With the end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new year undoubtedly we’ve read and heard lots of people review their years and set new intentions, goals, or dare I even say resolutions ahead of the new year.
I want to put my own spin on the genre and simply offer and share with you how 2022 became a most surprising and actually really great year for me, and offer a few tips to you who might want to set for yourself intentions, resolutions, or goals.
How do you achieve goals?
Well, for me the process is straightforward:
- Take an assessment called the Living Forward Assessment.
- Set a goal for each of my life domains
- Write them down using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R Framework
- Use a planner to track my progress. I use the Full Focus Planner.
How did my year shape up?
It’s interesting where I sit that when I really consider this past year I have accomplished quite a bit. However, it doesn’t seem that I necessarily have. Maybe I measure the gap (the distance between my desired state and my current reality) instead of my gains (the progress I have made throughout the year including momentum).
Here is my list. In no particular order really.
Earned my Open Water PADI SCUBA Diver Rating
This achievement was a long process for me to attain. I actually started in 2021. To get the certification you have to complete: Book and Knowledge Training, Closed water dives to gain skills, and Open Water Dives (presumably in an ocean). When you satisfactorily complete all three steps you get your C-Card and can dive to a certain depth and rent equipment and more.
This achievement was special because it was the first trip my brother and I took to do something on our own. I intend to make it a yearly occasion, to take a dive trip with my brother.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Vacation with Lifelong Friends
On the way to somewhere my wife and I got a call from one of our longtime friends asking if we would like to go on a vacation with a group of friends we have been a part of for almost 20 years. Without hesitation, we booked a vacation at the Sandals (did you know they’re all-inclusive?) in St. Lucia La Toc.
We enjoyed great weather there, great food, relaxing times by the beach and pool, great entertainment, and more. Evidently, hiking there means going straight up a mountain, leg cramps are cured by stones between the toes, the diving is amazing (I saw a 5 foot long grouper), and Rum Punch is something not to be trifled with.
Most importantly, my wife and I enjoyed spending time together and not having to worry about work.
Completed a Graduate Degree
One of the things I felt like I needed to do for my career and professional development was get a degree in marketing, so that I could set myself a part from others in the job search. But I didn’t want to go back to get an undergraduate degree. In January of 2021 I began coursework to earn a Masters in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. I averaged about three to four courses per term (Spring, Summer, and Fall) and it took me two years to complete.
Well, in December of 2022 I finally graduated with my Masters! For two years I really worked hard, juggling life, a part-time job, and other responsibilities to not only pass my classes, but earn a 3.8/4.0 average. I learned that while nearly everything made sense to me, courses in analytics and statistics were far more difficult. I learned something from my undergrad that better grades get you better opportunities.
Landed a Job Working in My Field
During grad school, and for the past couple years, I have been in a job search for my next opportunity, especially since moving to the area a couple years ago. A colleague of mine from UC (Grad School) told me there was an opportunity at his company he works for and that I should apply. I applied on a Friday, got interviewed on a Monday (in person) and was offered a job on Friday.
I now work full-time as a Marketing Proposal Specialist at The Kleingers Group, Cincinnati’s best Civil Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, and Field Design Company.
Launched a Podcast
As a way to stay in tune with marketing trends and topics, I like to listen to podcasts. It gives me a way to learn while doing other things like laundry, chores, homework, and more.
To help gain some credibility and authority in the space, I decided to launch my own show, called Marketing Distilled. It’s me talking about marketing, what I’ve learned, read, or realized in my work as a marketer and student. I took a bit of a hiatus to finish graduate school and get settled in the new role, but in the new year I’m looking to get back into the studio to record interviews with experts, authors, and give some really great lessons to listeners about marketing.
Joined A Church and A Church Band
The pandemic of 2020-2021 really put a squeeze on our spiritual life. But, in 2022 we decided to attend and join Grace Fellowship in Florence, KY. I am really glad that we did. We sit under solid, biblical preaching from a team of Elders, and have even joined a small group where we study scripture, pray for each other, and worship mid-week.
Not only that, but I managed to get myself involved in their worship team. Grace is a big church. The biggest we’ve ever joined. Our Worship Team has a bench of 3-4 drummers, 2-3 bassists, 2-3 acoustic guitarists, skads of vocalists, 3 keys players, one organ player, and 6 electric guitar players. Needless to say that I’ve had to step up my game, practice, prepare, and adopt a humble and learning spirit to grow both as a worshiper and musician.
Based on last year, I think I should say that 2022 was surprisingly a good year for me. Using the tools I mentioned above, I gained clarity in what I wanted to pursue and then I devised a plan to accomplish the goals I set for myself. Sometimes, in the case of the job search, you need a little help from friends and people you know. Other times, in the case of SCUBA diving, it takes persistence and planning to complete.
What I also note is that I consistently neglect other areas of my life domains. Notably absent is a physical and financial goal. Why is this? The long answer probably requires me to attend lots of therapy and counseling sessions. The short answer is probably the fact that I’m not naturally attuned to these areas. Thankfully though, with assessments like the Living Forward Assessment, I get to see all areas of life and continue to focus on them.
How did your 2022 fair? What did you accomplish? How did you accomplish them? Feel free to share in the comments below.