Reflect on the Past to Plan for the Future: 2014 Year In Review

So, here it is. My 2014 Annual Review aka After Action Review. If you missed yesterday’s post on the AAR process, you can find it here.


Big Picture (Commander’s Intent)

Last January I saw 2014 as my year to get ahead. I planned to make big progress in both my personal and professional lives. Looking back, I was not specific enough when creating my goals, and fell short of where I wanted to be. Below is my year in review and plans to improve in 2015.

Goals (Mission Statements)

I intended to accomplish 3 big missions this year.

  1. Spend more quality time with my wife and kids
  2. Finish Officer Candidate School and accept my commission as a Second Lieutenant
  3. Start a lifestyle blog focused on productivity

Event Summary

  1. I made a strong effort to leave work at work. On the occasions that I did have to bring work home, I tried to get my family involved. This year I did spend more time focusing on my priorities and putting time into the things that matter. (I’ve written about setting priorities before)
  2. I traveled to South Dakota in July and completed Officer Candidate School. I accepted my commission as a Second Lieutenant in August. Now I lead a platoon of 30 Soldiers.
  3. I started this blog in May. Since then, I’ve completely updated my focus and mission.


  1. I managed my time better and focused on my priorities spending more time at home with my family.
  2. I earned my commission and made great friends along the way.
  3. I stepped outside my comfort zone. I challenged myself, took risks, and made incredible personal progress.


  1. Though I was at home more, I still wasted too much time. I was around my family more. But, I wasn’t always present with them the way I intended to be. I spent time on projects or chores by myself instead of being present the way a husband and father should.
  2. I worked hard to earn my commission, but sometimes I feel like I fell short in my dedication to really learning everything I should have. In many ways I sold my education short.
  3. Yes I started a lifestyle blog, but it took me too long to find my focus. I rambled on and sometimes wasted my readers’ time. Sometimes I just didn’t deliver.

Personal Recommendations

  1. Be present with the people I care about. When I am with my family, they deserve all of my attention.
  2. Dedicate 1-2 hours per week to professional development. My Soldiers deserve the best leadership and I have to deliver.
  3. Focus, focus, focus. Ask readers what they are struggling with. Write for them instead of writing for myself. Focus on helping others.

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About the Author

Robby helps busy business owners simplify and automate their productivity systems so they have more time to focus on what they're best at. He helps you design and implement plans and systems so you can work ON your business, not IN your business. Companies such as Productive Magazine, Nozbe, Matt McWilliams, and Notable Themes have trusted Robby to share his productivity systems, increase sales, and create a better customer experience.