Goal Review: 2014 Recap


It’s time to check in and see how I did across my goals for 2014.

How I Did

Goal #1: Paid off the remainder of my student loans.

I entered 2014 with roughly $42k in student loans. I did not expect this was going to be achievable. But goals are all about being SMART, right? Anyway, according to my Mint account, this past year I paid off another $14k in student loans — roughly ⅓ of my remaining balance. Although I didn’t completely reach my goal for paying them off, I certainly made a lot of progress, particularly considering the fact that I graduated about 4.5 years ago with about $80k in student loans!!

Goal #2: Ran a half marathon in under two hours.

Around this time last year, I had just purchased the Rock N Roll Marathon Series’ 3 Tour Pass. At $199, I thought the pass was a good deal considering some of their races can get up to $125 if you register at the last minute. Moreover, considering I had ran my first ever half-marathon earlier that year, the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, and finished the race at about 02:30:00, I thought completing the race under 2 hours was certainly a reasonable goal.

Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed in meeting this goal either. Due to several reasons, I ended up only completing two half marathons instead of three (the DC and Virginia Beach Rock N Roll half-marathons). Although I didn’t make it under 2 hours, my time for both races improved, including a new PR at the Virginia Beach race at about 02:17:00. I may not have achieved my goal, but I’m glad that my time improved!

My bibs of the half-marathons I've ran so far.

My bibs of the half-marathons I’ve completed so far.

Goal #3: Completed the minimum requirements of the marine corps fitness test.

This goal was another bit of a stretch. A part of me has always been interested in one day joining the military as a reserve officer. While I’m skeptical on that actually happening, being able to complete the minimum requirements of the marine corps fitness test seemed like a nice and clean SMART goal to commit to.

Anyway, I completely didn’t hit this goal at all. At the beginning of the year, I made an attempt, starting with the P90x videos (which I only got up to the 2nd week) and attempting to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Despite the effort, I can still barely do one pull up!!

Goal #4: Launched teamdone.io

The year 2012 was the year that I started trying to learn how to code. Since then, I think I’ve made very little progress in getting myself to a point where I could deploy something. At the beginning of the year, I set my goal to launch teamdone.io. Whereas in 2013 I lacked a clear reason why I wanted to learn to code, I begun 2014 with clear expectations in mind: build.

I started the year off fairly confidently, completing some very basic wireframes for the app. However, by June, the project hadn’t been touched in months. I had a brief stroke of confidence come over me in July and again in October when I attended WDS and the ReUP Weekend, but after fielding a market research survey to see if there was even a market demand for the product, my confidence towards the project took a heavy blow. For now, I’m putting the teamdone.io project on hold, or at least until I can identify a product that better fits market need.

Goal #5: Attended mass at least once a month.

Of all the goals I had for this year, I thought this one was going to be the most achievable! Unfortunately, this one didn’t happen either! I completely missed going to mass for the months of August, September and October. Of all the goals I had for this year, I’m most disappointed in not completing this one — it was so easy, but yet I still didn’t complete it!!

Goal #6: Blogged about my journeys as a marketer / researcher / traveler at least once a month.

Like attending mass, I thought this one was going to be also pretty easy to commit to. After all, I’ve had these last two goals as something on my annual list since I began. As you can tell from my archives page, I only wrote 6 posts this year! I was certainly not short on things to talk about, but I never fully committed to following through on this goal.

Is there a silver lining to all of this?

On the surface, it’s pretty clear that I’m 0/6 on achieving my goals for this year. However, after logging and publicly sharing my goals for the past three years, I’ve grown appreciative of how important it is to just start and commit to something. Even if the goal was never achieved, just trying to achieve the goal itself can lead to some pretty cool things that would’ve not happened in the first place. It certainly was the case for me:

  • I may not have paid off my student loans, but I paid off over $14,000 over the past year.
  • I may not have completed a half marathon in under two hours, but I ran two of them this year and also set a new personal record.
  • I may not be able to complete the minimum requirements for the marine corps fitness test, but I swam 800 meters in a triathlon this year, and I’ve learned to more consciously incorporate physical activity into my daily life.
  • I may not have launched an app, but I most definitely worked towards it: creating wireframes, talking to mentors, and launching a market research survey that made me realize the idea in its current state needed to be refined.
  • I may not have gone to mass every month this year, but my faith continues to be resolute.
  • I may not have blogged every month this year, but I can definitely say that based on my posts from when I first started this blog, my writing has improved over the past three years.

Key takeaways from another year of goal-setting

  • Just start. Even if you don’t achieve the goal, you’ll have inevitably made some progress towards it. That alone is something to be proud about!
  • Make it automatic. Achieving goals, particularly the ones that seem impossible, won’t happen overnight. If you can make it a habit to gradually work on those goals daily or several times a week, you’ll be that much closer to achieving them than through short bursts of work spread out over the course of the year.

In the next couple days, I’ll be sharing with you a recap of my year in general, as well as my goals for the upcoming year. Stay tuned!