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Tag Archives: Goals

What better way to wrap 2014 at LifebyDamien.com than facing the fire and comparing myself to how I did on the 2014 Goals and Bucket list?  Well – I’ll do that, AND set a new list of goals and bucket list items for 2015.

Deep Run Pano

Deep Run Pano

I think this is a great exercise for anyone who is trying to ensure they are on track for progression – and especially those who are looking for and/or are expecting change in the near future (1-3 years).  I have heard more advice, and continued to develop myself through 2014 – which has shaped my goals and intentions as I carry forward in my professional, and personal lives.

First, how did I stack up to my 2014 goals, objectives and bucket list?  In some ways: fantastic and in other ways: dismal.   I completed 3 of my 5 goals.  Of the 17 objectives I needed to hit in order to reach the 5 goals, I completed 11 of them.  Oddly enough, completing all objectives for a given goal doesn’t mean the goal was obtained (note to self on better setting objectives).  I also noted some goals, for which none of the objectives were obtained – lets me know what I put priority on.  My largest defeat was only in completing 2 of 8 bucket list items.

I want to run through them briefly, before laying out goals and respective objectives for 2015, along with an exciting “bucket list”! For details, refer back to my earlier post HERE in 2013 in Review:

Goal:  Begin my MBA at NYU:  While I did study for my GMAT, take the GMAT, and obtain a desired score, I did not apply to NYU, or any other MBA program. That has been delayed, and I am not sure when I will pursue – but hopefully soon enough.  I admit defeat here.

Goal:  Meet face to face with my company’s CEO, Robert Benmosche:  I met all of my objectives, but not the goal.  I have made great progress in what I was working on, only the CEO changed and a new CEO stepped in.  The work I have been doing has been discussed and recognized by the new CEO.  I was also able to speak with him, just a few months before he took his role.  So – I chalk that up to “close”, but this goal isn’t horseshoes or hand-grenades.

Goal:  Travel Outside of the Continental U.S.  I NAILED this one!  Passport, work trip to Canada, and personal trip to the Dominican Republic – it was a great goal to fulfill!

Goal: Write, Produce, Record and Master a complete song.  Fell behind here… I have not had as much time to enjoy my musical side.  However, I have been having fun… and a fully completed song may not be too far from the future.

Goal: Buy a House : NAILED IT!  A little off, as we looked at all sorts of options for buying.  What came to reality was a weekend house in the Poconos.  With recent developments and investments by larger developers in the area, and in selecting a home that is in the heart of multiple ski-lifts and Summer resorts, I think we made a great investment.  Not to mention, The prices make it seem like a forced increase in retirement planning – but I can hang out here (I’m here in our Poconos House as I complete this article) as I contribute to my retirement, where as I can’t hang out in my Roth or 401k.

For Love of Country - SIgned

For Love of Country – SIgned

Goal: Begin Writing a Book:  Okay, so I have begun writing… but still very loosely.  I can’t say I have a full on, fully bought-into book and outline. I very occasionally write a passage to add to the book, and I still consider multiple book ideas to pursue. Just which am I currently pursuing?  I’ll keep that one to myself for now.

Bucket List 2014:  I was able to go Scuba Diving while in the Dominican Republic, and during the home buying process, we were able to enjoy a great family trip to the Poconos during the Summer.  The rest of my bucket list was left behind.  There were several attempts to go skydiving, but last minute scheduling conflicts made it difficult.  Once winter kicked in, I knew it was off the table.

Okay, so now for 2015 Goals:

Goal: Record & Complete One Full Song

2014-12-31 18.07.26

  • I have neglected a lot of my down time, with an increased work schedule. I need to remember to keep some balance.  Not to mention, I do believe growing musically will also sharpen my mind and allow me to think and trouble-shoot in new ways.
    • Objective 1: Record a complete “Draft” of a song.  This includes 3 verses, a chorus, and all original instrumentals (guitar, and digital Audio tools found in ProTools)
    • Objective 2: Enlist the help, pro bono, of a musician and/or musical engineers to complete the song.
    • Objective 3: Record, karaoke type songs to work on my own vocals.

