My 2016 Story


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My 2016 Story

Do you ever feel like setting New Year’s resolutions, set them, then by February you have already forgot about them? If so, you are not alone. I’ve been there and I want to talk to you about how I stepped outside of that cycle.

Beating yourself up over not doing anything about it isn’t going to help. Let’s focus on some solutions this year.


I realized setting resolutions and hoping for the best was not a good action plan.


I needed something better and a plan that would actually work.


I needed specific action steps, what can I do, how, and why?


I had more questions than answers, but the key was I remained curious and persistent to find out the answers and nothing was going to stop me.


It took me a lot of time, patience and hard work to get to this point.


I will share some of my darkest moments in my own personal journey here.


I share some things about my early childhood that I have not told anyone.


A little background on me.

I have been learning about self-improvement for about 4 years and only in the last 2 years started to take it seriously and as something that I have dedicated well over 10 hours per week on. Read dozens of books, bought many courses, and went to several seminars and conferences.

I will distill what I have learned about achieving more and becoming more for a new year and a new life.


This year I travelled more than ever before, New York, Mexico, Oregon Beach, and San Juan Islands. I was able to do this because of many lessons I have learned and will share here.


I was promoted at my job, obtained a couple mentors, and grew my network of influencers who I am proud to call friends and colleagues. Your network is your net worth.

I have done so many things wrong and I want to save you the pain from making those same mistakes that I committed. I wasted so much time on things that frankly didn’t matter.


Getting stuck and hitting a wall is perfectly natural. It matters what you do next that will create the results you wish to see. How you react matters more than what happens to you.


Where do you start to create changes in your life?  It’s difficult to start but you have to start somewhere. A good place to start is to pay closer attention to people you look up to. Who do you want to become? Why? Ask yourself these questions and it will lead you down the right path. There is no wrong answer.


Don’t be afraid of experimenting and trying new and different things. That is part of the process. What skills or things are you curious about? We have the internet so you can look anything up and learn it or at least learn more about it. Take small steps and don’t overwhelm yourself with getting it perfect the first time.


That will all be explained here but be patient with yourself and with the results. In the day and age of instant gratification it is too easy to want results the same day, week, month or even year.


This isn’t like that. We need to play the long game. I didn’t see any results for at least 18 months and maybe more but everything added up over time. The results will come, trust me. I now see and feel my own growth in mindset and body.


Specifics: Details and story behind my growth.

Examples of what I did to help my growth: I looked in the mirror and looked 30 -50 years in the future.


What regrets would I have about my life? I had to get really dark with myself. What has been preventing me from getting the results that I want and need? I wrote the answers down in my journal.


My worst fears. My fear of failing in front of others- family and friends. I realized I care too much what others think of me. This was and is a vulnerability. I keep practicing not caring what others think on smaller things.


I find that the better person I became the more I listened to myself rather than listen to others. I knew there was something wrong with going into debt.


Rather than caring so much what others think about me or say things behind my back I started to concentrate my time and energy into finding a way in which I am able help others. Be of service. That is what makes me feel good.


I had to work on my mindset first. I did this by journaling and writing down what I am scared about and why. Where do these thoughts come from and are they really true?  Questioning my own behavior and getting better at asking better questions.


Instead of asking shallow and surface level questions like, “ how can I buy a brand new car and house?”


I started to ask, “How do I develop a  mindset where I can provide so much value to others that I am able create abundance in my life in all ways?” That is a much better question. By all ways I mean- health, wealth, love, and happiness.


My dad always told me how important it is to save and how bad it is to be paying so much interest on loans.


Habits: The key habit that was a game changer for me was reading. Learning how to like to read instead of putting it in a negative context because of school.


Before I hated reading because I HAD to read about materials that I was not as passionate about.


When I get to choose what I read about, I get much more excited about diving into a book. I’ve written in detail on my site about the game changing book, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. This changed how I looked at success and wealthy people. I knew that they weren’t any different than you and I. They just did certain things very well on a daily basis.


Ever since reading this book I have been continuing to read and learn. There is no way that I was going to achieve anything great in this life without reading. But I had to develop the right mindset for this in order for it to work for me. Work on your mindset and you will see your life transform.


