The 2023 “Unrutty” Awards for Best and Worst of My Year

It's time to hand out awards for the best and worst of the past calendar year from all different areas of my life.

Updated:

Welcome, my esteemed attendee, to the second-annual award spectacular, The Unruttys!

[You can applaud now.]

The Unruttys celebrate my best and worst of the past year.

Why Care?

While my Unrutty awards may not sound “spectacular” to you, I think you might want to consider them because:

  • Some of my picks may be of use or interest to you.
  • It may inspire you to create your own annual awards.

Why Bother?

Compiling nominees is a fun way to review the year, they serve as a time capsule, and, if I keep it up, these annual Unruttys will tell the story of my life.

Why Now?

Two reasons:

  1. Distance from 2022. Waiting a couple of months gives a better, less biased look at the past.
  2. The Oscars. If late March is good enough for Hollywood to celebrate its past year, it’s good enough for me.

But there’s no reason to wait any longer. Without further ado, let the ceremony begin.

Drumroll, please!

The 2nd-Annual Unrutty Awards

The Best (and Worst) of 2022 in:

Media Awards

The Golden Sledgehammer Award for Book of the Year

Honorable nominees:

Notes to Self: An influential group. Richer, Wiser, Happier reignited my interest in investing. $100M Offers sparked the idea of making the blog into more of a “gym” for your comfort zone. Total Recall inspired me to name 2023 “Arnold.” And A Man For All Markets gave me a new role model.

Note to Readers: Check out my all-time list of “sledgehammer” books that changed my thinking.

The Usual Suspects Award for Favorite Movie of the Year

YouTube video

🏆 A Star is Born

Honorable nominees:

Notes to Self: I watched 19 movies in 2022, one fewer than in 2021. Like last year, none blew me away. I didn’t even enjoy the second half of A Star is Born much, but the first half inspired me to keep at my craft, so it ekes out the Unrutty.

Notes to Readers: 

  • Award named in honor of my all-time favorite movie.
  • Please help me find better movies for 2023!

The Zac’s-Finally-Asleep-and-We’re-Too-Zonked-for-Anything-Else Award for Best TV Series of the Year

🏆 The White Lotus, Season 1

Honorable nominees:

Notes to Self: Season 2 of The White Lotus is also a shoo-in for nomination at next year’s Unruttys.

The Podfast-Breaker Award for Best Podcast Episode

Honorable nominees:

Note to Readers: Award named in recognition of my rewarding experience quitting podcasts, aka “pod-fasting,” in July 2021.

Notes to Self: I had the exact same thought as last year while filtering through the hundreds of podcast episodes I listened to looking for contenders: It’s surprisingly hard to find nominees. So I need to take more care with what I listen to.

Experience Awards

Kim, Zac, and Dominik eating German food in Munich.

The Power Brothers Memorial Award for Best Trip

🏆 Munich

Honorable nominees:

  • Bellingham with Blair, Gord, and Adrian
  • Illal Meadows with Becky and Adrian
  • Jeff’s bachelor party

Note to Readers: This award is named in honor of my 2008 trip to Southeast Asia, in which my brother, cousin, and I took on the aliases of Austin, Super, and Max Power.

Note to Self: Munich memories include Zac’s first encounter with snow, Zac freezing at the Olympic park, käsespätzle, workout with Jyah in the Airbnb, 300 workout in the snow with Frenchy and Dominik, beer halls, crazy COVID testing, getting COVID anyway.

The Foundation Award for Best Dining Experience

🏆 Timo’s Tuna

Honorable nominees:

  • Marras with Philip and Maki
  • Tintswalo with Kim
  • De Grendel with Jerome and Leanne
  • The Kraal at Joostenberg
  • AJ’s Detroit-style pizza
  • The Hussar Grill
  • Chenin vertical tasting at De Trafford (from ’86 (!) to ’20)

Note to Readers: Award named in honor of my favorite nacho restaurant ever, East Van’s gone-but-never-forgotten (and memorialized in my own rap video), The Foundation.

