My 31st Year, My 31 Wishes

31 Cake

As I celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday, I wanted to share my 31 wishes for my upcoming year. This is the fourth year I have laid out my wishes and for the first time, I have decided not to look back at my wishes for last year but look forward to this next year.

I have decided that I cannot live in the past anymore. I need to live in the present and enjoy what is in front of me. So here is my 31 wishes for this next year.

Family
Family is the number one thing in my life. I have been blessed with an amazing wife who takes care of the everyday things in our household and two amazing children. 

  1. Be present when I am with my wife and kids. Leave work at work and remain unplugged from technology for the first hour I am home.
  2. Continue monthly date night with my wife.
  3. Make dinner once a week.
  4. Take a weekend vacation with my wife.
  5. Take a weekend family staycation.
  6. Set up “father-son” and “father-daughter” play dates at least twice a month.
  7. Read to my kids every night.
  8. Learn to say no to “extra” obligations and continue making family a priority.
  9. Make time for PFG boy and PFG girl to continue to build relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
  10. Plan trips to visit extended family who I haven’t seen in years.

Spirituality/Faith
2014 marked my return professionally to the Jewish community but in a role where I could still personally enjoy my spirituality and build traditions with my family.

  1. Continue going to weekly Shabbat services.
  2. Participate in weekly Tot-Shabbat services.
  3. Continue unplugging from social media, email and internet on Shabbat.
  4. Hold one Shabbat dinner a month at our house for just for our family or with guests.
  5. Find a learning partner/group to continue to learn and ask questions about Judaism.

Professional

  1. Participate in 5 networking events.
  2. Attend two professional conferences.
  3. Connect with two nonprofit professionals a month for coffee.
  4. Find a mentor and meet with them on a monthly basis.
  5. Stay connected and participate on a regular basis with nonprofit and development associations.

Volunteer/Philanthropy
Philanthropy has been a major aspect of my life for the last few years and I have worked to make philanthropy a part of our entire family. In my 31st year, I want to pass on and help PFG boy develop an understanding and passion for giving back.

  1. Give 2% of income to charity.
  2. Volunteer once a month (could be with same organization or different organizations.)
  3. Participate in three volunteer activities with PFG boy.
  4. Establish charity (tzedekah) fund for PFG boy so he can learn how to give his own money.
  5. Determine whether to continue with current board commitment or make a change to a new organization.

Personal
Each year, I set out some personal goals that I want to meet either for myself or for my family. I believe each of these help me become a more well-rounded individual.

  1. Work out three times a week.
  2. Reconnect with five friends from high school or college.
  3. Pay down $4,000 in debt.
  4. Build a personal board of directors which includes: a spiritual advisor, a financial advisor, a life advisor and a health advisor.
  5. Take 15 minutes for myself every day.
  6. Have fun & live each day with intent!

As always, thank you for your love and support in my professional and personal endeavors.  These wishes could not come true without your ongoing support.

As with last year, I would like to challenge you to come up with your own wishes.  What things have you always wanted to do but have been too afraid to do?  Set out wishes that you believe you can meet and share them with us.

My One Word 2014

For the last three years, I have written a list of wishes on my birthday that I hope to accomplish over the next year of my life.  Since my birthday falls so close to the new year, some people might look at these as resolutions.  However, I have never looked at these as resolutions but rather a map of my upcoming year.  If I accomplish all of them, that is great but if some of them change, that is okay also because it means that I was flexible.

I have never done a list of new year’s resolutions because I found the practice to be empty promises.  The only person you are accountable to is yourself and how can someone honestly come up with good resolutions during the holiday season?  Surrounded by family, celebrations, food, and usually time off is not how life is during the “daily grind.”  How can you commit to losing weight when the holidays are all about enjoying food with family and friends?

Luckily for me, a little over a year ago, my mother-in-law (MD), suggested that I read a book, One Word That Will Change Your World.”  This quick read by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page really helped me discover the power of a One Word theme for my year.  Rather than empty promises, I could utilize one word to try and meet every day.

Last Year – ARRIVE
Last year, after much thinking, I came to the word ARRIVE.  For me, there were lots of things happening in my life and Arrive felt like it would encompass many of the opportunities presented to me.  Looking back, I feel like I really did live out this word in 2013.

  • With no prior professional fundraising experience, in 2013, I arrived to become a fundraiser raising over $50,000 in my first year.
  • I arrived at some major decisions regarding family celebrations throughout 2013.  We will write about this later.
  • We arrived at a decision to make a school change for our son in May 2013.
  • We arrived at the decision to have Mrs. PFG (Pure Family Gold) stay at home with our children.
  • Our beautiful daughter arrived in August 2013.
  • I arrived at setting aside a day for rest from Facebook, Twitter, and email.  You can read more here.

