Live Action Getup: Joshua Tree + A Follow-Up to My 18 Questions About The Last Year

Live Action Getup

Joshua Tree

+ A Follow-Up to My 18 Questions About The Last Year

Just before New Years, I published a post about 18 questions I was going to ask myself to reflect on 2017 so that I could then do more of what worked and less of what didn't.

What follows is a sampling of what I learned (and a pretty easy-to-pull-off rugged outfit).

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A few years ago I started doing what have become quarterly solo work-cations, where I'll book a cheap AirBNB outside of town somewhere and go out with just my pup Leela for a few days. The purpose of these retreats is simple: Get out of my normal routine and spend some significant, focused time brainstorming and planning areas in my life that I'm frustrated by or ready to grow in. I always set rules for the trip, depending on what I'm working on that include things like no TV or drinking, 100 squats and pushups per day, and I have to cook all of my own food.

Timing wise, my latest coincided with New Years, and this trip was the first to happen at the end of the year. I was excited to use this work-cation as an opportunity to reflect on the past year with questions like, “When were the 3 times I was happiest?” and “Is my current way of thinking taking me where I want to go?” It also included exercises like “100 Reasons to Be Proud,” that helped encourage a positive mindset; an important consideration when doing a deep reflection like this because it's very easy to come up with all of the negative things you don't like about yourself or your life.

After I answered the 18 questions, I then reviewed the answers and came up with some conclusions of what worked and what didn't for 2017.

My 2017 Conclusions

Below are the conclusions (slightly edited to remove things I'd like to keep private) that I came up with after analyzing my answers. You may read these and think, “wow that's some pretty generic stuff.” But what's crazy is these were intensely eye-opening realizations because these aren't ideas that I just brainstormed and decided I want to do more of – after listing out all of the things that made me happy, scared, excited, proud, stressed, inspired, and so on, there was a clear through-current that will help me make stronger choices in 2018.

  • I am most happy and excited when:
    • …Stretching the comfort of my anxiety. I'm proud of it and get off on it. [A surprising realization considering anxiety of any kind (career, social, life stage, and so on) is immensely frustrating and the reason most of us choose to not do things that scare us or stress us out. I realized that if I'm feeling anxious about something, it actually means I should move toward it, as all of my happiest, proud, and exciting moments from 2017 came out of things that I was anxious about at the time.]
    • …When being authentic to myself. [My personality type is driven by empathy, resulting in many qualities that showed up on my 100 Reasons to Be Proud list, but that also means I often find myself making decisions I think are in the best interest of other people's lives and feelings. I realized while looking at my answers that I need to be more assertive with vocalizing what I want and what's important to me instead of always putting others' feelings before mine.]
    • …Feeling validated that my instinct about something was right. [This has built a feeling that I can better trust my gut when making decisions.]
    • …When doing the things I'm scared to do. [Again, I have naturally avoided things that scare me as we all do, but ultimately those things were the highlights of my year: Do more of them.]
    • …When connecting with others on a deeper level. [Prioritize making the time and effort to encourage situations and relationships that allow me to connect with old friends and new.]
  • My scariest moments are bullshit and should be considered everyday activities. [While I was proudest and most excited after doing things that scared me, in retrospect the things I was scared to do feel silly and not something to be so worked up about. I will use this as an emotional bookmark when making decisions about things I'm scared of in the future, with an ultimate goal of recalibrating my fear gauge to be less sensitive to those things.]
  • I am most proud when I do things that feel authentic. [Say the things that I feel, even when it isn't opportune. Don't do things that I don't want to do because I'm not interested or because they don't line up with where I'm heading. Do things I want to do, even if I can't get others to get on board.]

From there, I created actionable goals for 2018 for work life and personal life. This means specific actions or events that can be measured with a Yes or No when determining if I'm on track.

While in Joshua Tree, I shared some of my process and answered readers' questions in Primer's Instagram Stories. They're saved in the “18 Questions” archive and can be viewed by going to Primer's Instagram profile within the app and clicking on the “18 Questions” circle below the bio. (Give us a follow while you're there!)