Goal: Return to a Committed Philanthropic Role (with Transitioning Veterans)

  • IMG_20141222_220743I really enjoyed working as a Mentor and Guest Instructor for the Fall 2013 FourBlock classes in New York. I would like to better manager my work schedule to allow me to do work with FourBlock once again.
    • Objective 1: Plan work travel in advance, working around dates and times needed to be in NYC.  I have previously only planned travel as I needed, and then schedule personal agenda items around work.  I think there is a way to make both work more harmoniously.

Goal: Run the Spartan Trifecta 2015, Tough Mudder 2015 x2

  • This last year I ran the Spartan Sprint (5 miles), and the Tough Mudder (11 miles). The longer I have been out of the military, the greater I appreciate the need to ACTIVELY seek and maintain physical fitness.  My body fat percentage has increase, and my physical stamina and strength have decreased.  So I guess the greater goal is to improve and maintain my physical fitness, and over all self-satisfaction.  But the goal of complete one of each distance Spartan event, and this year running the Tough Mudder TWICE back-to-back will be measurable, and indicative of my work to stay in shape.
    Tough Mudder Team Pic 2014

    Tough Mudder Team Pic 2014

    • Objective 1: Run a minimum of 6 miles per week.
    • Objective 2: Go to the gym, or complete at least 1 strength training work out per week.
    • Objective 3: Register for the races
    • Objective 4: Don’t let scheduling be an excuse

Goal: Confirm Education and Professional Value Building Plan

  • I have let work dictate my current actions, so much so that I have not allotted enough time/attention to the current time that should be allotted for an improved future. While I am not fully convinced that an MBA is exactly what I should be investing both time and money into – I know that I DO need to commit to some sort of professional development, and firmly commit to a career path.  This year should have a pivot point or two in it, and on the far end of those pivots, I should have enough vision to make an informed decision, and a commitment to my future.
    • Objective 1: To be honest – I think objective one is to speak to a career coach.  I am not sure what steps to take, but perhaps a conversation or two with some professionals I have looked to as mentors will be helpful.

Goal: Get Promoted and/or apply to AND Take On an Advanced Role

  • In the course of transitioning into the corporate world as a Military Veteran, I have completed the “step back and over” in order to take a step forward. Well… there is no time to get comfortable.  Now, it is time to step forward.  During the course of 2015 I will have been in my current position for 2 years.  2 years is my limit for staying stagnant without a move up.  As I see it, I am not here to make moves at an average pace.  I am trying to make up for a “late start” into the corporate world.
    Enjoy the now, but always be looking ahead.

    Enjoy the now, but always be looking ahead.

    • Objective 1: Self-Educate on potential roles within my organization
    • Objective 2: Communicate specific interest and my value proposition to the appropriate leaders in my organization
    • Objective 3: Take on a more active role in additional roles requiring leadership and decision making to help validate my worthiness to take on a more senior role than I am in now.

2015 Bucket List:

  • Go snowboarding at no less than 2 different resorts in the Poconos (Jack Frost and Camelback are in my sights).
  • Attend 1 professional sports game/event
  • Buy a small fishing boat (Jon Boat or Canoe/Kayak)
  • Attend 1 political event (something sponsored by or hosted by a local politician, etc)
  • Host a weekend retreat for friends in Poconos House
  • Build my first piece of large wooden furniture (likely a dresser for my kids)
  • Take an advanced Microsoft Excel Class (online or in person… but let’s be honest, likely will be online)
  • Attend at least 2 BJJ classes – just to stay in touch with it… I miss training 4-5 days a week.
  • Skydiving… maybe. I want to, but not sure I want to hold myself accountable to this one

Alright – that is all for now.

Big lessons from 2014’s goals – is that, for as many of the objectives/goals I did NOT hit, I would not have made nearly as many if I did not set them!  I am happy to have done so, and reflecting on the goals I didn’t make, or seeing how goals changed is a great learning experience – for me, and hopefully for those of you reading.

Another great thing about my goals for 2014… in my efforts to obtain them, I found myself making residual gains or achieved/did things I didn’t plan for.  While I didn’t get to a listed sporting eve, I did get to attend a professional soccer game at Red Bull Stadium, and went to the Eminem and Rhianna concert at MetLife Stadium.  I have also made myself more aware of looking towards the future and not delaying the future because I’m too busy with today.  I have been able to help many Veterans in their transitions just by happenstance even though I was not in an official role to do so – and I couldn’t be happier to do so!