Note to Self: Tuna brought over a ~4kg steak of tuna he caught that day. He, Lena, Clyde, and I went to town on it with sashimi slices and steaks from the braai.

watchihng-kalk-bay-after-dark
Kalk Bay After Dark was funny, spellbinding, surprising, and titillating.

The Better-in-Person Award for Best Live Show

🏆 Kalk Bay After Dark with Jerome and Leanne

Honorable nominees:

  • Jokes, Please in Vancouver
  • Hamilton with the family in Vancouver
  • Cape Town beach volleyball tournament, especially Jonathan Hellvig and David Ahman

Note to Self: Kalk Bay After Dark was the first post-COVID live show we went to. Small stage with about 50 people in the audience. One 3-minute performance after another mixing burlesque, Cirque du Soleil, and comedy.

Kim and Zac at Khatsahlano.
Zac was much more impressed a bit later when he saw a band playing up close.

The Can’t-Forget-This Award for Most Memorable Moment

🏆 Zac’s jaw dropping when we went right beside a stage at Khatsahlano to watch the band play.

Honorable nominees:

  • Zac freezing in Munich.
  • Hotel room Hunter reunion at Uncle Rob’s memorial.
  • Kim breaking down at the horrible state of our Beach Road apartment the evening we moved in.
  • Talking peeing sitting down on Irish radio.
  • Josh’s ski jump backflip at Jeff’s bachelor party.
  • Pre-Christmas dinner with Jabu and her son, Mlondi.
  • Walking in Lagos, Portugal at night with Kim.

Note to Self: Zac has a preternatural interest in music. Another memory from the year is him approaching the guys who played Brazilian music on the bench at Kits beach every evening they were there, dancing along and even playing the little drum set one of the guys had.

The last stop of our progressive dinner.

The Feed My Friends Award for Best Gathering

🏆 Our progressive dinner party.

Honorable nominees:

  • Tash’s Masterchef party.
  • Neighbor parties (inviting our neighbors over after moving into our apartments in Cape Town and Vancouver).
  • 2-hour cocktail party. (See Kim’s post on our experience.)

Notes to Readers:

  • A progressive dinner party involves walking from one friend’s home to another for food and drinks at each place.
  • This award is unofficially sponsored by Kim’s blog about bringing people together better, FeedMyFriends.com.

Note to Self: This may be the most competitive field in this year’s Unruttys. Thinking back on these events makes me want to experiment with more ways to get together in 2023.

Decision Awards

This is not what a good chunk of our Portugal road trip was like.

The Face Palm D’Or Award for Stupidest Move

🏆 Attempting a constantly-on-the-go road trip through the Algarve with Zac.

Dishonorable nominees:

  • Impulsively making HowImInvesting.com.
  • Not putting bandages on my huge foot blisters and playing beach volleyball with Jeff, then not being able to walk for days, or play volleyball for weeks after.

Note to Self: Turns out a sleep-deprived, unsettled baby can make visiting even the most amazing destination a drag. Next time, pick a base and respect naps.

The Magic 8-Ball Award for Best Decision

🏆 Reaching out to Josh Zimmerman for a trial coaching call.

Honorable nominees:

  • Looking for a subletter for our Kits apartment.
  • TheZag.com
  • Going for Kid #2.

Note to Self: Sooner than later, the final nominee will deserve the retrospective title, followed by the one above it. But the results aren’t in yet for those, so we’ll stick with the call with Josh for now. My inability to provide him with exciting answers to his questions about my business catalyzed me to get my butt in gear and make some moves.

YouTube video

The Sir Mix-a-Lot Award for Biggest Bummer

🏆 My stocks losing a lot of their gains.

