What a ride. With 2018 in the rearview mirror, I love taking time to look back and remember what I did, what I accomplished or failed at, and what I enjoyed.

Work

2018 was on of the best years of my short career. We launched a brand new version of our main builder tool, we launched an innovative feature called datasets that is going to really help our users, we launched prebuilt datasets, and then we launched a self serve pricing and packaging option. So many amazing releases and I was able to help as the Product Manager on lots of those projects.

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The confetti and glitter was a pain to clean up. But so worth it.

Workouts

I worked out 69 times this year. Less than I wanted to, but more than I did last year. I had an injured knee the entire year so I never did lower body 😢 but I had pretty good results. Reduce my body fat percentage and maintained my strength.

Travel

I started off the New Year in Texas at South Padre Island. Right when we arrived they had a huge winter storms blow in. It was 40 degrees and raining, sea turtles were washing up cold stunned. But if was a very fun trip, and the food was amazing. Breakfast tacos are so much better than breakfast burritos. No comparison.

Some of my close friends in High School planned a mini reunion this year. One of them lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and so we decided to have the festivities out there. Some highlights included ice cream fried cheese curds, canoeing, museums.

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Yellowstone was my 2nd home this summer. My sister performed at an amazing theater called the Playmill Theater. So I visited West Yellowstone 3 times this summer to support her.

I got to spend some quality time in the park. Saw amazing geysers, hot pots, rivers. I saw bison, elk, birds, squirrels. We didn’t see any bears but there is always next year. One bison walked right behind our car.

Swam in Firehole River, saw Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Saw Old Faithful. Saw Young Hopeful. One of the trip was with my Grandpa and it was fun hearing his stories of when he rode his bike through Yellowstone.

I also watched a lot of my sisters plays. I saw Little Mermaid 5 times, Annie Get Your Gun 4 times, and Newsies 3 times.

A friend from my church invited a bunch of people up to her family's house at Bear Lake. We jet skied, swam, played games, and tried every single raspberry shake establishment we could. LaBeau’s raspberry shake was crowned the winner.

My Grandfather passed away this year and I was able to fly home to attend his funeral. I miss him. But I know I will see him again.

I have a friend who has a deep love of all things Disney. She organized a trip out to Disneyland. We walked all the miles, ate all the churros, and loved it. And it is 100% worth it to get the MaxPass. Saves so much time and effort getting fast passes digitally, and you get your park photos for free.

For the holidays my family decided we wanted to spend it somewhere warmer and together. So we all flew to Oahu, Hawaii. I love Hawaii. Like a lot. Maybe irrationally so. It is just a magical place, and the Hawaii trip with my family was magical. Koko Head hike, Diamond Head hike, snorkeling, sea turtles, amazing food. We drank gallons of Pog.

I flew out to Maui to visit some friends there. I had never been to Maui and I loved it.

Goals

I have had a long standing goal of getting an iPhone app into the App Store. The ability to publish a piece of software, and have it available to anyone with an iPhone was irresistible. I just took me a while to get there.

On Sept 5th 2017, I made the goal to have an App in the App Store in year.

I then worked on it almost every day for 24 days. Then the holidays got crazy and I didn’t work on it again until Feb 22nd 2018.

I worked on it consistently for about a month, then took a month and a half off. I started working on the app again June 26th.

On July 16th I submitted my App for review. I expected to be rejected. I thought there would be some bug, or the app wouldn’t be good enough.

And on the 17th of July 2018, my app went live in the App Store.

I accomplished my goal with 50 days to spare. I felt so good. I had set a goal for year to publish an App and I was so excited that I was finally able to make it happen.

It only took 66 days of working on it. Usually for an hour or so at a time.

Books I read in 2018

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The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One — 6/10

Courage to Grow: How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down — 9/10 Would recommend it if you have kids going to school.

Poke the Box — 6/10

Invest Like a Pro: A 10-Day Investing Course — 5/10 Great info. I knew most of it. If you know nothing about investing 9/10

Graceful — 6/10 Seth Godin is hit or miss. This one felt more like a miss.

Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur — 8/10 really enjoyed this. Derek writes well and tells interesting stories. But his world view is very different from mine.

MAKE: Bootstrapper’s Handbook — 6/10 I knew more of it. Wanted more stories and the behind the scenes.

The Flinch — 5/10 good ideas. Lots of anecdotes.

Calamity (The Reckoners, #3) — 9/10 Great end to the series. Highly recommended.

