Friday, 26 December 2014

Jon Bear Journal: Jon Bear's 2014 in Review and Goals for 2015!

Jon Bear 2014 in Review:

So another year is upon us and the day of reckoning or my annual confessional has arrived.  2014 was a very good year in many respects and while my list of goals was significantly cut and also allowed for a bit more breadth of interpretation relative to previous years hopefully I'll provide an honest self assessment.  After all, if we can't be honest with ourselves than who can we be honest with?

The first goal I had for 2014 was to be healthier.  I had stretches where I was able to achieve this, but on the whole I don't believe that I did a very good job of being healthier.  I can not say that I ate appreciably more fruits or vegetables.  In fact I was probably less healthy in that respect over recent years and ate fewer self prepared foods, more quick microwavable type meals and fewer greens.  I did join a softball league over the Summer.  I didn't really lose any weight having joined the league, but it did get me some out door exercise and social interaction away from work that I do think was healthy for me.  Well, with a bit of a caveat that is.  I tore my hamstring running to first base during the 2nd at bat of my first softball game.  The remainder of the Summer I continued to play defense, as our teams first baseman, but was unable to hit or run the bases until our very last game when we competed for and won 3rd place in our league.  I did so a bit at the expense of my already badly injured hamstring though.  The tear balled up and knotted in places as I continued to push it each week, rather than giving it the 4 weeks of rest that was prescribed.  One small helpful aid that kept me from completely destroying my leg was God's good fortune to give us a very rainy Summer.  As such a couple of our games were cancelled and other's pushed off to later in the season when my leg had a chance to heal up a bit.  That's what ultimately allowed me to hit and run the bases during my final game.  I was sore after that game but it was a success in that I did not re-tear or further damage my leg.  With the rest it's had since the end of the Summer my leg is now back to 100 percent thankfully.  So if I had to give my self a grade for being healthier this year, I would say I get a C.  I did do something things to be more active, but failed to really eat any better or lose the weight I needed to. 

My second goal was to be adventurous.  I think this goal is a little bit of a cheat for me to set to begin with because I'm typically someone who will put myself out there and do new things.  I don't do dangerous things though, that's not really my idea of adventure.  To me it's more about going new places and exploring new places or meeting new people.  Joining the softball league was one way in which I was partially able to push myself to do something I had never done before.  It was a bit of a leap of faith on my part too, as the only person I knew when I signed up for the league was my team manager.  As it turned out there were a few people I had known in the past who I reconnected with when I discovered they were playing for our opponents.  I also went to a play on my own and did a few things on my own that in the past I may not have done because I would have wanted someone to go with.  This time I did not let the fear of not having someone to go somewhere with stop me from going to the places and doing the things I desired.   I did fall short of a few of the things I really wanted to do when it came to being more adventurous.  For one, I really wanted to go to Texas this year and meet up with some dear friends of mine who live there, but finances kind of kept that goal from coming to fruition.  I having been saving though in hopes of accomplishing that in 2015.  I had also wanted to continue my previous years desire (which I successfully completed in 2013) to visit two new U.S. States which I had never been to before.  Texas, would have been one of those had I been able to afford to get there, but I did not even get to one new state this year.  The real hiccup though even more than affordability was my inability to get time off of work.  We were short staffed and had a whole lot of turn over and it was difficult for me to peace together the time that I needed for travel.  I just completed almost all my yearly vacation time visiting my family for Thanksgiving and the first 2 weeks of December.  I needed to use the time up before December ended or else I'd have lost it.  So for my second goal I'd give myself a B.

