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The 16 Photos in 2016 Challenge

By Motivation 8 Comments

Every year I put together the top photos that correlate with the number of years in our millennia. This year… 16! My challenge to you is to take uninterrupted time this week to scroll through your phone or review photos stored on your computer and find the best 16 photos that represent your 2016!

This process always provides me with gratitude, love, happiness and reflection on the year while also giving me hope, desire and energy for the year ahead.

Here are my 16 photos from 2016 and I hope you will share yours with me either by posting a link to your article in the comments below or by using the #16PhotoChallange on your social media!

My favorite lady and I doing our favorite thing together… traveling!

Chelsea: I know some people save acknowledging their loved ones at the end or speeches or blog articles… not me! Family comes first! We celebrated 9 years together this year and I hope I get another 93 with her! She is my best-friend, my partner in life, my partner in business and the mother to my child! She is literally… the best!

Literally… the best!

Atlas: We welcomed Atlas Turner Avery into the world this year on September 1, 2016 at 10:22pm weighing in at 8.0 lbs and almost 22 inches! Chelsea delivered her naturally at the MMC center and I got to catch her with my own hands; literally one of the best moments of my life! She has been our favorite adventure to date! It is so fun watching her grow. Everyday when I feel like I love her the most, my love for her grows even more!

My awesome family! (not pictured here are my awesome in-laws, cousins, aunts and Grammy)!

Family: This year has been ALL about family for me! My parents moved their life ENTIRE life to Colorado to be closer to me, Chelsea and Atlas. I have seen my mom and dad more in the past three months than I have in the past DECADE (literally)! I have seen my sister TEN times this year and my aunts, cousins and Grammy more than ever too as we have made it a priority to spend quality time with family! So grateful that my parents moved to CO to help with Atlas and so thankful for my in-laws who have played a HUGE role in helping us be parents!

Crossing the IRONMAN finish line has been one of my greatest accomplishments to date!

140.6 IRONMAN: When I found out Chelsea was pregnant I wanted to do something that was the “male equivalent” to giving birth and the IRONMAN popped into play! I had never run a marathon. I had never biked more than around the block and I had some swimming experience. This was going to be a HUGE challenge. My commitment to my family was that I would not do it if it jeopardized my physical or mental health and I am proud to say that after 16 hours and 54 minutes I completed the Boulder IRONMAN on August 7, 2016 fully healthy! It was the single hardest thing I have ever had to endure.

The perfect spot to raise our family!

House: I semi-joked with Chelsea at the beginning of the year that I would buy her a house for Christmas this year and we closed on our dream home 19 days before Santa arrives! We love this place. It is the PERFECT place to raise our growing family, to entertain, to have Sugar run in the back yard and we have plum trees, apple trees, grapes, hops and more types or trees/flowers than I can count! It is the perfect place to come home to after traveling and seeing Chelsea, Atlas and Sugar sitting on our couch in the living room… priceless!

This used to be our view that we woke up to every morning outside of our front door when we would take Sugar on walks! I thought I would miss it but I am really happy where we are now!

Portland, OR: I cannot believe we lived in Portland THIS year! That still blows my mind. In the past twelve months we have had THREE addresses! Portland was such a fantastic spot for us and making the decision to leave that city and our friends and uproot our life was one of the hardest decisions we had to make this year. Without a doubt, it was also one of the top decisions we made this year!

Thanks Littleton 🙂

Littleton, CO: I love our new little town! It has everything I need. I can walk to the lake from our house. I can get on the bike trails for my triathlon training. They have cute neighborhood activities and we are going to be here for a long time! I can see our children growing up here and it makes me really happy and proud to think of them as Coloradans!

Day 16: Send a care package to a solider across seas! We might have gone a little overboard!

#31DaysofKindness: This started three years ago as something I wanted to do with a few friends and over the years has grown into almost 1,000 people joining in on the adventure. We do it every year from August 1st to August 31st where we collectively do the same act of kindness around the world together. This year as a group we did more than 18,000 acts of kindness! Our goal next year is to do over 30,000 acts of kindness!

I get messages like this posted on my wall and it literally makes me SO happy!

Letters: This year I started my hand-written letter campaign where I write a letter everyday to someone who wanted one. This was one of my favorite things I did this year. I heard from people all over the world about their dreams, about their struggles, about their hopes and questions. Some of the people I knew personally and others I had never met before. Some wrote in asking me to write their loved ones and others asked for advice. I have written more than 300 letters this year and I hope people continue wanting them because it makes me really happy! Want a letter: Here are the details 🙂

I mean this dog literally might be the cutest dog in the world!

Sugar: I can’t tell you how happy this dog makes me. She is always happy. She always snuggles. She always loves to go on walks and gets excited when I walk in the front door. Dogs really are a human’s best friend (sorry cat lovers) and I am so thankful to have this little white 16 pound bundle of joy in our life!

The week I took this photo my travel/speaking schedule was insane! I did MN, HI, CO and WA in the same week!

Travel: After traveling to every continent in the world last year I thought I would go through travel withdraws sticking to North America destinations but I could not have been more wrong! I got to see so much of the United States this year from Hawaii to Hotlanta to Texas to Tennessee! I got to see and spend time with many friends and family members and Chelsea and Atlas got to join me on most of my trips! This year, if my calculations are correct, I stayed in more than 115 nights of hotels, got on 98 planes and spoke in 25 states and 38 cities!

You can learn more at!

Vistage: Vistage has been the single best professional group without a doubt for me! I get to speak at their events, I get to sit on one of their boards, I get to interact with Vistage WHQ staff, members, chairs and they let me do what I love to support those that I love and it is the best! I am so thankful to be part of the Vistage community!

The sign you get when you come visit us 🙂

Friends: I feel like I have been blessed with some of the best friends in the world; friends who challenge me, friends who make me want to dream bigger, friends who all are living out their own passions and focused on helping others succeed too!

No matter how many restaurants I eat at… home cooked food still tops the list! #BreakfastForDinner

Food: One of the best parts of my job is I get to enjoy my passion of food every week and try local restaurants and cuisine! Taste is one of the best parts of life and looking through my phone photos besides Chelsea, Atlas and Sugar… food tops the list of things I take the most photos of!

This is hanging up at one of my clients headquarters and it pretty much sums up who I am and my word of the year! 🙂

Secure: Every year I pick a word that I want to focus on and that drives my decision making for the next twelve months. I have had my yearly words be “Focus” which is the one in 2012 when we won the World Championship. “Grow” which was in 2014 when we wanted to take our business to six figures and this year was “Secure” because I wanted to be more secure in who I am, what I stand for and the people I want to spend time with. I wanted to be ok with saying YES or NO and ok with my decision. In the past I have been more of a “people pleaser” and I think it is good to make others happy but not in the expense of your own happiness!

Ryan Avery, Keynote Speaker

Speaking: Speaking professionally is the best job in the world. Everyday I get to do what I love all while being able to teach people how to be better at what they love to do! I get to meet great leaders, see fascinating places, taste awesome foods and learn about unique cultures/industries. I am always learning. I am always challenged. I am always moving. I never take my job for granted and make sure that every time I speak, I act like it is my last opportunity to get in front of an audience. Thank you to everyone who worked with me this year. Thank you to all my mentors, friends and family who support me and Chelsea in this business and thank you to everyone who attended one of my trainings/keynotes this year! As a professional speaker, I can’t put into words how grateful I am for what I get to do for a living!

I hope you have an amazing rest of your 2016 and I am looking forward to staying in touch! remember to keep working towards your BIG dreams because they matter! As always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan Avery