I had, frankly, a fantastic 2014, both personally and professionally.

Personally, we took the kids on a Disney Cruise, which was mere months after Char and I had returned from a trip of a lifetime in Cancun.  My batteries were more recharged than they have been in a long time, and I spent March through August burning myself out by working full time and putting everything I had left into making BalanceDo a success.

Unfortunately, we failed with BalanceDo. A combination of a bunch of factors killed the project, and in late August the team and I made the painful decision to close down the business.

I promised myself I wouldn’t take on any side projects, and that for four months (September, October, November, and December), I did nothing more strenuous with my non-working hours than play video games.  It was everything I had ever hoped for, completely wasted time where all I had to concern myself with was where my next loot cave was going to come from.

My resolutions for 2014 were:

Looking back at 2014’s resolutions, I made them easy to achieve, but didn’t have many aspirational goals, when I did have aspirational goals, they didn’t have solid time components to them.

Little Resolutions:

  • Grow a Beard
  • Grow my hair – (December 19th – February 21st)
  • Go to bed (and sleep) at 10pm for 3 nights consecutively
  • Do 4 weeks of Yoga consecutively

I grew a beard for a while, and decided it looked dumb.  I grew my hair for a while, and decided it looked dumb, I actually went to bed (and to sleep) at 10pm for 3 nights consecutively within the first week of January when I got sick, and I did yoga for 8 consecutive weeks.  Yay me.

Big Resolutions:

These were more plans than resolutions, while they had good goals, many were lacking the necessary time component.

Enter the 2014 LDEC Business Plan Competition
I decided against this when I read that a company in London was planning a hack school, similar to my plan.  I changed my mind and decided to focus on what I already had.

Work only on things I care about
I planned to work only on  the HeadsDown Business Plan, Comic Shop POS feasibility study and Proof of Concept.  I put a ton of time and effort into BalanceDo, which I cared about immensely, but unfortunately it didn’t scale.  Still, I am going to consider this a win.

Learn New Skills
I had planned to “Learn to teach, Learn to code in Ruby. Learn how to create characters”, I’m happy to say that while I learned to code in Ruby, and I learned to teach, I ended up learning much more than merely creating characters. For three months, I cracked the code on how to do content marketing, and I was getting good traction with the BalanceDo SMBA program before we as a team decided to kibosh it.  The lessons I learned though, can be taken with me on my next journey.

Get published on a fairly large website
It didn’t happen, but it could have happened.  I now actually understand how to make this one achievable, and I’m going to succeed at it by May of 2015.

Speak in front of more than 100 people
Great success.  I did a lightning talk, only 5 minutes long, but amazingly inspiring, on “The Magic Word that Turns Developers into Designers”, I wrote it one night, and presented it the next day at the Chicago Ruby on Rails Lightning Talk.  There were nearly 300 people in the audience when I gave that talk, and it felt really good.

Relax, and enjoy the ride
I said I would “Do more Yoga, Learn to meditate, Get my bike out in the spring, Try the whole “Couch to 5k’ thing”, again, this was more aspirational than prescriptive, if I was just judging my year based on the beginning, I would have said I failed, we had some good fun (especially the cruise), but it wasn’t until September that I really started relaxing.

Overall, I would say I had more successes than failures last year, and I learned a ton of really great lessons that will help me succeed this year.

Stay tuned for my 2015 resolutions.