My third goal was to be nicer and more considerate of others.  In truth, while it may not sound all that humble, I'm a pretty nice and considerate person to begin with, so this was not really difficult for me to achieve on a day to day level.  One area where I feel like I failed in this was that I did not give of my time to charity this year like I have in the past.  I probably gave more money this year to charity though then I have in the past.  I just did not do the walks and fundraisers I typically get involved in.  I think I took more me time in 2014.  I work in customer service and on the whole you have to be patient and understanding in that line of work, or you're just not going to enjoy it at all.  I think I always have good interpersonal relations even most of the time when someone else is upset or agitated.  There were a few scenarios where I could have been better, like earlier today when someone blamed me for wasting his time, because a machine that I had nothing to do with was broken and he was unable to use it.  I told him, "no I did not waste your time".  Typically I would just be quiet or even apologetic, but the holidays are coming and lot of earlier interactions I had with customers were people who were on edge.  This guy pushed me over, and even in doing so, I wasn't obnoxiously rude.  I just stood up for myself.   I did jump a few people's cars though when their cars would not start (I always carry jumper cables in my car) and I did even drive a stranger to a hotel after he got stranded when his car broke down in our store parking lot.  Oh, I almost forgot, I also restarted the old store sunshine fund to help teammates at the workplace when they have a mishap or tragedy.  Those are a couple of examples of some of the nice things I did this year.  So on the whole I'd give myself a B on the being nicer and more considerate front.

My fourth stated goal was to read more.  I read a decent amount this year, but I definitely did not get into the reading grove that I have been in at times in the past and I failed to read more.  I guess I should qualify that a little.  I think I actually read more in 2014 then I did in 2013, but I failed to read more then I typically do in a year.  I generally read much more than I have the past two years, so while this year was a step up from last year, it's not to the point where I like to be.  I also do not include reading articles for forums on the internet as "reading more", because if that were the case then I'm not sure if anyone could read "more" then I do in a given year.  I actually read a ton every day, but a lot of it is electronic media.  When I set the goal my intention was to read more books, and that is where I fell short of what I really wanted to achieve.  So my grade for reading more would be a D.

So overall I figure my grade for achieving my goals set for this past year should be right around a C+ or B- if I'm being generous to myself.  Not a stellar year for achieving my goals, but not a total bust either.

Here are my goals for 2015:

1. To really push myself to make more money by either advancing at the workplace or finding another job that pays better.  (I've kind of had this as a goal in the past and failed to meet it.  I've already begun to take steps to achieve this next year, so I'm hoping I'll have the carry through necessary and make it work this time).

2. To get to Texas and visit with my great friends who now live there! Finally!

3. I know it's kind of broad, but Do Something Nice for Myself.  I'm not entirely sure what that would be yet, but whether it be a vacation or buying something I've really wanted, or maybe even meeting someone special, something in that vein is what I'm aiming for.

4. Lose Weight!  I keep making the health thing or losing weight a goal and I've yet to achieve this to my satisfaction, but I figure if I keep it as part of the list then it has to happen one year right?

5. Save more money.  Making more money has part to do with this, and I'm saving just OK as far as retirement is concerned right now, but when it comes down to saving for retirement I could be doing more and when it comes down to saving money just for rainy day adventures or for problems when they arise, I am very bad at that.  I need to create an emergency kitty so that I do not stress myself out when an unanticipated expense rears it's ugly head.


  1. Enjoyed reading your goals and your evaluation of the past years goals. Playing on the team sounds like fun--sorry about your injury though! All the best in 2015!

  2. Oh wow, this is a very thorough reflection of how the year went! And it seems like you managed to meet all of the goals you had in mind, which is awesome. :) I hope to see you completing the ones for 2015 as well!

  3. This year I'm glad that you did a little bit of everything and I like that you were honest in your evaluation. I was happy when you joined the baseball team because I know baseball is something that you really like. I hope you'll be able to play again next year. Good on you for standing up for yourself at work. I think it's something you need to do more.

  4. Thank you Bethany, Olivia and Carlyn. I did have a lot of fun this past year. Hopefully with some reflection and a renewed focus I can look forward to 2015 with a positive mindset and make a bit more progress in meeting my goals fully for the new year. =)


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