No, I have not been infected with nanobots. It has been a while since I last did a major goal setting exercise. I think the last one was our move to the UK in 2006. Since then, everything has been primarily reactive rather than proactive - but no more! With the majority of life’s disruptions behind us in 2008, I have decided to take this lull, this opportunity, to be proactive in directing my life in 2009. The clean slate that is 2009 is exciting. With a bit of planning, it should be nothing short of extraordinary!
Of course, setting goals doesn’t guarantee their achievement. For those who know me better, a lot of the goals I am going to share may seem familiar - they have been on my “to do” list for a while. Which raises the question - what is going to be different this time? Well, let me tell you:
- Rather than just listing goals like a to do list, I have also considered why each goal’s achievement is important to me, what limiting beliefs have been stopping me from achieving the goal previously and what not achieving the goal would mean to me.
- I have also listed what steps I plan to take to achieve the goal.
- By publicly stating my goals on this blog I can’t pretend they weren’t important to me. Also, there is nothing like some public humiliation to help keep my focus in the right spot.
So, without further ado, here they are. Its not all of them (there is such a thing as too much sharing), but even if I only achieve the goals below I think 2009 will be an awesome year!
Goal: 75kg by end of 2009
I have been fat and thin and thin definately wins hands down. I feel better about myself, clothes fit better and travel and activities are easier, more fun and less prone to excuses. Family and friends tend to worry less about me too. The excuse? Time. But time is just a function of priority, and this one has been too low on my list for too long. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything - so starting now my health is my number one priority. If I can’t achieve this goal, it means I have no respect for my body.
At my current weight (96kg), that is going to work out as losing 2kg/month or 0.5kg/week. I have previously done this at twice this speed - so I know it is achievable. It requires two components - exercise - which I will start as a half hour walk every day - and diet - where I will eat slower and stop when full.
Already started as of Christmas - one week down, fifty two to go…
My CMS Project
Goal: Version 1.0 by end of 2009.
This project has been all research and very little action since I left Australia for the UK. Although time has been a factor, I think distraction and procrastination on my part are equally to blame. Distraction caused by life in general, procrastination due to not having a clear plan broken down into small, manageable chunks. Luckily there doesn’t seem to have been any major consolidation in the CMS space - so I haven’t missed the boat, yet. If I can’t get a version 1.0 out by the end of the year (or reasonable progress towards it) then I would be better served recognising this for what it means - I should focus my attentions elsewhere.
First step - create the plan! Doesn’t need to be perfect, or even detailed - but it does have to give me direction - the overall big picture as well as the week to week goals. In line with its importance, expect a post on this within the week.
Goal: Conversational French by end of 2009.
Among the many lessons living, working and travelling in Europe has taught me is this: being bilingual (or multilingual) is a definate plus. I downloaded “learn Italian” podcasts to my iPhone before our most recent holiday (which included three nights in Rome) and was suitably inspired by the results. Lou has plans to visit France late this year or Christmas, so now I have plans be able to speak French while I am there. I did five years of French in high school - something I thought I would never use - but now hope to have it give me a leg up on this goal. I will be exceptionally disappointed if I can not achieve this - I just can’t think of any good reason why I shouldn’t be able to.
I have already started downloading “learn French” podcasts to my iPhone. Part of what I didn’t realise when I did this with Italian (which I will need to redo in the future) is that the podcasts need to be sorted. In addition to sorting the ones that work for me from the ones that don’t, I also need to create playlists that separate beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons - as well as ordering the lessons correctly. The great thing about using podcasts is that they can be used in otherwise dead time - during walks or driving. The one caveat with language learning is that you want to be somewhere where you are comfortable speaking out loud - ie not on the train. Initially I can do the sorting during any dead time - the train to and from work seems appropriate - and then I can dedicate the actual learning and repetition to my drive to and from the train station each day.
Goal: Revamp www.mateljan.com and www.webdjinn.com by end of 2009.
Another long time project with little to show due to too low a priority and no real plan. The idea is, that as these are my sites, I have the freedom to implement them in whatever way I wish - therefore allowing them to showcase my ability and ideals. In reality they have just taken a back seat and don’t show much of anything. To some extent it is also a chicken and egg problem - I would like to use them as a proof of concept of my CMS project (eat my own dog food) but the CMS doesn’t exist, and they aren’t “advanced” enough to help create the CMS design…
First step - create a plan! (again!) Break into achievable chunks. Schedule. ‘Nuff said really.
Unofficial RedDot CMS Blog
Goal: One major plus one minor article per month, as well as other regular contributions.
To improve my writing and communication skills, especially the speed at which I write, requires practice. That is how this blog started out (as well as to keep family and friends back in Australia informed on what Lou and I have been up to). It also inspires me to know that I will be helping others, either in their RedDot CMS implementations or in inspiring them to share their knowledge as well.
There shouldn’t be much drama in going about this. Again, scheduling time is the main factor - but I can also use dead time on the train (now that I have worked out the WordPress iPhone application).
Goal: C#, Python, Ruby and Lisp by end of 2009.
As my RedDot CMS work takes me deeper and deeper into classic ASP (VBScript) and occasionally PHP, I can’t help but feel I am missing out on something. I enjoy programming - an what better way to appreciate and excel at it than to learn new languages? I have pretty much ignored C# (except for some small forays into XNA) and ASP.Net - which is a pity given its prevalence in the job market over here. Python and Ruby are more for personal interest (though Python would help with RedDot LiveServer - which uses JPython). I have previously learnt the basics of Lisp - but could use a refresher and taking it to a higher level. All of these will be useful for achieving my CMS project goal - if not for the CMS itself then for making sure that it interfaces appropriately with other languages.
Where to start? Well firstly, a plan for each language - incorporating operating system, IDE and any other appropriate tools, identifying learning resources, tasks and small projects and scheduling time to act upon it. This time would need to be evening and/or weekend based.
Goal: Complete one miniature per fortnight.
I used to love playing Warhammer 40K and modelling and painting the miniatures. I gave up all of my gear when we moved to the UK - it hadn’t been used for a couple of years anyway. My trip to Warhammer World for my birthday reignited my interest, but still my personal Waaagh seems to never quite gain the momentum it needs. My last Warhammer 40K post was in August - and sadly there hasn’t been anything to report since. When it comes time to leave the UK, I don’t want to be back in the same situation as when I left Australia.
One miniature per fortnight will mean 26 orks complete by the end of 2009 - which while not a hoard, is a start. My first ten orks are in varying states of completeness - which should make this less daunting. What it needs is simply some regular scheduled time (I already have my workspace set up in our new place). Due to light restrictions during winter in the northern hemisphere, this will be limited to an hour on Saturday and Sunday. I will re-evaluate in summer when I may be able to increase this to include some time in the mornings before work.