It was a busy year for us. Lots of good things happened, along with a couple of bad. But in a word – busy. Hectic at work with hirings, new projects, and new people. Crazy at home all year with adjusting to 2 kids (1 year old now, and 3 year old). Pile on top of that a house move – not smart timing. And mentally busy for me: not a lot of time margin for prayer/meditation, quick shifts from one activity to another, and large decisions & stressors abounding.
So here is an overview of results on last year’s goals, starting with a couple of lesson’s learned (a cornerstone of any good review, says the corporate organizational behavior nerd)
First, I could use a check-in or two before a year is up. When I sat down to review, I had no idea what my goals had been. At least they were written down – points for me there. But having not checked in on them a couple of times throughout the year had left me a bit rudderless. I always have leeway to change a goal, but I would rather have that an active decision than a result of no attention.
Second, overcommitments consumed me last year. I enjoy a sprint at times, but not all year. As I told my boss in my work review: everything was good, but there was just too much of it. At times I hit utter exhaustion. This holiday season has been a good recharge and reset. I look forward to a littler slower life in 2016.
Improve my Parenting
- GOAL: I wanted to spend more time at home by working one day / week from home. Also, just a goal to patiently pay better attention while I was with the kids.
- OUTCOME: SUCCESS, although not like I envisioned. Home life took control of all other aspects of life starting in August. I do think I “showed up” during this time. I was mainly there for work, but all the rest of life was transferred to the back burner. I did give up the working from home the last 4 months of the year. I’d like to change back to more home-based work.
Improve my Blogging
- GOAL: I started blogging in mid 2014 (different blog), having known nothing about the tech side of things. I felt like I knew lots of the basics by year end, but wanted to learn some (maybe still basic) things: create categories, menus, archives & change the theme. Also, I wanted to lighten things up & put out more articles. The goal was 30-40 posts for 2015.
- OUTCOME: SUCCESS, again different than envisioned. I shut down my other blog by February. I restarted this blog, and didn’t tell a bunch of friends/family about it. With full anonymity, I feel like I’m starting to find my voice and can be much more transparent. I put out 35 posts/pages and recreated a site, so I consider the output a success. Not to mention, I derailed and basically stopped writing from August to December. I have just gotten back into writing, which feels great.
Close in on Financial Independence
- GOAL: Spend less than 2014, finish paying off the mortgage, and trim some food costs (less takeout) & reduce home improvement costs (insource projects). At work, recapitalize/sell 2 projects and initiate 2-3 new projects. Get ourselves to 80% of our FI target = $2M in net investment assets.
- OUTCOME: SUCCESS. We hit the overall goal of getting close to 80% of our FI target. This was due to some strong successes in the real estate market at work. I can take some credit, but the market also provided a good % of the windfalls. Whatever…here’s to showing up! But the stronger than expected revenues made up for slop on the expense side. Our ongoing expenses were higher, and on top of that we spent a lot on moving (fixing up old house to sell, fixing up new house, buying furniture/fixtures).
- Wouldn’t be a New Years Resolution list without this, right?
- OUTCOME: BOOO, HISS. After a couple of months of more natural / less processed foods, and even dropping Coke, I just faded back into bad eating habits. Really, it timed with getting more busy and just dropping down/off the priority list. Losing steam with a goal due to other time constraints is a typical problem of mine.
- GOAL: Some on the giving-money side, but more on the giving-time side. I wanted to take a more active roles in some of the charitable organizations I had a “light participant” role in.
- OUTCOME: BOO, HISS. Again with the boo-ing, geez. I way underestimated my time availability for the year. First half of year with a newborn/toddler combo, then second half with our newborn’s health issues and the pains of moving with kids. Not even close to increasing my giving of time. In fact, I probably received the most helping hands from friends/family compared to any time of my life.
There was certainly achievement in 2015 – just not as I planned. We have grown up as parents – I would say tighter and more of a family. There were great windfalls on the financial side. We are thrilled to be settled into our new house.
One of my favorite things about blogging is accountability. It pains the achiever in me to admit that only about 60% of our actual goals were hit. But we’ve been rolling with the punches a bit this year, and learning from the ones we missed. Hopefully will increase the quality of my family’s life in 2016 from it.
Here’s looking to 2016!