How do you work on your mindset?

  • Journaling: Write, don’t type. It is a different ball game. Write about what you want your life to look like. Your past. Your childhood. What you loved doing. Your dark memories. Your most memorable experiences. How did you feel and why?
  • Read: Read as many books as you can or listen to audio books. This is so important to get a different perspective.
    • Up until this point what you know has only been from the people closest to you, school, and what you decide to look up in the internet. Read on how you can create the life you imagine and take responsibility for your life. Play offense. No more always reacting, and coming up with excuses instead of solutions.
    • No more excuses of “I don’t have enough time” , you don’t make it a priority that’s why you don’t see results.
  • Ask people smarter than you and more experienced than you to help you. It’s okay to ask for help.  ←— That was something it took me a long time to get to that point. I tend to be too prideful sometimes and I let my ego get in the way of asking for help. It creates a vulnerability of looking weak to others.
  • Go Internal: Pray, Meditate, go on a Retreat of some sort. You will gain perspective of the world through experience and travel. Open your eyes and see many different things. See how others socialize and have different customs. When I went to Thailand I was always so surprised how everywhere people went in groups. I hardly saw any 1 on 1 dancing, dates, and meetings. First I thought that was weird. But I grew to learn to treat it as simply different. Nothing wrong with that.




All little steps add up over time. Your life will change by the daily habits you have. Change your habits, change your life.


To be a successful person you must have successful habits. It comes with the territory.


Knowing how to change your habits and what to do next is really important and a great life skill to build. That is why I highly recommend you read “Mini Habits


Now if you don’t read books or listen to audio books then this is a good reminder that you may need to consider adopting this habit.


If you know yourself enough to know that you won’t read or listen to the book above, then know this.


You can change your life by implementing one small habit at a time. Tiny things may not seem like a big deal but they add up if you do them daily. Read 1 page of a book, write one sentence a day, take a picture every day of something you find beautiful.


It can be anything. Highly recommend reading or listening to the book, I can’t say that enough.


Alternative solutions if you don’t like reading yet, look into audiobooks and podcasts. You can go to my website for suggesstions on podcasts, blogs  and other YouTube videos that I highly suggest you watch. Feed your mind and body healthy fuels.


How did I become the person I am today?


My mom told me when I was younger that I can be whoever I choose to be.


A lawyer, President of the United States, Doctor, and even a Businessman.

I chose to be a Businessman.


I was born in the U.S. and for that, I will forever be grateful. I understand how much of an opportunity I have to make my dreams come true in this country.


My parents have sacrificed so much to give me and my siblings a better opportunity for education, resources, and overall life success.


Now it is up to me to take advantage of all of these resources available and make something of myself.


I believe that in my heart.


My mom planted a seed in me at an early age. My ambition was born.


Now that I have grown, I have slowly learned how that seed has sprouted many dreams and ambitious goals.


One thing is to have a big goal and dream to become someone great, but then I thought, okay, how do I actually accomplish these ambitious dreams. I was so lost. I didn’t know to who to reach out to or where to start.


It was hard on me when I had to translate english documents back to my parents in Spanish. Whenever I had trouble with homework I couldn’t go to them for help because they only knew Spanish.


I had to learn to be self reliant and to be able to figure things out on my own.


At first I thought this was a weakness. I would cry and get frustrated because I thought the homework was too hard and I felt helpless. I didn’t know who to turn to.


It is my own ego and pride that prevented me from asking others for help. Or even the teacher for that matter. I still see a lot of that boy in me to this day.


Specific Actions You can do Starting Today:

  1. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help- including strangers who you see are doing things and achieving goals you’d like to achieve. What I did was thought about who was someone local who I know is successful and doing great things in the community. Turned out to be a School Board member, Googled his email address and sent him an email asking for advice on how I can become more involved in the community like he is. He ended up being a mentor of mine! 🙂 The key thing here is to focus on what you can do for others. How can you give more of yourself?
  2. Start taking daily actions- small steps- slow and steady as they say wins the race. What small action can you focus on today to help you get to where you need to go. For me it was reading something educational or inspirational. For you it may be different. The important part is to continue to learn. Once you stop learning, you will stagnate your growth.
  3. Write down your goals- pen and paper- Google Pictures of your vision of the future- What you want to be, feel, experience, see, and do. Order prints on

Then hang the pictures up on your bedroom wall and look at them every morning and evening before bed.

