2010 Resolutions

I'm a little late posting this because I've spent the past few days thinking about what exactly I want to accomplish this year. Now that we have a baby, my priorities have shifted. It seems like nowadays just having a few moments to watch a movie is a win. I'm not planning on using that as an excuse, but I think I'm going to drop the 10K goal for this year.

  1. My top priority still needs to be getting myself in better health. I still think 250 lbs is a good year end goal for me. Unfortunately I went the wrong way last year and I'm now sitting solid at 300 lbs.
  2. Focus on clearing some debt. Ashley and I have always done well in this area. We have no credit card debt. We have one car payment, my student loans, and the house. Looking back though, we waste quite a bit of money on silly things (like my eating out at lunch problem). So, this year I want to focus my energy towards getting rid of some of this debt. At the end of the year, my car will be paid off and I want to have half of my student loans paid for.
  3. I'm not sure why I wanted to "grow this blog more" last year when I sat down to do these resolutions. Really what I want to do is write on this blog more. No offense to you, dear reader, but this blog isn't for you, it's for me. 100 posts in a year seems about right for me, so that's what I aim to do.
  4. Redesign this blog. A little while back I sat down and mocked up what I want digitalbush.com 2.0 to look like. I want to finish that and get it live.
  5. Along with the blog redesign, I want to reorganize my open source projects. This involves moving them to github and bringing my jQuery plugins up to modern standards. Oh, I also have a fun little mischievous project I'm working on to take care of a hotlinking problem I have. You'll know about that soon enough.

Those are my measurable goals. There are a few subjective things that I'd like to accomplish as well.

  • Be more organized. Right now my garage is a disaster and my desk is piled high full of junk. This year that stops.
  • Be more patient. I've been accused of being gruff at times. The reason I get so frustrated is my severe intolerance for illogical behavior and mediocre efforts. I think I can project a better attitude towards those frustrations and not let it bum me out so much.
  • Focus on the things that make me happy. I'm already moving this direction by reducing my commitments to things that don't steer me towards my ultimate goals. In the end, I feel like I lost control of a few areas of my life in 2009. I want that control back.

Really, that last point sums up everything above it. I want to be happy (who doesn't?). I want to feel good, enjoy my family, have a safe and clean environment, and write some kick ass software. Is that too much to ask? I think not. Here's to an awesome 2010.

Where Did 2009 Go?

It seems like just last month I wrote about what I wanted to accomplish in 2009.  Sadly, it looks like I accomplished very little of what I set out to do.  2009 can best be described as a big old load of FAIL with a side of despair and some crazy pudding for dessert. For the sake of review, I:

  • Still haven't met my 2007 resolution of getting down to 250 lbs.
  • Didn't run a 10K this year.
  • Didn't do much to grow this blog. Currently I have 148 subscribers and had 211,000 visits for the year.
  • Didn't do anything with geekintoshape.com.  Which likely explains why I didn't meet goal #1.

That about sums up the measurable goals.  Now, for the unmeasurable, I think I did a little better. Let me explain.

I wanted to live a little more simply.  My wife and I have de-cluttered the house quite a bit.  With our new addition to the house, we've managed to make the most out of our small house.  I'm very proud of how well we've been able to shed some "stuff"

I wanted to get rid of unnecessary obligations.  This was a tough one to do.

Throughout the year I've been doing my best to re-focus myself at work.  I've been at the same place for 5 years and it's amazing just how much responsibility you can accumulate!  Once I sat down and thought about it, I realized that I was involved in every little thing on every little project.  I've made it a point to step back and let my immediate manager run interference for me so that I can actually get things done.  This puts me out of the loop a little, but my productivity gains have been huge as a result. I'm still involved in way more stuff than just writing software, but I feel good about my willingness to step back and let other people be responsible for things from time to time.

More recently I made a really tough decision to let go of a small source of revenue.  On the side I was running a small web hosting business.  I had about 10 clients paying me to make sure that their website worked and they could send/receive emails.  It wasn't much money, but it did allow me to host my sites for free and to have a little extra cash for toys.  Lately my web host has been a little less than reliable and it's caused me a huge amount of grief. I just decided that it wasn't worth the trouble.  I would rather spend my free time with my son, with my wife, writing a blog post or learning something new.  I still feel awful about it because in my eyes, I feel like I just gave up.  In the end though, my sanity won out.

I wanted to make better use of my idle time.  If you don't have children, let me be the first to tell you that having a child is the easiest way to consume all of your idle time.  In the time that it took to write this, I've taken a break to feed Hudson and another to comfort him when he woke up from his nap. There is no more idle time. :)

And there, my friends, is the answer to where MY 2009 went.  It was consumed entirely with the process of delivering and taking care of this:

2009 Resolutions

Last year I managed to do fairly well with my goals overall.  I feel good about publicly stating my intentions since it seems to give me a little more motivation to stay on track. 

