Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 - Pre-Thoughts and Goals

What would a year's review be without a plan on how to change or continue to implement change. 2014, as far as I can see it, will be an extension of change that seemed to be a part of 2013, but hopefully will be more planned and articulated up front. Here are just a few things I anticipate will occur and will be working to achieve throughout the year.


With 2013 bringing 35 lbs in total weight loss, I still have another 10 to go before I reach my May 2013 goal. How will I achieve the final 10 lbs? Running, some moderate weight training to balance out my "off days," and proper diet. I'm not a strict proponent of diets so "proper" diet to me will be portion control as well as less sugars, especially now with Halloween and Christmas in the rear view mirror.

I set a personal objective of running my first marathon before I reach the age of 41. I intend on running a marathon in October which still gives me plenty of time to train, make it through the blistering Texas summer and extend my training into the cooler late summer.  Of course, the challenge is finding a venue that isn't hosting the event on a Sunday so I may end up running it in May. With a new pair of kicks, I'm ready for the first few months and excited to ramp it up. I'm going to train for the May marathon and see how it goes. I'm mostly concerned with my feet, achilles and hips as these tend to be my weak points when I extend my distance. Cross training should help.

A goal I'm setting, mainly because I believe it's fully achievable, and because it sounds cool, is 1000 miles for the year. What this translates to is 19+ miles per week. That requires me to run on average 4 times per week at 5 miles each. At the moment, especially while it's cold, I'm lacking the proper motivation to make that happen. But as the year moves on, I'll be ahead of target while I'm training for the marathon. I intend to keep pace, weather permitting, early on, in order to achieve weight loss goals as well. So bring on the 1K miles!

Back in August I started blogging more as a way of expressing my gratitude and I've found a renewed enjoyment and satisfaction in this expression of who I am. Along with blogging, I have a goal of finishing the edits to my first novel by the end of the first quarter and focusing my energies on publishing the book by the end of the year. As I've never embarked upon such a massive journey, the expectation of publication may be more than a stretch goal but it's now on the books. I'm already incredibly grateful for the friends and family who have encouraged me to take on such a huge venture and I'm already pleased with the direction it's heading.

While I'll continue to coach the remaining two rec soccer teams, I'm adding a basketball team to my coaching resume. The season kicks off in 1 week and we will have just one practice to prep the girls. Should be a fun adventure as I used to play (a little) and now get to coach. First objective - pick a team name.

The last two years I've been consulting for a client that looks to finally be ready to convert some contractors into full time employment. My goal is to make this happen so that my family, which is heavily dependent upon good health insurance, is squarely situated for the back half of the year. We've struggled with poor insurance and are paying through the nose for mediocre benefits. If there is one change that could bless our family this would be the one. A goal around the career is kind of problematic but my intention is bring personal accountability around making it happen.

Along with the physical and the writing, there is another hobby I'd like to continue which up until now has been more about the moment, the capture and the vain objective. There is something about capturing a scene in a digital way that is romantic to me. Whether video (less so) or in photography, I'm drawn to a visual perspective as seen through the artist capturing the event. There is so much to learn in the world of photography and it's always been a desire of mine to dive into it. With an iPhone I can capture simplistic moments and immortalize my own views for others to share. What I'd really like to do is somehow invest in a starter DSLR camera that would allow me to take more powerful shots, spend a little time pouring over them and publish a few emotions that are kicking around in my heart. This is definitely a stretch goal as the $ to come by the hardware is not in the cards at the moment. I may stick to iPhone photography for a while but I hope to hone my skills and study the art of at least one friend's work in order to further understand the craft.

While 2013 was a great start to developing deep, meaningful and lasting friendships, I see 2014 as an opportunity to build on what was already started and extend the friendships to additional families. What I learned from last year was how to be a better friend, what areas to focus on and some to avoid. Friendships were never a focal point for me since getting married and while easy to come by, were just as easy to discard. I'd like to make existing relationships more meaningful this coming year, invite more into our circle of friends and build connections that have staying power. I feel like one of the key components in making this happen is through service. Of course, a good prank here and there may help as well.

Where to start on this one. I think I'll need a list within a list.

  • Austin - prep for college/mission. Help get the #goonproject moving in the right direction. Keep healthy.
  • Savannah - prep for JV A Junior year and Varsity soccer by senior year. Prep for dating years. Purchase a gun and work on dad speech to potential suitors. Keep healthy.
  • Jaden - work on soccer skills, prep for high school and work on dancing skills for upcoming Stake Dances. Prep him for Philmont (so wish I were going). Keep healthy.
  • Liesl - work on Basketball skills, keep happy and keep healthy.
  • Rebecca - spoil her relentlessly through service, overt affection and give her every reason to be happy. Keep healthy.

2014 will be a year of perspective for me. Chances are I'll be losing my father, having suffered from Parkinson's Disease for the last 20+ years. He's been in a care facility and hospital for the last few months and is returning home today to start hospice care per the recommendation of his psych, physician and my mother. I'm not sure how much longer he'll have but there is a good likelihood he'll go quick. I'm sure I'll have a few trips up to the Seattle area here early in 2014 which should be more dreary than I'd prefer and will only add to the sorrow of the situation. More than anything I want to comfort my mom, say my final good byes and allow the moment to wash over me. Having never lost a direct member of my blood family, I'm not really sure what to expect but I intend on allowing the experience to be a shaping moment for good. My perspective on the matter is eternal and while I'm positive his loss in this life will be painful, I can see beyond the now and with spiritual eyes see how God's mercy in taking him will be a blessing.

Where would I truly be without a spiritual foundation in Jesus Christ? With a study of the Old Testament for Sunday School and the remainder of the year studying the Book of Mormon, I feel like I'll get to know the Savior through two different perspectives. My goal is to read the Old Testament this next year as I've not done so since I was a missionary 20 years ago this year. It won't be a critical analysis and more of a straight through reading but I'm excited to try again. It's a weighty deal considering all else that is on my plate but hey, it's a goal, right? Along with a study of the scriptures, I will be making it a goal to attend the temple once a month. We used to hit this goal without fail. Then 4 active kids made the attendance more difficult and we slacked in our resolve to prioritize this above the seemingly endless needs that came with each child. 2014 will be a reset year and this is one goal where I can be perfect.

Seems like a full year, right? Well, it's going to be and I'm sure there will be some surprises along the way as change is inevitable and most times is unaccounted for in the present. I fully intend for there to be planned and spontaneous camping trips, hopefully a mini-vacation (possibly around getting our son to college), date nights with Rebecca, parties with friends and many more adventures, dares and pranks. Whether goals and objectives are met, adjusted or just plain abandoned, it's going to be a stellar year and I'm excited to kick it off.

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