A Year in Review and 2011 Goals

“What a year!” would be an understatement to leave it at that. We’ve had our most extreme ups and downs we could have imagined short of catastrophe and triumph from catastrophe – thankfully nothing catastrophic happened in 2010.

Being a man of few words unless pressed by emotion or assignment, I present to you two lists: our peaks and our valleys.

Peaks

  • Graduated from the University of South Florida with my B.A. in Professional and Technical Writing after a 13-year journey through college, work, medical, marriage, home-buying, starting a businesses, and more college.
  • Started writing as Fatboy and got serious about taking control of my health, which yielded a 12% increase in my pulmonary function in 2010.
  • Saw a 32% increase in gross revenue (with very little expense) over 2009 with our business that will be celebrating its second year anniversary in 32 more days on Groundhog Day – during a reported recession that was apparently not known by my clients.
  • Prepared financially for 2011 by saving for our medical deductible and driving the workload so hard we were both able to take a week-long vacation in June to celebrate graduation and also this entire week off to relax with my parents staying with us with a 5-day trip up to Ohio to celebrate Labor Day with my grandparents on a spur-of-the-moment ticket purchase just to “get away” on Southwest, like the commercial says.
  • We are having the time of our lives!

Valleys

  • Started off the year at 27% lung function, which would have put me on the double lung-transplant list this year if my numbers didn’t improve with IVs. Obviously, my peaks show that things got better.
  • We got hit really hard financially between February and June… and then from August to the end of October – another understatement. We had to pay out the nose for all of my $1,500 deductible and $500 pharmacy deductible by the end of February and the expenses just kept rolling in while my co-insurance covered 80% for the next $1,500 out-of-pocket. We had to do the whole thing over again with the next bullet:
  • My wife finally went to get tested for allergies ($1,000) and the news wasn’t good – and neither was the news that the two meds they put her on weren’t covered by her insurance ($150/mo each). In the end, we both hit our maximum out-of-pocket expenses for the year and probably tallied up close to 35% of our income in medically-related expenses for 2010.
  • To top that off, she has been practically diet crippled by the whole process of shots and a new allergy diet that started out really helping out, but has left her unable to eat anything with any amount of corn, soy, or wheat lest her throat start to swell. Go try to find anything at the store without any of those 3 items in it. It’s not easy, but we are sort of managing.
  • I had my 9th sinus surgery in October, my first since we’ve been married. That in and of itself isn’t a valley. The valley is that by Dec. 5th, a CT scan showed my condition to be worse than before that surgery and I’m scheduled for surgery #10 on the 6th with another surgeon with a new year’s deductibles to meet right off the bat.

Goals for 2011

I absolutely groan every New Year’s when I see resolution after resolution go up on the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter. They’re meaningless! Positively a bunch of feel-good mumbo-jumbo about stopping smoking, eating better, losing weight, and exercising more. The less bad ones are at least something with thought in it like business resolutions, but those still weigh in light and superficial.

Why?

Because they aren’t goals. They are wasteful aspirations of the heart and soul with no thought as to how to accomplish them or drive through to the finish to see them done. “I want to be a better parent to my kids” is a waste of breath and neurons if there is nothing actionable or accountable involved. Here’s how…

A goal is a pre-determined action or result of an action/behavior that is measurable and has a specific time frame. A goal has to be something you could fire yourself over if you were someone’s boss and they failed to achieve this measurable item within the time frame allotted. If you can wiggle out of your own “goal” then it’s a resolution.

  • Write it down.
  • Visit the list frequently (at least weekly).
  • Give the list to someone else to ask you how you’re doing.
  • Have fun crossing off your goals as you reach them!

That’s it for this update and tip. I’ll catch you on here sooner than the last entry’s time lapse – it’s on my list.

  • Kristi Bowers

    love it!! good post! Hope there are more peaks and less valleys for ya in 2011

    • http://www.cffatboy.com/ Jesse Petersen

      Thanks! After surgery, I see clear skies aside from getting Kristin’s allergies sorted out once we replenish the medical fund.

  • http://www.pessinlaw.com/miami-personal-injury-lawyer/ Miami Personal Injury Lawyer

    Almost two months ago, I wrote and published a post outlining my 2011 goals. I really don’t want to see my resolutions fall the way of most new year’s resolutions—dead by February. So you’ll see a report card on my