Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yearly Goals V 2.0

My yearly goals for 2011 became two year goals! This year, I've been very diligent about writing out daily goals, and I'd like to have a bit more of a long term focus on other goals in my life. This type of focus is becoming increasingly important as I learn more and more about being in business for myself. So, I think when I focus on new long-term goals, it's important to go over previous ones. I like posting goals publicly so people close to me can read them, and help me with them. When I have my daily goals on my refrigerator, I notice that my friends that come over a lot will read them, and try to help me archive them, which is awesome!

Initially, I wrote these down on January 25, 2011. Those people that have been involved in my life for quite some time may be able to see how my perspective has changed since then, and how some of my actions were directed, and the areas I'm aware I need to work on (especially if there are any ex-girlfriends reading this!) I encourage everyone to go through the process of setting written goals in many areas of their life, and evaluating those goals, also in writing.
  1. Find a girl I think I can get married to and have her as my girlfriend.
    • Avoid anything that would prevent this.
    • Once it becomes obvious that I 100% certain that the person is eurrently not a potential match, cease all romantic interaction.
    • If someone could potentially be a match in 2-3 years this is certainly not a good match now, give her the time and space to grow without being involved in a romantic relationship with me.
I think I made decent progress on this one. After it became obvious a few people were bad matches, I walked away. When a few different people walked away from me, I didn't chase them. I had a serious girlfriend towards the start of 2011, and that ended amiably (a new thing for me!) and we still talk and are on friendly terms. I dated someone steadily in part of 2012, but didn't let that end quickly when it became apparent we had very different long-term plans. For this one, I think it's extremely important to have very clear short, medium and long term goals. It's very obvious now that different people could be matches in different terms, and whatever perspective I have and focus on will determine if I am satisfied or not. At the time of writing this, I have a new girlfriend named Lyric, and I'm excited to work on developing things with her!
  1. Zero judgement or criticism
    • Daily Reporting / Self-scoring on this. Weekly progress reports / analysis.
Over the past two years, I think I improved on this a lot. I remember clearly being surprised when someone told me they thought I was a patient person. Lately, my self-reporting has been much better in terms of daily/weekly goals, but during most of the period I was working on this my reporting and analysis wasn't that good. It's not like "well, I accomplished this and don't have to worry about it anymore." To be a patient, non-critical, person is to practice patience and avoid giving all sorts of unwanted / unsolicited advice.
  1. Get and keep well paying job I can have fun at (x+ / year would be ideal)
    • Able to bike into work would be awesome
    • Management Experience
    • Feel like I am part of a team
    • Contribute useful technology to people that voluntarily pay for it
This was a complete success. The cash was right on, and the benefits made Flow Science even better. Flow Science is a great company. I worked there for about two years, and would still be working there if I did not have the more current goal of starting my own software company! They always win awards for being a great place to work, and I think they deserve them. Everyplace to work has issues, but the difference was that at Flow Science there were smaller, less frequent, and eventually were resolved.
  • Biking happened a lot. I'd either bike to and from the train station, or bike to and from the Santa Fe place I crashed at.
  • The problem with really gaining managerial experience was that I lacked the domain-specific knowledge of computational fluid dynamics to make many intelligent decisions. There were a lot of software development projects I helped direct, so I don't feel bad about this sub-goal.
  • I felt like I was part of a team.
  • Flow Science creates scientific software that other people voluntarily pay for. They are not funded through tax revenues, but through sales.
  1. Continue with my construction project

    • This should be RENTED or LIVED IN by August 2011.
    • Finish the Windows
    • Install a bathroom
    • The inside work can continue as it is occupied (by me)
This one did not happen. My Santa Fe commute to a huge amount of my time. I finished ONE window, framed a lot, and did some insulation. This still requires massive amounts of work. It seems like when my self employment is going awesome, I have tons of cash but not much time and when things slow down the reverse is true. I'm continuing to make progress on this one.
  1. Visit my sister where ever she lives at least once, hopefully twice. 
This one was a complete failure. I never visited her in Germany.
  1. Win a "B" handball tournament.
I won a "B" doubles tournament towards the end of 2012 for the first time (the 2012 Dog Bowl in Albuquerque.) Thanks Gerald Cervantes for being my doubles partner! Gerald and I also won the NM State Doubles tournament in 2013 as well. Now I'm training a lot, and trying to win a "B" singles tournament. After this happens (I'm close!) I'm not sure what my next handball related goal will be.
  1. Pay back 100% of non-mortgage loans.
This one was a complete success. I had to borrow some money to make a few business deals go through, and I have not had my knee caps broken by the Russian mafia.
  1. Pay back all medical bills.
When I was in a car wreck in Vegas, I accrued a bit of medical expenses. Most of the time, I'm extremely good about paying back my loans, but not in this case. This wreck was one thing that I just completely blocked out of my memory. I cannot remember the actual accident, and the entire trip to Vegas is very fuzzy in my mind. I kept blocking out all aspects related to this, including some money I owed the hospital for taking care of me when I was injured. This has been repaid, and I am thankful for the infrastructure in the City of Las Vegas. (This wreck was because I was distracted with a GPS unit, and not because I was on any kind of mind altering substance on my Vegas vacation.)
  1. Bike 100 miles, run 10 miles, or swim 5 miles per week (or some combination.)
    • Keep a weekly log of this to measure progress.
    • MyCyclingLog is good for this. Use it.
During a large portion of my normal, 9-5 employment (2011 and 2012), I think my level of cardiovascular fitness degraded to the lowest level since high school, which is not actually that bad for Americans, but still wasn't where I wanted to be. Many of these weekly milestones did not happen during 2011 and 2012, but I've since improved on them a lot. Also since starting my own company, I'm also able to spend lots of time exercising and almost no time commuting.
  1. Have Nk in easily available funds at all times.
    • Get Xk in cash and start repaying some of my outstanding debt.
This goal worked out well. I am very happy with how much debt I paid back during this time period. Now that I look back, it may have been more wise to invest some of that money into other money-making ventures, but paying back my loans was a safe, reasonable, thing to do as fast as possible. Now that I am in business for myself, and not receiving a regular paycheck, I will double this cash reserve amount in my new yearly goals.
  1. Improve my fluency in the Russian language.
    • Weekly Continuing Education Courses.
    • 1-2 times per week tutoring
    • Possibly find a Russian girlfriend
Riding the train was very helpful for my Russian proficiency. Continuing Ed was cancelled, and there are no plans to startup with it again. Private tutoring has been helpful, and now I am taking classes (one a semester!) towards a Russian degree at UNM. My conversational abilities continue to increase as I practice more and more.

All in all, I am happy with how my goals went during this time period. Some of my goals were not accomplished, some were partially accomplished, and some were completely accomplished.