One thing I absolutely LOVE about this time of the year, is reading everyone’s update posts on how the year went for them.

It’s very inspiring and makes me even more motivated for the year to come.

I’ve only ever done one year in review post and that was for 2012 but I’m going to start doing them every year. I’ve been thinking about doing monthly updates too as I follow quite a few blogs that do this and also find it very inspiring.

In any case let’s get on with the review.

What went wrong in 2015

If I look back over the past year I feel more went wrong than went right. It’s really disappointing to me, but at the end of 2015 I turned it around in to something positive. So there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

Here is why I felt disappointed with the year…

  • I will forever remember 2015 as a year where I had serious health issues. The worst that I have ever had. It started in June when I got an infection in my lungs. It took a good month and a half to get over it. Just when I thought it was over, I started having episodes where I would completely faint, the worst happened when I was driving. After countless brain, heart and blood tests it turns out it was all due to…
  • Burnout! In November this year, I was completely burnt out. It was a combination of many different things that led to it including stress, lack of sleep, bad health and a few other things. It was extremely scary and there were days that I literally thought I was going to die. I’m very close to getting over it completely now with the help of some medication and in 2016, there will be a big focus on health for me!
  • At the start of 2015, I had zero plans, goals or motivations for the year. I really just wanted to take the year as it came. That stunk! I will never do that again. Having plans and goals for the year, gets me excited about it and makes me push hard to get things done. There is so much I want to achieve next  year.
  • I realised in November that I was in the wrong job. There was nothing wrong with the company I was working at in fact I really enjoyed my time there. But I was not doing the work that got me excited for the day. I was living pay check to pay check and had no motivation. I turned this around as you will read below.

All the above effected me in 2015 and looking back it feels like a bit of a waste of a year. However, since December, I’ve found renewed energy and motivation and I’m more excited about life right now, than I have been in a long time. Let’s look at what went right.

What went right in 2015

  • On the 6th of February 2015, my son Hayden was born! As challenging as it has been raising two children (sleep anyone?), he is a huge blessing. My kids give me joy daily and are a big reason for doing everything that I do. My wife Megg has been amazing with all she does to raise our kids and work more than she should in her business, I couldn’t do this without her.
  • The biggest moment of the decade for me happened this year. In October, I finally, after 7 years of back and forth, decided to give up my studies for good. I’ve always wanted to but fear kicked in. You see, studying for my degree got in the way of me executing on the things that I really wanted to do in life. A full time job, 2 kids, side projects and trying to study was just too much for me. So I had to quit one. I know, this wouldn’t be for everyone and one day I will write a post on the exact reasons for me dropping out, but since doing it, it’s been worth it 100 times over.
  • I changed career directions. As mentioned above I was working at a job that I wasn’t motivated by. I wanted to be in open source and build a platform that my job supported (see below). I wanted to work on the cutting edge of the web development industry and do conferences and travel. Most of all I want to become a leader in the space. So I left my old job and took a position at XWP as a WordPress Engineer. It’s been GREAT so far. I’m loving it and I’m enjoying working in a remote position. Also, we’re hiring 🙂 Ping me.
  • On December 8th I did something that I have always wanted to but never did. I started getting serious about my platform. That is this site of course. My archives here go back to 2005 (That’s 10 years of blogging!) but there is only one time that I can remember where I was consistent with my writing. Since December 8th, I’ve blogged at least once daily, sometimes more. I’ve started doing videos and am offering a free course. I also now have a weekly newsletter. This is just scratching the surface of what is to come in 2016. – so watch this space. I am so amped about it all!

So as I am sure you can tell, the end of 2015 has been really motivating and I’m ready for a big 2016. It’s been great and I’m challenging myself to new heights. The momentum that I have going now is pushing me to things I never thought were possible.

2015 year in review, the numbers

One thing I love about year in review posts is the numbers. So I’ve come up with a bunch of metrics that I can track over the year and compare year on year. I’m including revenue figures here to which would be revenue made from this blog. The idea is to eventually make some pocket money from this site through advertising and a membership program called PLUS. More on this later in 2016.

Last years figures are in brackets.

  • Blog Traffic
    Total visitors in 2015: 16740 (24376)
    Best month: December – 1960  (March – 2808)
    Most popular post: Installing a color scheme for VIM on Mac OS/X
  • Blog stats
    Posts written in 2015: 60 (2)
    Comments received in 2015: 32 (13)
  • Videos stats
    Videos released: 9 (0)
    Youtube views: 615 (0)
  • Subscribers
    Email subscribers: 46 (0)
    Youtube subscribers: 24 (0)
    Twitter followers: 702 (622)
    Facebook likes: 44 (0)
  • Money
    Revenue: $0
    Expenses: $70.43
    Profit / Loss: -$70.43

As you can see from the above, my overall traffic numbers are down due to lack of doing anything until December. I also earlier in the year switched my from from WordPress to Jekyll which had a huge effect on the drop in traffic numbers. But since the 8th of December, the blog is back on WordPress and things are definitely picking up again!

As mentioned, I’ve been blogging daily since December 8th and that made for a nice healthy post count this year.

I’m really happy with the growth in my video stats and subscribers! I’m going to be doing some cool things next year for my email subscribers so make sure you get on the list.

I haven’t monetised the blog just yet, so the expenses are a small bit of Facebook ads and DigitalOcean costs (aff. link).

Next year should be great!

Recap and looking forward

So there it is, my year in review! As much as the year was a bit of a disappointment I’ve got a lot to look forward to and can be thankful for so much good that did happen. Today I will be chilling with some friends to welcome the new year and from tomorrow the hustle begins!

Join the Conversation


  1. I knew you’d been sick but didn’t realize how scary it was! Really happy to hear your health is taking a turn for the better my friend. I’m really excited to see what you do here in 2016!

  2. Hey Matt – Happy new year! Glad you’re going to focus on your own thing – time to fulfil that massive potential. I’m sure 2016 will be great for you and the family.
    All the best

  3. How funny. I had a ton of health problems in 2015, too! Ear infections, colds (I never get sick!) and even a Gout attack…wtf?

    In the end, it was ALSO attributed to burnout and stress, but mostly due to poor diet and lifestyle (read: no exercise). But the only reason I was eating poorly and not exercising was due to stress of deadlines and clients.

    So what is 2016 going to be? GROWTH! We’re hoping to get our first part time employee and have also partnered with some other companies to assist with overflow when my plate simply gets too full. And with all that extra time? Eat better, exercise more and just r-e-la-x. That’s the whole point of self employment, right?!

    1. Yep exactly the same as me. Burnout is huge and far too many people ignore it. It’s a serious problem and effects your health terribly!

      I’m sure you’re gonna smash those goals and looking forward to watching your progress. Here’s to a smashing 2016 for both of us Lars!

  4. Matt, sorry to hear about your struggles this past year, but I’m glad you were able to recognize them, and make positive changes.

    I wish you nothing but success with your new course, membership site & your new job.

    If you haven’t read this post from Rich Robinkoff about Wellness in the WordPress Community, and the #wpmom movement, I think you’d enjoy it and relate to it.

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