Week 80: Out with the Old, In with the New Year

The time has come…. This is my last blog update of 2018 and the new year is just a couple of days away. That means that it is time to reflect on my accomplishments and progress in 2018 and share my goals for 2019. The year that is concluding was really big for me and I am hoping for just as big, albeit a bit different, 2019.

Let’s start by looking back at 2018: A Year of Transformation

2018: What I Planned to Accomplish

As I looked back at my final journal entry of 2017 I saw the following summary of my goals for 2018. I know that these aren’t exactly SMART goals but my 2018 my goals were:

  1. Continue my Operation Melt journey and reach the 100-pound mark and beyond as well as starting to tone my body. I am calling it a 77 pound loss in 2017 and I know that I can NOT achieve the same in 2018, but I can hit 25-50 more pounds and move into toning and maintaining mode.
  2. Participate in my first organized run by or at Oktoberfest.
  3. Continue expanding my commitment to writing and getting published – through the site, social media and ultimate I want to write 1 or 2 different books.
  4. Be a presenter at Project Management Professional Development Day.
  5. Change jobs and move to a new company.
  6. Continue our home remodeling and repair efforts
  7. Recommit to maintaining friendships which I have historically relied on autopilot for in the past.
  8. Figure out a new board or other volunteer organization to join where I have passion and knowledge that is helpful.

2018: What I Actually Accomplished

Very interesting to look back a year at what I hoped to accomplish this year. It is particularly rewarding when some of those goals that seemed so big when I first wrote them were not only met but exceeded.

Following the same numbering scheme as above here is where I am ending the year with each goal:

  1. Finished my 100 pound weight loss in March which was just 9 months into my journey and 3 months ahead of schedule. I am ending the year down 132 pounds which means I lost 55 pounds this year. Plus I grew and toned muscles and achieved 12% body fat which means I was adding weight at the same time!
  2. I participated in my first organized run in June instead of my September goal. But I didn’t stop there! I did run the Oktoberfest race that was my goal and many others too! In all I ran 5 official 5k races, a 4-miler, a 10k and I finished a freaking half marathon! Instead of running one race I became an athlete this year!
  3. My commitment to writing continued more than I had even expected. I did write my book about my journey and it is being edited and I hope to release it in the spring. I also relaunched my Reflections on Leadership series in a big way and I publish it weekly, I also launched a weekly Healthy Hacks series, a weekly blog update on my journey and daily social media updates. I have gone so far as to start referring to myself as “a writer” if you can believe it!
  4. I did NOT present at Professional Development Day though I applied to do so but never heard back. Guess I need to take another shot at that one.
  5. I did leave my old job at the end of January and treated myself to a nearly 5 months sabbatical where I invested in other pursuits. Then in June I started a new consulting role helping our State of Ohio government. My sabbatical also afforded me some self-exploration and soul searching time which helped me learn more about how I want to grow my career.
  6. There was a fair amount of additional home remodeling and repair but not the progress we wanted to make.
  7. I encountered some setbacks and made limited progress with my “be a better friend” goal. The various job and life changes certainly impacted my progress there.
  8. I did make a little progress with my “giving back” goal but nothing super notable.

2018: Retrospective

Clearly it was a big year and lots of stuff happened so I wanted to sum it up with a brief retrospective. The following are my conclusions about the top 3 things that went well this year and the top 3 things that I could have done better.

Top successes

  1. I achieved way more in my fitness journey than I had ever expected or thought possible for my entire life. I progressed from obese to an athlete who has accomplished major feats …. I ran a half marathon just 16 months after being 325 pounds!
  2. I learned that I have superpowers and really can accomplish anything that is important to me. I have a voice, a story and something to contribute!
  3. The support and the love of the people around me is greater than I ever knew and I am truly lucky to have such great people in my life!

Top opportunities

  1. I was a bit too self-absorbed with my transformation and I wasn’t as good of a husband, friend, mentor or professional as I could have been.
  2. Unexpected changes impacted me (and Liz too) with the loss of my job, some of our favorite hangouts and some friends with them.
  3. I fell short of some of my original goals and those created along the way and felt disappointed in myself for not achieving the bigger and bigger goals. Sometimes this prevented me from being happy with and proud of my progress even though I KILLED IT in 2018.

2019 Goals – Framework

Since 2018 is effectively done it is time to define my goals for 2019. Given what I have learned over the past 18 months goal-setting has become a pretty serious exercise for me. These goals need to be big and motivating for me because they are going to carry me through the full year. These aren’t just cliché new years resolutions that are out the window before Valentine’s day!

