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Zilker Tree2011 wasn’t really about me.  I had an 18 month old nephew survive a heart transplant.    He’s now 24 months old and I suspect Little L will dominate the next decade, and that’s okay.  My mom is getting on in years with more than her fair share of ailments, but she maintained a fairly steady pace and I was able to visit her during the Austin Marathon and on Mother’s Day as well as Christmas – which is more than usual.

I had some personal achievements though.  Top of the list was completing the 500 mile Colorado Trail with my buddy Rob, and it wasn’t even on my calendar at the start of the year.  Second was finally trading options.  I consider investing/trading as much a hobby as anything because I enjoy it and trading options is something I’ve read numerous books on but had never done until 2011.  I’m not a day trader by any means – I might do several trades per month – but I spend a great deal of time reading financial news and books.  I maintained decent fitness in 2011 which was a goal.  I ate healthy foods.  I would argue I didn’t accomplish my exact goals on running.  I wanted to increase my speed but instead opted for hiking.  I also gained a few pounds after having lost weight in each of the preceding four years.  Lastly, I didn’t start on another 2011 goal of writing a book.  Most of my new year’s resolutions will be to further unfinished 2011 objectives.

I want to spend more time with my mom so I’m considering living and working from her home in Round Rock for a month or so.  She can make do on her own but it’s not wise and my brother lives with her now.  Of course Steve has his own house and maybe he’d appreciate me giving him some time to live there.  Ideally, I’ll do this in the late winter / early spring.  I just returned from Austin yesterday – the picture above is of Karen and me checking out the Tree at Zilker Park.

As for running, my plans are to run a series of half marathons – mostly trail runs in the mountains.  I’ll start with Moab in March.  I still need to correct my plantar fasciitus, but I don’t expect that to limit me too much.  And I’m going to make a concerted effort to trim down my abdomen.  Enough is enough.  I’m also going to move our elliptical into my office to work out on during conference calls.  The idea being this will replace the snacking I do currently.  I might do that tomorrow.

I’m going to increase my trading focus on options.  All I actually did last year was sell covered calls which is easily the least risky type of options trades.  The only risk is that you can’t sell a stock that is losing value until the expiration date.  And you won’t likely recognize gains over the strike price.  This isn’t important to me because I generally sell stocks after 10% gains and I set strike prices at 10% for my covered calls.  This has worked out well for me as I handily beat the market in 2011.  For 2012 I intend to begin buying options rather than simply selling them.

My last big goal will be to write a book.  At least start a book.  Blogging keeps my writing skills exercised but I haven’t written much fiction lately and would like to tell a story.  This is going to take discipline.  I could be wrong but I suspect I’ll get a great deal of satisfaction from writing a book.  I don’t care about the publishing aspect – I’m not trying to become a novelist.  I’ll just upload it to Amazon.  Related to writing is reading and I’ve already downloaded a series of books to my Kindle to keep me busy in that area.

I am happy with 2011 and feel pretty good about 2012.  At least I have plans.  One of my neighbors told me last night he intends to make quarterly resolutions for 2012 thinking they will be more obtainable.  Interesting concept.  I’m going to ask my friends and neighbors at the NYE party tonight what their goals are.  I usually find I’m not very unique and expect to hear numerous goals on health and fitness.  I’m curious as to what people’s work and career goals are.  I need to put some focus on that as well.  I had a really cool project in 2011 and have an idea of what my primary task will be for 2012, but it’s not well defined yet.  I like to manage my own career versus being tasked and I need to put some focus in that area.

For all my plans, 2012 is still unknown and whose to say what will happen.  I actually like the prospect of the unknown.  It’s exciting.