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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

Ryan Avery: 12 Photos for 12/12

By Motivation 4 Comments

Several of us are getting together to go through all of our photos this year and selecting twelve photos that highlight the best, worst, happiest, saddest, coolest, most adventurous, or most terrifying moments of our year! Here are my #12x12x12 and looking forward to seeing yours! Remember to use the #12x12x12 on social media so we can see your 12 photos! 

Photo 1 – Completing the 2013-2014 North American Tour: I learned so many lessons, met so many fantastic people and visited 50 cities in North America with my wife! We lived in hotels for half the year and it was more than difficult to pack for three months at a time but it was worth every minute! Thank you to everyone who came to one of our workshops. Remember, don’t wait for things to happen, make things happen!

Ryan Avery's How to Be a Speaker Tour

Photo 2 – Taking my family to Alaska: The thing I look forward to is spoiling the people who have taken care of me! My mom and dad have always wanted to go to Alaska and after Chelsea and I got on our feet this year we decided to take our family on a 7-Day cruise to say thank you for all they have done for us! We laughed, ate way too much cruise food, went whale watching, played cards and took home a life-time full of memories! I can’t wait to take them on another trip soon!

Ryan Avery's Family

Photo 3 – Starting the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge with you: This was for sure a highlight of my year! One day I posted this idea on my personal Facebook page and 48 hours later I had over 500 people sign up and jump onboard. We shared photos with our #31DaysofKindess hashtag and together we did more good than most people do in a lifetime! We will do this again next year and make it even bigger, better and spread kindness around the world together! Thank you to everyone who joined in this year!

31 Days of Kindness with Ryan Avery

Photo 4 – The World Record Attempt with Speaker Leader Champion: With the help of 60+ day-of-event volunteers, family and friends all over the world, 16 local and global organizations and partners like McGraw-Hill and CSU, we came together to do something BIG! Our goal was to sign and sell 5,000 books in 12 hours. We sold 1,300 in nine hours. Although we did not reach the goal this time, we raised money for a good cause, showed the world what happens when people come together and helped more than 1,000 people be better leaders! We will break this world record one day and thank you to everyone who supported this attempt, we could not have done it without you! Always go for your BIG dreams, they are worth it and no one benefits from us being average! Even if you don’t make it on your first try, you learn, you get better and you try again!

Ryan Avery's World Record

Photo 5 – Getting our puppy: I mean look at this photo! Sugar (our dog) and Chelsea (my wife) bring so much joy to my life. I will have to say they have made it even harder for me to work from home now that I get stare downs like this! Sugar has been such a joy in our lives (she is even sitting right next to me as I type this article) and thank you mom and dad for saving her life and sending her our way!

Ryan and Chelsea Avery's Dog

Photo 6 – 17 speeches in 17 days in China: Thanks to D85 and D89 this was at the top of my speaking experience this year! It started out with me planning to give four speeches in China and two weeks before I arrived in China we had book events with Speaker Leader Champion, corporate speeches and even more trainings. When I found out it was 17 speeches in 17 days I thought, “Let’s do this!” They treated us so well, we experienced culture, tasted delicious foods and meet so many amazing people! We can’t wait to be back soon!

Ryan and Chelsea Avery in China

Photo 7 – Becoming Toastmaster of the Year in my home District (7): This award means a lot to me! District 7 has done so much for me over the years and they are like a second family! When they asked to do a group photo, I thought, “It’s time to beat Ellen’s tweet and make our own!” This one got about 400+ likes so we were only off by only a couple million! Thank you D7 for all you do and have done for me!

Ryan Avery District 7

Photo 8 – Scuba diving with one year old whales: One of my hosts and meeting planners asked what I would like to do while I was in town and I usually look for places to scuba dive. Well, they gave me the best gift as they took me to a “Sea World” type place and let me scuba dive with whales in one of their aquariums. They gave me a full scuba tank and let me stay in as long as I wanted! It was an experience I will always remember!

Ryan Avery Scuba Diving

Photo 9 – Becoming an approved Vistage Speaker: When I speak at Vistage groups I feel like it is where I am supposed to be! They are all professionals who have businesses and are looking for ways to improve themselves, their customers and their employees! I teach leaders how to use the power of storytelling to sell and motivate others. I am looking forward to speaking to several Vistage groups around the world, starting with four in January 2015! They are a great group of leaders and Garth… if you are reading this… thank you for taking the chance on me, I could’t have done it without you!

Ryan Avery Vistage Speaker

Photo 10 – 5th Honeymoon in Thailand: Chelsea and I received advice when we got married to take a honeymoon every year and I think that is some of the best marriage advice we received! This year we explored Thailand and sat on the beach, went scuba diving, played with baby monkeys and relaxed as we reflected on our relationship! If you are married, start planning to take a honeymoon every year to rejuvenate your relationship and reflect on what you like and how you want to improve it moving forward!

Ryan Avery in Thailand

Photo 11 – Walking into the Convention Center I am speaking at and seeing myself on the billboard: I start walking to the venue where I am about to speak and look up and there I am! This was one of those “Oh, wow, I am a real speaker!” feelings and I had such a smile on my face I felt like I was an avid football fan and someone told me I just won Super Bowl tickets! Thank you Tim for making this happen and thank you to everyone who came out that night!

Ryan Avery on a Billboard

Photo 12 – Seeing my book sitting on my nightstand:  Without Jeremey Donovan as my co-author, McGraw-Hill as our publisher and my awesome literary agent Jackie, this book would not have been possible! Writing a book was one of the most mentally exhausting challenges of my life with edits, re-writes, edits and more re-writes! Did I mention re-writes? But it was worth it as we created a resource that helps leaders become more influential leaders and succeed at work through the power of public speaking! I am so proud of this book. It has hit #1 on Amazon, been translated into four languages so far and I enjoy receiving emails from readers. But this photo was the one that stopped me in my tracks one night as I was getting ready for bed after a long trip back home I walked into my bedroom to find my book next to my nightstand! It was one of those moments where you get caught off-guard and no one knows why you are smiling other than you! For me, this photo says so much! Thank you to everyone who supports this book, learns from it and shares it with others! Please keep speaking and using your voice to make a difference! Our voices are the most powerful tools on the planet and if we learn how to master the art of communication, we can make a big impact while we are here!

Speaker Leader Champion

This was a fun exercise and a great way to reflect on your year. I hope you too take the #12x12x12 challenge with us. I am looking forward to seeing your photos! As always…

Dream BIG,