Follow up on my goals for 2014:
- Master the Traeger grill. I have used the Traeger nearly as much as I’d hoped this year. In fact during the summer I was using it for preparing dinner at least 2-3 times a week. I’ve routinely used it for chicken breasts, beef brisket, buffalo wings, pork shoulder, pork tenderloin, salmon filet, turkey burgers, and corn on the cob. In April I was asked to make up some pulled pork for a family get together and the end product was very well received. I was just asked to cook the meat for a family Christmas party, so I’m feeling good about my skills on the Traeger. My only regret is that I haven’t cooked a pizza on it yet. If you are Traeger curious, here are some recipes I’ve been fine tuning to my tastes: Beef Brisket and the dry rub recipe I use, BBQ ribs and the dry rub for that, and Pulled Pork where I use either rub (or some of both).
- Get rid of some stuff. Both Lauren and I went through our wardrobes and thinned out clothes we hadn’t worn recently. I got rid of all my baseball and football jerseys except for one, mainly because I’m a smaller shirt size these days. I think I’ve made half a dozen trips to Goodwill this year, which is about what I was hoping for.
- Play host. No dining room table yet, but we did have a run of a few months where at least once a week we’d have friends or family over for dinner. That was nice.
- Organize my house. We set some money aside for Elfa closet organizers in our master bedroom closet and I think it turned out really well. So well in fact, we purchased Elfa for our bonus room for some wall-to-wall shelving and a floating entertainment console. That turned out really well too. Also we found a great deal on some storage crates and loaded up; now finally we can put some stuff away into our attic storage. I also spent a couple days reorganizing the attic storage space to make space for the baby swing and the baby jumperoo and to put the Christmas decorations in an more accessible spot. I still need a better place to put my wallet and car keys when I walk in the house.
My goals for 2015:
- Cook Large Primal Cuts. This Christmas I got two massive books on cuts of meat and how to cook them. In 2014 I’ve done, at any given time, two racks of ribs or a turkey or a 6 pound brisket. In 2015 I want to go bigger. I want to cook a standing rib roast, or 6 racks of ribs, or maybe grind my own sausage.
- Get at least 6 haircuts. This probably sounds stupid, but for as long as I can remember I’ve just let my hair grow until it annoys me then I pay $10 for a “Number 2 All Over”. My last haircut I actually decided to get a cut and style and I actually quite liked the results. So I’m gonna try it out for a year.
- MCSA. This isn’t exactly my idea and isn’t exactly what I would like to pursue, but it seems that this is the way my company is heading: getting everyone certified. Won’t kill me and I might actually learn something.
- Drop More Weight. I started 2014 weighing 267. In July, my wife and I began AdvoCare and I started shedding pounds. My lowest weigh-in of 2014 (just before Christmas) was at 232, which is the lowest I’ve weighed since college. 35 pounds, gone. I want to do that again. I want to be under 200 pounds by this time next year.
Follow up on my goals for 2013:
- Lose some more weight. I actually gained, but still down from where I was two years ago. I think losing weight is going to be a goal every year for the rest of my life. I would love to be thinner, but, you know, baked goods.
- Cook with appliances. Since the baby was born in July, I have really changed my approach to cooking dinner. I almost always have a stock pot on the stove, ready and waiting, and have been using slow cookers more. Now that I am a proud owner of a Traeger grill, I expect even more slow cooking in my future.
- Become a better home owner. I kept good care of the lawn this year and figured out a system for raking/blowing leaves during the fall. We also got gutter guards installed on the house, which will keep me off a ladder in future years. Lauren and I made our own window treatments and they really turned out nice. I reorganized the garage and my tools while we were building the cornice boards, but I still don’t have a single place to keep my tools and battery chargers.
- Use my iPad more, especially for reading. The iPad found it’s use this year with Netflix and Comics. I did read parts of a few books, but mostly read on my iPhone. I read through the first several trades of The Walking Dead and Hawkeye, and I have a list of comics to read next. But the iPad found most of it’s use with Netflix. Propped up on the coffee table or an end table, it was an ideal screen to watch while holding a sleeping baby.
My goals for 2014:
- Master the Traeger grill. As a house warming gift, my parents bought me a Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite grill. It’s an electric smoker that has the cooking area of a 4 burner propane gas grill and I cooked our Christmas turkey on it, which turned out pretty good. I’ve also done burgers (which I screwed up and finished in a grill pan on the stove) and a beef brisket (which was good but needs improvement). I need to start a cooking diary to track my results and experiments, I need a better meat thermometer, I need some warmer weather so the smoker can regulate temperature easier, and I need to find a good meat counter that sells prime rib roast, pork belly, salmon, and larger cuts of brisket.
