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Progress Towards 2013 Goals

In early January, I posted a short list of the things I plan to accomplish in 2013. I have made some progress and I wanted to do a reality check. This is as much to give myself credit for what I have accomplished so far as it is to keep me focused on moving forward. Here is the original list of goals with notes on my progress so far:

  • Commission and launch a new chocolate website
    Significant progress. We identified four companies to get bids from in January. One ended up being out of our price range, another was not experienced enough with e-commerce sites. We do have a workable proposal from Commerce V3 (they did the www.johnandkiras.com site which we love) and will be getting a fourth proposal from Sam at NuSale here in Rochester who can do a Magento implementation. We expect to make a decision by the end of March. Our goal is to work on the new site throughout 2013 and launch it on January 1, 2014.
  • Identify a photographer for the chocolate and shoot all product photos
    Significant progress. We are auditioning four photographers with a small project. We have photos from Hannah Betts, who we could definitely work with, and are currently in conversation with 3 others in the Rochester area. We hope to have a selection and a plan in place by the end of March. We will continue to have the talented Gerry Szymanski take all of our people and places images.
  • Go to India to work at the Xerox Research Center there for 90 days
    In progress. I was going to go April-June, but recent events have made this unrealistic. Also, it is very hot there during that time. I’m currently aiming for September-November, this trip is theoretically approved, but I need to work out the details with my co-worker Rinku in Bangalore.
  • Celebrate Michelle’s 40th birthday in London
    In progress. Michelle has set the dates and general itinerary for the trip which will start on June 18. We will join her for the first week or so which would include 4 days in London, 2 days in Bath, 2 days in Chipping Camden, 1 day in Stratford and then home. We’re already looking at chocolate tours and museums, I’m so excited!
  • Clean out attic and get rid of stuff we don’t need
    No progress. It’s cold up there! I’ll have to wait until it warms up but I think I might be able to pull all the old clothes out and take them to Goodwill in the next few weeks. At least that would give us some room to walk around up there.
  • Clean out garage and get rid of stuff we don’t need
    No progress. This is a spring activity.
  • Clean out basement and get rid of stuff we don’t need
    In progress. I broke down the giant stack of cat litter boxes that I had been hoarding down there for years and moved them out of the house. The next step is getting them out to the curb for recycling and I have failed miserably at that for the last 3 weeks, will get them out there this coming Thursday. After that, Jennie and I need to go through the closet/second pantry area to see what we can get rid of.
  • Save $15,000 for my trip to Africa in 2014
    In progress. I started having $650 automatically taken out of my paycheck every two weeks on January 31. With the small amount of cash I already had in there, I should reach my goal by December 31, 2013.
  • Plan a Langford family reunion in the Bay Area
    No progress. This one may be difficult to achieve this year as I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to make it out to California this year. Jennie is planning to go to Santa Cruz during the first weeks of July. I might be able to tag along and just organize a simple gathering. I need to firm up the dates and then start recruiting helpers, my cousins Tiana and Jossie Lee are good candidates.
  • Start making terrariums as a hobby
    Significant progress. I already made a small enclosed one. It is a lot harder than I remember! I have all of the pieces and parts to make a second one. At what point does it become a hobby? I’m going to call this one done when I have two that stay alive for the year, then I’ll think about doing more.
  • Add more plants to my home space
    Significant progress. I added a larger fern to our entryway and have purchased a lot of plants that I won’t end up using in my terrariums that I need to get nice pots for. Once I pot everything that I have now, I will call this one complete. It is hard to find good pots though…
  • Finish digitizing my Zimbabwe journals
    In progress. This one is going to take a while. I have been doing one entry every weekend since January 6 on this blog. If I am able to keep up this pace, I should be done by the end of the year. I’m roughly one third done at this point.
  • Complete at least one month of the 4-Hour Body diet and exercise plan
    Done. I spent all of January on the 4-Hour Body Slow Carb diet with minimal success (I lost 1 pound and 1 inch from my total circumference). I also did the 6 minute abs routine and added 35 pound kettle bell swings. I’ve been pretty happy with this minimal workout and have continued with it into February. This month I have been focusing on the Last Mile diet to try and get to one of my Life List goals of visible abs. It is what most people would consider an extreme diet, designed for bodybuilders who need to strip off the last ounces of fat so their muscles pop. I’m actually enjoying it and have lost 5 pounds, 2% of my body fat and 3 inches from my total circumference. My abs are more visible, but I honestly don’t think I want to try to get down to the level of body fat where they would really show. After the month of February, I will probably go to a more regular plan of food consumption that roughly follows Slow-Carb, I will continue with the exercises which I can spend 4 hours a month on and be perfectly happy with my level of fitness and shape. One thing that I had never cut out of my diet before was fruit. When I limited my fruit consumption, my skin cleared up almost immediately which I am very happy about!
  • Let my hair return to it’s natural color (dark brown streaked with gray)
    Done. I stopped coloring my hair in October of 2013. I have been getting it cut shorter and shorter to try to rid myself of the last inches of permanent color that I had been using for years to cover up my silver strands. Just this week I finally got it all cut off. My hair is very short, but it is all my color. I’m getting used to it and it will grow back quickly. Now I’m looking for a whole new set of products designed to enhance my rapidly silvering curls.


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