Friday, January 16, 2009

Review of 2008 Goals

It's a little over two weeks into the New Year, which means it is time to post my thoughts regarding the goals I set for myself last year. I mentioned some intitial thoughts about these goals in my NYE post, but today I will delve into each individual goal more thoroughly to see what I actually did well and the areas I could certainly use some improvement. I annually review my previous year's goals before I post a new year's goals, and while I haven't posted my review(s) on blogger before (typically keeping my reviews personal), there is a first time for everything. So let's get started.

Review of 2008 Goals

1. Train, run, and complete the Cleveland Half-Marathon. Goal not achieved. While I did train for the half-marathon for a few months, I stopped training when I realized we would be in Argentina for 6+ weeks in April and May, not returning until a few days before the marathon. This being my second lengthy trip to Buenos Aires, I knew going into it that my abilities to train properly would be just about nil. For starters, when down there the work hours tend to be very long and productive - I'm talking 65-80+ hour work weeks. Then there are the social aspects - spending time with friends and co-workers, going out, being entertained and entertaining, etc. And the timeframes for things such as meals are quite lengthy - example, the typical dinner hour starts between 9 and 10PM and lasts a good 2 hours. After working a 12-16 hour day, then going to eat, not getting home until after midnight, generally means not a ton of time to train - and if you have trained for a long race before, you know it takes up a decent amount of time. So that trip was where I fell off the wagon with training. I did end up getting a lot of exercise down there as walking to various destinations is so easy, but I did not get the half-marathon training in and I was okay with it; Since I knew going into the extended trip to Argentina, that if I was honest with myself, I really wouldn't be racing in Cleveland when I returned.

2. Begin development on my first book; Write at least thirty minutes a day, five times a week. Goal not achieved. I began development on the book, but it fell to the wayside. And I'm not sure when I'll get back to it. Inspiration eluded me on it, so I gave up. The writing 30 minutes a day, 5x a week also didn't happen AT ALL in 2008. I lacked the internal drive and structure to force myself to actually do it. Again, inspiration also eluded me on this one.

3. Broaden freelance network base; Forge ahead with career change; Do rewarding work. Goal achieved. Work was steady this year. I switched gears from the Human Resources and Recruiting realm to the Technical Writing world. Suffice it to say, I have not totally abandoned HR, as my advice and expertise does get called upon from time to time, but I would say I have begun to make a successful career shift. This was a pretty huge change for me as I had been in the HR/Recruiting world for almost eight years if you include the work I performed as an undergraduate out in Arizona (six if we're talking purely business world and not academia). The change has been nothing short of challenging, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time.

4. Learn all the ins and outs of CSS; Finish website; Develop and launch two new websites; Become more well-versed in the tech world. Goal partially achieved. Regarding this goal: I read some books, did numerous practice exercises, but never got to the ultimate goal of actually launching one website, let alone two. And while I might still eventually launch my website, I might also just plug it into what I have here on blogger. I know, I know. It's the lazy man's route, but the website launch became less of a priority as the year progressed. As far as becoming well-versed in the tech world, I must say I am getting better as each day passes...even with pregnant brain.

5. Continue to circularly practice proactivity in my recovery. Goal achieved. While I did fall off the horse during the first half of 2008, with not necessarily eating adequately, exercising a little too much, and not necessarily listening to the experts and people who love me when it came to my recovery, I did manage to hop back on during the second half of the year. This was probably largely due to me finding out I was going to have a baby in 2009. Let me just say, that finding out about the babe's impending delivery was the swift kick in the pants I needed. I never thought I would actually be able to conceive (let me say it was quite THE surprise when I found out I had), and while the timing wasn't ideal, conceiving the Flash is/was an unexpected gift - a gift not to be messed up. From the moment I found out, I knew I had to get back on the horse, and continue to work hard and do what my doctors advised me to do in both the best interests of the baby and myself. So while the first half of 2008 was difficult with recovery, the second half became that much easier because I felt I had more of a purpose to keep forging ahead. It all started to make sense to me, I guess. That's the only way I can really explain it.

6. Learn how to better manage finances and stick to budget. Goal achieved. YES! All credit cards are now paid off. J and I are still working on some imbalances with the spending, but I think that we made some seriously positive steps in the right direction dureing 2008, only setting ourselves up for a better 2009. The most important thing I think I learned from this goal was that when there are two or more people involved in a household budget, honesty from all parties involved is key as well as being able to openly discuss finances. If J and I hadn't been honest with one another, I don't think we would have gotten the credit cards paid off, and we wouldn't have plans on how to tackle our next debt goals. I know having a baby in 2009 is certainly going to throw us for a loop, but I feel better prepared to deal with it since we have an open line of communication.

7. Travel to at least three new places this year; Continue to save money for trip to Sweden. Goal partially achieved. I technically travelled to at least two new places this year: When we went to Buenos Aires, we stayed in a new neighborhood and also did quite a bit of exploring in areas of the city I had never been to, and I also took a trip to Charlotte, NC back in August to visit with one of my oldest friends and best people, Dayna. I didn't get to a third place, I don't think. And as far as saving money for a trip to Sweden, that didn't happen either. Money that was going to be saved for a big trip like that was spent on getting out of debt and the impending baby arrival. I'm thinking we won't be able to take a good, long trip to Sweden for at least four or five years now, so that's going to the backburner for awhile.

8. Train, workout five-six times a week as long as it does not adversely affect my recovery; Begin regular pilates classes. Goal not achieved. Well, I was working out about 5 times a week for say, the first quarter of the year, but then that stopped when we went to BA. And while I did get a decent amount of exercise down there, it wasn't "dedicated" workout time. Then after we got back from the trip, I started working out a lot again (somewhat to the detriment of my recovery), until I got the mystery 24/7 morning sickness. The sickness lasted 4 or 5 months (I block it out), and I was pretty much rendered useless in most categories of my life during that time. I was none too pleased. Once I was out of the woods with the sickness, I did start to workout with my Core Rhythms dance dvds and do some power walking, but never officially made it back to the gym regularly. I think it was hard for me to find my way back to the gym because the gym I've belonged to for the past three years, has lost its luster with me - not offering the classes I want to take and the service has gone downDOWNdown. And now with a baby on the way, my gym also doesn't have childcare unless I drive 30-45 minutes to the one branch in the city that does have it...So I pretty much need to find a new gym with everything I am seeking or bone up and buy cardio equipment for a home gym and get my butt started at CrossFit (which I had planned on doing before the dreaded sickness).

9. Locate, research, and visit various geographic areas where relocation would be possible in the next three years, so there is a geo-pool from which to choose. Goal partially achieved. Goal was partially achieved in that I would still like to find a way to live in Argentina for 6 months out of the year. There is a small, but feasible chance that we could make a half-year abroad move happen until the baby is of age to enroll in school, but otherwise, I don't really see any other options for relocation for quite awhile. So that goal was kind of pushed to the wayside.

10. Maintain current healthy relationships, purge the unhealthy relationships, improve relationships I want to keep but are currently suffering, and develop and grow healthy new relationships. Goal achieved. I don't think this goal will ever be eliminated from my annual goals. I did work a little harder on this one in 2008, and I have to say, I am pretty happy with where I am at with my relationships.

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