- Get rid of some stuff. I recently packed up two large bags for Goodwill out of my closet. I need to do more of that. I’ve got kitchen trinkets I’ve never used and never will, shoes in my closet I’ll never wear again, tee shirts and sweaters that are 10 years old, and boxes of wires and adapters for computers that have died. I’m not suggesting I’m throwing away my Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head (Darth Tater) just because he’s been a box for the last year. Because I’m not. Darth Tater is awesome. But I think it’s time to retire some keepsakes into permanent storage and thin out what we keep in the kitchen drawers.
- Play host. As much as our dogs will allow, I’d like to have our friends and family over more often. The last two years my side of the family has come to my house for Christmas and it’s been a pleasure. We’ve had friends passing through town stay with us and that’s been great too. Even if it’s just having friends over for fondue or chili or something off the Traeger, I’d like to open our home a little more this year (which means we also need to buy a dining room table).
- Organize my house. I’ve moved twice in the last 4 years and some things never made it out of their boxes. Books, photo frames, and some trinkets that used to sit on my desk or nightstand are in boxes. Every closet in the house has stuff sitting on the floor. The kitchen pantry and the master bedroom need better shelving. There are storage boxes with Christmas decorations in every closet upstairs. This is the year for hanging pictures and fixing the organization of the house.
Follow up on my goals for 2012:
- Read more novels. I only finished 5 books last year, 4 fiction and 1 non-fiction, plus a couple audiobooks. I’m currently in the middle of 2 fiction books, neither of which I have a head of steam to finish. 7 books is a lot fewer than I had originally hoped for myself.
- Shoot more video. I uploaded 16 videos last year and I think all of them were of our dogs.
- Lose some weight. In the first half of 2012 I lost 21 pounds (I know, right?). In the second half of 2012 I gained back 12 pounds (moving to a new house, vacation, Thanksgiving, Christmas). So overall still down 9 pounds. I should feel positive about it, but I’ve still got more work to do.
- Stop drinking soda. I went for almost 10 months without drinking a single drop of soda. It wasn’t easy starting out and required a sizable change in routine. I gave up my workday afternoon Diet Mt. Dew, I ordered water every time we went out to eat, and we stopped stocking our fridge with soda. After 10 months, I felt like I had broken whatever habit or addiction I had to soft drinks. In the last couple months, I’ve felt free to enjoy sugary soda on occasion but I can’t drink much of it without my stomach getting upset. I think that’s a good thing.
My goals for 2013:
- Lose some more weight. I dropped 9 pounds in 2012 and I know I can lose at least another 11. That’s my goal.
- Cook with appliances. And I don’t mean gadgets. We have a food processor, blender, and stand mixer in our kitchen cupboards that could really expand not only what food we cook but how well it’s prepared. This will also force me to open up the recipe book, try some new things, and challenge myself in the kitchen. I’d like to be a better chef this time next year.
- Become a better home owner. By the end of this year, I need to organize my tools in the garage, hang some ceiling fans, figure out a system for mowing and maintaining the lawn, and a dozen other things around the house. Right now I have no good place to put the charger for my cordless drill. I want to figure this out this year.
- Use my iPad more, especially for reading. I bought this super awesome thing and don’t seem to use it much. I know several people whose iPad is their constant companion and it makes me feel a little guilty for wanting to upgrade. What I have is still plenty serviceable and I should get more use out of it. I’m going to start with using it for reading novels and playing some strategy board games.
I like the trajectory of my life over the last year. I think I’m in a good place. I have a wife who loves and two puppies that worship me and a great new job. But I think I can still make some improvements with some small adjustments. These are my goals for 2012.
- Read more novels. I haven’t been an avid reader since I lived in Seattle in 2005. Back then I would go through a book a week. I want to do more of that.
- Shoot more video. We got puppies in June of last year and I’m already surprised at how few photos and video I shot. And a little regretful.
- Lose some weight. In the last 2 years I’m up 15 pounds. I remember when I weighed over 300 and that Scott is never coming back. This year I’m going to swing the pendulum back.
- Stop drinking soda. I’m not yet convinced diet soda hinders weight loss, but Alton Brown believes it. So I’m stopping cold turkey.