New Year Reflections and Goal Setting – What Is Your Story?

Happy holiday wishes to everyone who subscribes to this blog as we wrap up 2018. I hope your year has been happy, fulfilling, and productive.

One of my traditions at this time of year is to devote dedicated time to reflect on my life over the past year. And make conscious goals and priorities for the upcoming year.

If you were to write a book about your journey in 2018, what would it say?

Perhaps more important now, if you were to write a book about your future in 2019, what would THAT story be?

This reflection and goal setting process should happen much more than once a year!  I do it daily too.

How about you?

As any good engineer or scientist (or professional) knows, it benefits us to use multiple frames of reference to look at a problem. Using the long view of an entire year provides one of those valuable perspectives.

My year of 2018 went a lot different than I expected.  I started it working in the aerospace industry, in unmanned aviation. It was an exciting and fulfilling position that was a great fit for my strengths and interests. Or so I thought…

Then in February, after completing a successful test program, I had the quick surprise of leaving the company. Whatever I thought my goals and trajectory was for 2018, I knew I had to do a complete re-assessment.

The result of that was the decision to pursue a new career in civil engineering, emphasizing my project management, leadership, and drone experience. To establish my name and credibility in the industry (and to leap forward by creating unique value for my future community), I wrote and published the book Success with Drones in Civil Engineering.

It was a longer and more difficult transition than expected. I had to test myself and “the system,” learn, pivot, and persist continuously for several months.

I’m happy to share that I am ending the year with a new job and career firmly established. It is planning and project management for disaster mitigation efforts across the state of California.  No chance of that need disappearing anytime soon…

Did your life and career stay on the course you planned for 2018?  Or did it take a major shift like mine?  I’ll be glad to read your comment if you are willing to share.

As for the efforts here on this website and the book, I plan to continue them in 2019. The level of effort and specific focus are still under assessment.  Two updates I want to share now on the book How To Be a Rocket Scientist:

  • Feedback (and time) have shown that the cover design needs an update. The original intent of showing a woman with an airplane meant to inform people that “rocket science” is a broader field that just rockets and science.  But this inconsistency between title and image has more negatives than positives.  For 2019 I will be working on a new cover design.  If you have any suggestions (or better yet, actual prospects) for a cover photo, please let me know!
  • One of my good friends and colleagues has been working for many years to relaunch a famous space education program.  We are discussing the plan to issue a special edition of my book just for that program and all the students who will enroll in it. Watch this space for news about that in 2019 too.

Who knows, there may also be a brand new book about using drones in emergency management and disaster response before we get to the end of 2019.

What will your story be for 2019?  I hope you use this holiday time to reflect on your journey in 2018 and create a vision for the new year ahead.  Thanks for sharing part of your journey with me here.

Take care and take charge,


About Brett Rocket Scientist

Brett creates artful work in engineering, ideas, and innovation. In addition to 2 degrees, 3 patents, and over 15 years experience in aerospace engineering, he is the author of several books to foster STEM careers. He volunteers his time and skills as an officer with professional societies.

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