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2015 Goals

This is an assessment of the goals I made for 2015.  Overall things went exceptionally well in 2015.  I accomplished a lot of my goals and I came up short in others. While the amount of work associated with each is difficult to measure, I have a much greater understanding of how much effort each goal area takes to be successful in my mind.  Very challenging year across all goal areas.


  • Educate and Develop my children.  SUCCESS! We were able to complete the biggest Lego project planned for 2015, the Imperial Shuttle from Star Wars.  It was a long and challenging project and it took quite a few attempts to refocus everyone back onto the project as the year progressed.  There were several other smaller projects which went very quickly
  • Enjoy 75 Books. PARTIAL SUCCESS! I was able to complete and enjoy 67 great books in 2015; 6 more than 2014.  That works out to be 1.28 books per week; not too shabby considering some of the tomes I worked through (e.g. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)   Ultimately, what I learned about this goal was that the number read isn’t as important as the quality of what is enjoyed and what is learned through enjoying them.
  • Run 2 Ultra marathons and 2 marathons.  PARTIAL SUCCESS! I was able to accomplish two marathons.  I completed the Freedom’s Run Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon (for my 4th year in a row); both in October. The North Face 50K in Washington DC; the first ultramarathon I tackled in April 2015.  You can see me running at 50 seconds into this video.  I then tried a couple stretch goals and failed at them.  I first attempted the OSS/CIA 50 Miler (pulled for time at 36 miles) then tried tackling the JFK 50 Miler (pulled for time at 38 miles).  These were both challenging races which were just too much for my level of preparation.  I learned an exceptional amount from both of them.  While I DID NOT FINISH (DNF) both of them, I was stopped in each of them well beyond the 50K distance (minimum ultramarathon distance).  So while the 50 mile distance eluded me, they both met the ultramarathon distance.
  • Make a new Sous Vide Recipe Monthly. SUCCESS! I made a quite a few new things throughout the year.  My favorite is a great marbled ribeye cooked sous vide to medium rare and then seared quickly.  I became very good at this recipe while exploring several others such as short ribs, chicken, asparagus, pork belly, pork chops, and even cauliflower steaks.
  • Family Trip. SUCCESS! We enjoyed family trip to see my sister and brother.  We then all traveled (brother and sister’s family) to see my father and go fishing.  It was great to have all of the grand kids together seeing them play and interact together.  Even if it was absolute torture in the boat, it was good for all!


  • Lead Effectively. PARTIASUCCESS! The challenge in assessing success in this area is that much of the assessment are tied to key inspections.  We successfully accomplished two major inspection, while preparing for a third which is planned for early 2016. There were some difficult challenges throughout 2015, but collectively we met the mission and supplemental requirements of all of us quite well.
  • Teach Effectively. SUCCESS! I taught two courses at University of Maryland University College and one at Tidewater Community College.  This experience was eye opening into the challenges which face both our nation’s education system and the difficulty in developing new cyberspace experts.
  • Be published two times. FAILED. I simply did not put forth the effort to write some of the ideas that I have down in a manner in which they could be published.  I had plenty of opportunity to do so. 
  • Invest 100 hours in learning new languages (Life goal – 10,000 hours). FAILED.  I did use Duolingo to start learning Spanish, but only invested a few hours throughout the year.
  • Invest 100 hours in coding (Life goal – 10,000 hours). FAILED.  No progress.
  • Invest 100 hours in Robotics (Life goal – 10,000 hours). FAILED.  No progress.


  • Increase my income by 10%. SUCCESS!  I was able to increase my income through teaching by 8%.  Additionally, I was selected below zone for promotion to the next rank for my previous performance in the Navy.  While the latter won’t realize an actual increase in income until 2016, I assess this goal as fully achieved.
  • Reduce debt.  PARTIAL SUCCESS!  The vehicle loan is nearly complete and significant student loans continued to decline.  I plan to eliminate the vehicle loan and focus on knocking out a large portion of the student loans.
  • Live within Monthly Budget.  PARTIAL SUCCESS! We’ve lived within a general budget but didn’t accomplish the quarterly reviews. This needs to continue to improve.
  • Tailor/Verify/Diversify Investments.  SUCCESS!  I sat down with the Military Financial Planner and reviewed our portfolio.  The review was eye opening; can you say naïve diversification? Very helpful.

Inspired by Krystal Yee’s Givemebackmyfivebucks.


Most of you know how big of a Star Wars fan I am, so understand this… The Big Short is the most important movies for all Americans to watch and understand (book or movie) from 2015, period. Yeah, I think it is more important than Star Wars, Episode VII.  I know… I know…

This movie demonstrates the motivators of the American society, and crushes any belief that once a system such as ours starts, there are certain things that will not be changed until after it runs of the figurative cliff.  The Big Short covers the entire global financial meltdown and the destruction of all the assumptions made by very greedy and very assuming people completely violating the trust but verify mantra.

I’ll add The Big Short book to my reading list as I’d like to know even more about this saga that affected the globe.



Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All was the sixty third book of 2015, which I enjoyed.

I’m not sure where this book will land in the top 5 of 2015, but Great by Choice is excellent. The statistical analysis of the seven 10X companies reviewed was exceptional. The 10X companies are those that beat their industry results by at least 10 fold over the significant period analyzed. Great by Choice lays out how these companies develop a strategy, or 20 mile march, and stick to it through to ultimately execute their planned strategy with exceptionally impressive results.

The other major item that stuck out from this book is the “Bullets, then Cannonballs” strategy of execution. The quick explanation of this is that an organization should allocate small resources, or bullets, to figure out what works or is effective. Only once a bullet hits its mark, does the organization then adjust its selection of round and start firing Cannonballs (significant resources) toward the goal effectively demonstrated by the bullet.

Great by Choice is something you’ll zip through quickly and take away executable knowledge from. Must read!

Make sure to check out all the books I’ve enjoyed in 2015.

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