I want to make sure my 2019 goals are holistic and balanced and don’t just cover a single aspect of my life. So I have decided to borrow Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life as a framework for my goals this year.


The Wheel of Life divides all of the aspects of life into 7 “spokes” of the wheel and then I will be defining SMART goals for each of the 7 sections. Here is how Ziglar defines each section.

  • Your Social Life: This includes who you spend your time with as well as the things you spend your personal time doing.
  • Your Work Life: Are you where you would like to be in your work or career?
  • Your Family Life: Do you spend time nurturing your family relationships?
  • Your Spiritual Life: Do you make time to study and grow spiritually?
  • Your Money: How well are you doing to meet your monthly, yearly budget? Are you saving? Investing?
  • Your Mind/Intellect: Do you read books, do crossword puzzles, learn new things, study to improve your knowledge and develop yourself personally and keep your mind strong?
  • Your Health: Do you have a healthy lifestyle – regular exercise, eat healthy – to live as long as you can?

I am not going to share my goals in all of these sections in this post but I wanted to share the approach I am taking to setting my goals using this framework and that am setting goals in every section. My hope is balanced goals spanning every portion of my life versus a disproportionate focus in a single area like in 2018.

2019 Goals – My Theme

In addition to setting goals in each of the Wheel of Life sections I wanted to define an overall theme for the year. As I shared earlier, I defined a theme for 2018 late in the game.

2018: A Year of Transformation

After the 2018 year packed full of transformation I am actually hoping for a little bit less transformation in 2019. That doesn’t mean that I am planning to move backwards by any means. But even the caterpillar eventually emerges from the chrysalis, unfolds its wings and flies away as a beautiful butterfly.

I think my theme for 2019 is going to me…. 2019: Be It!

Throughout 2018 (and really my whole life) I have spent tons of energy building, developing and transforming myself. I have worked to convince other people that I belong at the table. I also had to convince myself that I was good enough.

No more! I am good enough. I am worth it. I am qualified.

So I am going to spend 2019 unapologetically being the best at all of the roles in my life. I have nothing to prove to anybody. Whether it is an athlete, a husband, a friend, a Christian or a leader I am going to be it and be my best at it!

On a side note I cannot help but think of Rocky Horror Picture Show with my theme. Very touching when Frank-N-Furter sings Don’t Dream It, Be It and that is a small part of the inspiration for this theme.

2019 Goals – Physical/Health

Given the theme of this blog I am going to go ahead and share one of the segments of my wheel of live goals – physical. In this space 2019 is going to be a bit different but will built on top of what I did in 2018.

Physical: be a fit, healthy and impressive amateur athlete capable of significant and inspiring achievements.

  • End my weight loss journey and maintain a healthy, comfortable weight between 189 and 199 pounds using the techniques that helped me be successful (tracking, good decisions).
  • Continue to improve as a runner by running 2 half marathons (April, October) and average one race per month with continually improving times. Get to a 5k pace consistently under 9 minutes by summer.
  • Build a more structured workout routine and continue to build and shape my body while setting new personal records.
  • Try new things including yoga, CrossFit, climbing and other activities.

The very first step I will take in pursuit of my 2019 goals will happen just after midnight on New Years Eve. We will count down to the new year and Liz and I will kiss and toast at midnight. Immediately after that I am going to update the settings in my food tracking app. I am going to change my goal from weight loss to weight maintenance or just a very small amount of loss.

My weight loss journey is done and it is maintenance time!

Then I am going to run a 5k race just a few hours later.

That is the only goal I am going to share for now and it is going to continue to take shape over the next few weeks.

In Other News

I know I didn’t share much about my fitness journey progress this week. I will just say that it was a tough week of bad habits and holiday indulgences including way too much sodium. I had wild swings in weight. I had a bit of a cold which is less than ideal. There was a good workout and a few ok runs including more than a quarter marathon on Christmas morning. Plus I got results from my follow-up bloodwork and everything is either good or excellent!

Thanks for reading!

Last week’s stats (12/17-12/23):
Distance walked/run: 35.6 miles (+8.3 vs. LY)
Total calories burnt: 22,222 (-4,410vs. LY)
Total calories consumed: 17,291 (+4,989 vs. LY)
Net calories this week: -4,931 (+9,399 vs. LY)
Weight change (week avg.): 0.4 pounds lost (-1.7 vs LY)

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