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Reflecting on 2014 Goals

We’re already in the second week of 2015. Only fifty more to go! Before we get too far along, I wanted to share some reflections on 2014 goals. As before, our family has been using a Trello board to track and update our goals. I highly recommend the process of goal setting and achieving. In large part because, according to the Enneagram , I’m an Achiever (learned that in 2014). It just makes sense to me.

If you’ve never done goal-setting before and want to, then message me . I’d be happy to brainstorm with you and get you setup.

The biggest achievement of 2014 was a happy and healthy addition to our family. Bethany Marie Jenks was born on September 29th. At the start of the year, we had hoped to get pregnant. How quickly blessed we were! This added to my current roles, fatherhood, which has had a rather steep learning curve. Not since marriage have I experienced something that so profoundly changed my life. I have a lot to learn as a Dad but I welcome the task. How little did I know what the Trello card “Get Pregnant” would really entail.

Roles in 2014

A life of various roles has been thematic of my 2014 goals. I started the year with the additional family roles of husband to Shannon and alpha-dog to Tesla. I’m proud to have accomplished those faithfully and lovingly. It’s hard to quantify those goals so I simply check-in and ask how I’m doing. Tesla has had a bit of a hard time adjusting to Bethany but it’s because she likes us all so much.

My other various roles of 2014:

  • Twenty-somethings small group leader at The River Church Community. Early in the year, we had one large group that multiplied into two. I lead one of those cells and the group has continued to grow. In Spring we did an intimate study about money which I prepared. I’ve seen a lot of fruit in those relationships and it’s been meaningful fun and hard work. I began a hiatus from leadership at the end of the year on account of Bethany and I think the new leaders are doing great.
  • River Church youth group leader. Back in June I shared about my experience at The River’s partnership gathering. I continue to love working with the other leaders and leading youth along The Way. This program grew tremendously as Brett Bymaster moved to full-time staff. During the summer, I lead a week-long programming-club in the evenings that explored a series of python games . Sharing at retreats and on Sundays and Fridays has continued to grow my faith.
  • Programming-club at Downtown College Prep . As the 2013-2014 school year came to an end, so did this role. It was a fun experience to take a handful of kids through the basics of computer programming. As much as I taught, I probably learned. And it again was clear to me that programming is hard. The games are a great way to engage youth but strong typing and algebra/geometry skills are keys to success.
  • AP Calculus tutor at DCP. Three brave students were willing to forge ahead in an independent study of calculus. I worked as a tutor providing one-hour lessons and help. Becoming familiar with calculus again was a great experience for me. Unfortunately, for the students, independent study was no substitute for a classroom on such a difficult topic. At the least, they all got into college and I’m sure have bright futures ahead of them.

Achievements in 2014

  1. Continued to floss every night. This is a carry-over from 2013. I’ve done it enough now that my mouth doesn’t feel clean unless I floss it. Yaaay! I think I can continue it in 2015 without making it a goal. So after two years, a goal becomes a habit.
  2. I continued to ride the bike for exercise up through August. In July, I achieved my goal of a 25 mph average over 20 minutes. I got there from an average of 12 mph over 15 minutes just two years ago. Since September, I stopped riding and I’m sure my average has fallen from my goal. But the achievement remains with me. I will get back there.
  3. I published the Python Sorted Containers Module . This has been my biggest and most significant open-source contribution to-date. A related new experience was networking with Python contributors and open-source users. I’ve enjoyed the process and I hope the project will one day be included in the standard library or maybe a stdlib++ .
  4. We paid off our HELOC! To afford our home in 2012, we had to take out a mortgage and home-equity line of credit. That was a big chunk of change! We’re glad to have the debt paid and line closed. Now we’ve just a fixed-rate mortgage and it’s a much more comfortable feeling.
  5. As a family we committed to YNAB . I’m sure it’s out-of-date right-this-second but taking time to review the budget monthly has been critical. It helped us catch a big mistake with our health insurance that could’ve cost us tens of thousands of dollars. Now we include the budget in our “hard talks” every week.

Highlights in 2014

  • Shannon resigned her position at DCP to be a full-time mom. She’s sad to leave the students and teachers but she doesn’t miss the constant flow of assignments.
  • We took a week-long vacation to Kauai for our five-year anniversary. The north shore is also where we honeymooned. It was great fun.
  • We celebrated Tesla’s first birthday with her first trip to the beach.
  • I achieved inbox-zero for one brief moment.
  • Lot’s of friends got married or had a baby .
  • I picked up some new business opportunities with Python lessons, Adwords consulting, and a software contract.

Lowlights in 2014

  • I passed a kidney stone. (Ouch and ewww!) That was my second trip to the ER, ever. I’d like to not repeat that again. The trick is water, gallons of it.
  • I faced a setback in my main business. I’m hopeful that new developments will overcome that setback.

There were some goals that I didn’t achieve. I don’t weigh what I wish. I don’t make as much as I’d like. My dog isn’t as well behaved as she should be. But overall the year was a great success and I’m looking forward to 2015.

Here we go!