And This Year’s Word…
Looking forward to 2014, every time I sit down to think about the word and go through the exercises described on GetOneWord.com, there was only one word that kept coming to the top.  As my family continues to grow and as my professional journey continues to evolve, there is one word that encompasses everything going on.  That word is STRENGTH.

OneWord2014

  • The STRENGTH to continue providing for my family.
  • The STRENGTH to take professional risks.
  • The STRENGTH to grow professionally.
  • The STRENGTH to continue exploring my faith.
  • The STRENGTH to get involved in a deeper way within my community.

I look forward to live out this word throughout 2014.  Join me in choosing One Word for 2014.  It isn’t too late.  What would your One Word be?

My 30th Year, My 30 Wishes

30 WishesAs I celebrate my 30th birthday today, I wanted to share my 30 wishes for my upcoming year.  For the first time since I began doing the wish series, I have changed the order of my wishes to put family first.

As my family has grown this year and I continue to look at my priorities, I know that putting my family first is the most important thing in my life.  One of my new mentors helped me put things in perspective when he said: “Spending that extra five minutes at work each day is not what makes you happy, it is the time you get to spend with your family.  The work is still going to be there the next day but those extra five minutes you get to spend with your kids can mean the difference in the world to them.”

Note: This post is also being shared on NPGold.  This will be the last year that this post will appear on NPGold as all of my family and personal blogging will now appear here on Pure Family Gold.

Family
In 2013, my wife and I were blessed with the addition of a beautiful baby girl.  This event changed our lives in so many ways and we could not be happier.  I look forward to spending time with my growing family and making sure family remains a priority in my life.

  1. Establish a new family blog and post three times a week.  (Thanks for checking out Pure Family Gold today!)
  2. Set up a monthly date night with my wife.
  3. Make dinner once a week.
  4. Take a weekend vacation with my wife.
  5. Take a weekend family staycation.
  6. Take my son on two “excursions” a month.  We have memberships to the Denver ZooChildren’s Museum and Butterfly Pavilion.  I plan on taking him to one of these places each month and an additional fun activity one other time.
  7. Read to my kids every night.
  8. Plan on visiting family in  Illinois, Texas, Florida and Pittsburgh.  We have some trips already planned and hope to plan additional trips to take place in 2014 or 2015.

Spirituality/Faith
For six and a half years, I had the privilege of working in the Jewish community as a Jewish professional.  There were many times where I struggled with my own Jewish identity while I was helping others find their connection.  Over the last fourteen months, I have once again found my own identity and look forward to continuing to grow with my family. 

  1. Continue going to weekly Shabbat services at the Shir Hadash service at HEA.
  2. Participate in weekly Tot-Shabbat service at HEA.  Lead the service six times in 2014.
  3. Don’t use internet from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday night.  In 2013, I didn’t check my Facebook, Twitter or email but this year, I want to take it a step further and not use internet at all on Saturdays.
  4. Hold one Shabbat dinner a month at our house for just for our family or with guests.
  5. Attend three adult education programs in the Jewish community.

Professional
I have enjoyed working in the fundraising world and look forward to continuing to strengthen my skills as a nonprofit professional.  There are some exciting changes coming for the organization I work for and I look forward to seeing how these changes will continue to help me grow. 

  1. Write 3 blog posts a month for Nonprofit Gold.
  2. Participate in two professional conferences.
  3. Utilize EvernoteTrello & Wunderlist to increase efficiency in day to day work.
  4. Participate in Aurora Chamber of Commerce‘s Business After Hours seven times.
  5. Identify ten new leads each month.
  6. Communicate with professional network minimum of 3 times in 2014.
  7. Evaluate future of NPGold and explore expanding NPGold brand.

Volunteer/Philanthropy
For anyone that has known me, giving back to my community is very important to me. As I look forward to this upcoming year, I want to make a stronger effort to continue giving back by participating more in city activities.

  1. Give 2% of income to charity.
  2. Explore City of Aurora committees with plan to join one by the end of 2014.
  3. Volunteer once a month (could be with same organization or different organizations.)
  4. Help identify two new board members, three social change partners and match sponsor for YouthRoots.
  5. Attend two Aurora City Council meetings in 2014.

Personal
Each year, I set out some personal goals that I want to meet either for myself or for my family. I believe each of these help me become a more well rounded individual.

  1. Work out three times a week.  Membership at 24 Hour Fitness ends in January 2014 but current place of work has a gym that I can use once a week.
  2. Pay $4,000 towards our debts.  We will be keeping track of this on Pure Family Gold.  Keep an eye out for the first post on our finances in January 2014.
  3. Reconnect with five friends from high school or college.
  4. Take 15 minutes for myself every day.
  5. Have fun & live purposefully!

As always, thank you for your love and support in my professional and personal endeavors.  These wishes could not come true without your ongoing support.

This year, I would like to challenge you to come up with your own wishes.  What things have you always wanted to do but have been too afraid to do?  Set out wishes that you believe you can meet and share them with us.