2013 Year in Review

Written by Michael Lee on December 30, 2013

It’s been an amazing year.

Highlights

  • Found out my wife was pregnant with our first child
  • Learned some Ruby and launched an Instagram printing service called Print Squares
  • Got a new job
  • Partnered with my friend, Christopher to run a company called Herelde
  • Vacationed at Disney World – I don’t vacation well but I really did enjoy going to Disney World.
  • Turned 30
  • Levelled up as a developer – been architecturing my CSS with SMACSS + BEM, really growned to love the SASS libraries: Bourbon and Neat, finally learned how to program in iOS, picked up some Ruby and Rails and much more.
  • Successfully been able to wake up at 6am every morning to work on writing and building things.

Lessons Learned

  • When building a product – especially if you’re new to building – launch quickly to get feedback and observe how users actually use the product. Even if you get your product out to just a few people, the amount of things you’ll learn from observing how people interact with your product is helpful in iterating and improving your product.
  • Life is limited, be thankful for today, learn to say no, laugh, have fun, love someone and breath.
  • Not everyone will understand me but I only need a few people to support me
  • Just sleep on it – it’s hard for me to sometimes stop in my tracks especially when I’m focused on solving a problem or trying to make a decision. Sometimes you just have to let the hamster off the wheel and rest.
  • I’ve got all the tools that I need, I just need use them.
  • Writing ain’t easy but I enjoy doing it
  • Six hours of sleep is my sweet spot – for some reason, I’m less groggy and I tend to go without coffee throughout the day with only six hours of sleep.

Review of Goals and Dreams for 2013

This year I openly shared my dreams on this site. Here is a summary of where I’m at with them.

Live Overseas in a Couple of Years

My wife and I have had more and more discussions of making this happen. We plan on taking a trip back to Germany at the end of 2014 to visit friends and family.

This will hopefully give us a good feel of what it’s like traveling as a family unit and how it feels to be back in Germany after being away for two years. Perhaps this year will be the year to actively make initial preparations.

Own and Run a Successful Business

Herelde has been rewarding and a lot of fun.

  • Chris and I rebuilt Print Squares from the ground up.
  • We launched a site that has easy to follow tutorials on how to setup websites called Simple Setup.
  • We built our very first theme for Ghost called Quill.
  • We relaunched our site to try and work with others and help enable them to pursue their dreams. We’re working with our first client on relaunching their site and I’m so excited for their brand!

Help Others to Dream and Live Them

Upon openly sharing my dreams through this blog, I started to also share my dreams offline in person. In doing so, a few people have reached out to me to share their dreams with me.

It excites me to hear other people’s dreams and I’ve been doing my best to provide them with experience and stories that will help them along in making them happen. One area I do see a need for improvement is following up and asking about their progress.

Live Financially Free

Moving, prepping for a baby and switching to a single income has caused our finances to take a tangent from where we wanted to be. But we have become more frugal with our spending and more aware of where our money is going.

Goals and Dreams for 2014

Most of my goals and dreams for this year are a continuation of the ones from this past year. I do want to focus on two specificially though.

Be an Awesome Husband + Father

I want to be a better husband to my wife. To be more patient and learn to speak more of her love language fluently. I used to think by being open to many options, I was giving my wife more choices but it turns out I’m actually causing more stress. I will be better at having an opinion and with choices.

As we wait for the arrival of our son, my wife and I are so excited to start our own family traditions. We’ve talked about many and have even practiced some this past holiday season. We’re excited to come up with more as we go.

As a married man and soon to be father, I’ve been thinking about my legacy. I don’t know why but lately I’ve been realizing many personality nuances I’ve picked up from my parents and family. It defines who I am but I’m also afraid of what our son will pick up from me.

I know I will make mistakes and not everything goes according to plans but there are two actionable things I will not compromise on this year in being a husband and father. First, I will always have dinner with the family – I’ve learned that so much of sharing life happens over a meal. Second, have a bed time routine – a few months ago we got to watch our friends’ sons overnight and I had the privelage of putting the younger one to bed. He had a elaborate bedtime routine and it was awesome. It consisted of saying goodnight to random things around the room, drinking water and praying together.

I’m pretty sure our son may not remember any of it as he grows up but I hope we can make it our thing to share moments together.

Keep Making Great Things

I enjoy making things. I want to keep making things that enrich the lives of others. I want to make great things that will provide myself and my family more freedom. This year has seen a lot of experimentation and growth. In 2014 I want to refine what I’ve built and make even greater things.

I’m excited for 2014; are you? How has 2013 been for your dreams and goals? What are you planning on achieving this year?

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