How Nerd Fitness Will Take Over the World in 2012

2011 was a year of growth and reach for Nerd Fitness.

2011 was a year of adventure for Steve Kamb.

Looking back on the past twelve months, I am so incredibly proud of this community and what Nerd Fitness has become.  On a personal level, I’m quite proud of what I was able to accomplish as well.

It’s amazing what can happen in such a short amount of time when you know where you want to go and take baby steps every day in that direction.

Seeing as the end of the year is right around the corner, I wanted to take today and look back upon what went right, what went wrong, and what’s in store for Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion in 2012.

Hint: It’s going to be awesome.

What went right?

I am proud to say that I’m very proud of what Nerd Fitness accomplished in 2011.  Looking back (here are my goals), this is what I hoped for, and how it turned out:

Continue to develop and build the Nerd Fitness brand.  Domination!  At the beginning of the year, I had somewhere around 3,000 subscribers.  As of today, Nerd Fitness is rapidly approaching 12,000 subscribers and growing at a ridiculous rate each week.  On top of that, we now have hoodies and t-shirts for sale with more quality apparel on the way!  Back in July, I formed a partnership with The Next Web, one of the world’s most popular websites – now, you’ll find Nerd Fitness articles syndicated on a weekly basis over there.

Back when I started the site in early 2009, it was about a boy and his blog.  Since then, it’s developed into something far greater – a full blown community of people who are all working hard to help each other live better lives.  I have never been more proud to be part of something than I am right now.

Real world meet ups!  I knew I was going to be traveling quite a bit in 2011 (ya think?), so I set a goal to bring as many NF readers together in the REAL world.  I was able to do formal meet ups and individual meet ups with rebels in Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Australia (Sydney, Surfer’s Paradise), New Zealand (Queenstown), Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, San Francisco, Alaska, Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona.

Another eb0ok – Back at the beginning of the year, I set a goal to write another ebook, following on the success of the Rebel Fitness Guide.  Well, despite traveling for 11 months, I actually somehow managed to write TWO ebooks: the Rebel Strength Guide and the Rebel Running Guide.  Both guides had incredible launches (far surpassing my expectations), and both guides have continue to sell steadily since their release.

Public speaking – Although I had never done any public speaking related to Nerd Fitness prior to this year, I kicked off my unexpected public speaking career in a BIG way.  My first talk EVER was at Google HQ in San Francisco – believe it or not, it went so well that they invited me to talk at their European HQ in Dublin a few months after that!  I can honestly say that I’ve never been more nervous about anything in my life…but things worked out and I kicked some serious butt.

From a personal perspective, I was able to succeed in the one BIG goal I had set for myself:

Stay in shape while traveling – I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do it.  However, not only did I manage to stay in shape while traveling, but I actually packed on 10-12 pounds of muscle without the use of a gym and while living out of a backpack.  I can’t tell you how many weird looks I got from people while working out in parks, playgrounds, and everywhere in between.  It required strict dedication, and some very unusual eating habits (shots of olive oil, anyone?), but I did it.

On top of that, I was able to knock off a good 15-20 things on the Epic Quest of Awesome Not too shabby!

What didn’t go right?

Yeah, a lot went right. However, I did set my goals a bit too high (or had too many of them), and managed to lose a few things in the shuffle.  This is what didn’t go so right:

Focus: I’m not going to lie: I got burned out on writing during my adventure.  Oftentimes I’d sit down after a day of exploration or travel to write an article for Nerd Fitness and have a completely empty brain – I used so much energy and effort on finding my next bed to sleep in, or bus to take, or on meeting new people and having fun experiences that I had nothing left in the tank for Nerd Fitness.  I feel like this held back how much more helpful Nerd Fitness could have been had I not pulled myself in so many directions.

Nerd Fitness fitness equipment – I wanted to be able to offer Nerd Fitness branded fitness equipment through the site in 2011 – if people wanted to buy a pull up bar or dumbbells, they knew they’d be getting quality stuff because it was a Nerd Fitness product.  Unfortunately, with eleven months of travel, I just never had the opportunity to move forward with this.  I had some preliminary conversations but never progressed beyond that.