Honorable nominees:

  • Having to pay twice as much as ever before for an apartment in Cape Town.
  • Not making any true new friends. (See Arthur Aron Award.)
  • YouTube shorts not doing better. They’re fun to make, but not enough people care.
  • Lack of interest in Consider This #45‘s offer of one hour of my time for just $50.

Note to Self: If every year can be so low on big bummers, great! Or maybe—no certainly—it’s a sign I’m not taking big enough risks.

Irene and Zac in March 2022.
Irene please put down that baby and pick up your trophy for the second-straight year!

The Supreme Loonie Award for Best Money Spent

🏆 Irene and Jabu, our nannies in Cape Town.

Honorable nominees:

Congrats to Irene for being the first-ever back-to-back Unrutty award winner! Too bad she moved back to Zimbabwe after we left Cape Town at the end of March. Jabu’s not quite as proactive as Irene, but she’s reliable and takes Zac out a lot. Most importantly, Zac likes her.

The Adrian Blachut Award For Worst Money Spent

🏆 Kim’s blog coaching course.

Dishonorable nominees:

  • Our Cape Town apartment, which is fine, but way more expensive than it should be.
  • All money (and time) spent on allergists for Zac.

Notes to Self: 

  • Kim’s nearly 2,000 CAD course was a gift for her. I don’t get the impression from Kim that it was that bad, but I don’t see any return on the investment, either.
  • As for the allergists, Zac grew out of all his allergies anyway, no thanks to anything they said or recommended.

Note to Readers: This award is named in honor of my brother to commemorate his excellence at poor purchase decisions and to thank him for coming up with the idea of doing annual awards.

Personal Development Awards

The Hypocritic’s Award for Most Beneficial Change of Mind

🏆 I’m disagreeable → I’m agreeable

Honorable nominees:

  • Putting YouTube on hold.
  • Biographies are ok. → Biographies are awesome. (See: Best podcast.)
  • Rekindling my interest in investing. (See: Best book.)

Notes to Self:

  • Responses to my survey for the “Mirror Straightener” challenge of December’s Advent-ure Calendar combined with what I learned about personality traits to make me realize that being a caring, supportive, good listener is actually a strength of mine.
  • As for YouTube, maybe I’ll change my mind back later, but for now I’m glad to directing that time toward other parts of the business, like running challenges.

Note to Readers: If you cannot think of anything you changed your mind on last year, please do society a favor by reviewing my posts on how to be open-minded and keep an open mind.

Feeding a feral Jericho rabbit during one of our many summertime adventures.

The Y-Axis Award for Best Addition to My Life

 🏆 Adventures with Zac.

Honorable nominees:

  • Ezon beach volleyball tournaments with Kim.
  • 1-on-1 “dates” with friends.
  • 6 a.m. alarms.
  • Morning pages.
  • Wise.
  • Adding What went right and What could’ve gone better to my life-organizing system.
  • Easy way to export Kindle notes.
  • Items from best purchases.

Note to Readers: This award is named in reference to my post on How to Measure Success in Your Life.

Note to Self: Once Zac was down to one nap a day, we had enough time to bike or bus all over Vancouver to pick blackberries, look for the best sourdough, go shopping for my new backpack, or play on various beaches.

The Good-est Riddance Award for Best Thing I Quit

🏆 Being easy-going about little annoyances.

Honorable nominees:

  • YouTube
  • Waking up naturally
  • Flip-flops

Note to Readers: See the story of my “pod-fast” and Quitters Often Prosper: 19 Things To Quit Doing for more arresting inspiration.

Notes to Self:

  • I finally became aware of how little “slivers” in life—stuff like broken lightbulbs, faulty electronics, and loose threads—drain my energy, so I decided to be someone who proactively deals with them as soon as they pop up.
  • As for flip-flopping on flip-flops, I miss the ease of slipping them on, but the better performance of my Shamma sandals (see my packing list) makes it worth it.
YouTube video
Promo video to announce the Advent-ure Calendar

The Kaizen Award for Best Monthly Challenge

🏆 The Advent-ure Calendar

Honorable nominees:

Note to Readers: You can sign up for an updated version of the Advent-ure Calendar here. And here are a bunch more monthly challenge ideas and a system to ensure your challenge is a success.

