It’s that time, in fact it’s a little past when this blog usually posts new years resolutions.  Here’s a quick recap of last year and how I believe things went:

1.  Lower caffeine levels:  A, my goal was to go down to two cups of coffee per day and that is what I did.  The effect has been good.

2.  Internalize ideas and thought processes prior to stating them:  B, I yam what I yam to an extent.  It’s really hard to stop thinking out loud when I’ve been doing it my whole life.  In fact, it’s difficult to be as effective as I’d like to without vocalizing ideas to “sort them out.”  I can write them out as well, but often in the normal day to day discourse it’s hard to do that.

3.  Carve out more time for my daughter:  C, we did more things together last year, including starting swimming courses and other things but Juniper is still learning the things she likes and finding where our interests overlap is the next stage.  This will come in time.

4. Continue efforts to learn and add value at work:  A, things continue to go well in my current industry–solar energy!  I love working in this sector and made a good amount of progress last year, though not necessarily in the areas I consider to be my “wheelhouse.”  One thing the last few years has taught me is that things take a lot longer to progress than you initially think they will.  Still, it’s been an amazing role and a great experience for my career.

As far as 2019 goes, I’ve fallen behind.  Life is very hectic today, which is why there aren’t more posts on this blog.  I’m OK with that outcome as this is more an area for self reflection than it is a publication (though to you readers who do still visit, thanks for reading!)  So I’ve been thinking through my resolutions the last week.  Every year I have financial and physical goals to work on — they’ve become less quantified recently as our lives have become more predictable.  Continuing to work out 3-4x per week and save the same amount of money, or put it toward loans or house projects keeps things improving.  That’s great, but I don’t know that it’s of value to post here.

Without further ado, here are the things I’ll be working on in the next year:

1.  Work Life Balance:  The last 3+ years I’ve spent a very good amount of my time outside of work on supplemental information about my industry.  Namely podcasts and books on the electric industry.  Truthfully it’s a fascinating subject as it intertwines traditional capitalism, economics, and regulations of a public good.  But returns on every incremental page and podcast listen are diminishing for certain.  There’s still a lot to learn, but I can’t learn it all and it is probably time to start broadening the things I spend time on as well.

What does that look like?  It means listening to more music and reading more outside of the industry.  That may sound really easy, but I’m a bit of an obsessive compulsive and the idea that there is information that is essentially free if I work hard to understand that can add value for my company makes *not* reading it a tough proposition.  Goals are best when quantified, so to state this numerically my consumption pattern should go from 80/20 work related to 40/60.  That’s doable.  The sad thing is that I have these three books to get through before I can do it.

This is also inclusive of new family initiatives, such as finding areas where Juniper and I overlap and activities we can both do together.  Introduce her to new things and find out what she enjoys.  The same is true for Olive, but she’s just getting started.   Time spent with my wife is also difficult due to our lack of babysitters and close family.  It may be time to figure something new out in regard to that.

2.  Consider and Contemplate – Let Things Pass:  I saw an excellent video of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett describing their consideration of what to do with time and how to interact with things happening at that moment.  My bias is normally for action (thank you Tom Peters) and that culminates in a tendency to interact, to debate, to want to solve things.  That tendency is not necessarily a good thing as it lends itself to over managing things.  Some ideas get credence that they shouldn’t in the first place.  The point made in the discourse between Gates and Buffett was essentially that you don’t have to engage in everything happening around you.  You have to learn to sit back and absorb everything using logic, and engage when it makes sense.  Let everything else go.

3.  Get out and travel to new places:  I’m a big believer that you need to do new things continually in order to keep life interesting.  It also gives you something to look forward to during these cold Minnesota winters.  We haven’t travelled very far in some time due to Olive just joining us in July, but this year we can remedy that.  We have a trip planned for Hawaii in March, but I’d like to do two more major trips to new places we’ve never gone, or at least places we haven’t been to in some time.

4.  Be kind:  This one is not easy to describe.  I wrote a few things down which I deleted and rewrote, then deleted again.  I don’t think I have this sorted out for public consumption just yet.  I’ll leave it as the Jeff Bezos quote, “It’s harder to be kind than to be clever.

That’s it for this year.  From our family to yours, may the new year bring you tidings of joy.