the life wheel: do you have a bumpy ride?

A few months back, a friend was telling me about the experiences he was having with hiring a coach, and with my curiosity with growth and personal development, I’m sure I asked too many questions about the process.

He said that the process really helped him dial in with the things that he finds most important, and how to organize life in such a way to have more of those experiences.

One of the exercises he completed during one of the early sessions was the Life Wheel.


Considering these 10 categories, answer the following questions

  1. Friends & Family
  2. Personal Growth and Development
  3. Spirituality
  4. Finances
  5. Career / Business
  6. Romance / Significant Other
  7. Fun & Recreation
  8. Giving
  9. Health & Fitness
  10. Personal Environment

What does success look like in this category?

Where do you rate yourself on each of this category (1-10, where 10 is stupendously most satisfied)

If each of these numbers were to make a different spoke in a wheel, how smooth is your ride?

This is what a sample life wheel can look like:


Interesting huh?

I’m not sure i’m ready to share what my wheel looks like at this point, but I don’t think that negates how this can help. After sitting with this exercise for a while, it struck me that i need the *most* work to do in romantic relationships, in giving, and in fun/recreation.

What would it take to smooth out your ride?




John 15 talks about the vines and branches, it’s a passage that i’ve been sitting with for a while, and i’m not really the type to sit and meditate on scripture. I’m a lover of analogies, so this is right up my alley.

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

I’m a strong believer in goal setting and pushing to actually achieve those goals, but are we really missing the point? Branches bear fruit by staying connected to the source, not by venturing off and striving as hard as they can —regardless of that high achieving branches good intentions.

This morning in church I had shared with the congregation a story that occurred a couple months ago leading up to the True Pursuit, Inc.Weekend at Timber Wolf Lake – A Young Life Camp. I was feeling pretty restless about life, training for an event that I knew I just needed to finish but wasn’t really excited about finishing.

I met up with a friend the morning before leaving on the retreat, and he asked me what I was hoping to get out of the weekend. I answered that I was really hoping to hear something from God, as I had felt pretty disconnected: I didn’t feel like I was hearing anything from the spiritual camps in those preceding months.  I really wanted to get some clarity on my life direction, how to move forward, and what way to take my business activities.

All good things right? My strengths finder test has me high in Futuristic thinking, so being forward thinking is kinda my thing.

So I get up to the weekend, and there’s a couple training runs I needed to complete- a 5 miler on thursday and then a 10-14 miler on saturday.

That thursday afternoon, as other men started arriving for the weekend, I found myself in the bunk room reluctantly lacing up my running shoes. Ready to embark on 5 miles.

Mile 1 started like all mile ones for me: a list of complaints from all over. Ow, what happened to my back? What’s wrong with my toe? Hmmm, my knee kinda hurts. What do you mean i’ve only gone half a mile?

After mile one it’s usually smooth sailing, and this run was no different.
As I approached the half way point of the run, my thoughts were likely fixated on business to do lists and other aspirations, and I was suddenly attacked by a rush of calmness. And there was a voice that was saying “You’ve come so far, You’ve come so far” the voice repeated itself several times.

The voice was saying: dan. chill out. things are good now, you’ve come far, and you’ll go far, and you know what? I’ll be there with you. It’s not you alone.

So back to the vine and the branches. It’s easy to think we need to do all of these great things in order to live productive lives, but in reality, its a little easier.

Our job is to remain in him. That’s it.
Remain in him and we will bear much fruit.


I feel like I might be looking back at 2015 with a bit more eagerness and enthusiasm than most, but its easy to say that 2015 was life changing. I’ve written about fitness things before- even danced with the idea of starting a website around the topic but ultimately decided to maintain focus on my web design venture, 5 espressos, rather than continuing to split my focus.

There were things that were awesome. There were things that were not.

There were times where things the BEST and times of extreme disappointment.

I rocked these things:

Establishing new Fitness Habits.

With the help of a friend last February, I developed the routine that lead to so much of my changes over the last year. Because I set aside the time after work during the workweek as my time to go to the gym, very little got in the way me getting there. Events didn’t get scheduled during that time, so if i didn’t go, there were no excuses. Here’s what my progress looked like.

1 Dan Hefferan January 2

2 Dan Hefferan February 74 Dan Hefferan February 216 Dan Hefferan March 267 Dan Hefferan April 511 Dan Hefferan May 1812 Dan Hefferan June 2313 Dan Hefferan July 2014 Dan Hefferan August 117 Dan Hefferan September 1718 Dan Hefferan September 2619 Dan Hefferan October 1820 Dan Hefferan November 1221 Dan Hefferan December 422 Dan Hefferan December 13


Changing the diet to something that works (for me).

