Yearly Focus

2014: Goal, Theme & Challenge – Review

At the beginning of 2014 I wrote about my goal, theme and challenge for the year. I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year but want to take some time now to do a final review.

2014 Goal: Read 24 Books

Self Grade: 7/10

My goal was to read 24 books – I finished at 17. I had hoped to cover 12 fiction and 12 non-fiction. I actually read 3 fiction and 14 non-fiction. I also got 50 hours through the 60 hours of Les Miserables.

I started the year off doing pretty well. I cruised through the first 8 books, thanks largely to utilizing audiobooks.

I hit a rut in the summer when I stopped listening to audiobooks as I trained and got stalled in the paper books I was reading. That resulted in months of no progress.

I eventually got back in the habit though & finished strong by finishing 5 books in December.

My list for the year was:

  • The Millionaire Next Door*
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants*
  • The Joy of Less
  • The 4-Hour Workweek*
  • The Art of War*
  • Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People*
  • Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets*
  • The Triathlete’s Training Bible
  • Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  • From the Heart of a Lion
  • Why Guys need God
  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart
  • Jack: Straight from the Gut
  • Triathlon Training in Four Hours a Week
  • Into Thin Air
  • 83.33% of Les Miserables*

*Denotes audiobook

2014 Theme: Bear the Burdens of Others

Self Grade: 3/10

2014 demonstrated with clarity that it is incredibly hard to focus on others when most of your energy is going into focusing on yourself or your own goals.

I was training for an Ironman which took up most of my free time. Not only did that not give me extra time or energy to bear the burdens of others, but there were often times where I was placing extra burdens on others.

I was able to find some ways to contribute, but am not happy overall with the progress I made this year.

2014 Challenge: Complete an Ironman

Self Grade: 10/10

I had at one point decided on a partial point system based on my finishing position, but have since decided that for my challenges, the result should be binary.

I not only completed an Ironman, I competed. I put up an impressive time for a first timer and am happy with the progress I made this year.

I do believe I could have done a bit better – but circumstances around my race being moved took me out of my prime fitness. Additionally I don’t think I pushed quite to my max during the race as I was worried that if I pushed any harder I would hit a wall and not finish at all. If I were to try again, now that I’ve finished one, I would probably push a bit more earlier on and see what happened.

I don’t think another Ironman is in the cards for me based on my current family and career goals. Maybe in 10 years or so I’ll try again – the good news is ultra-endurance races are one area where people can perform admirably well into their 30s and even 40s.