2021 – The Year That Changed My Life*

At this time last year, on January 1st, 2021, I was 45 years old.*

At a bodyweight of over 300 lbs, I had struggled with obesity since I was a little kid.

After leaning out a little bit in my teenage years, I gradually packed on the pounds until I topped the scales at 200…250…300…and finally 329 lbs by late 2020.

I was also broke. 

I mean REALLY broke.

Working a 9-5 like most people was not really an option. And even if it was, I couldn’t hold down a traditional job to save my life, due to anxiety and depression plus some other factors that were beyond my control.

The situation seemed pretty bleak.

I tried making money online and working from home as a blogger and freelance writer. This seemed like a way around some of those factors above, but it didn’t solve the financial problems. Due to lack of self-confidence, I struggled to put out the amount of content needed to make it work.

While I did gradually earn several thousands of dollars during those years through blogging, freelance writing and even a little cartooning, it was nowhere near what those lucky kids working at McDonald’s were making.

Yeah…I was that pathetic.

And when writer’s block or some kind of emotional/mental block took hold a couple years prior, my already-meager earnings dwindled to only a few bucks per month – barely enough to buy lunch at a drive thru.

Because of me and my low income, we were on welfare and food stamps for several years.

So I was in a bad place physically, financially, mentally, socially and emotionally.

And it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, as things only seemed to go from bad to worse.

But that all changed in 2021.

I Lost 130 Lbs

I started by changing the thing that I had most control over: my body.

A few weeks before the end of 2020, I decided to try to lose some weight and end the year strong. I mostly just worked on my diet – with little or no exercise – and managed to lose a few pounds by January 1, 2021.

Then I took the little progress I made and further locked in those diet changes throughout 2021.

I started the year by losing about 3 pounds per week through January and February. Then as the rate of weight loss dropped, I added in some exercise to boost the numbers and keep it going.

By the end of summer, I had lost about 75 lbs.

And by the end of the year, I was down nearly 150 lbs (from my heaviest weight ever) to reach my goal weight of 185 lbs, giving me a total of 131 lbs lost in 2021.

I Wrote Over 1,000 Blog Posts

After quitting freelance writing in 2020 and resurrecting my blog, I then overcame my writer’s block in a huge way.

I unlocked my creativity and self-confidence and started writing up to five blog posts a day, most days of the week.

By year’s end, I had added nearly 1,000 blog posts to my own blog and written over 100 guest posts for other websites.

I Started a New Vlog and Podcast

I also began vlogging daily again on Youtube along with doing a podcast of all my blog posts.

By summer I hit 1,000 subscribers on Youtube.

And just in time for the holidays, I was accepted into the partner program and began earning income from my videos too.

My total earnings from all income streams went from less than $5 per month in January to a modest full-time income by year’s end, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per month. 

I helped get us off welfare and earned enough to keep up with all the bills and pay down our debt (between my full-time blogging and vlogging and my wife’s part-time job).

I Wrote and Self-Published 3 Ebooks on Amazon

To help others achieve their own goals like I did, I wrote three ebooks – one on weight loss, one on building new daily habits and one about how beginner bloggers can go pro like I did.

Each book sold dozens of copies upon launch, with hundreds more in the months following.

And after getting some publicity from other top bloggers and media outlets, sales really began to take off.

I then got on the radar of some publishers in the self-help space and landed a book deal.

Today I Am A Pro Blogger, Vlogger, Speaker and Author

It’s now one year later – January 1st, 2022.*

I am at the same weight I was at when I graduated high school three decades ago, but I’m actually in better shape now than I was back then.

The nagging pains and health issues that plagued me for years have disappeared. I have more strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility and energy than I’ve ever experienced in my life.

And those physical changes are nothing compared to the inner changes.

My confidence, self-discipline and motivation are off the charts and growing steadily.

My income is more than enough to provide for me and my wife, and our debts will be fully paid off this year. And that income is expected to increase 10x this year, due to increasing traffic to my blog, vlog, podcast and social media accounts.

