2023 Year in Review

Laptop with notebook and tea

2023 started out really well but about halfway through the year things went totally awry, making me wonder why there’s no dumpster fire emoji.

This is my sixth year in review and I like to just take a minute to look at the year as a whole. (Maybe I’ll find it wasn’t as bad as I thought.)


For the last three months of 2022 and first three months of 2023, I worked with a business coach. We talked during the week on Voxer, and she really helped me to move forward with Scenic Route Digital. At the start of our engagement, I wrote a letter from my future self to be read in six months; when I read it at the end of March, I was so surprised that almost everything I wrote came true. (Thank you, universe.)

For SRD, I wanted to:

  • Create new blog posts. I wrote one in January and one in July, but that’s it.
  • Grow and email my list regularly. I sent emails twice monthly and also (finally) set up a small welcome sequence. I would like to improve upon the welcome sequence in 2024 and continue to send emails.
  • Post on social media consistently. Having a podcast means you have content for social media posts! I was pretty good with at least sharing the new episodes, and in September, I did a social media mentorship with Corrie Oberdin which was excellent. I finally feel like I have an actual plan and am posting regularly on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Threads. I also did a 22 Days of Digital Products campaign, highlighting all of the products of my season 1 and 2 guests. It was a lot of work and I’m not sure daily posting is for me. This year, I would like to continue to post regularly and connect with others.
  • Launch and publish podcast episodes weekly. Woo!! 47 episodes were released over two seasons. I’ll continue this in 2024.
  • Create additional content around digital products (like videos or lead magnets). I did two YouTube lives over the summer and created an additional lead magnet. I would like to get back to doing lives, maybe quarterly, in 2024. I also put out a bonus episode with all the advice from season 1 guests.
  • Speak about digital products (like conferences or podcasts). I spoke at WordCamp Phoenix in March and was on The Recognized Authority in December. I planned to reach out to podcasts throughout the year but I guess had a mental block around it. I would definitely like to guest on more podcasts on 2024 (and plan to read the book How to Get on Podcasts by Michelle Glogovac).
  • Work with clients 1:1 to launch digital products. I worked with two clients to launch products, and would like to continue to work with more this year.
  • Not specified, but I also created a services page and case studies on my website. I need to build out the home page this year!

For my web business, I wanted to:

  • Continue to set 12 Week Year goals. I set goals for the first, second and fourth quarter of 2023. During the fourth quarter, I started sharing my weekly scores and thoughts on Twitter, Threads and Gumroad. And I scheduled my first live workshop to walk people through using The 12 Week Year. (Here were the results.)
  • Create new and update old blog posts. Big fail here. I watched my website analytics go down every month because I didn’t have any new content. I did refresh my 12 Week Year blog post and already posted one new blog post for this year (four mistakes you’re making, because I see clients make these mistakes all the time). This year I would like to continue to clean out the blog — refresh old posts, pull down posts that don’t fit and write new posts.
  • Grow and email my list regularly. I emailed every month through June, then again in August, but not again until December. At this point, I feel like I’m not sure who I’m talking to or what I’m saying. I took the signup forms off this website, but I’m not sure what I’ll do in 2024.

I’m currently maintaining around 50 websites; I enjoy supporting long-time clients. One of my favorite sites that I launched this year was Santa’s Evergreens and I was really touched that they mentioned the new website on their Christmas card. 😍

Recently I had a connection call with a lovely woman from a group we’re in. I was lamenting that I wasn’t sure if I was headed in the right direction, if I needed to make changes or really what I needed to do. She said, “Maybe it’s time to just stick with it.” I’ve been thinking about that ever since. 🤔


I typically have the same financial goals every year — to max out my Roth IRA and HSA, to put as much as I can into my SEP IRA, to continue using YNAB and to do a no-spend January. I did all of these in 2023.

I noticed that I spent quite a bit in the business in 2022 and at the start of 2023. What feels better than spending though is holding on to my money! In 2024, I want to be a bit more judicious with my spending.

One of my goals for the first quarter of 2024 is to pay a bit more attention to my finances (at least weekly) and I’m already noticing a difference. It takes me way less time to categorize and balance everything, and I feel much more calm in general. I often get caught up thinking X will solve my problem or I have to have Y, but as I’ve heard before, money is the least creative way to solve a problem.