  1. Start learning in your own form and about yourself- become more self aware by asking others what you are good at. Friends, family, coworkers. Get specifics. Create a safe place by meeting with one person at a time. Letting them know that they will not hurt your feelings and that you are in the right place to hear everything. The truth is what will actually help you.
  2. Stop hanging around people who want to keep you the same and hold you down. You will never achieve anything great without stepping out of that circle. Slowly step away from spending so much time with negative people. It may be tough at first, but it will be worth it in the long term.


If you are feeling lazy to do this then you realize that it takes work. Nothing is going to happen unless you make it happen. Everything takes work. You can either put in the work or stand in the sidelines while watching others succeed. Just don’t ask later why you are so miserable.


No excuses remember. Regret is poison.


Break it down over several days so this doesn’t seem so overwhelming.


That is what I had to do with this guide. I told myself that all I had to do is write down 1 paragraph, one page is my stretch goal but do it every single day.


I knew the importance of goals in the context of work but it really didn’t hit me how important it is to set personal goals.


Don’t worry about it looking perfect. Grab a piece of paper and write down what you want to make happen this next year, what steps are needed to make it happen and break it down for all areas of life.


If you prefer to do it on excel then you can copy my modified 2017 Guide that I have prepared if you’d like.


You can then conduct an annual review.




I think it is valuable to learn more about where I came from and why I am the way that I am today. It gives you a glimpse of what kind of work it has taken me to do an introspection and look inside myself. Find out more and have a clear vision of what I see myself doing and why.


Early in Elementary School

I knew I was different when the other kids in elementary wouldn’t want to play with me. I was loud, obnoxious and annoying. I had a lot of energy and did not know how to control it.


I thought I was funny and would always try to make others laugh by saying a cheesy joke. I still enjoy making others laugh. I was even voted most likely to be a comedian in elementary.


In Jr. High I reserved all my energy into shyness and hardly ever stepped out of my comfort zone to talk to others or strangers. I kept to myself through high school and even some of college.


I didn’t know how to break out of my shell and out of this protective barrier I had created for myself. This was a protective mechanism that I used in order to not be made fun of or picked on.


Girls didn’t like me or want to date me. I built up a fear of rejection and beat myself up for not being handsome enough.

“Why couldn’t I be as popular or as handsome as that guy,” I thought to myself. I would compare myself to others and consistently think about what others thoughts about me.


This was a downward spiral from there.


Luckily in college I could be a new person and started to talk to new people and realized that everyone was strangers and it became easier to make friends.


I was fortunate enough to have a few family members who would introduce me to their friends.


My early childhood shaped my mentality and stories I kept telling myself:


My parents did not have much of an education. Both went to 2nd or 3rd grade.


Some of their limiting beliefs about money and rich people were passed down to me.


I now notice how much the scarcity mentality played a role in how we lived our daily lives.


This related to not only money, but that is the easiest one to pick on. It went all the way into clothing and household items like shampoo. Putting more water into the bottle to make it last !


My values of family, honesty, and humility will always stick with me. I work hard to exemplify those in my daily interactions with people.


Now I am more confident in my own skills and I know that I can be of service to others and provide value.


I have consistently put in the time and effort to learn more, grow, and help others. That is my mission in life. I will always continue to do those 3 things.


I remember I was spanked by my dad for behaving inappropriately. I saw him as an authority figure who I did not like but respected. I thought about running away in the small orchard town where I lived. I could survive off the apples and go fishing in the river I thought. I was 9 at the time. I still had so much to learn.


I had dark thoughts, almost to the point of contemplating suicide. Just to see if my parents would care. Thank goodness it never progressed from there.


I didn’t know what I was thinking or doing. I would go through troubling thoughts of why would my dad hurt me so bad when I was simply trying to play with other kids.  I cried for an hour, alone in my bed while I watched the kids play outside from my window.


