Resolved

While the Seattle tech world is (mostly) quiet recovering from the holidays or buzzing around CES, I’ve been getting back into my own flow. It’s back to work which means for the moment back to writing, research and getting back into a little coding. After a tough 2011 where I split time between Seattle and Kentucky before saying goodbye to my father mid-year, 2012 turned out to be a good year of positive growth and change. So now I am looking forward to 2013 with a lot of excitement and optimism, and a new list of resolutions for the year.

Just like in 2012 I wrote down these resolutions* over margaritas with Christine. I like doing it together as a way of understanding and communicating what we both want out of the year in a fun way. Sometimes our resolutions are about the same things either together or individually. Others are unique to our careers and interests.

There was something new I added this year: keywords. The idea was to pick two or three words which are themes for the year, and that my resolutions would relate to one or more of those themes. My words were creative, foundation, and balance. By themselves they may not sound like much, but to me they speak to setting important goals to grow professionally both as a technical executive as well as a photographer, and personally as I turn 45 this year. As you read through my list of resolutions ;perhaps it will become clear how they apply.

Professional

  • Build something great, and have fun doing it.
  • Write more for this blog and others, at least 4 to 6 times per month.
  • Find venues within the Seattle technology and startup community to mentor and support others.
  • Spend more time with people ;face to ;fade, without the limitations of networks and gadgets.
I spent most of 2012 working at Korrio, which was a great learning experience. Anytime you can learn about a new market and reengage with the great team at Ignition Partners it’s worth it. However it’s a new year and time for a new job. I’m excited about the prospects and all the great Seattle companies I’m getting to meet. When I left for Sony and Los Angeles in 2002 there wasn’t anywhere near the kind of excitement, funding and infrastructure that you find ;here today. The large companies such as Amazon and Microsoft continue to play a leadership role but so many new growing ventures mean you don’t have to look south to San Francisco, Silicon Valley or Los Angeles now. I’m excited to find my next new role.
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In the last couple of months I’ve been able to reconnect with lots of people, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. While I regret not being able to get back down to LA or out to NYC recently, in Seattle over lunches, coffee and beers it’s been great to see some many old friends and colleagues. While I’d been able to “keep in touch” on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter that never the same as sitting down to see someone and share in their own experiences. ;I’m committed in 2013 to keep up those relationships and to invest in the new ones I’ve made since coming to Seattle in 2010.
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Photography
  • Take more kinds of pictures, specifically more portraits and street photography. ;
  • Show my photos ;publically, such as a gallery or coffee shop.
  • Shoot more often, but shoot less. ;

I love taking pictures. I don’t always feel like a “real” photographer but last year by pure luck I was approached to license one of my photos for use on a book cover. It was a humbling and inspiring event. I’d taken the photo years ago with a 35mm film camera, scanned it and posted it to Flickr. Thanks to the title and tags I’d applied it was found by the folks at Harper Collins. In 2013 I really want to take more pictures and most importantly much better and more varied pictures. Too often I’m shooting empty streets or distant mountains because it’s easy and safe. A landscape never questions what you’re doing with the camera. It doesn’t wonder if the light is wrong, and is infinitely patient while you wait for it to be right. There are great stories you can tell with ;a photo of a monument, a mountain or a machine but they aren’t human stories. The best stories, the most beautiful and compelling stories need a person. In 2013 I really want to photograph more people, both “in the wild” and in their own environments. I don’t know how those shots will turn out but am anxious to grow in the attempt. (If anyone is willing to be a subject for me, for headshots, portraits, etc don’t hesitate to drop me a note)

Financial

  • Pay off old debts
  • Take care of the farm
  • Follow up on commitments to Transylvania University and Delta Sigma Phi

Money. Got to have it. Getting back into the workforce on a fulltime basis is ;certainly a goal. I touched on that above. My financial resolutions for 2013 are about more than just making money. More important than the acquisition of money is what I decide to do with it. The financial challenges of the last few years (moving, divorce, dad’s illness and passing, employment transitions) have reminded me how important smart personal financial management is. So this year I really plan to pay off some old debts (mostly credit cards from my weekly Seattle to Kentucky travel throughout ;2011) and get caught up. Over the years I have also made commitments to my college and fraternity organizations for contributions to academic scholarships. Following through to finish funding those commitments is really important to me, since I might not have been able to attend college without the academic scholarship support I received. It is time to pay that back and invest in the best and brightest of Kentucky’s new generations.

Physical

  • Get a full physical examination and start annual habit
  • Lose 75 lbs
  • Run a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon

If you have your health, you’ve got everything or so the saying goes. I’ve been truly blessed in that I’ve never had a major illness, never been hospitalized or broken a bone (knock on wood). Yet as I approach my mid-40’s it’s well past time to take the best care of myself that I can. While I’m very active I have worked hard in the last 5 years to get back into shape by losing weight, improving my cardiovascular performance and health and doing more than just lifting weights. So like lots of others I’m putting my own set of health goals into my resolutions. As part of that process I plan to train for and run first a 1/2 marathon and eventually the full Seattle marathon ;this ;fall. To do it I’ll need to not only train consistently all year (I HATE RUNNING IN THE RAIN) but get under the care of good doctors to help me with my general health. Right now I’m running on one “bad” knee so this is the year I work on getting my joints healthy again.

Fun

  • Get home to Kentucky at least once a quarter
  • Get my golf handicap down to 10
  • Roadtrip!
  • Renew my passport (it expires this year) and use it ;

I think these are all pretty explanatory. I live in Seattle, but Kentucky and especially a little farm outside of Ashland on Jacks Fork Road ;will always be my true ;home. Going back there, even briefly, recharges me in a way I can’t really explain. In 2011 I was able to visit Italy again briefly for a friend’s wedding and I am hoping this year there will be time away from a desk and out in the world to focus on how truly beautiful and wonderful life can be despite all our challenges and stresses. On the road or through the air I want see for myself people, places and things I’ve never experienced before.

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So that’s my list of 2013 resolutions. I hope you have taken the time to think through your own set of priorities, to invest in writing them down and sharing them with others. What are you going to do, what actions will you take to make 2013 an amazing year for yourself and those around you?

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* Technically I typed them into a Catch app checklist on my iPhone

3 comments

  1. Jim B

    Steve, Great post and thanks for putting all this stuff out there. Good luck with all those resolutions and I hope we get to catch up soon. Ping me if you get over to NYC this year. Cheers, Jim.

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  2. Pingback: My Theme for 2015: Less Email | @stevebanfield

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