And when my new book gets released, that will likely boost my income another tenfold, especially as I travel on the book tour and do more speaking engagements.

We could probably just squeeze into a new home this year, but we’ve decided to hold out until our debts are fully paid off and our credit score and income increase. So next year we will be in a great position to buy our dream home without straining our finances.

COMICS: affirmations for bloggers

I Am Living an Amazing Life

I can barely believe that so much could change in just one year.

But looking back, I can see how so many seeds were planted along the way in the years leading up to 2021.

While it may appear that I’ve experienced a miracle and achieved massive success overnight, the truth is that I am only now reaping the benefits of all those years of effort and study that I invested in my own personal growth. It just needed time to grow and bear fruit.

I can’t wait to see what new things life will bring in 2022 and beyond!


*NOTE: This blog post is basically a kind of long-form affirmation. I’m writing about these things before they happen as a way to visualize my goals and intentions for this year.

I wrote a similar post a few years ago on one of my old blogs, and it really made a huge, huge impact on my freelance writing productivity and income that year. And I believe that this little exercise will have a similar effect on my life this time around too.

It’ll be fun to see how this plays out over the next year. That part about writing books surprised me, as I didn’t plan on including anything like that when I first started writing this post. Actually, when I started writing, I was mostly just thinking about my blogging goals for 2021…but it kinda snowballed from there.

Hm.

Interesting.

9 thoughts on “2021 – The Year That Changed My Life*

    1. Yeah, I’m interested to see how this year goes. It’s already a hundred million kabillion times better than 2020, so I’ve got a good feeling about this =)

  1. Chris, fabulous. Onward and upward bro. Making life’s changes inside-out – and being aware how all change comes from within – liberates you in magical but totally natural, ways. We are the embodiment of freedom.

    Ryan

    1. Hey Ryan, onward and upward EXACTLY. Little by little I’m locking in those changes. I’ll get there.

    1. Hey Gil! Sorry for the late reply. It made my day when I saw your comment, but I was just in a funk this month and fell behind on responding to comments.

      Good to hear from you. Are you still blogging or posting online? As I recall, you had a niche site about…daschunds? Or something? lol I forget. Forgive me if I’m getting mixed up. Anyway, let me know how it goes and if I can help in any way.

      Go after it, buddy! You can do it!

  2. Love it, man! Glad to find you again still giving it a go. Above my writing area I have a sealed letter to myself that says: “To Current Shane, From Past Shane – DON’T OPEN UNTIL target date (in my case, my birthday).”

    In that letter I spent an entire 24 hours of a day just free writing the way you did here. What my new life is, what I overcome, what had to be done the past year, then I sealed it and it’s there to remind me every time I’m tired, nervous, or lazy to just do something. I look up, see the letter, and for me it works.

    I get the “Man I do NOT want to open that letter and be embarrassed” feeling. Look, when I’m planning I know I’m way too optimistic so I won’t do all of it – but dream big and keep moving forward and when a year goes by I’m often surprised by how much I did.

    Hope you find your groove this year, and keep on going even when you don’t feel it. I’m rooting for you!

    1. Hey Shane! So good to hear from you again!

      I actually think of you often (in a totally-manly-and-normal-and-not-weird way) and have been revisiting your old blogspot blog a lot lately for a shot of motivation. Strategies and platforms might come and go, but good ole-fashioned work ethic never goes out of style.

      And I forget when we last touched base, but it was good to see you landing posts on Spencer’s site the last…um…two years? Three years? Sweeeeett.

      Anyway, I hope you’re doing well.

      I love your “To Current Shane From Past Shane” idea. Based on your past efforts and your habit of shooting for the stars, I have no doubt you will accomplish tons of greatness this year. And I’d love to hear about it down the road.

      Feel free to drop me an email, phone call or comment anytime. It’s always good to hear from you. And if there’s ever anything I can do to help you out in any way, don’t hesitate to ask. Ever.

      It’s been a long time, so I’ll email you with my current contact info and copy of this comment in case you aren’t subbed to comments.

      Okay, man. Let’s make this year count!
      – Chris

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