My dad wanted me to mow the lawn, pull weeds from the garden, do chores around the house. Looking back, I now know why he showed me and taught me how to be disciplined enough to do all of these things.


He was teaching me valuable lessons of life at an early age when I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t care about all of the chores or necessary things that needed to be done around the house.


It has taken me a long time to distill the lessons learned and how it has impacted my personality, behavior, and mentality. In many ways it has shaped who I am today.


So many influences in my life changed the course of where I would have ended up.


My dad had the largest influence and I will forever be thankful for him. Not the most patient guy in the world but no one is perfect either. I am not sure how patient I would have been with myself either.   😉


How do I decipher everything that I went through and distill it into lessons learned? Difficult to do but here is my crack at it!


  • Always remain curious and keep learning even though you may be out of school
  • Don’t depend on others to spoon feed you the answers, it is up to you
  • The more uncomfortable you feel the more you will learn about yourself and grow from it
  • Adversity is part of the journey, learning how to accept it and push through it will only help make you stronger


Now I will give you some ideas on how you can execute these lessons in real life and make them as practical as possible. These you can start implementing today. No excuses.


  1. Learn your learning style- pictures, video, audio , reading. How do you learn and WHAT are you curious about? Go learn more about it and try different methods of learning until you find the one that you like and that helps you. Always keep learning.
  2. Write down on a piece of paper, what you enjoy doing, why you enjoy doing it, and where can you expand that in other areas of your life.
  3. Which frustrations keep coming up in your life- both personal & professional? What can you do to reduce the chances of these situations. Can you automate, delegate or create  system that help you out ? Ex: Create reminders in your calendar of certain recurring things that need to be dealt with.  (bills, events, and meetings)


You life won’t change until you change. You won’t change until you create the vision, path, and undeniable certainty that you will obtain what you seek.

I was so lost on what to do after college. I was frustrated about not being able to find my dream job that the world promised me after college. These are the type of thoughts that really scared my confidence.

I am so grateful that I found a way out and a path to be able to pick up the tools and pieces needed to create the life that I choose to live.

I already have all the riches (Health, Wealth, Love, Happiness) because that is what I envision and continually work on to develop more.  Invest time, energy and money into all of these areas. If you are not progressing forward, you are falling behind.


Much Love and Kindness to you and your journey. May you find your own path and open you eyes to the possibilities of life. Anything really is possible if you want to work for it. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Believing is more than half the battle.


You already have permission, you just need to realize it within yourself.


To Summarize- key areas that I focused on:

  • Mindset, Framework – business- projects- breaking it down, Power of thought


  • Goals- All areas- health, wealth, love, happiness. Writing them down, following up on them, tracking, accomplishing them and executing them on a fundamental level.


  • Self Awareness- Get to know Yourself, before you Wreck Yo’ self
    • Have 5 friends and family members fill this out
    • You are the one stopping yourself from achieving more- Take Responsibility
    • Watch this video by Gary Vaynerchuk


  • Tools, Tactics, and Strategies for helping execute a Growth plan
    • Read- Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
    • Develop a Personal Development Plan

Tools and Resources, and Influences:

  • Five Minute Journal– Gratitude Journal
  • Audible– LIsten to audio books-  These are just a few recommendations to start out with.
    • Think and Grow Rich
    • Richest Man in Babylon
    • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • Evernote- Take notes easily and remain organized
  • Google Docs / Google Calendar– If you don’t have a calendar then you are reacting to life not living it on your terms. You are a ship without a clear destination on where you are going- Daily
  • Trello- Project Planner and Todo List- Organization tool
  • Ramit Sethi’s IWT- Personal Finance Expert and Top Performer Mentor- Career, Business, and Financial Advice
  • Gary Vaynerchuk– Serial Entrepreneur and NO BS Advice on Business and Life- Check out his YouTube Page
  • Jim Rohn– Personal Development Speaker, author, and Entrepreneur
  • Mint- Personal Finance App- Keep track of money, credit score, and investments


About the author

Jessi Mendoza

Washington State University Alumni, Financial Services Professional, passionate about Self Development and investing in oneself.

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