Health and Fitness

  1. Finish up my damn resolution from 2007 to get down to 250 pounds.  I tried really hard last year, but fell off for the last quarter of the year.  I’m at 275 lbs right now, so I just need to lose 25 more pounds.
  2. Run a 10K.  Last year I did a 5K and it really helped push my weight goals along.  Running a 10K has to work twice as well since it’s twice the distance, right? 😉

Blogging

  1. Grow this blog more.  I really intend on blogging more this year.  I want this blog to not be so much about my weight loss journey.  Simple enough, I’ll just post more about software development.  My goals are to have 250+ subscribers and 200,000 visits by the end of the year. 
  2. Make geekintoshape.com into something.  Last year George and I started a weight loss blog, geek into shape.  My intention was and still is to use that as an outlet for telling the world about my struggles, failures, and successes at losing weight and keeping it off.  I’d like to have 100+ subscribers and 100,000 visits by the end of the year.

Lifestyle

  1. Live simple.  I have a lot of junk and clutter that needs to go away.
  2. Get rid of unnecessary obligations.  There are a lot of things that compete for my attention both in my personal life and in my career.  My goals this year are to focus my efforts to those things which make me happy and to those things which I’m good at.  Anything else needs to be removed, transferred, or outsourced.
  3. Make better use of my idle time.  At the end of the day, I often find myself wondering where the day went.  I know that I can use my time better and get more things done. 

Well, there’s the list.  The lifestyle changes aren’t exactly measurable, but they will be here to serve as a reminder.  Here’s to a positive 2009!

2008 in Review

I thought now would be a good time to sit down and see what I managed to accomplish from my 2008 resolutions.  I think it's important to write down your goals, reference them throughout the year, and ultimately answer to them.  Here we go.

  1. Finish up my 2007 Resolution of losing 50 pounds. - FAIL! This was more successful than any other time I've made this resolution, but I fell far short of my goal of 50 pounds.  It's going to be more like 20 pounds that I lost by the time it's all said and done.  The first 9 months I stayed with this goal very well, but after my summer vacation I never got back on it completely. It looks like this one will make it on the list again this year.
  2. Read more. - SUCCESS! My goal was to read 4 books this year and I did that plus some.  
  3. Create another open source project. - FAIL!  I Never got the time to get any of my ideas down into a something suitable for public consumption. I'm okay that I didn't meet this goal.  I just had other things to do.
  4. Get my existing jQuery plugins into better shape. - SUCCESS! All of these are now in source control and I've made updates to the Masked Input plugin that I feel are positive.  I didn't get all of the plugins where I want them, but I definately moved things forward like I had hoped.
  5. Grow this blog more. - SUCCESS! I didn't post as much as I would have liked, but I still managed to get this thing moving forward.  I've posted 75 times so far in 2008 and now have 120 subscribers and 127,000 visits.

It looks like I met 3 out of 5 of my goals.  #1 is the biggie for me, and that's the one that's most disappointing to have not met. I absolutely have to get my weight under control, so this is going to be my main focus for this next year.  It wasn't a total disaster since I did end up losing weight at the end of it all.

Please take the time to reflect back on what you set out to do for 2008.  Did you do everything that you wanted?  Please comment and let me know how your year turned out.

2008 Resolution

Happy new year everyone!  It's once again time to do the yearly song and dance of reflection and goal setting.  I've decided that it's better if I make these types of things public.  It's good to have support and accountability.  So, here's what I plan to do in 2008:

  1. Finish up my 2007 Resolution of losing 50 pounds.  It did a really crappy job, and I intend to remedy that.  I've managed to mostly heal my injuries and I'm ready to go again.  I'll be trying to produce a 500 calorie/day deficit so that I can slowly lose weight.  I'm also wanting to buy a treadmill so that I don't have to run in the dark when it's cold.
  2. Read more.  Ashley got me 4 books for Christmas that I had been wanting.  I know "more" isn't a definitive goal, but since I don't read books, anything is an improvement.  If I read all 4 of those books, then I will consider this one accomplished.
  3. Create another open source project.  I have a few things in the back of my head, so I'll try to get at least one out and in the public eye.
  4. Get my existing jQuery plugins into better shape.  This includes getting them all into source control with build scripts for packing as well as making some changes that people have suggested thus far.
  5. Grow this blog more.  2007 was really a building year for me with this site.  I'm learning how to express myself publicly and really trying to find a voice.  In 2007 I posted 69 blog posts and had about 35,000 visits.  I currently have about 38 feed subscribers. So, to create totally random goals, I'd like to post at least 100 blog entries and I would like to see 100,000+ visits with 100+ feed subscribers.

That should do it.  I want to make 2008 a year for me.  I want to improve my quality of life and establish myself more in the development e-community.  Here's to 2008!

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