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Annual Look Back

Reflecting on 2015

2015 has been an incredible year. Sure, it goes without saying that it has been an incredibly turbulent year for the industry in which I currently make my livelihood, but it has also been an amazingly satisfying and life changing year. It’s been a year filled with some pretty amazing firsts, some great success and some inspiring albeit painful lessons.

A year ago, having only been a father for a little over a month, I set some ambitious goals, not truly appreciating what was ahead of me or just how important my new role as a Dad would become to me.

family_2015_Fotor_Collage

Family

Over the last year our little son has blossomed. He’s developing a real personality and his true inquisitive and exploring nature are beginning to show. Having started the year at just over 6lbs, he’s now heading north of 24lbs. It’s fair to say most of my waking time has been spent, playing with, minding, teaching and just getting to know our son. I can’t wait for 2016. Being a father has proven to be so much more rewarding than I ever thought, it’s given me new focus and new meaning in life.

travel_2015_Fotor_Collage

Travel

Having a young baby prioritizes where money is spent a little differently than I had figured, but then again, this is my first time being a parent and even despite this we managed to enjoy some pretty epic vacations. In April we zipped off for a couple of weeks to Maui. It was and still is the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever taken, and that was with a 5 month old! We traveled across the country visiting family, seeing my sister graduate from law school,  my cousin get married, celebrating milestone birthdays for both grandfathers, Thanksgiving in Ottawa and Christmas in Newfoundland. Even with all these trips, we still didn’t manage to preserve our airline loyalty status, but more on plans around that to come.

 

2015_run_performanceHealth And Fitness

I had hoped to run several raves and a couple of marathons in 2015. While I still did manage to get in almost 85hrs of running totaling 943km throughout the year, I didn’t manage to get in a single race.

 

Businesses & Ambition

Not a lot of good news here. My side businesses have proven to not be focus areas for me in 2015. Partly due to my focus on being a Dad and partly due to poor management of my personal time, I haven’t gotten anywhere close to what I had hoped to achieve in 2015 with App Development and some of the other startups I contemplated with friends.

 

 

What Went Well:

Family Focus: At the End of 2014 we added our Son Charles to our family. It’s been an amazing whirlwind of change to every aspect of our life and although there has been some sacrifice the addition to our lives has been amazing. Time seems to be flying by as we watch our little man grow up.

Travel: We made a lot of great trips in 2015 that were predominantly family focused. So many great memories and great times had! In 2016 we’re looking to set some of our traditions, but more on this to come.

Fitness: I’m 7lbs lighter than last year with a resting heart rate now around 44bpm. My blood pressure is great and my average casual pace (with a dog) is down to 5:24/km. It’s a good news story but there’s room for improvement with speed work and strength training.

 

What Didn’t go so well:

Personal Time Management: With the change in our household of having a baby, coping with the stress of an economy and industry close to implosion, and having a demanding day job have essentially shattered any time management practices I’d had in place. I’ve tried repeatedly and failed to set aside time for working on projects, hobbies, training and development. Huge area for improvement here.

Business & Projects: Further to the above, side businesses and projects were essentially a total bust in 2015. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this over this Christmas vacation and will have more posts coming on plans to regroup and deal with this. I made some not insignificant spend on some of the startups and learned some lessons that I’m looking forward to sharing.

Racing: 2015 was a year of absence for me from the road running circuit. I’m looking forward to better planning out my calendar for 2016 and avoiding the conflicts that forced some of my withdrawls while getting stronger and faster than ever.

With the NYE countdown now ringing along and only a few more hours to go, I’m more than ready to get a start in 2016, I’m setting some pretty ambitious targets for myself with some pretty clear focus, but more on that to come.

 

A Look Back at 2014 and a Glance Ahead

2014_revue

When 2014 started out, I’d hoped it would be a life changing year, a complete departure from more of the same. In short, I/we succeed in most aspects of that and conquered most of the goals we’d set.

A short summary of the goals for 2014:

  • Run a Marathon PB (faster than 4:01:00)
  • Have a great family vacation
  • Try and start a Family
  • Get Business Income to >$1000/mo

British Virgin Islands

BVI_2014

The spirit for changing everything was of course fueled by our first sailing vacation and our first tropical christmas. We rang in the new year last year with Great Friends (old and new) on the S.V. Liquid Sunshine, cruising around the British Virgin Islands.

It was a great trip and proved the concept to my wife, Jen and I both that we loved not only the idea of sailing, but sailing itself and everything that came with it.