OMFG – A few years back I had this idea for a fitness tracking program (Online Mutliplayer Fitness Game…get it?) that also played out like World of Warcraft/Everquest.  I even wrote an article about it in May 2010…but I still had a day job and no money.  Well, back in December 2010, we moved forward with actually developing it…unfortunately the project kind of got lost in the chaotic mess that was my 2011 travel schedule.  We are still hard at work on it and hope to get a beta out in early 2012, but I really dropped the ball on this one as I know it’s something the Nerd Fitness community would absolutely love.

More public speaking – Other than my two talks at Google, I have yet to do another public speaking engagement!  I know I have a tremendous opportunity to spread the word of Nerd Fitness, and due to my lack of planning and talking with the right people, I haven’t taken advantage of this yet!  Don’t worry, this will be fixed in 2012 🙂

Personal health – Although I managed to stay in great shape while traveling for the first seven months of the year, I struggled to maintain focus through my months in Europe and have been absolutely abysmal about my personal well-being over the past month and a half or so.  I used travel and work as an excuse, which is crap because I had both of those same excuses for the beginning of the year and managed to succeed then.  Fail!

Learn a 3rd language – Benny is going to make fun of me, but I sucked at this one.  To be honest with you, I don’t even know what language I want to learn next, which is why I never put any effort toward this one.  In my defense, I did learn the basics of each language when I went to a new country (Thailand, China, Japan, France), but I never got beyond that point.  To this day, I still don’t feel an overwhelming desire to learn one particular language, which is why I’m dragging my feet.

Help out rebels in need – Here’s a goal I only managed to follow through with part of the way.  Although I made donations throughout the year to various charities and organizations, it wasn’t consistent and had no structure to it.  I want Nerd Fitness to help people level up their lives, but I also want to help out those that are in need.  I certainly plan on remedying this in 2012.

So, although I had a few failures, most of them can be fixed in the upcoming year.

What’s up for 2012?

It’s going to be a big year.

Looking forward, I want to make sure Nerd Fitness’s focus is on helping people out and living better lives.  Although I enjoyed traveling and writing about my adventures during 2011, I don’t want the focus of this site to be on me or those travels.  Jumping from place to place sure was fun, but it really took a toll on my creativity and focus when it came to writing articles relating to health and wellness.

I’m excited to have that focus and energy back; I can’t wait to get back in the groove and crank out useful articles full of actionable steps so that people can start changing their lives IMMEDIATELY.  With 100% of my effort focused on this community, I really think Nerd Fitness…sigh…can reach the next level (pun unfortunately intended).

Long story short: I want Nerd Fitness to change the world…one nerd at a time.

This is what I have in store for 2012:

More public speaking.   In a few weeks, I’ll be flying out to San Francisco for my third official speaking gig.  The first talk was at Google, the second one was at Google Dublin, where do I go from there?

Facebook!

In late January, I’ll be giving a talk to the folks at Facebook on how to not suck at getting in shape.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do any sort of NF meet up in San Fran while I’m out there, as I’m not sure how many days I’ll be staying…keep an eye on the site in case I can put something together.  On top of that, I’ll be speaking at the Killer Tribes Conference in Nashville (on of my favorite cities) at the end of March!  I have a few other talks lined up as well, but I can’t announce those quite yet…I want to be doing at least one or two talks per month at conferences, businesses, universities, and/or high schools.

Speaking of which: I’m looking for a speaking/booking agent – if you happen to BE one or happen to KNOW one, please email me at Steve@NerdFitness.com and let’s get the conversation started!  Or, if you happen to be in the speaking department of your company and want me to come speak, let’s talk!

