2014 in Review

I’ve got to say that while I tried to spice up 2014 with “Bonus Goals,” it ended up being pretty big fail. After having a few successful years of public goal-setting under my belt, I thought I could take it to the next level. But frankly, the “bonus” goals were too far out of my control and even though I’m not agonizing over something that didn’t get crossed off, it still doesn’t feel good to leave it hanging.

Anyway, it was a good lesson. Every year I learn something new about what types of goals work, and which ones don’t work. Here we are…the end of 2014…..

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Let’s start off with the the ones that didn’t happen:

1. Learn some jump rope tricks. Well, I made a new “orange” category on this one. Initially this was “Learn how to double dutch” and I had a major problem finding a couple partners who could teach me, and then find partners who would want to double dutch on a regular basis. So I flipped to jump rope tricks, thinking there had to be some cool tricks I didn’t know. I got on Youtube and then bought a book by Buddy Lee (the master of jumping rope), and it turned out I pretty much already knew a bunch of tricks. I did them faster and incorporated them into my workouts, but it seemed unfair to check the goal off.

8. Design and Publish a Coloring Book. Back in the summer, I was making progress, and then I had this moment where I was like, “What does my coloring book possibly have to offer that isn’t already out there?” So I just stopped working. Ironically I thought of a pretty creative idea a couple days ago while I was on a run…so maybe this one will resurface.

9. Attend an Opera. I still haven’t given up…but I seriously didn’t realize how few operas they put on here in Portland. Honestly, I totally slacked off on seeing one that I was personally invited to (by the dude who makes my Starbucks), but I kept thinking I would go to Die Fledermaus in November. However, the month was unexpectedly filled with some work/personal commitments that took precedence.

10. Build a snow cave. Portland is having a terrible year for snow in the mountains! We literally went up to Mt Hood yesterday to build that damned thing, but with frigid winds and dry, dusty snow, it was near impossible. Instead we went back to our hotel room and I ate a bunch of Pringles in bed. Stay tuned on this one.

And now for the highlights!

Three favorites stand out to me. First off, the FBI Citizen Academy was really interesting and I feel so lucky that my good friend David (who got accepted first) talked them into accepting me after I was initially wait-listed (he’s very persuasive). Over six weeks, I had the opportunity to hear some great speakers on topics like Human Trafficking, International Terrorism, and Violent Crime. We wrapped it all up with a day at the FBI shooting range where we spoke with a forensic team, blew up bombs, and shot on the range. Fun times!

My journey with the FBI Citizen Academy didn’t end on graduation day, though. I’ve had a couple chances to serve on their outreach team, and most recently represented them at a career fair where I fingerprinted a couple hundred kids.IMG_3313One of my 2015 goals will be a bit of an FBI field trip…get ready!

Second, having my goal of getting hired as an assistant principal transform into getting hired as a consultant was major. Even after I made admin a goal, it didn’t feel right. Even after I passed the enormous admin test, it didn’t feel right. Even after I submitted my extensive admin application, it feel right.

When I was pissed that my district passed me over for a leadership position, I emailed my professional hero, Jim Knight. When he and his publisher selected me to be one of his consultants, that felt right. It was like DUH! This is what I’m supposed to be doing! (To be clear, I’ve literally spent my own vacation money to go to his workshops in the past – so to be paid to fly across the country to spend time learning from him, and meet several other super amazing people – well, it was kind of surreal.)


The third best goal I checked off was simple: organize a summer beach bonfire on Sauvie’s Island. It was perfect weather, perfect people, perfect s’mores. We spent the night laying around the fire, eating hot dogs, kicking back a few cold ones, and just hanging out.

IMG_2732It won’t be a goal again for 2015, but you can bet a few bonfires will happen this summer. My mom just bought me a sweet Pendleton picnic blanket that is meant for this kind of thing.

Of course all the goals I crossed off are important, but these are the three that really resonate. Ultimately, I think a good goal is something you really want to do…not something you think you should do. As many people are setting goals with the new year, ask yourself, what do you really, REALLY want to do in 2015?

2 thoughts on “2014 in Review

  1. Maybe some day we can arrange some consultant work in Germany. Whatever you do this year, I know you will keep on inspiring your students and your colleagues.

    On a side note. Was stuck in a snowy traffic jam far from home last weekend. I thought to myself….why did I never pack that survival kit?!

    • I had a friend recently post on FB that she was stuck overnight in a car in the Alps! It looked romantic. But yeah, you could always buy a survival kit pre-packed up on Amazon 🙂
      I would love love love to see your school someday. It sounds like an amazing place!

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