2015 is about growing… as will 2016 and 2017.  I look forward to another year of growth and enlightenment – and hopefully to be made aware of new goals to make for the years to come!

Happy New Year!

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So, I think I have finally figured it out – I’m afraid they aren’t going to wait for me!  Who are “they” (Maybe “they” should be my readers, and I could use my fear of them not waiting for me as motivation to post more consistently, and more often)?

They – are opportunities.  As I fight my required yet despised daily ritual, going to bed (I like to be up at night, but the rest of the world requires me to be up during the day) I realize that I am not good at keeping a routine.  Actually, I am always telling myself that I need to do many things more “consistently”.  But, I never do.  More importantly I realize that, I can never keep to strict routines, because I am afraid that by committing to a routine I will miss out on an opportunity!  What if I neglect passing opportunities because I’m too drilled into maintaining my routine?

Time is not waiting for me, and this is not the world that would allow me to miss out on an opportunity… can anyone afford to turn away when opportunity knocks? 

In business planning, you always have to calculate the “opportunity cost” of investing in something new, or just moving forward with a plan.  The amount is measured, for analysis reasons, by estimating the single most impactful opportunity you would lose out on by making your choice.  THE SINGLE most, not all the potential opportunities – just the single most.  This opportunity cost is often, if not always, mutually exclusive from what you will gain from the choice or option you pursue.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at only assuming or measuring just one, identifiable, most-impactful opportunity – and I’ve never liked that I have to miss out on it.  I’ll take that cake, and a napkin – because I’m eating it too!

I like to take these realizations and turn them into a question or challenge for myself.  So, this time I see two focus points: 1. I need to learn how to keep “routine” tasks exciting so that I don’t actually feel like I’m in a routine (and thus not blind to our distracted from passing opportunities).  2. I need to ensure I am giving full attention to whatever I am doing, and not allow myself to get distracted by fear that I might have mis-allocated my time.

Final Blog Post of 2013

2013 in Review – 2014 Goals

So, let’s take a look at 2013 so we can be set with a plan for 2014.  A lot has gone on this year for me personally and professionally of which a few points I’d like to highlight.  One of the things I am adamant about is having goals and objectives.  Not just dreams, but actionable plans to continue growing.  2014 will be a crucial year for me as I identify goals and objectives – mostly due to the happenings of 2013 and some realizations I’ve had to come to during that time.

Deltas Walking

Before I start my recap – I’d like to confess to my greatest fear; a very realistic fear that has influenced, for better and worse, my actions and motivation in 2013.  However, I am grateful for realizing it and I am happy to share it with you as it will be integral to setting my 2014 goals.  On my 28th birthday, in 2012 I spent my very last day wearing my Uniform as a U.S. Marine.  In the year that ensued I began to realize my greatest, most debilitating fear yet:  At 28 years old, I have already lived through the most rewarding, fulfilling, and greatest part of my life.  Now what?  Lucky for me I was able to recognize that fear, and come to realize that MANY Military Veterans have feared the same after beginning their transition back into civilian life.
So – 2013.  It was a busy year!

–          January 2013.  I left my less-than-successful career in Real Estate to develop a Veterans Recruitment Division for a New York City based staffing agency.  I didn’t know much about agency recruiting at all, but I knew about being a Veteran (which seemed to be the unique and valuable asset I provided).  I caught on pretty quick, and with a little luck – entered into a new career field.

–          March 2013. I was introduced to the civilian world’s lack of job security as the Staffing agency downsized by half, and my position along with my Veteran project were ended, on the spot and without warning.

–          March 2013. I became an independent consultant working directly for the New York Stock Exchange providing National Talent Acquisition work.  Perhaps the best kept secret was that my time at the NYSE provided far more value to me than I could have ever provided to them.

NYSE Euronext celebrates 2nd Annual Veteran Associates Program

NYSE Euronext celebrates 2nd Annual Veteran Associates Program

–          March 2013 – Sept 2013.  Eventually I started working full-time for the NYSE, as a Talent Acquisition Associate and a Veteran Associate as a part of their amazing Veteran Associate Program.  I worked directly for the man who became the most integral and influential person in my transition to the “civilian world”.  I was able to work additionally on Veteran efforts at the NYSE and in outreach of the NYSE to other companies such as AIG and Bloomberg, along with many additional partnerships.

