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2013 – A year in preview

When I was in middle school, I was voted most likely to be a millionaire by 25. Well guess what? I have just a few days left to make that actually happen, and am more than a few dollars short. This is not a bad thing or a regret. Life has been packed full since the good ol’ days in eighth grade, and with some of the most important, high quality stuff as well, not just filler. While my goal in life is not to make that million (though I’ll take it!), I feel like a constant focusing of laser, or sharpening of the ax, goes a long way.

Yesterday I wrote my 2012 year in review, and amazed myself by the incredible events, experiences, and blessings that I had last year. I have so much to be thankful for, and I want to make this year even better.

I’m going about this in two phases. First, I am defining broad waypoints or situational descriptions that I would like to see fulfilled by the 2013. Second, I will then define actual goals (measurable, attainable, etc.) that will facilitate achieving those grander visions. In this manner I hope to have both the end goal and the day to day objectives in mind, and actual translate them into reality.

Without further ado then, how I would like to position my life by the end of 2013, in broad terms:

  • Last year I didn’t miss a single day reading in the scriptures. I want to continue this habit, but augment it by being able to say that I had a meaningful study every day, and not just a couple of verses because I was rushed.
  • Make more memories. When you look back on a year, do you think about the interesting article you read that day, or the new word that your son learned and repeated to you in the cutest way 500 times? The word, of course. From small little things like that to the big vacations, I want to have more memories to look back on with my family and close friends.
  • Really dive deep into enterprise software solutions, learning how they differ from consumer and freelancer projects, and what drives those differences. I want to know and understand this level of work so that I don’t misapply freelancer/consumer answers to enterprise problems, and visa versa. Truly understanding this level of work will hopefully make me a better business man all around, at every level. Luckily I am in a great position to do this in my day job, where I work on enterprise projects each day as a consultant.
  • Work on side projects to generate $1,000/month in passive income in 6 months, and $5,000/month by the year’s end. I’ve been considering this one for several months now, and have even recently seen some very successful people setting the same types of goals, so I know I must be in good company. Why do this? Because I don’t think there is a reason I shouldn’t be able to accomplish it. Doing so will also set up a 2014 that has more important lifestyle changes that I desire.
  • Have more time with my family. I’ve been working professionally for a whole eight months now (I’m a vet, I know), and I’ve come to realize already that things like commuting suck, because they suck valuable time out of your day. Other things as well, like too frequent news checking, seemingly important but truly unimportant side projects, etc., all take time away from the people that matter most, and the only “things” you get to take with you after this life. I am 25, and hopefully have a lot of life ahead of me, but that is not an excuse to skimp on time now simply because I’ll have more later. This life statement is also tied in with the immediately preceding one.
  • Write about and study information overload more. Review apps, review academic papers, write about behavioral solutions and the most recent news. Why? Because I am passionate about it, I love it, and you always learn something better when you must explain it clearly to others.
  • Take more pictures. Organize the ones I have. I used to walk down the road and would frame photographs and prints in my head–it’s been a while since I’ve done that. I have about 20 GB worth of photos that need sorting and editing, and the others are unorganized and difficult to access. These are some of the most precious memories and beautiful artwork I’ve done, and I’m just letting them gather digital dust. “Don’t bury your talents” comes to mind.
  • Begin to cultivate more of a sense of service and selflessness. In America we hear about the 1%, but in reality, anyone in America that is well off enough to be aware of what the 1% issue is referring to is truly a 1% themselves in regards to the world at large. I’m definitely not in the American 1%, but given the opportunities and compensations that I have, I’m probably in the top 0.1% in the world, and I need to give more of that back. And not just to the extreme destitute in far flung countries, but even to my neighbor or passerby downtown. Have service and compassion be a true part of my being and personality.

I’m sure there are a few I may have forgotten, but I believe that covers all of the most critical aspects. I love my life and have been so blessed; truly everything I have and am is because my heavenly Father has accorded it to me.

Now is the moment to take this life and time that has been given me, and magnify it, turn it into the best life I can conceive, and make it wonderful.

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