My Top 10 of 2013

2013 was an incredible year full of adventure in the form of obstacles overcome with accomplishments. In honor of a book I read this year, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, I began writing down important happenings and accomplishments every month that I deemed noteworthy. Here are my top 10 from 2013.

  1. Completed three 30-day challenges. Paleo, fitness routine and vegetarian diet. If you have read this blog before or know a little bit about me, you know that I am a huge fan of 30-day challenges. I found out about them from my old friend Matt Cutts’ TED talk and was immediately hooked. This wasn’t the first year I began them, but it was one of the better years.

January was spent eating a strict paleo diet and resulting in feeling great.

Then in February committed with a few coworkers to get 5 hours of physical activity every single week. The best part about these two challenges is that they were small enough to be sustainable changes and that I ended 2013 with pretty decent eating habits and a consistent workout routine.

And toward the end of the year I ate completely vegetarian which I was definitely not a fan of – sorry veggies!

If you want to try your own 30-day challenge, or just learn more about them – check out the TED talk.

2. Completed the Toastmasters Competent Communication manual. After more two years of dedicated speaking at ToastSpot meetings, I finally completed the Competent Communicator manual.  I think that was one of my longest commitments to consistent personal growth in a while. Next up – Advanced Communicator manuals.  Want to sharpen your speaking skills? Find a local Toastmasters club here.

3. Volunteered for fifth time in a row for SOUL Lanterns.  One of my favorite volunteer projects ever.  My late friend Michael’s mother brought it from Jamaica Plain to Woburn many years ago, and immediately a bunch of us friends joined in to help get it off the ground. When Michael passed in 2007, organizing it and making lanterns became more than just a volunteer project, but a cathartic go-to in time of need. Learn more about remembering loved ones we’ve lost by visiting the SOUL Lanterns Facbook page.

SOUL Lantern Walk 2013

SOUL Lantern Walk 2013

4. Volunteered at Earthfest.  At the ripe age of 18, one of my soon-to-be-favorite people, David Ginsburg, took a chance on a high school student as an intern.  Nine years later, it’s still one of my favorite radio stations and I wouldn’t dare miss the incredible energy that permeates the city air during Earthfest. Plus, I met a super-cute guy this year, too. Meet Gavin.

  1. Earthfest 2011
    Throwback photo from Earthfest 2011

    5. Became President of HubSpot’s Toastmaster Chapter: ToastSpot. It’s no secret that HubSpot has some of the most talented, intelligent and driven young professionals in the game. And from this incredible pool there are many who choose to sharpen their saws even further – the Toastmasters. Joining the group was one of the best decisions I made in my career thus far – and being voted in as President for the 2013-2014 year is  an incredible honor.What was even more of an honor is to be working along with the other leaders within the group. Our officer group is incredible and in just a half year we’ve done some remarkable things, like the following:

    • developed our groups mission statement
    • created the ToastSpot website
    • created a blogging schedule and began blogging on our website
    • tweeting through our ToastSpot Twitter handle
    • we developed and award program to recognize the accomplishments of members
    • purchased a camera and began recording members speeches so members can watch themselves and improve
    • even made our meetings more streamlined with agendas and fun ToastSpot memes.

I can’t wait to see what the second half of our term in office will bring.

ToastSpot Officers (missing - Sir Brad Mampe.)
ToastSpot Officers (missing – Sir Brad Mampe.)


ToastSpot Notebook
ToastSpot Notebook

6. Spoke at BDN What Next! Conference.  An incredible opportunity to speak to a larger crowd than ever before. There I spoke to the group for 40 minutes about attracting visitors and converting website leads with inbound marketing. Another positive? I was able to see one of my favorite marketers, Marcus Sheridan, share his wildly powerful blogging story.

Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

Read my blog post about the conference and view the slides here.

7. Helped educate 600 HubSpot customers to receive HubSpot Certifications at Inbound 2013. My partner in crime, Nick Sal and I were part of a team that were able to deliver incredible amounts of education in just one 8-hour day to some of the most passionate marketers I’ve ever met. Want to get certified? You can do so here.

8.  Two week trip in Ireland and Barcelona. Booking this trip was somewhat on a whim. A coworker approached and said we should travel to Europe, and I said… okay! One week in Ireland and one week in Barcelona. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful they were and in such different ways. My favorite part of Ireland was  surfing in Sligo and visiting the Cliffs of Moher. One thing I noticed about Ireland – the grass is so green it looks like somebody turned up the volume on it. Also, here I learned that I love whiskey and that too much Guinness can be a bad thing.

And Barcelona. Wow.  A place I’ve been dying to visit since taking Ms. Orpan’s Spanish class at the ripe age of 15.  The history, architecture, weather, beaches, people and culture were more mesmerizing than I ever imagined. Some of my favorite parts were hiking the series of hills, stairs and escalators to see Park Güell. Taking the telerifico to the top of Mount Tibidado. Taking a boat cruise along the coast. And the entire area around the Christopher Columbus statue memorial – including Las Ramblas (infamous for thieves, luckily for me I escaped unscathed) and Port Vell.  My favorite part of Barcelona was that it was incredible to just be. I didn’t have to “do” anything to find beauty or value, I could just aimlessly mill about and soak in the Bar
ça life. 

Me ruminating out over the Cliffs of Moher
Me ruminating out over the Cliffs of Moher
Park Güell
Park Güell


Top of Mount Tibidabo
Top of Mount Tibidabo

9. Climbed Mount Washington. Also on a whim. I thought we were about 40% up the mountain as I began to get tired. Looking back, I’d say it was a measely 10% up the way of the mountain when I thought that. This was fun, it was challenging and it’s something I think everyone should do.

While it was incredibly foggy at the top we were sure to snap a photo. My favorite part of this trip? One person decided to climb the entire mountain in Vibram 5-finger shoes, a white Hanes t-shirt and brought a Rubbermaid bottle full of ice coffee for hydration. Wow.

Mount Washington
Mount Washington

Mount Washington Summit 2013

10. Added 5 new people to our HubSpot Academy team.  Our team is growing! What started out as an experiment is now a validated necessity for HubSpot customers of all kinds – education.

What a year. Here is to 2014 and the obstacles, challenges and achievements it may hold.

How was 2013 for you? Share your accomplishments or top 10 list for yourself down below!

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