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The Story of My 2016

12 moments I want to remember from my last 12 months.

Memory is unpredictable.

We never know what we’ll remember in the future, so I’m cheating and writing it down.

Following is a a month-by-month breakdown of how my 2016 played out and what I hope to remember about it.

1. I Forgot. (January)

In January 2016, I spent a month of my life doing things. But just a year later, none of them stand out as memorable.

That’s not great.

I’d like to think it’s just that I’ve forgotten what I did and not that I didn’t do anything memorable, but who knows?

I guess that’s why I’m writing this post — because you never know what you’re going to forget if you wait too long.

Remember: Do something memorable every month.

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This pic was in my phone from last January. No idea why.

2. Chris Rock’s Oscars Monologue. (February)

I’ve run digital marketing for the past five Oscars broadcasts and last year was certainly a unique one.

By the time Chris Rock took the stage for the most highly anticipated Oscars monologue of all time, I had spent several months on the front lines of the #OscarsSoWhite storm — it was a memorable experience.

Then, Rock took the stage and delivered a memorable moment of his own.

Remember: Sometimes life puts the right person in the right place at the right time.

3. I Decided To Write On Medium. (March)

While I had published the occasional post on Medium over the years, it wasn’t until March of this year that I decided to post here on a regular basis.

That turned out to be a good decision, with more than 330,000 people reading my writing here, including my 20 most popular posts.

Remember: You never know what’s possible until you commit.

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4. I Went To A Hawaiian Wedding. (April)

I had never been to Hawaii and neither had my family. In April, we all went to Maui to watch my brother get married in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

I never imagined I’d attend a Hawaiian wedding in my life, but was thrilled to be there.

Remember: Sometimes “paradise” lives up to the hype.

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5. I Recovered. (May)

My brother’s wedding wasn’t the only memorable moment to come out of that trip.

On my first day there I hurt my back lifting luggage and later discovered that I suffered a herniated disc in my back.

This led to my first MRI (an experience itself) and I spent most of the month of May popping pain pills and beginning a recovery that would last months.

Luckily, no surgery was needed and it healed on its own in a few months.

Remember: It could always be worse.

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6. I Launched 10 Ideas Worth Sharing. (June)

I’ve experimented with all sorts of newsletters over the years, but in June I honed in on what has become my most successful one ever.

My 10 Ideas Worth Sharing newsletter has attracted thousands of subscribers who enjoy the ideas I curate each week (subscribe here!) and who have formed a real community with a growing Facebook group as well.

Remember: More people than you realize are interested in the ideas that interest you.

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7. I Resigned. (July)

After more than five years running digital media for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, I decided to leave my job and shift into a consulting career.

It was a big decision and one I didn’t take likely. But it’s proven to be a great one.

Remember: Trust your instincts.

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8. I Gave A “Weird” Talk. (August)

After watching thousands of talks online over the years, I had my first opportunity to give one in August.

The Los Angeles chapter of Creative Mornings invited me to speak about the topic of “Weird,” which was oddly flattering.

I discovered how much work it takes to prepare a talk like that and wound up proud of what I came up with — a talk that encouraged people to make weird career choices.

It seemed appropriate coming from a guy who had only weeks earlier voluntarily walked away from the best job he had ever had.

Remember: Sometimes what you consume becomes what you create.

9. I Finalized Wedding Plans. (September)

It turns out if you’re going to get married on October 1st, your September is going to be busy.

I spent most of the month helping my soon-t0-be-wife finalize our wedding plans by participating in the world’s quickest cake tasting, making tough decisions like which gelato flavors to serve, and figuring out what hip hop songs best reflect how our relationship keeps it real.

Remember: It all works out — somehow.

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10. I Got Married. (October)

I don’t need to write about this one to remember it. It was quite a weekend.

Remember: When you marry the right person, the rest is easy.

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11. The Election. (November)

I remember how I felt the night Barack Obama was elected for the first time. I remember the hope, optimism, and pride I had in our country.

This year’s election was a little different.

Remember: The pendulum always swings back.

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12. I Hatched A Plan. (December)

Several months into post-Academy life, I’ve started to hone in on the next chapter of my career.

I can’t reveal my plans yet, but it’s in the works and I’m excited for it. As I look back over 2016 I see how so much of it has led to what’s next for me.

Of course, I can’t know exactly what 2017 has in store, but I look forward to discovering what 12 moments I’ll have to share at this time next year.

Remember: The moments we remember are dependent on the actions we take.

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I run the For The Interested newsletter and help clients use social media and newsletters to grow and activate audiences.

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Josh Spector

I run the For The Interested newsletter and help clients use social media and newsletters to grow and activate audiences.

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