Ogre Enchanted — 3/10 I literally thought I had a corrupted copy for the first few chapters. Hard to read, didn’t make much sense, didn’t like the promise or the payoff.

Create or Hate: Successful People Make Things — 4/10 I can’t remember anything from this.

Firefight (The Reckoners, #2) — 10/10 Read Brandon Sanderson if you like fiction.

Steelheart (The Reckoners, #1) — 10/10 Seriously, read Brandon Sanderson.

Ship Breaker — 6/10 started strong. Interesting world. Broke down at the end. Too violent.

Legion (Legion, #1) — 8/10 fun short story.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising — 8/10 well written.

Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds (Legion, #1–3) — 8/10 fun short story.

Skin Deep (Legion, #2) — 8/10 fun short story.

Wrath of the Dragon King (Dragonwatch, #2) — 9/10 keeping the series interesting. Targeting a bit younger age group but solid.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE — 10/10. Amazing. Lessons learned: Your family is more important than your business. And no one knows what they are doing. We are all making it up.

Skyward (Skyward, #1) — 11/10 one of the favorite books I have read this year, or ever.

Dragon of the Lost Sea — 7/10 nostalgic. I read this in Middle School.

The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846 (Saints, #1) — 10/10 Awesome narrative history.

The Lives of Tao (Tao, #1) — 7/10 interesting. But a bit weird.

The Secret History of Mac Gaming — 8/10 could have been 10 out of 10 but some of the stories felt a bit harried, or short or something. Just a bit off. But a great look down memory lane and how Mac gaming developed.

Movies I watched in 2018

Avengers Infinity War — loved it. Will watch again.

Ready Player One — ok. Book was so much better.

Venom — Oct 9, 2018 Horrible. 0/10

First Knight Transformers — Horrible. 1/10

Dealt — half of it. ok.

Magnificent Seven (1950 old one) — half of it. ok

Ralph Breaks the Internet — super disappointing. I had high hopes, and it kinda fell flat.

Ant Man and the Wasp — Awesome. One of the best movies I have seen. Pure fun popcorn movie.

Mary Poppins Returns — good. Heartwarming at times. Few question marks remain.

Incredibles 2 — Solid. Had a few quibbles but really liked it.

A Quiet Place — Saw this near Halloween with some friends. Interesting concept. So many issues with the rules of the world.

Mission Impossible Fall Out — One of the best pure action movies I have ever seen. The fight on the cliff was ridiculous.

Black Panther — love it. Loved it.

A Wrinkle In Time — just weird. Never read the books. Felt like I was missing something.

Tomb Raider — first 30 minutes really fun. Everything else really bad. I started reading on my phone.

Pacific Rim Uprising — meh. Won’t watch again.

Solo — Star Wars has a special place in my heart. Really like a lot of it. Had a few questions on some of it. But will definitely watch again.

Ocean’s Eight — meh. Felt like it was missing something.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom — waste of time and money. And it was free.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — love Harry Potter. Thought this was better than the first Fantastic Beasts. But so many questions.

Creative

I only made 3 YouTube videos this year. I filmed probably about 15, but only got 3 edited and posted. I find that if I can’t spend the time I want on a project, I just won’t spend any time on it at all. So I still will release the projects I filmed but I need to do better about just getting them done. Done is better than perfect. I watched the 3 videos I made this year and I love what making videos does for me. I get my thoughts clear. I remember what happened. I get to exercise my creative muscles. I plan on doing quite a few more videos in 2019. Here are my 3 favorite 😉YouTube videos I made this year.

I was super inspired by the Falcon Heavy Launch. I took an idea of lyrics to Space Oddity posted by a fellow Reddit user, and wrote the lyrics, recorded the vocals, and then pieced together the story from the footage. Very proud of this.

Got super inspired about the idea that now is the best time to make changes. You have tons of time left. So I hiked up a hill chasing the sun and made this video.

My Church has having a Broadway Night and we were asked to provide entertainment. We could do a live show or a video. We chose the video. We picked the Lion King. We brainstormed ideas about how we could tell the story in a short time (3 minutes of less) and modernize it. Street racing and storytelling in the style of Luis from Ant Man popped into our heads. We made it a reality.

I only posted 7 pictures to Instagram this year.

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Wrap Up

It always surprises me when I look back at how much, and how little I accomplish in one year. I think the key is consistency and being grateful.

Looking forward to 2019. I am going to do a write up of what my goals are, what my plan to reach those is, and how I developed both.

Written by

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.

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