It’s 2019. People talk about making New Year’s resolutions.
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
But I don’t. I’ve already made something. I made it on the back end of what was the worst year of my life. In 2015, I had everything on the table, was dealt a shitty hand, and thank God the fire alarm got pulled. My brother bailed me out and gave me food so I could be with my kids, in-town friends let me stay with them when I was living out of my car, and long-time buddies out of state lent me an ear so I could work through it. So after considering what might have happened if any of the delicately placed people and events that my fate hinged upon gave way, what I made was not a resolution. It couldn’t be, because nothing during that time was “firm”.
It is a big, fat, juicy goal. It is the kind Zig Ziglar spoke of when he said, “Set a goal SO BIG that you can’t achieve it until you GROW INTO THE PERSON WHO CAN.”
I set a goal. It is a big, fat, juicy goal. It is the kind Zig Ziglar spoke of when he said, “Set a goal SO BIG that you can’t achieve it until you GROW INTO THE PERSON WHO CAN.”; the kind you talk about, and people look at you with a blank face because they are waiting for a punch line but don’t want to offend by laughing at you on the off-chance it isn’t a joke. Given where I was in life, it was especially ludicrous. But I was not joking. I broke the goal down, and begin establishing milestones. That turned into a plan, and I began working out how to link them together over time. Then I asked what resources I needed at each point, and how I might come up with them. It became a series of dates and financial goals and the means to achieve them. The sacrifice, I knew from experience, would match the ambition.
I held myself accountable for progress, prioritized where goals competed for resources, and left the year behind feeling proud that many of my 2018 goals were predetermined back in 2015 because I was yet on track.
It had to start small. 2016 was desperate struggle to stabilize the basic conditions of my life—establish an independent and grounded home for my family, build relationships with wise advisors and mentors, work on putting out the financial fire I was burning alive in, and try to find happiness in the midst of it all. These were all preparation steps to building a foundation from which to launch my aspirations. With my personal and financial life recovering from the chaos, I approached 2017 with tangible health, financial, and mountaineering goals. I held myself accountable for progress, prioritized where goals competed for resources, and left the year behind feeling proud that many of my 2018 goals were predetermined back in 2015 because I was yet on track. And given what I’ve had to do to stay on track, that is a huge accomplishment itself. Last year continued with the same momentum, knocking them off one by one and now I find myself venturing beyond what was imagined back when it all began, open to opportunities previously unforeseen.
And so, for 2019, here are my goals:
to eliminate $1800 in remaining debt
to earn my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification
to lose at least 10lbs
to summit Snæfellsjökull (4744ft) during Winter
to summit Rainier (14411ft) during regular climbing season
to set the speed record for a shoreline circumnavigation paddle of Lake Lanier (400mi)
to compete in the 2019 Eco Challenge produced by Mark Burnett and Bear Grylls
to cross off two more items from my bucket list