AIG_NYU Networking

–          October 2013. HUGE MONTH.  After recognizing my desire to continue and develop my career in Talent Acquisition, I was referred to, interviewed for, and offered a role in Talent Acquisition at AIG.  Needless to say – I took it and am working diligently with my team’s objectives and additionally to build an official Military Veteran recruitment and retention strategy with partnerships across the corporation.  I also took on a role as a Mentor and Guest instructor for the FourBlock Foundation’s Career Development course for Veterans.  I provided resume review and assistance, and instructed on personal branding and goal setting.  I am not sure who gained more from the experience, myself or the students!

Back to my fear – It is now a motivation.  I may have lived through my most rewarding and impactful portion of my life… to date.  That just means the bar has been set, and now I have to set goals and objectives that will allow me to live a life that only grows and progresses.  For 2014 here is my “Bucket List” along with objectives and goals that will help me to reach new levels.

Goal:  Begin my MBA at NYU

–          Objective 1: Study for GMAT

–          Objective 2: Complete GMAT with a score above 650

–          Objective 3: Apply to NYU Stern School of Business Part-Time (3 year) MBA Program by the May 15th deadline

Goal:  Meet face to face with my company’s CEO, Robert Benmosche

–          Objective 1: Have a reason to meet with him (Official Veteran Program at AIG).  Meaning, he has to be aware of the work being done on the topic.  Which means, the work has to be solid, and provide value.

–          Objective 2: Complete planning and execution of a series of Veteran Initiatives in collaboration with Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Business Lines, and Diversity & Inclusion at AIG.  (I cannot make public statements about everything just yet).

Goal:  Travel Outside of the Continental U.S.

–          Objective 1: Obtain a Passport. (I’ve never had one, but just submitted my application last week!)

–          Objective 2: Complete a work related travel event outside of the U.S. (Likely to happen if I go to an event in one of our Canadian offices).

–          Objective 3: Go on an out of the country trip for FUN!  More specifically, a spontaneous location in the Caribbean, as my wife and I will be celebrating our TENTH Anniversary this Spring!  I think at least a 2-3 night trip is feasible.  Any LifebyDamien fans with connections or recommendations – please speak up! J

Goal: Write, Produce, Record and Master a complete song.Home Production

–          Objective 1:  Learn to play at least 2 complete songs on the guitar

–          Objective 2:  Obtain an intermediate-hobbyist level of expertise with ProTools and the MIDI equipment I currently have

–          Objective 2:  Upgrade my computer to handle the additional work-load.

Goal: Buy a House (Either single-family to live in, or Multi-Family to live in and begin a rental income investment)

–          Objective 1:  Build savings to cover all up-front costs (Will be using VA Loan)

–          Objective 2:  Identify investable markets (we have some areas picked out, but the idea of a multi-family unit within the city is a new development).

Goal: Begin Writing a Book

–          Objective 1:  Identify WHAT?!  I have had this idea for a long while, and I have been very creative in trying to identify a topic.  I’ve really considered all sorts of angles, so ideas are welcomed.  So far, I’ve considered:

  • Memoir of my military career
  • Memoir of my transition process with a focus on the psychology involved
  • Taking all of my LifebyDamien articles and tying them together
  • Erotic Fiction (sex sells right?)
  • Personal Branding for those who don’t know personal branding
  • Any sort of random e-book to test the waters

–          Objective 2:  Start writing

–          Objective 3:  Get someone to read an initial manuscript

–          Objective 4:  Include writing courses as part of my MBA curriculum/electives

There are more I am sure, but not sure how to articulate.  But to wrap up, here are some ideas I am considering, that are more “Bucket List” items – that if any fans are considering also, perhaps we can go in on a joint venture?

  1. Skydiving (Have jumped with a static-line in U.S. Army Airborne school, but never free-fall)
  2. Scuba Diving (Never have)
  3. Family Cabin trip to the mountains, fishing, hiking, etc
  4. Family Trip to Florida (undecided whether to make it a road-trip or fly)
  5. Knicks Game and Madison Square Garden
  6. Nets Game at Barclay’s
  7. Yankees Game
  8. Jets or Giants game at MetLife Stadium

Well – in 2013 I’ve taken my fear and turned it into motivation.  What are you doing for 2014?

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