2015 was a year of learning more than anything.
Back from Spring 2012 to early Fall 2014, I could afford to go to the gym 4-6 times a week, hitting everything with high frequency and letting my numbers gradually go up simply by improving technique (except bench, which has always sucked). Starting in early 2015, my priorities have shifted some, with grad school on the near horizon and a long-term relationship to maintain, meaning I seriously needed to change the way I was doing things. I wasn't sleeping or eating enough most of the time, but my training still reflected the type of training I was doing while those were still fine, except at a lower frequency because of time constraints.
The result was an absolute mess, dropping down to about 175 lbs. from a high of 195 half a year prior, and with only backwards progress in every lift (except for one deadlift rep PR, but that strength quickly went away). I toyed around with some weightlifting movements for a few weeks just for the fun of it and because I needed a break, but quickly got bored and realized I didn't have the time to dedicate to really do well at the movements.
I began to realize my biggest problem: all of this time spent powerlifting I have been focusing on getting GOOD at the three movements instead of getting STRONG, my primary goal for lifting in the first place. With some trial and error over the past several months, I have made progress toward this goal of just getting overall stronger by focusing my training on strongman instead of powerlifting while also working toward a method that will fit in better with my schedule and minimize wear and tear on my joints, something that is becoming more and more of a problem. Fortunately, I very much enjoy the new training I am doing and can see it being a great long-term solution to the many problems that I have faced in the past couple of years.
The main goal I have for 2016 is to stick with the training plan and be patient. Beyond that, I would like to compete in a Strongman show and, if possible, have access to a gym with real strongman equipment, although I'm doing quite well with some jury-rigging of standard gym equipment. I could set some goal numbers, but with so many things changing in my life this year, predicting 12 months of progress is not going to happen, so I'll take any progress as it comes without getting too overzealous. If I can get bigger and stronger overall in 2016 while not acquiring injuries and setting myself up for the following year, I would be more than happy because it would be a far more productive year than 2015 has been.