The view of Joshua Tree from my AirBNB

This is a cool outfit because it messes with formality. Just like our Getup endorsing the sportcoat as casual outerwear, a walker coat can easily be dressed down with a henley and some hefty boots. Multiplying the situations you can wear your winter outerwear beyond with just a suit. This walker coat from Kenneth Cole is only $90 and was also featured in our post 1 Pair of Boots, 3 Completely Different Outfits.

Check out our full guide on our favorite affordable outerwear picks, which also explains just what the heck a walker coat is.

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Did you also do a year-end reflection? Chat with me in the comments about what you learned!

And if you like this outfit, please share it on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter!

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • SalPic

    I think you need to start a vlog or podcast with this kind of semi-personal stuff thrown in with some summaries of the weeks Primer things. I’d watch/listen.

    • Toro

      i second the idea of launching a podcast

      so many opportunities

      • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

        Thanks! What kinds of things would you want to hear?

        • Toro

          i think you’re drop down titles (Live,Earn,Spend,Learn,Invest,Train,Love) give you the perfect spring board to various segments you could run each week – maybe not all of them every show, but a few of them each time.

          could be really cool to bring in guests about specialty topics – say, an architect (like me, wink, wink) for a segment about designing a new home, or a personal trainer for latest fitness trends.

          i could see it becoming a really popular podcast in no time

        • SalPic

          A local Orlando blog recaps his stories each week and adds his opinions that he would normally leave out of the blog posts themselves. Add that personal touch to what’s already there? Also, GUESTS!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Thanks Sal!

  • TJ

    I also got out of the city for New Years. My girlfriend and I just needed a break. We didn’t do a lot of reflecting but I did decide to start a bullet journal to organize my life better.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Nice! Love my bullet journal.

      • Ben

        Could you do a post on how you set it up/use it

  • Earl

    Ditto @SalPic. Also, I learned I am extremely organized and forward thinking in my worklife and have been lacking that in my personal life. One of my goals is to use the same organization and planning methods I use in business, at home. Taking my wife to dinner, bringing home flowers, planning out vacations, seeing Grandma, etc. Now the calendar in my office has all these things including work stuff charted out for the next six months.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      That’s fantastic!

  • rogun

    This post seems rather personal and I like that. Your conclusions were particularly interesting to me, because they’re all things I might have come up with myself, if I’d actually gotten around to making a list.

    Finally, as a 50 year old man myself, I think the comment from the other 50 year old guy is significant, because we are from a different era of sorts.

    P.S. the henley under the wool coat seems like a snide comment on the cold weather most of us are seeing right now.. lol

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Thanks Rogun! 🙂 Not a snide comment, though I did postpone the publish date by a couple of weeks because of the crazy weather everyone was getting haha

  • Zac Silk

    Really liking this getup. Just yesterday I wore a peacoat with a henley. Seems like I can’t find a walker coat in the U.K bit I’ll sub in my navy overcoat for that. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/750646c68c1e096ce297e80a379478fef980217b1be88c51633ae9ab47fc9166.png

    As for this year I’m finishing college so just been having my head down, and trying to get the best degree grade I can. So is nice af the end of the year to really see all my hard work pay off.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Awesome! That’s great!

      • Zac Silk

        Any info on the scarf Andrew? I know it’s a herringbone, but I’m having trouble finding one that’s a survivor length.

  • http://mywp.ninja Paden

    What product do you recommend to keep the boots in top shape? I’ve had mine for a while now after seeing them on the site

    and have worn the shine off for longer than I can count.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Mine have never had a shine, more of an oiled type leather

  • Jay Pounder

    Andrew,

    I went through the exercise and I made all my sons and my guy friends to the same thing. We all found the exercise incredibly insightful and I think every guy should do this each year to look back on the wins in his life and how he can improve.

    Thumbs up on the idea @SalPic:disqus I think Andrew should do the vlog!

  • browneagle44 ロベルト

    Fantastic article, as always!

    Where’d you get the pen? Digging the white/clear barrel?

  • Ben Reigle

    The weeks leading to New Years Day often spark a huge reflection and planning cycle within me. I look back at how my business has done, the social/civil service events we have done (usually 2 at least for charity yearly) and look forward to the coming year planning what is next. How can I do better than last year? Is it ok to plan a lighter year and plan for relaxation? Those types of reflection and preparation exercises have always garnered positive results. Thanks for sharing, Andrew, you are an inspiration.

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