2017 New Year Reflections and Goals

You made it!  Tonight officially marks the end of this 365 day (and one second) period we call the year 2016.  For better, or worse, 2016 is behind us.  This last year has brought me great success, and great heartache.  New friendships were forged, others re-kindled, and some were lost.  Hearts were broken and subsequently mended.  I was able to work with some excellent music artists, photograph others, and attend a number of shows for fun.  It’s been a wild ride.

Regardless of how the year turned out, our actions, dreams, words, thoughts and desires of the last 12 months are about to be saved and archived away.  The only thing left to do is ask yourself if you are happy with your progress.  We can’t change what we’ve done.  Worrying about it won’t alter what has happened.  We can only learn from our experiences, and hope to grow in the new year.

2016 Goals Recap

In last year’s reflection post, I highlighted my goals for 2016. Here’s my status report:

Goal #1 : Successfully migrate into a new career that is more aligned with my degree.

This, by far, was my biggest stretch goal for 2016.  It’s not that I wasn’t happy with working at the Charter School.  I loved that place, and my co-workers.  I was at a point in my career where I was no longer growing.  I had mastered my job and could practically do it with my eyes shut.  Unless of course I was flying one of our three drones in which case I was federally mandated to keep my eyes open.  Early in the year I had the opportunity to interview with Intel in Folsom for a couple of positions.  Late February brought news of a job offer.  The last 10 months have been amazing and I’m thankful to be where I am.

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Status: Goal Met

Goal #2: Grow SantSound, my audio services company, by an additional two events (or more) per quarter.

This goal was more difficult.  The schedule with the new job was such that I wasn’t able to expand SantSound and look for additional gigs.  SantSound is still around, but I don’t know that I’ll be actively pursuing events for the foreseeable future.

Status: Goal Not Met

Goal #3: Establish a home of my own, a space free of distractions and outside drama.

I’d felt for the last few years that it was time for me to move away from home and get my own place.  I stuck around as long as I did to assist with some family challenges.  By February, about the same time that I was interviewing with Intel, I felt that it was finally time.  With the news of the job offer, I immediately began searching for a place to live that would be closer to the Intel campus.  Within just a few weeks, my brother and I found the perfect place, lined everything up, and I completed the final leasing steps while sitting on a train outside of Frankfurt, Germany.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I am proud of my little apartment.

Status: Goal Met

Goals #4 & 5: Not allow the negative thoughts, behaviors and opinions of others to influence my happiness and well-being.  Accept myself, flaws and all.

These were stretch goals for me in that it takes a continual effort to accomplish something of this nature.  I tend to be a little more self-conscious than I’d care to admit.  Part of that curse is internalizing the feedback and opinions of others, even when they are unwarranted or wrong.  Events of this last year helped me realize and understand that I am extremely good at what I do, and that I should not let the “haters” get me down.  I am a darn good photographer, analyst, street teamer, brother, friend, son, traveler and human.  Nobody can take those traits away from me.  I also learned to recognize that that unreciprocated feelings are not a valid indicator of self-worth, a lesson I should have learned long ago.  My life is pretty cool, and I have been greatly blessed.  Eventually someone will join me on this adventure called life, but until then I just get to keep being awesome by myself.

Status: In Progress and Continuing

Goals #6 & 7: Embark on one trip per month to explore the world around me.  Pick up three new countries on my passport.

Much like goal number two, the new job has kept me busy enough that my goal of taking one trip per month fell out of reach.  I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands back in March, just before starting the new job, and had a couple of little trips to Utah, Southern California, and Idaho. While I didn’t pick up any new passport stamps, I did get to see two new countries and experience more of that part of the world.  Germany and the Netherlands were delightful and I enjoyed every minute I was there.

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Status: Goal Partially Met

Goal #8: Visit friends in Germany before they return to the United States this summer.

During my trip to Europe, I was able to see not just one, but two different friends from high school.  One was living near the USAF base at Rammstein, while the other lives to the southeast of Frankfurt.  In my time there I was able to explore castles, visit a technical museum, sample lots of the local food, and spend Easter with some of our nation’s armed forces.  These were some of the friendships that were re-kindled, and I’m grateful for their hospitality.

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Status: Goal Met

Goal #9: Make someone smile daily

This is another goal that wasn’t easy, but I would like to say that I’ve been successful.  I have tried my best to be kind, and seek the humor out of every situation.  Even the frustrating ones.  Spreading happiness is one of the easiest ways to relieve one’s own stress, and help make the world a better place.  I’ve learned that no matter what happens, there are little nuggets of good in every circumstance, and when we look for those good things, we tend to worry less and less.

Status: Goal Met

Goals for 2017

As with last year, I want to be transparent and publicly accountable for the things I wish to accomplish in the new year.  Some are stretch goals, while others will be easily attainable.

  • Be more vulnerable.  I am very skilled at masking my emotions, thoughts, and feelings.  I live behind a protective shell and few are permitted beyond that facade.  I want to live life more vulnerably and authentically.
  • Continue to hone my Information Security skills and reach the next pay grade level at work.
  • Experiment with my photography and seek additional training on editing techniques.  I’d also like for my work to be featured on a major platform or be used by an artist.
  • Develop a plan and begin to pursue my private pilot certificate.
  • Travel to a non-european country that I have not yet visited.
  • Seek to lift others around me and help them realize their self worth.

Closing Thoughts

I find myself ending this year much like the last one; sitting at home on the couch, quietly reflecting, and hoping for a better tomorrow.  As I said at the beginning, 2016 was a wild ride,  but I’m thankful for the lessons learned and for the personal growth opportunities that have come my way.  May this new year bring you the happiness and success that we all yearn for is my hope and prayer.  See ya!

sudo rm -rf /2016
mkdir 2017


Christopher is a bonafide pizza snob, and loves spontaneous adventures to wherever the skies deem fit.

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