Bring the awesomeness of Nerd Fitness online, OFFline.  One of the best thing that came out of 2011 for me was the realization that Nerd Fitness meetups in real life are freaking awesome.   This community composed of such a unique group of people that it’s no surprise that new friendships (and even a relationship or two, yes I’m serious) resulted from these meet ups around the country during the past year.

For that reason, I want to expand the scope of Nerd Fitness meet ups in 2012 – I’ll be looking for rebel leaders and volunteers in cities and towns around the country/world who are interested helping coordinate regular NF meet ups!  Although I obviously can’t be at all of them, I want rebels in each city to meet others in the community who live close, as I’ve seen how quickly awesome partnerships can form.  If enough people get together I’ll have to start a Nerd Fitness dating service, ha!

The Level Up Club.  I’ve been tossing this idea around for the past six months and can now finally devote some brain power to it.  I want to be able to offer a premium monthly service to members of the NF community who are looking for more direction and interaction – new workouts monthly, bi-weekly Q&A sessions and webcasts with me and other fitness Yodas, and more.  Expect a limited launch of this in early 2012 with a full launch a month or two after that…my pledge to you is that it’ll be reasonably priced and packed full of great stuff.  

Grow the Nerd Fitness team.  Although I love writing articles for Nerd Fitness, I know that what I write is just one man’s perspective.  I like to eat paleo, and I like to lift heavy things.  However, there are a million ways to get in shape, from running to yoga to parkour to karate.  I want to track down experts in other fields that can contribute different opinions to Nerd Fitness so you’re not always hearing my side of the story.

Don’t worry, I promise you the quality won’t suffer: you can expect guest posts like this and this.  Unless it makes me say “holy crap, I wish I wrote that,” it won’t end up on the site.

Make it even easier to get started.  Getting in shape and eating right can be very intimidating.  When people show up to Nerd Fitness for the first time, I want them to know exactly where to go, what articles to read, and what steps to take to get started with a healthier lifestyle THAT day.  Expect a site redesign in early 2012 with an added emphasis on helping out first timers, as I know how scary and confusing getting started can be.

How did you do?

Be honest.  How did 2011 go for you?

Did you accomplish your goals? 

Do you even remember your goals?

I’d love to hear what went right and what went wrong for you.  And as you look forward to 2012, make sure you don’t suck at goal setting.

Last but not least, thank you.  Nerd Fitness continues to grow and inspire, and none of this would have happened without the awesomeness that is the Nerd Fitness community.  This site is only going to get better and more helpful…thank you for being a part of it.

Thanks for an epic 2011, and get ready for an even better 2012.

It’s on.

-Steve

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  • http://twitter.com/EnsoJourney Alejandro Reyes

    So far I only see great things coming up for this wonderful rebellion! Excellent I must say.

    On my end I am now fit, and I’m happy about it, I left my job and launched my own website/business online. It’s an awesome journey so far.

    I have met a lot of great people and I’m trying hard to never go back to 9-to-5. So this year has been awesome. I can only see great things coming for the next year and of course a lot of them will take effort, but that is a good thing, isn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dmulec Daniel Mulec

    My 2011 was good. In many ways I could’ve done much better, but in many other ways I did much better than I thought.

    Also cheers to you Steve, NerdFitness is one out of 3 websites I’d be willing to pay for.

  • Cori

    As a paleo noob, I’m thrilled to hear that Nerd Fitness is going to be more beginner-friendly. Paleo makes sense to me and NF is a fun, engaging site but I still have so many questions about how to eat and work out “right”. Looking forward to leveling up with NF in 2012!

  • http://www.chriskurdziel.com/ Chris Kurdziel

    exciting stuff, Steve! can’t wait to see what’s in store for OMFG. 🙂

  • Cory Huff

    Dude, I would totally help run NerdFitness meetups in Portland, Oregon. I know there’s a few of us out here. Let me know how I can help!

  • Amber Bosch

    Hey Steve. I’d like to create/expand the NF community in Anchorage especially but also in Alaska. I have tried a little but so far its only word of mouth. I am willing to do the work if you’ve got any suggestions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Schreier/560305080 Peter Schreier

    I’d be very interested in organizing meet-ups for the southern Ontario area.