Note to Self: It was a good idea not to charge others to join me for the Advent-ure Calendar because it was fun having 180 people do it alongside me. Some noteworthy challenges were the breathing one, the expertise-er, and the mirror straightener (which contributed to my Unrutty-award-winning change of mind).

The PADI Award for Best Deep Dive

🏆 The science of personality.

Honorable nominees:

The Arthur Aron Award for Best Relationship Development

🏆 [Vacant]

Honorable nominees:

  • People in the Vancouver beach volleyball community.
  • Parents of kids who are Zac’s age.

Note to Self: I made plenty of new acquaintances this year, but nobody I’d call a friend. My standards are high for using the word, but this is still a disappointment worthy of nomination for the Sir Mix-a-Lot Biggest Bummer award.

Work and Career Awards

me-beginning-of-phone-checking-challenge
I participated in the November to Remember with my Kaizen-Award-nominated “Keep It in Your Pants You Idiot” monthly challenge.

The Sisyphus Award for Best Development to The Unconventional Route

🏆 November to Remember.

Honorable nominees:

  • Starting to work on The Zag.
  • Playing around with short videos.

Note to Self: November to Remember was my inaugural group monthly challenge. It was the first time I made money directly from my readers, i.e., not from ads or affiliate commissions. It’s also my first move toward this business being not only about content and attention, but taking action. Let’s see how/if that continues.

The Hail Google Award for Favorite Content Created

🏆 My video on the things I quit.

YouTube video

Honorable nominees:

Note to Readers: This award is indirectly sponsored by the company everything I create relies (too) heavily upon.

Big Picture Awards

The Daryl Cline Award for Best Photo of the Year

family-cape-town
Kim and Zac in Munich.

Honorable nominees:

Note to Readers: 

  • Award named in honor of our friend who taught us photography in 2018.
  • Nominations are based not only on quality, but the meaning or story behind the photo.
YouTube video

The Insomniac Award for Most Nagging Question of the Year

🏆 Do I need to make a major change to set myself up to earn more money?

Honorable nominees:

  • Where are we going to settle down?
  • Drink less alcohol?
  • Could I hire someone to help me with my business? And how?
  • How can I grow my authority/influence?

Note to Readers: With the assistance of a reader who responded to my request in my post on how to ask for help, I’ve decided to stick with The Unconventional Route.

Note to Self:

  • For a few months, I seriously considered rerouting some of my attention down my first-ever career path: investment management. I’m less inclined now, but still feel in the back of my mind I need to do something more ambitious and risky than what I’m currently working on.
  • Where to settle down? is now a two-time nominee and likely to return next year.
What scares you the most in life cover of close-up of my terrified face
No wonder I wondered and wrote about stuff like what scares me the most in life.

The Montage Award for What 2021 Will Probably Be Remembered For

🏆 Wake-up call.

Honorable nominees:

  • Biking around Vancouver on adventures with Zac.
  • Rekindling my interest in investing.
  • The beginnings of a new direction for The Unconventional Route, starting with The Zag.

Note to Self: I had a hard time with this one. I think that the popping of the growth stock bubble combined with the increasing costs of having a family made me feel more than ever that I need to shake up my approach to building and growing my business—to stop waiting patiently for my A Star Is Born-esque big break and proactively push to make things happen. I even literally implemented wake-up calls by getting back to setting an alarm to get stuff done before Zac wakes up.


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👋 I'm Chris. Everything you read on TheZag.com is my fault. This site is like a gym for your comfort zone, full of challenges to make your status quo sexier. Join my 'Consider This' newsletter for a fun new challenge every 10 days. Try it!

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