President Barack Obama held a news conference today in which he put a big emphasis on looking ahead to 2014. 

The past year has been marked by a botched rollout of the HealthCare.Gov website and the Affordable Care Act, concerns over the surveillance practices of the NSA and drooping poll numbers for the president. Immigration reform and gun laws were also topics that Obama hoped to overhaul, but failed to do.

Despite all of the ups and downs of the past year, the president said he is looking forward to the new year and a fresh start. 

Obama kicked off the year-end news conference speaking about the economy, how it is growing and how it is the strongest it has been in about two years. 

But the president took a bit of the beating from the White House Press Corps. They asked him tough questions including if this had been the worst year of his presidency. He replied,  "that's not how I think about it." 

He also shrugged off questions about poll numbers, saying that if they were the only thing that mattered then he never would have run for president in the first place. 

He added,  "I knew and will continue to know that there are going to be ups and downs."

The president is expected to sign the compromise deal before heading to Hawaii for the holidays this evening.

On reflecting on the past year he said, "You know, the end of the year is always a good time to reflect and see, what can you do better next year -- that's how I intend to approach it. I'm sure that I will have even better ideas after a couple days of sleep and sun."