  • http://www.exercisetherpg.com/ Tom Tran

    Steve,

    I’m excited to hear that I are working on OMFG. Since I started reading your blog a few months ago, I had a similar Idea – though not as ambitious, to make an iphone app that combines fitness and RPG to motivate people to exercise more. The mechanics of the app is that you exercise to gain EXP. Then you can go fight monsters, collect loots and do other RPG things. Right now, we almost have a full team for this project so there will be some more details soon.

    Keep up the good work! You’re such an inspiration 🙂

  • http://www.exercisetherpg.com/ Tom Tran

    Steve,

    I’m excited to hear that I are working on OMFG. Since I started reading your blog a few months ago, I had a similar Idea – though not as ambitious, to make an iphone app that combines fitness and RPG to motivate people to exercise more. The mechanics of the app is that you exercise to gain EXP. Then you can go fight monsters, collect loots and do other RPG things. Right now, we almost have a full team for this project so there will be some more details soon.

    Keep up the good work! You’re such an inspiration 🙂

  • Bigm141414

    1) I hear a Viking may be showing up to Austin, Tx sometime in March. Sounds like a good time for a meet up. 
    2) Congrats on Facebook talk. I can’t wait to see the video (please?).
    3) I wonder what forumites got together because of your site…..

  • http://twitter.com/las_dos_ashleys Ashley N.

    I really enjoyed this post, Steve. I think it’s good to have lofty goals – if you accomplished them all it means you didn’t set your sights high enough, right? 🙂

    I posted my own breakdown of my fitness and health achievements from 2011 and my goals for 2012 here – http://lasdosashleys.tumblr.com/ I think it’s great to really take stock of where you’ve been so you can know where you’re going.
    Great stuff as always and I can’t wait to see what you do in 2012 and I’m happy to be a part of it!

  • http://twitter.com/livingroovy Kate Marolt

    I love it- it looks like you have a lot of great things coming up. It’s amazing what can happen when the intention is to serve others. And I’m looking forward to multiple perspectives- it’s hard to get that anywhere, and being vegan, a yoga teacher, but also someone who is super into body weight training and plays competitive ultimate frisbee…well I am always hearing different things and have done a lot of my own research to compile what works for me. It’s great that you are looking to cater to that and hopefully have it all right here!

  • Carl

    A Great Year, just found my goals from this time last year… Had 25 for my 25th year… got 11 ticked off but looking back some where really unrealistic pipe dreams. I’ve started a new list but using clearer goals this year.

  • Yogesh Girikumar

    Steve, Esperanto, you want to learn Esperanto. Trust me.. 🙂

  • Jeremy

    I’ve been following this blog for about 18 months now, and I thought it was about fitness and meeting those goals. When I read whats up for 2012, doesnt seem to mesh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mlauvige Muriel Lauvige

    Hey, I teach you French and you help me with my fitness :)? sounds like a good deal for 2012?
    Cheers and good luck with your goals!

  • http://twitter.com/TimDMoon Tim Moon

    Here’s an idea… A Nerd Fitness workshop or health conference featuring exercise classes for nerds, nutrition/cook classes, etc. Although it’s a bit of a trendy topic, you could do something focused on kids health/fitness. I also like your Level Up Club idea. Could be a nice way to generate a little subscription income to feed the movement’s growth. In any case, I’m sure you’ll CRUSH IT! like Gary Vaynerchuk.

  • Julie Y

    Good recap of your past goals and it sounds like you have a pretty clear vision for your future; I look forward to seeing how it all shapes up in the coming year. Thanks for the link to how to not suck at goal-setting. I used it as a springboard to set some specific goals and am excited about getting started. I’ve learned a lot from you in the four months since I found your blog!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JesseToby Tobias Mullinax

    I’m loving all of these year in review posts on all of my favorite blogs. Really inspirational.