I switched to a lower carb lifestyle that closely resembles the diet from Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body. When I implemented the diet, I saw the results form the gym compound quickly. I will likely experiment with other variations to the low carb lifestyle in the coming months, and I’ll be sure to outline anything here.

Sharing victories online.

I used my community online on facebook twitter and instagram as a way to remain accountable to what I was working towards. If I were to regain all my weight, a small army of people would notice.

Taking Responsibility.

I bought a house. I changed my life. I took measures to eliminate my biggest distractions. Started investing. … and it felt great. … and maybe a little anxiety-ridden.

And this is where I didn’t rock:

*Growth* as a web developer.

I had a year where I was able to help a good number of clients, but my skills as a web developer didn’t grow as much as I could have. I’ll be scheduling in time to practice and learn in the coming year.


I don’t speak girl that well… I’m getting better 🙂

I lacked focus.

I alluded to this early on. I spent a lot of mental energy planning and working on the Dauntless Project, only to realize that it wasn’t where I needed to be spending my time.

Delayed cutting negative habits.

I tend not to learn lessons the easy way. I allowed myself to get sucked into games and endless online videos. And I would find myself complaining about being busy and always working. I called my bluff and sold off my gaming pc.

These specific moments rocked.

True Pursuit

I had the opportunity to serve at the true pursuit weekend in April, it was a spiritual awakening to accompany other transformations that were happening in my life.

True Pursuit Weekend

The Color Run

on the first of august I ran my first 5k, at the time it felt like a massive accomplishment, but every milestone has 🙂

Color Run

A hike on the dunes on my birthday

I spent a day around my 28th birthday up on a dune along Lake Michigan praying writing and dreaming.

PJ Hofmaster State Park Dunes

Visiting Escanaba

A yooper adventure in Ecsanaba with my cousin.

Screenshot 2015-12-31 16.28.23

The Ugly Sweater Run

Had you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be out in public wearing a ridiculously skin tight red suit, I would have told you to go see a doctor.

The Ugly Sweater Run


Goals for 2016

Continue to drop body fat.

My goal is to get below 15% body fat. We will see.

Grow 5 espressos.

I met with Brian earlier today and discussed the goals I have for the business with him. We set specific goals for revenue, website traffic, marketing  and blog posts.

Thanks for reading my 2015 review.

It was a good year, but I fully expect that the best is yet to come!

What are the goals for your 2016?

Crazy? I’m shutting down dauntless.

It’s crazy how things can change.

It’s crazy how far you can follow a rabbit trail that is just tantalizing, but won’t ultimately lead you to what you’re looking fore.

It’s crazy how overbooked you can be. How many plates you can try to keep spinning.

Ultimately I need to let a couple of the plates stop.

2015 has had two other posts on THIS. One on January 1st, ushering in the new year, the other talking about how much i love this website’s current theme as it resembled the theme i had wanted to build for a year at the time.

2015 was a landmark year for me: so much has changed.

In february I started a new healthy lifestyle and have lost 85 pounds as of this writing. As the pounds fell off, I felt like I was quickly returning to the person that I was before I slipped into a depression. Confidence came back, productivity came back, and finally I felt like I had the motivation to match the ambition I had cultivated the last 5 years after college.


I was becoming so passionate about health and fitness that I was starting to think about what I should do alongside my other activities to help others along the way. The project starter in me realized that i could finally start writing on personal development in a way that would actually hold clout. I finally had some sort of success to fall back on. So i spent much of this year dreaming and taking baby step after half baby step to try to make the project come to life.

I launched it, and wrote a few pieces, but ultimately I never got it going to where I wanted it to go.

Why? it was a side hustle, but more than that. It was a side hustle to the side of another side hustle. My web design company 5 espressos is my priority outside of my day job. I realize that though there are topics and things i would LOVE to write about, I can’t keep that plate spinning, so I’m going to shut down the site and move the content over to here.

I have plans for 5e to come in the coming months, I’m really excited about where we’re taking the business.

It also feels good to take something off my shoulders and have a definitive project to focus on.

I’m not sure what will happen with, I love the domain name, and even the ideas for content I had for the site, but if I write something that would have been amazing for, I can still publish it here. This website isn’t going anywhere.

I’m still very much interested in personal fitness and becoming the best version of yourself that you can be, but I’m most interested at seeing where I can bring 5 espressos and the projects related to that partnership.