Greece Trip

greece_trip

On the Heels of that Trip, we packed up and headed to Greece, meeting up with my Parents, Brother and Sister on the way. To be as concise as possible, it was a mind blowing trip filled with surreal views, broken landscapes, and more history that I could digest. It was an epic 4 days in Athens, exploring the sites of a city in turmoil wrapped in history, followed by 6 amazing and unbelievably relaxing days in Santorini, hiking, sunbathing, swimming and just taking in the spectacular views of the Caldera. This vacation will be hard to top, but I’m determined to see it happen in 2015.

After a disappointing lack of training discipline forced me to downgrade from the 2013 Calgary Marathon to the half Marathon, I was more determined than ever to train harder than ever. This led to some great accomplishments toward improving my health and fitness, but moreover I crushed my goal of breaking 4hrs, running a 3:39:21 Marathon. I This year I want to top that, set another PB with a stretch target of a 3:25:00 or faster.

Charlie

charlie_revue

The other highlight, and perhaps the most monumental event of the year was the birth of our first Son, Charles Edward Furey on November 30. There are few moments in my life where I can honestly say I’ve been lost in an upwelling of emotion, but seeing my son for the first time is top amongst them. It was an unbelievable experience, and through to this day it’s been amazing ride. The secret has been just rolling with the changes as they’ve been coming. Sure there’s been sleep deprived nights and some challenges in getting the little guy to settle down, but it’s been absolutely amazing.

Looking Ahead to 2015

This post is starting to get a little long so now, I want to spend a few minutes to just give a brief glance ahead with some goals for 2015 and beyond..

Health & Fitness in 2015

I hit my lightest weight just days ahead of the marathon in 2014. It felt absolutely amazing. However, an unexpected side effect of crushing my goal, was that I sat back and bathed in the “glory” of my self accomplishment and let myself deteriorate. Now that I know it’s doable, I’m determined to crush it with a goal of losing 15lb in the first 5months of 2015 and keeping it off. I want to reduce the body fat percentage from where it hovers around 18% to 12% and hopefully in the process get some ab definition.

In 2014 I walked almost 1.8mln steps (since starting tracking on August 4).

fitbit progress running_progress

In 2014 I ran 1,157km over the course of 105hrs burning 106,272kCals.weight_2014

and While I hit my goal weight at race time, I lost that and pretty much ended up right where I am.

I’ve also realized, data is power in tracking accomplishments here, my 2014 progress is shown above but there are holes – So I’m resolving to rigorously track my Calories and my progress with body measurements, weight &PF% (already pretty much doing this), Heart Rate and Blood Pressure – in addition to progress photos which I hope to post here at regular intervals.

I have a plan to achieve this, but for the purpose of a concise post, that will come in a separate future post.

2015 Business Goals

Last year I had a goal to hit $1000/mo in stable income from my side businesses. This was not achieved, in short, 2014 was a year Matt and I brainstormed and tried to reboot our efforts a few times, but each time losing momentum. I’m probably the chief guilty party here with allowing myself to become hopelessly distracted and allowing that to subtract from the momentum of the team.

Overall, 2014 business income average ~$ 96/mo, which I suppose isn’t bad as it paid expenses without having published 0 new apps and 0 updates. Further to that, it appears my AdMob account stopped working in Q3.
No way to sugar coat this, a complete failure in achieving this goal with no serious effort put toward and only my own laziness and lack of motivation to blame.

2015 will be difurrently working a plan to change this, but for 2015 the goal is more ambitious; Annual Average income of $2500/mo and exit rate cash flow of $5000 during the month of December, 2015. Starting at the End of Q1 2015, I’ll issue Quarterly updates on progress against the plan.

Again, details of the plan to achieve this will come in a separate future post to keep the length of this post in check

Projects for 2015.

We may be aiming a little high here, but both Jen and I like to feel busy around the house. Toward that goal, we have a few projects in mind:

  • Finish the Garage interior: I’ve always wanted the garage to be a place of work, not just storage. Right now it’s a mess; I’m looking to add some electrical outlets, insulate, drywall, and upgrade the lighting. If the budget allows I’ll upgrade the storage with some “Gladiator Garage” type modules. This is the first step toward making it a place of potentially working on a car in the future. But first and foremost, I want to make a nice clean storage area for everything that’s building up with baby raising and create a work bench/area for my circuits and arduino hobby projects.
  • Landscaping upgrades: We’ve mulled over this for ages, but we’re just not happy with the backyard and our side pathway. 2015 will be the year we add some retaining walls and bring some new dimensioning to the back garden. Serious Design work is yet to begin, but we have ideas. The plan is to take a stab at this and make it a DIY project.
  • Surely more will be added as the year goes on.

With less than 1/2 a day left, there’s no turning back now. Time to take a leap and reach for higher than ever before.