    2011 was a great year for me because I got married. That was a life goal achieved. 🙂

  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa Doucette

    Considering how you killed 2011 can’t even imagine topping it in 2012. Looks like you’ve got a pretty good idea already though! If you feel like meandering out to Bali in the first half of 2012 you definitely have a place to crash and I’m sure we can rustle up some cool people to meet-up. Pretty big nerds out there, even if some don’t always admit it.  😉

  • Pingback: The Best of Pocket Changed in 2011 | Pocket Changed()

  • http://cmgalvin.com/ Charlie Galvin

    Physical fitness is only one aspect of Nerd Fitness. Nerd Fitness is about creating healthy routines for every aspect of your life. Applying the strength and perseverance of our fitness goals to our life goals we can truly become more.

    The biggest take away is that the information shared here isn’t aimed at creating a community of meatheads. We all have our own hopes and dreams, and we don’t have to settle for the traditional way of achieving them. This site is about succeeding on our own terms.

  • http://cmgalvin.com/ Charlie Galvin

    I think I rocked 2011! Glad you did as well. I didn’t set a specific goal for doing my second marathon this year, but I saw the lottery for the NYC Marathon opened up. I’ll let fate decide on that one. 

    I’m down for helping with NF events in and around Orlando.

  • george harris

    Damn but your list makes me feel truly inadequate!

    In 2011 I achieved a few things:
    Set up a blog and started to learn how to promote and monetise it (and I’m very much still learning!)
    Re-wrote my ebook about diet and fitness motivation (‘How To Do What You Don’t Want To Do’)
    Got below 10% bf for the first time.
    Fully integrated intermittent fasting into my life and enjoyed it.
    Lifted some new PB’s in the gym.
    Learned how to run barefoot and with minimalist shoes (merrell trail gloves)

    Goals for 2012

    Run a tai chi retreat in the Alps
    Make a small income (over £200/month) from my blog.
    Connect with more people who want to improve their lives, their bodies and their health.
    Run a marathon in my merrell trail gloves.
    Spend some time in the Alps meeting other fitness and health people and starting the process of setting up a life for me and my family in the French Alps (I want to run fitness bootcamps, mens bootcamps and individual/solo bootcamps)

    I’m sure there’s more to come, but that seems enough for a start…

    Keep up the good work, george

  • http://twitter.com/DinasRuns Dina

    My main goal was to run a half marathon in 2011 and I did it. 

    This year I have more specific running goals but I mainly want to keep enjoying being fit and active. 

  • http://twitter.com/DinasRuns Dina

    My main goal was to run a half marathon in 2011 and I did it. 

    This year I have more specific running goals but I mainly want to keep enjoying being fit and active. 

  • Spartankevin83

    Your OMFG sounds cool, but has anyone else been using / looking at http://www.fitocracy.com?  It sounds a lot like what you’re going for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/corey.sorenson Corey Sorenson

    Good luck Steve! As I attempt to level up my own life, I’m looking forward to see what you have in store for 2012.

  • http://twitter.com/m_fitzpatrick Mark Fitzpatrick

    Hey Steve,

    I’ve just discovered your blog after reading about you as a “blogger-to-watch” on problogger.net and I can’t believe that I haven’t found Nerd Fitness before. I’m already a massive fan.

    I’ve been tracking my goals (none as ambitious as your efforts – just to read more, save widely and exercise regularly ) throughout 2011 at my own blog (http://www.thisgeeksgoals.com) and am pretty happy with how things turned out. This weekend I’ll be posting about how I’m escalating my challenges in 2012 and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can make myself proud. I know I’ll draw some inspiration for your community as I go though, that’s for sure.

    Keep well and happy New Year!
    Mark

    Ps – The LEGO artwork on your blog was the deal-clincher 🙂  I plan to incentivise my goal progress this year by rewarding myself with some coveted LEGO goodness at key milestones. That should get me moving 🙂