Looking Backward and Moving Forward

By | January 1, 2014

New Years is always a time to examine past accomplishments and figure out what you want to do in the future. I’m looking forward to 2014. It’s not that 2013 was bad or had bad memories; I’m just looking forward to the new year. In fact, I was telling my wife yesterday that I’m actually excited about it. (It’s the first time in years that I can remember being excited about a new year.)

I’m not one to make New Years’ resolutions; I’ve found over the years that they just don’t have much meaning. Instead, I work on bettering my situation incrementally. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. In 2013 it generally worked.

Personally, I was able to get in better shape by the end of 2013, losing over 75 pounds from my high weight. (I was just plain tired of carrying around all that extra weight.) I was ecstatic that I was able to end December weighing about 3 pounds less than I started the month–the holidays are always a tough time to loose weight. I plan on losing a maximum of 25 more pounds during the early part of 2014, then want to reach a maintenance weight that is down about 85 pounds from my high. I’ve also, just within the past two months, started exercising with the help of a personal trainer. I’m going to be more aggressive and determined about it in 2014.


Also in the “personal” category 2013 saw my disengagement from FAIR. For well over a decade I volunteered as vice president of the organization. I resigned from that position on January 5 and I’ve essentially pulled out of all participation with the group. (I’m an all-or-nothing type guy. Before it was all, so the only way to pull back—for me—was to go to nothing.)

Since FAIR had been, for so long, a large part of my social, emotional, and spiritual outlet, I recognized a need to replace that. It took some time to personally mourn the resignation and subsequent disengagement, and then it took some time to figure out an approach that would work for me. The result was starting this blog (the one you are obviously reading) later in the year. I did so to provide an outlet for my musings and commentary on life. This post is my 28th, and I plan on continuing blogging during 2014 as I find it enjoyable to so muse.

Financially, I started 2013 going into some debt for a business venture I was trying out. That venture didn’t pan out like I hoped, but I learned a lot from it. I was also able to pay off that debt (plus some) by the end of the year. I can now see a point in the first half of 2014 where, if I apply some discipline, I’ll be able to get out from under my credit card debt, which would be fantastic.

In my business I am more “lean” than I was a year ago, with a better focus on what I want to do in the coming months. Now it is just a matter of going out and “doing it” to make that focus pay off. I expect the next few months to be very busy as I try to implement the business changes I’m anticipating.

I also have a desire and goal during 2014 to do a bit more travel than I did in 2013 and earlier years. We are planning a real vacation in the third quarter (the last one we had was in early 2006). Plus, I want to identify and attend a few business-related activities (conferences, etc.) that may produce opportunities. (Anybody got any ideas?)

In my family the last year has not been a time of huge changes. If memory serves me right, there were no marriages, no births, and no deaths among my relatives. That will change in 2014, as one of my brothers-in-law is dying of terminal cancer. (Yesterday the doctor wasn’t sure he would live to see 2014, but he apparently lasted the night. We don’t expect him to last much longer.)

On a brighter note, we are expecting another grandchild, this one in August. Barring any surprises now unforeseen (and we know they can always happen), that will be the extent of the family changes in the new year.

Spiritually 2013 saw several highs and lows. I’m in a better place right now than I was a year ago, and I’ve come to terms with some issues that were bothering me. Nothing earth shattering or testimony destroying; just things that brought up feelings within me that weren’t always conducive to the Spirit. I’m glad that the Lord is patient with His children (including me). In 2014 I’m looking forward to more opportunities to spend time with my own ward (congregation) and the people there that I love dearly. I haven’t had that opportunity for the past year, but 2014 looks brighter in that regard.

I hope that you and yours have good memories of 2013 and are looking forward to a great 2014. Me? I’m still excited for what the year will bring.