The meme du jour of 2016 was how awful of a year it was for the world. Brexit happened, Trump was elected, and Carrie Fisher died. Of course, some people were in favor of those things (not the last one, who would want that?).
At a macro level, 2016 was bad, particularly for climate change and women’s rights in some states. But at a Drew level, 2016 was a pretty good year. Here, as usual, is the best of the year.
Best Achievement – Completing All 50 States
On my 32 birthday this year, I finished my goal of speaking or performing in all 50 states. Hawaii was the perfect state to end the journey, filled with beautiful scenery, fun adventures, welcoming cousins who showed me around, and a storytelling show. 10/10 would do the whole thing again.
Runner-Up: Reaching 1,000 Performances.
Best Personal Development – Doing Weekly Planning
The farther removed I am from my project management days at P&G, the less I leverage that expertise in my day-to-day life. In 2016, one thing I brought back was more deliberate planning, this time at a weekly level. Each Sunday (approximately), I would think about what I wanted to accomplish that coming week and plan one key task for each day. I didn’t always complete those tasks and sometimes the planning happened on a Monday (or Thursday), but it did make me more aware of how I was spending my time.
Runner-Up: Checking my phone less frequently.
Best Business Decision – Moving Back to NYC
Since moving back to NYC, I’ve established great new business contacts, delivered some great events, re-engaged with some awesome people, and have had the best bagels in the country. NYC has always been a great place for building my skills as a speaker and comedian, it’s now also turning into a great place to deliver those skills.
Runner-Up: Starting a Mastermind group.
Best Personal Decision – Stopping my Nomadism
Don’t get me wrong, being a nomad for 18 months was an incredible experience (and was heralded as 2015’s best personal decision), but this year was also the right time to end it. Since moving back to NYC in September, I’ve been able to focus more on my work and have a lot more time to relax; I didn’t realize how much time I was spending planning my next trip or figuring out where I was going to sleep.
Runner-Up: Reconnecting with Old Friends
Best Speaking Engagement – Women’s Foodservice Forum
I surpassed 100 engagements for the second year in a row and spoke for some incredible groups. From my first single facilitator delivery of a two-day training at Microsoft, to presenting to my largest audience (1,000 people!) in Columbus, I was apart of some great events. But the top for me was the Women’s Foodservice Forum where I spoke to 400 aspiring leaders who were gracious, eager to learn, and seemed to really enjoy my sense of humor. It’s also where I got witness the butt sketch artist first-hand.
Runner-Up: PMI Central Ohio Chapter
Best Performance – The Story of My Year as a Nomad
While I certainly gave better performances in 2016, the most meaningful was my 1,000th performance on my 32nd birthday in my 50th state: the story of my year as a nomad.
Runner-Up: Featuring at Go Bananas Comedy Club
Best Travel – Hawaii
I sound like a broken record but how can you beat the Islands of Aloha?
Runner-Up: Zion National Forest
Best New Restaurant – Eleven Madison Park
It’s hard not to go with the World’s #3 ranked restaurant but for me the reason it’s on the top of the list is that they somehow made brussels sprouts AND scallops that I could not only stomach, but I actually liked. I guess my new rule is that I don’t like sprouts unless they’re served at a Michelin three star restaurant.
Runner-Up: Chick N Cone
Best Movie (I Saw) – Doctor Strange
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for the Marvel movies. No, I don’t care that there are a million of them now and yes, I’m excited for yet another reboot of the Spider Man series. I enjoyed Doctor Strange because it introduced me to a character I knew nothing about and explored a world that was new to me.
Runners-Up: All of the Best Picture nominees, The Nice Guys
Best TV Show (I Watched) – Rick and Morty
The show is very weird and it takes a few episodes to get into, but by golly is it funny.
Runner-Up: Luke Cage
Best Book (I Read) – Smarter, Faster, Better
Charles Duhigg’s book is a great read for learning more about motivation and effectiveness, and it’s given me a phrase I used in most of my trainings: psychological safety. I find myself recommending this book to people over and over again.
Runners-Up: Bossypants, Modern Romance, Sprint
Best Tweet – Ghosts
I’ve selected 20 of my best tweets of 2016 but my favorite favorite is this one:
Ghost A: I’m really nervous, we’re going to get caught.
Ghost B: Dude, just act super natural.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) September 22, 2016