This past year was an interesting year for me personally and professionally. There were ups and there were downs. As I sit here having my homemade pumpkin spice latte and reflecting on our Christmas celebration, I’m once again completely shocked at how fast the year went by. As we drove home from Athens where we dined and celebrated with family on the night before Christmas Eve, we remembered back to last Christmas Eve’s not so stellar “celebration”, in which I had to be rushed to the ER because my bladder had seized up and ceased to function as a result of the previous day’s surgery to remove the cancer from my bladder a second time.

My kids are now able to laugh at the fact that my wife and I left the house at 530pm on Christmas Eve to head to the ER, ordered Chinese take out as we left, handed my daughter the credit card to pay for it, and left my kids alone on Christmas eve. There’s a LOT to be learned from that series of events, not the least of which is “always get a catheter when you have surgery on your bladder.” A week later, my son and I hiked Blood Mountain in 43-degree rain and it was awesome.

A selfie at the top of Blood Mountain

That night, I came home and ate wonderful hot chili…and got food poisoning. That was how 2014 ended. 2015 started far, far better, and became an extraordinary year. Here are the highlights from the “business” side of things:

Each of these things contributed to my personal and professional growth in 2015, and I am blessed and very happy that I was able to do all of them. That said, there are just a few things I’ll be changing in 2016, and I’ve set a few personal goals for the year. I’ll be measuring against them in about 12 months, so this post next year should be interesting. Here they are.

  • Write a blog post for every day – I did this for the first half of 2015, and then lost it in August. I was still consistent, but not nearly every day. Why? Because I had no plan. No strategy. This year, I have a plan and a strategy to blog every day.
  • Build up to running 3 miles at least 3x per week – in August (again?) I made the intentional decision not to exercise at 545AM as I have for the past 12 years. I traded that time to invest each morning helping my son learn how a man takes responsibility for his day starting first thing in the morning by making his bed, taking care of himself, and showing up to breakfast on time. I have no regrets about that trade-off, and my son has made tremendous progress as he grows into a strong young man.
  • Move away from free weights and to push-ups & sit-ups – I’ve lifted weights since 2000, and really enjoy doing it and the benefits I get from it; however, when I travel or am not able to have access to a proper set of weights on those days, it’s become too easy of an excuse to say, “well, I don’t have weights, so I won’t work out.” Rubbish! There are dozens of different kinds of push-ups to aspire to learning and doing and keeping things interesting, and no end to the types of abs exercises one can do without any sort of equipment.
  • “Date” my wife and kids on their birthday days each month – I did this in 2014, and it was a huge blessing. Whatever their birthday date is, e.g., mine is May 10th, so my day would be the 10th of each month, I take that person out on a “date.” My wife and kids would mark the date on their calendars and the day before their date, they would each ask what we were going to do. It wasn’t a big fancy date. Sometimes it was a long walk, just the two of us. Sometimes it was fishing or shooting or an actual date with my wife. The idea is that I spend some significant amount of time with just that one person on their day with no distractions (including electronics!).
  • Read the chronological bible in one year – this one’s gonna be tough. I’ve read the entire bible over the course of the 20+ years that I’ve been a believer, but never in one year. My pastor does it every year and has encouraged us to do the same. So, with the help of my iPhone and YouVersion, that’s my goal for the new year.

A couple of these are on the “most popular new year’s resolutions” list that never, ever stick, and that’s ok, they still need to be done. I am positive I will not be perfect in striving for these goals, but as Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

What did you do last year? What will you do this year?

What do you think about that?

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