12/31/2019 04:14 p.m. | Personal
2019 was another great year, one with a bit more stability. This is my 12th year of review (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). This year was a pretty similar to 2018, though not quite enough to blend together.
- Travel again
This year I went to Turks and Caicos, Frisco CO, Nashville, Breckenridge, Austin, Atlanta/Clemson, Orange Beach, Minnesota, Green Bay, San Jose, Denver, and Las Vegas. A good mix of work, friends, and family, driving and flying, beach and mountains. I expect less next year, but we’ll see.
- Preschool and Activities
My son Ander has been going to preschool 3 days a week, and now 5 days a week for the fall. It’s only half-day, but it’s noticeable to see him get on such a good schedule. Gretta joins him 2 days a week, and does gymnastics on one of the other days. It’s been great to see them start to develop habits and routines.
- Big Picture Steps
With two kids and a mortgage, it’s important to get some long-term things like life insurance, 529s, retirement, a will all up to date and at the right levels. We spent some time figuring these things out, then took the steps to get everything squared away. Hopefully some of it never comes into play, but it’s good to be prepared.
- Focus on Health
In July I made more of a commitment to eat healthier and exercise. The eating has been so-so, and the exercise has been great. For July - Nov I ran a couple times a week behind our house, and played hockey 2+ days a week. I also used a standing desk in that time and have noticed better sleep and less aches. I rested in December after a busy fall, and am ready to get back into the habit.
I don’t read (or listen) to as many books as I used to, but the few I did read stuck with me. Atomic Habits was an easy read, and discusses the ideas of developing the habit before a habit, as well as chaining habits to common activities that don’t need to be developed. For instance, I put my scale next to the shower, and now weigh myself more regularly by taking the behavior and chaining it to getting into the shower.
Another book I enjoyed was Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers, which like most of his books, makes you reconsider things you knew to be true, or thought you understood. Along with his podcast, Revisionist History, it’s made me try to think about my own life and actions more objectively, both from an internal and external perspective. If you want to improve yourself and your life, you need to have a better understanding of how you really work, so you can best identify what might really need to change.
This past year, seeing the kids develop at school and in their activities, seeing Meg grow in her fitness routine, and seeing myself grow with small, regular steps has reinforced to me that bigger changes can happen with regular progress, even if the small changes are imperceptible.