Reflecting On 2014 And Setting 2015 Intentions

Many people like to use the New Year as a time for reflection and goal setting. How did the year turn out? What did you get accomplished? What did you fail to accomplish? What did you set-out to accomplish but change directions in? What were some pleasant unplanned surprises?

Last year I kept my reflections and intentions to myself, but this year I decided I’d share them publicly. Maybe it will keep me more motivated, maybe it will help motivate someone else.

We’ll go through by categories.

Health/Fitness

I think health and fitness should be a priority in life and I definitely let it slip while I was traveling around the world for a year. When I got back home and hopped on the scale I weighed 217 pounds.

This is the heaviest I have ever been in my life.

I made my diet and fitness a priority for 2014 and made it my goal to have a visible 6-pack by the end of the year.

I tried to reach this goal by lifting weights 3 times per week, tracking my food intake with MyFitnessPal and tracking my daily calorie burn with a Fitbit. Then with lots of walking I tried to hit a weekly caloric deficit between 7,500 and 10,000 calories.

Some Fitbit stats from 2014:

  • Total Steps: 6,112,447
  • Average Daily Steps: 16,773
  • Average Daily Miles: Approx. 7.65 miles

I didn’t quite make it to the 6-pack but I lost about 40 pounds.

2014 Weightloss

2015 Health/Fitness Intentions

  • Visible 6-pack – It’s happening this year
  • Average 15,000 steps per day
  • One-armed chin/pull up
  • Handstand for 30 seconds
  • Do the splits
  • Floss daily (including under permanent retainer)

Personal Development

My goals for 2014 were:

  • Become fluent in Spanish
  • Visit a new country
  • Visit one US National Park
  • Continue to journal daily

The only one I truly accomplished was the last one: continuing to journal daily.

I made zero progress on becoming more fluent in Spanish and although I didn’t visit a new country or a US national park I did take a trip down to Mexico (which I’ll talk about a bit later) and I did a good amount of traveling in the US and visited some new states.

US travel included:

  • 3 trips out to San Francisco
  • 2 trips down to San Luis Obispo
  • 3.5 week road trip: New Mexico>Colorado>Texas>Louisiana
  • 1 trip out to San Diego, which included a trip up to Long Beach for a wedding
  • 2.5 week trip to the east coast: New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia
San Francisco Skyline

The View From My Brother’s Apartment In North Beach

Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour

Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour in Boulder, CO

American Flag Boots

Found The Most American Cowboy Boots At Allen’s In Austin, TX

Voodoo Museum in NOLA

Voodoo Museum in NOLA

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street

Huge Ass Beers on Bourbon Street

Huge Ass Beers on Bourbon Street

3 Guys In A Tux

Let’s Get This Guy Hitched.

New York City Skyline

The New York City Skyline As Seen From The Staten Island Ferry

Philadelphia LOVE Sign

The City Of Brotherly Love

Jersey Shore Pier

A Deserted Jersey Shore Pier

2015 Personal Development Intentions

  • Visit A New Country
  • Visit A New US State
  • Journal Everyday
  • Read At Least 12 Books
  • Improve Spanish Speaking Abilities
  • Philanthropic Donation (Time or Money)

Work

Work had a lot of experimentation in 2014 and it was through the experimentation I came to understand my true goal where work is concerned: bring in an income allowing as much freedom as possible.

It sounded simple, but as I swished the goal around in my mouth trying to figure out how best to tackle it, I found there are many moving parts, or sub-goals, leading to different levels of being “free.”

My first level of freedom is making enough money to cover my basic living expenses as well as being able to pay for at least three trips throughout the year.

However, my ultimate freedom, is being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, for as long as I want, without anyone telling me how to do it.

There are two very different levels of income needed to achieve each of those goals.

When I break down the ultimate goal into smaller, more manageable milestones to accomplish along the way it looks like this:

  1. Make enough money to cover basic living expenses
  2. Make money in a way independent of location, or put another way, acquire skills I can use to make money anywhere in the world to cover living expenses
  3. Use skills/income to create residual income sources
  4. Scale residual income sources until it reaches my level of “ultimate freedom.”

The added caveat for me, personally, is to enjoy what I’m doing.

To enjoy what I’m doing, I need to be working with people I enjoy, on a project I’m passionate about, that is bringing in a good income stream, in that order.

So how did I fare in 2014 on this goal?

Well, I still have a lot of work to do but I made a ton of progress, since I was completely jobless at this time last year.

The biggest turning point came when I applied for “A Learning Opportunity In Mexico” from NoHatSEO (now NoHatDigital).

The opportunity was a chance to go down to Valle De Bravo, Mexico for a seven day, fully immersive course on learning how to create an online business.

Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Valle De Bravo

I credit this one opportunity for 95% of the success I had in 2014 in regards to reaching my definition of “freedom.”

So, where am I today when it comes to my goal?

Currently, I have built up a skill-set and relationships allowing me to make money from anywhere in the world, and it’s enough income to support myself in a lifestyle I enjoy and 11% of the income is residual.

2015 Work Intentions

  • Blog Redesign
  • 26 New Blog Posts
  • 5 Guest Posts
  • 1,000 Blog Subscribers
  • Create A Financial Allocation Plan & Fully Automate Personal Finances
  • Hit $3,000/Month Income

I’m currently writing this from Valle De Bravo, Mexico as I have moved down here for the first few months of 2015. It should be an exciting year, and hopefully I can check off most of these intentions by this time next year!

Only time will tell.

I hope your 2014 was a productive year and if you have set your intentions for 2015 I’d love to hear them!

  • Bellaisa says:

    I know of at least 1 guest post you did. 🙂 That’s where I read your interesting story about your backpack.

    It’s funny, your daily journaling that you managed to stick to is a goal that I’m having no problems with this year. It’s an easy one that makes me feel good. Other goals, like learning Arabic, are not going so well. But, I still have 11 1/2 months or so left!

    Good luck with all your goals. Make sure to post the 6-pack!

    • Oy, Arabic would definitely be hard. I also find journaling everyday to be much easier than language learning. I wonder why that is…

      When the 6-pack shows itself I will definitely post it. Good luck with your goals as well!

  • Tamara says:

    Was become a professional photographer on that 2014 list??!! Holy cow! Dave – your photo skills have seriously improved and you are definitely on your way to professional photo taking. Keep practicing. My mom got Mikey and I a Travel Photography course through The Great Courses (http://www.thegreatcourses.com/). It’s just six 30-minute videos. I’ll email you the info and you can check it out if you have any interest, but I’m pretty sure you are way too advanced at this point….

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