As 2015 draws to a close, I want to share the progress that I made in the last year. This is the first year that I’ve been able to focus enough on my goals to actually remember them at the end of the year.

Sometime in the next week I will post my goals for 2016. I learned a lot this year, not just about the goals that I was working on, but also about setting goals in general. With that said, here’s a recap of how I did in 2015:


Read 12 Books

I actually did really well with this one. I lost the sticky note I was tracking this one on though, so these are just the ones I remember. There may be one or two more that I’ve forgotten. I think this is the order I read them in too, but again I’m not sure.

  1. Hooked
  2. Four Hour Workweek
  3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  4. For Whom The Bell Tolls
  5. Blockbusters
  6. Empire State of Mind
  7. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  8. The Martian Chronicles
  9. Meditations
  10. Zero to One
  11. 1776
Memorize 4 songs on guitar

To be completely honest, I abandoned this goal. I started to learn one song, but didn’t end up finishing it at all. I couldn’t find the chords anywhere online, and the idea of figuring it out by ear was really daunting. I decided the goal wasn’t really a priority for me. If I decide to revisit this goal for next year, I will probably lower it to just one or two songs.


These goals were really important for me this year. My back has been doing much better, and I really haven’t had much pain in it at all, except for one day when I played basketball for about six hours.

Lose 30 lbs.

I got so close with this one. I started the year weighing 255 lbs. This last week I weighed in at 229 lbs. This means I lost 26 lbs. this year. In retrospect, I really wish I could have logged my body fat percentage and other metrics instead of just my weight. I feel like I have really increased my muscle-to-fat ratio. Either way though, I’m very happy with the progress I made, even though I didn’t completely reach the goal. I will definitely continue with this one next year, and probably track other metrics as well.

Bench 315 lbs.

I abandoned this goal just like the guitar one. My lifting partner, Cory, had a much different schedule than me during this past winter. We didn’t end up lifting together much, and then he left for medical school this summer. As a result, I started lifting more on my own. I quickly realized that I don’t care about bench press nearly as much as Cory does. As a result, my max is probably around the same place it was at the start of the year, or possibly even lower. My squat and other lifts are up from where they were though.


This was a very important one to me this year. I wasn’t happy at all with where I was spiritually to start the year. I felt like I was in a bit of a rut. I’m feeling a lot better about where I am now though, and looking forward to where I’m going.

Attend the temple 18 times

I didn’t quite get there with this one. I had some amazing experiences though. I was able to attend the wedding of my friends Russ and Robbyn. I was in attendance when my brother Danny went through for the first time. And this last week I was able to escort my grandpa as he went through for the first time, and then witness as he was sealed to my grandma and my mom. This next year I’m considering becoming a temple worker, which would require me to go once a week. With the new temple in Provo, I’m told many more temple workers are needed, and I think that would be a great way to do better this next year.

Read the Book of Mormon in Spanish

I completed this goal the day before flying down to Texas for Christmas break. Really though, this goal should have been listed under intellectual. I think it helped my Spanish more than it helped my spirituality. I’m going to try some different things for my study of the scriptures this next year, and we’ll see how that goes.


Like I said when I originally posted them, these goals are a bit more personal to me. As such, I’m a little bit embarrassed to talk about their progress, but I think it’s an important part of the process.

Get a girlfriend

I think this is the goal that hurts the most. I failed. I think it was close three different times, but never panned out. Honestly, I’m not sure how good of a goal this is just because I don’t have full control over it. If it were only up to me, two of the three would have been successful, but unfortunately that wasn’t just my choice to make. I’m still trying to decide how to change this goal up for next year.

Go on 50 dates

I did well with this, but it was hard to really focus on this as a goal. I think mainly because I didn’t want this to just be a number. It was really hard to do this steadily too. I ended up going on dates in spurts. I think one week I went on 5, and there was a period where I only went on one in the space of a month. I think I need to break this one up a bit better in the future.

Write 26 blog posts

As you can see if you scroll through the blog, I completely failed on this one. 2/26 or 7.6923% complete. This is something I really want to improve on for 2016 though, so I will probably give it another try then. I kind of wonder if the biweekly part kind of messed it up. I might be better off going weekly. We’ll find out.

Post 50 photos on Instagram

I didn’t quite hit this one either. I’m at 32 right now. I considered posting more, but I also didn’t want the quality to take a hit. I think for next year I will probably keep the same goal, but try to break it down more. I kept getting further behind, and it got harder and harder to catch up. I’m pretty happy with the photos I posted. I think this next year I would like to post more regularly, instead of sporadically when I take a photo. We’ll see how that goes.

Get 100 likes on a single Instagram post

I did it! This one wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected. Once I started using hashtags and learned which ones work best, I was able to hit it pretty easily. As of right now, 5 photos got over 100 likes, 5 got over 90, and 6 more had more than 75. The highest hit 125. In fact, I really learned that everyone has different tastes than I do. The photos I thought would do the best didn’t. I took several photos that I like better than the one that received 125 likes, but they still couldn’t compete with it. Oh well. Fun fact: only 6 of the 32 photos failed to pass the 50 like mark. Only 1 photo last year actually passed that mark.


Because I never ended up taking a job this year, these goals suffered.

Save $2300

Not even close. Over the course of the year, I’ve added $75.25 to my total savings. The problem is that I’m not sure if this will change much this next year either. The good news is that I read today that 62% of Americans have less than $1000 saved, so I’m ahead of the curve at least. Just not hitting the bar that I had set for myself. Verdict: 3.27% complete.

Raise $10k+ for a business venture

I realized partway through the year that this was kind of a dumb goal. I kind of hit this one, but not really. I ended up mostly bootstrapping instead. I wouldn’t recommend ever putting a goal like this unless you already know you’re going to need the money for your business and have the business in place.


It’s still kind of weird having a category for just one goal. I might move this to intellectual, but I feel like it’s different. I don’t know.

Visit 8 National Parks

I got really dang close. In fact I would have reached this one if it weren’t for a dang snowstorm. I was going to visit Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef over Thanksgiving break, but on my way to Bryce it was snowing and the road was icy. I had my siblings in the car so I ended up turning around. Had I been alone, I probably would have made it.

  1. Zion
  2. Arches
  3. Canyonlands
  4. Yellowstone
  5. Grand Teton
  6. Yosemite


I didn’t have a goal for this when I started the year, but I decided I wanted to keep a journal. I downloaded an awesome app called Day One that reminds me to write every night, and as a result I’ve written every day since January 17th. It’s really cool to be able to go back and read some of the entries. Even though it’s only been a couple of months, it’s great to remember some of the feelings I felt at the beginning of the year. Plus I keep pictures in it, and that has allowed me to look back even better. I can see the weight I’ve lost in my face especially, and I can really see the difference in confidence that I can feel.

The End

Overall I feel like I did a pretty good job. Really I only achieve 3/14 goals that were set, but I was very close to finishing several more.

I definitely enjoyed being driven by goals that were important to me. Though I haven’t been good about it in the past, I think this is definitely a tradition that I want to have in my life every year.

Are there any goals you think I could improve on? Are there any categories you think I missed? Have any ideas for how I could do better next year? Leave a comment below or email or tweet at me and I’ll try to respond quickly!