2015 In Review

It seems like I don’t post these exactly on the new year. I had planned to work on this earlier, but things got in the way, as it goes. Also, I just realized I haven’t posted since my last goals post at the beginning of 2015. Planning to do better this year.

Proper warning: This post is going to be rambling and personal. These posts are more for me than for the public. So don’t worry about skipping this one.

Improper promise: I’ll be (cross)posting a lot more technical stuff in 2016. That’ll at least pad out the personal gibberish.

Beginning Thoughts

I’m looking at my 2014 post to have some kind of structure to go on. I thought 2014 was “strange” and “had some employment panics.” 2015 proved to be more in kind of every way. Higher highs, lower lows. More success, more failures. Went without any work for a while, which kind of put the axe on the various plans I had. I took the first serious steps in getting healthier. I didn’t make serious progress on weight loss (lost between 20 – 30 pounds), but I stopped gaining weight and I started losing weight. Also, I started to get in the habit of exercising, going to the gym, and tracking what I eat. Those habits are huge, and an important part of moving on and getting healthier generally.

Also, I ended up losing my main contract (on good terms), and went basically without income for a while. I picked up a SalesForce Certified Developer certification, and got a job for this place called CloudCraze which builds an eCommerce solution on top of SalesForce. This sprung out of my web background, and is a fairly large career change. At the same time I’ve spent time learning Node.js and some of the JS frameworks (React and Angular in particular). So, my previous goals were, um, shortsighted. I actually refactored stuff personally in March or so, but I didn’t do a blog post about it. Anyway, since I didn’t blog about my update, we’ll go through what I thought I wanted to accomplish in 2015 back in February. I think any further comments belong in the 2016 goals post.

2015 Goals Final Update

1. Lose 80 pounds

RESULT: Some Progress. My 2014 goal was to lose 60 pounds, and I gained 20. This year I actually made progress. Up until the holiday break I lost about 30 pounds total. By the end of the year, I’d gotten back about 10 of those (oops). So, depending on how we measure it, I lost either 20 or 30 pounds. Probably 20, that’s more honest. But hey, it’s going the right direction (momentum is important), and I have a better handle on managing this stuff. I’m not completely unhappy with this, but I would have preferred getting farther.

2. Run 5km without stopping

RESULT: FAIL; I didn’t do any running training. At some point I changed my focus to try to bike 100miles in a day (which I also failed). However, the intent of this one was to get a basic amount of cardio, and I ended up getting to about 60 or 70 miles in one go. So, if I stretched the rules I could say I succeeded, since I got a fairly challenging cardio endurance thing done. But we don’t bend the rules here. Again, this is my fault for not updating with my changed goals.

3. Do 150 situps without stopping

RESULT: FAIL; Didn’t even train situps. When I built this fitness list I had no idea what kind of exercising I’d actually be doing.

4. Curled 100lbs (set of 10)

RESULT: FAIL; Again, this was just bad imagination on my part. I did a LOT of lifting (for me) this year, but curling was more of an afterthought. Makes me think these yearly fitness goals might not be a smart move until I’m in a more permanent cycle.

5. Pressed 300lbs

RESULT: Some Progress. This goal was unrealistic. I mean, super unrealistic. The highest number I could find was 155 in my log book. I vaguely remember 170, but 155 is what I found. That 155 was a 5×5 though, not a 1 rep max. I’d need a spotter to find out my 1 rep max. Based on loose estimates and online calculators, I can probably do around a 225 1RM. Just going on my gut feeling, I’d say closer to 200, but whatever. The bench press isn’t one of my major concerns right now.

6. Develop 2 passive income sources (making at least $300 each)

RESULT: FAIL; Got distracted doing some professional development and looking for a primary income again. -_- Here’s hoping I can actually get this stuff going in 2016.

7. Made $3000 in side income

RESULT: FAIL; Again, went looking for real work again. That took priority. Kind of an excuse, but there we go. I have a lot more specific plans for this year at least.

8. Finished 4 volumes of light novels

RESULT: FAIL; I feel bad about abandoning this. Writing got pretty much sidelined when I started looking harder into professional development and job hunting. I did manage to do NaNoWriMo successfully. I also wrote a small Sound Novel (think VN w/o character graphics), and that was pretty cool. Anyways, I’m not going to bother commenting on the remaining writing goals, since I’d just be repeating myself.

9. Published 1 novel or light novel volume


10. Finished 1 novel


11. 20 new posts on this blog


12. Taken the JLPT N5 or N4

RESULT: SUCCESS! The first thing I have completely succeeded on. I took the N5. The goal was to study for and take the test. I did that. I probably failed the test but that’s fine. I got so much information and data for taking the N4 in 2016. I actually feel really good about this.


All failed, though I did make a few youtube videos.

Middle Thoughts

Again, looking back on last year’s summary to maintain some structure, one of my complaints at the time was that my 2014 list “lacked imagination.” In some senses 2015’s list was improved, but in others it was misguided. I had wanted to get some writing income going as my background passive income. Then I suddenly needed primary income.

Goals-wise 2015 looks like an almost complete failure. Most of that is because I never updated my goals on the blog here when I updated them in reality (somewhere in the March – May time frame, I’m not sure of the exact date).

I’m going to add a new section here.

2015 Events and Accomplishments

Jan – Feb – Nothing too significant, though this was the remainder of my time working on the contract I’d been working on.

Mar Everything changed, decided to start hitting the gym harder. I also started getting into Node.js and React

Apr – Jun – Started applying for some jobs, did some interviews. Attempted the SalesForce exam.

Jul – Got the SalesForce certification. Accepted a job offer. Hit the gym kind of too hard.

Aug – Started a new job

Sept – Dec – Most of my interesting things here have been work related. Also learned Angular and Polymer.

Final Thoughts

2015 had a lot of ups and down personally as well. I’m not going to get into that here, but I know that at least some percentage of the downs were my fault or made worse by my reaction to things, so that’s something I want to work on. I want to be more calm, more mindful, and have a better focus.

I actually made a lot of professional progress, both in employment and in skills.

My writing stalled in some ways, and took a hard turn in others. I’m not unhappy with the progress made here, but it was almost entirely in the “try new things” category.

All in all, 2015 wasn’t too bad in the end. Could have been better, could have been worse, but I’m happier with where I am than where I was at the beginning of the year.

On to 2016. It’ll be even better.



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