things that could have happened as it launched a part-time career in writing that has taken my professional aspirations in a completely different direction.

There will be many more to come in 2013. Probably not the same quantity as much of my focus in the new year will be hitting bigger avenues and expanding my writing portfolio to topics outside of fitness.

Here are some of my favorites in 2012 that deserve a read if you haven’t had time to check them out:

I Want to…Run a Half-Marathon – I consider this to be one of the best pieces I have written so far.

Three Strength Standards for Men – How do you stack up?

I graduated with a Master’s Degree.

With all of the chaos that ensues moving across the country, starting a new job, and building up clientele, the fact that I graduated with a Master’s degree somehow gets lost in my mind. It’s not until I check out my diploma that it really hits home. After six exhausting years at the University of Florida, I can finally say that there will be no more official schooling in my future. I’m extremely thankful to several key individuals that convinced me to continue my academic career after my Bachelor’s degree. Although my career will likely go in a different direction that Human Performance, the relationships built and discipline developed during my tenure as a Gator will forever stay with me throughout my life.

I started this blog.

I started to blog back in 2011 at a domain titled JDStrength.com. After many blog posts and tireless hours spent with the design, I decided to shut it down in October of 2012 and start this site JeremeyDuVall.com. That choice was made for several reasons, one of which was name recognition within the industry. To some, it seems a little crazy to shut down 1.5 years of hard work that eventually built up JDStrength to an average day of 200-300 visits (which definitely isn’t much, but it was growing quickly). I made that decision after really sitting down and figuring out what the hell I want to do with all of this writing. In the end, I decided that I don’t want to pigeonhole myself in fitness. I’m interested in a variety of other topics that don’t include the gym (namely cooking, coffee, social media, marketing, and lifestyle design). By changing my blog name, I’ve freed myself to write about a variety of topics not limited to fitness. Sure, I don’t get nearly as much traffic because I don’t really care about my SEO or the ranking of my blog posts.

The only thing I care about is how beneficial the pieces are to those that read them. 

This blog serves two purposes: informational and as a resume or calling card for my freelance services. As a result of switching my domain, my average visit duration (on Google Analytics) has gone from 30 seconds at JDStrength to over 2 minutes. If you come here and read my work, it’s because you care about what I have to say. That’s what matters to me, not the total number of hits I get.

Picture or it didn't happen.

To top of 2012, here are two of my favorite blog posts that I wrote on this site (my personal favs not by traffic or likes):

How to Fail at Twitter

Rock the First Hour of Your Day

Reverse Engineering Happiness – I consider this to be one of the most important posts I have out there.

We moved across the country.

After much debate and countless hours scouring the internet for jobs, my girlfriend and I decided to move to Denver and train full-time for Life Time Fitness. We threw all of our stuff in a U-Haul and made the two day (30 hour) trek across the country. In hindsight, we couldn’t have made a better choice. The people we have been able to meet in Denver have been nothing short of incredible. The city is absolutely amazing and happens to have one of the densest populations of microbrews in the world which can never be a bad thing. I’m surviving my first snow-filled winter, and we’re both blessed to work at a gym that really embodies a holistic view of health and wellness. Best of all, the move brought us both closer together as a couple, and I couldn’t ask for more. 

We did a photo shoot.

If you have no other fitness goals, but want to stay motivated, make a date for someone to take shirtless pictures of you in a gym setting. If that isn’t enough motivation, I don’t know what is. After debating back and forth, Charlotte and I decided to do a photo shoot in November of 2012. To say it was grueling would be an understatement. Foregoing the delectable treats of the holidays was torture. But, we made it. For details on how that shoot turned out, check out this blog post:

The Pursuit of Aesthetics

Looking forward to 2013.

I am determined to make 2013 even better than 2012. Here are some of my professional goals in the new year:

  • Get my name in a print magazine. I have my first print article coming out in February/March of this year. Plan to see a lot more of me in print coming soon.
  • Work full-time in writing. I want to eventually transition to a content manager or staff writer position at a digital or print media company. Training will always be part of my life. However, writing has become such a big part of my life that I want to pursue it full-time. Ideally, I want to combine both so I can utilize my past experiences in a staff writer position.
  • Write about something other than fitness. I’m going to expand my portfolio to include non-fitness pieces. Get excited.
  • Contribute to this blog at least once a week. Look forward to posts about writing, lifestyle design, and stress management.
  • Network and help others succeed. Your network is your net worth. Figure out how to help others and you’ll succeed in return.

And now for my personal goals of 2013:

  • Explore my passions and become inexplicable knowledgeable and good at them. This includes brewing coffee and beer. You can look forward to posts detailing the process of both.
  • Read a book a month. Up this month: The Power of Habit
  • Learn more about finance. When it comes to investing, I’m as green as they come. Some of the books I’ll be reading will be about financing and investing…you know, to round out my personality.
  • Spend more time doing nothing. Well, to clarify, I mean more time doing the things I want to do with Charlotte. This year has been marked by less sleep and more work. I’m going to reverse that trend in 2013.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for a wonderful 2012. If you’ve ever liked, shared, commented on, or tweeted any of my posts, you’ve contributed to my success immensely. I’m so glad that I can help others with what I do.

To help me help you more during the new year, I need you to comment below with what topics interest you. What do you want to see on here? 

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