In the past, my community has revolved around WordPress. Before the pandemic, I went to and organized monthly in-person meetups and attended several in-person WordCamps. In 2023, I went to WordCamp Phoenix, which was fantastic. I organized one WordPress Pittsburgh meetup virtually, but I don’t feel the same zeal for organizing meetups as I once did. I’m not sure if anyone else will step up, but I’m happy to turn over the reins.

When I first started freelancing, I joined the Business of WordPress Slack group and I loved it. The group is a bit slower now and some people have left. As I focus more on digital products and less on WordPress specifically, I find that I’m looking for another community to join (or more than one).

When two colleagues mentioned RAVEL, I decided to join in March. There’s a Slack group, a Circle community and monthly calls. I’ve only done two of the group calls, but I have had connection calls with about 15 of the members and that’s been great. The first few calls were a little bumpy — I’m passionate about what I do, which can come across as salesy, but once I switched gears to talk about things beyond, What do you do? it feels much more natural. At least four RAVEL members have been on my podcast and I joined a few email lists to stay in touch. I also participated in a virtual co-working group with one member in the fall and signed up for a full year of virtual co-working for 2024 (6 months of Mondays from 9-1).


I read 10 books in 2023, and I don’t think I’ll add read more books to my list anymore — I’ll just read. I started and didn’t finish a BUNCH of books. I love a good business book, but almost every one I picked up was so much work. Download the worksheets and answer all of the questions and just do. all. the. stuff. Sometimes I just want to sit down and read a book (and maybe learn something) without having to do a ton of work.

I did read a fair number of non-business books — Anti-Diet, The Wellness Trap, Hey Hun and Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind were my favorites.

“Take it easy on the courses” was one of my 2023 goals and I think I did pretty well! I did buy a course early in the year, got frustrated and gave up. But I gave myself permission to give up and not continue to feel guilty for not completing it. I also bought a template, an ebook and one or two bundles. 2024 = no more bundles. I feel SO overwhelmed and end up not consuming anything. I also want to stop signing up for stuff in general unless I really like and want to stay in touch with the person.


2023 was challenging, but there were also high points.

  • Travel. In March, my partner and I traveled to Phoenix (for WordCamp Phoenix). We also drove to New Mexico and visited a very good friend (who I had never met in person). My dad loved to travel and had a sign in his garage that said “6 states to go.” I’m not 100% sure which states he hadn’t visited (other than Alaska and Hawaii) but I think Arizona and New Mexico were two of them, which made the visit even more meaningful for me. We also traveled to Florida to see my partner’s parents and started a family vacation by taking the train to New Jersey, and then… I fell and broke my ankle.
  • Health. Breaking a bone and having surgery was a very eye-opening experience. I’m grateful for the love and support from my partner and family (and new friends along the way). I was non-weight bearing for 8 weeks and then had 5 months of PT. I’m mostly back to normal now (finally), but it was a very, very long and difficult journey. At some points, I “joked” that my 2023 word of the year was despair.
  • Fitness. I started doing Beachbody workouts at home in 2021. I logged 105 workouts in 2021, 307 in 2022 and 120 in 2023 (for a total of 532 workouts). Over that time I completed 10 programs and was 10 weeks into a 12 week program when I broke my ankle. I had started to feel… out of place before I quit (“never miss a Monday” and “earn your Saturdays” were no longer resonating with me) and signed up for some 1:1 coaching with Jenn Huber. From there I met Christine at Hello Fitness and have been working with her virtually since September. I’ve also done some reading about intuitive eating, diet mentality and joyful movement. I am sad that Beachbody no longer works for me because I did enjoy the workouts, but it’s a good reminder that what works for you now may not always work.
  • Creativity. My 2023 goal was to do offline creative projects, but a few online projects worked their way in — an end of year video, a senior video and a festival program for my son’s marching band and a slideshow for my partner’s surprise birthday party. I read The Artist’s Way and found myself being pulled towards creating. We tie dyed over the summer, I made heart pillows and rice bags from my aunt’s clothes after she passed away and made a bead bell.

In 2024, I will keep these same goals — to travel when I can, spend time with loved ones (extra bonus for outdoor time), attend to my health and fitness and take time to be creative away from the computer.

What about you? How was your 2023?

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