One of my new years resolutions is to do my best to stay in touch with the people that I care about. Historically I'm horrible about keeping in touch but I'm slowly getting better at it. When I've tried in the past I've done an all or nothing approach which generally works for a little while but then I fall back into the same old, bad habits. I've decided to take baby-steps this time. My first step is to respond to emails within a few days (so far so good). I think my second step will be to try and call somebody I haven't talked to in a while at least once a month. So far I missed January but I talked to my friend David Clawson for about 45 minutes the other night which was very cool. I haven't heard from him in ages so it was a real pleasure. My next step is to email Leanne Grimsby and Amy Olson, both of which I haven't talked to in ages. Once I've gotten that far I'll take a giant leap by starting to write to my family in England. I've only been over there twice to visit them so I hardly know them. It sounds rather morbid but I would hate for my Nan (grandmother on my mother's side) to pass away when I hardly even know her. I recognize her voice, I know a little bit about her and I have some fond memories of her. She bought me one of my first video games when I was young and she came over here when my mum was learning how to drive a stick-shift. My mum was taught that before starting up the car you need to make sure that it's in neutral, so she would "wiggle, wiggle" the stick-shift to make sure. I distinctly remember getting in the car with both my Nan and mum and having Nan say, "wiggle, wiggle" in her wonderfully comforting voice. It's really strange the things that you remember. Even now I can't help but tear up over those memories and how much I miss her and the rest of my family.One of my second resolutions was to post to my blog more often. Too often I find myself bottling a lot of stuff in which can be very harmful to your health. Having a place to vent, even if it's in public, is incredibly therapeutic. The stuff about my family in England above pretty much came out of nowhere. I started typing and couldn't stop. Thus, lesson learned.
Almost 4 years ago, around this time I wrote about doing new year's resolutions differently. It's funny to look back that far and read about my good intentions in that single post but not reading anymore about my goals that I mention again. This year I'm going to attempt to identify what I've done wrong in the past and do things differently so that I can feel like I accomplish more in the year and avoid insanity.
Lets have a look at the goals I set 4 years ago and see how I've ended up:
What exactly was it that was missing from the goals I set back then? First of all they were too vague. Take the writing goal for instance. The goal that I set didn't provide any specific means for measuring its success or failure. Again, technically I met the goal given that I wrote more than nothing but I don't feel that the goal was met. If I had come up with something more specific like "Write at least one blog post a month" it would've been much easier to measure the success or failure.
The second thing I should have provided for the goals was a time frame for accomplishing them. The "once a month" goal above would've have worked well for the writing goal. Really any timeframe other than "by the end of the year" would've been a big help in preventing procrastinating with regards to the goals.
One last thing that I can think of that would've helped is occasionally checking in to see how much progress I was making towards the goals to see if the goals should be adjusted, if they ended up being too unrealistic or weren't specific enough.
Now that I have these things in mind what goals am I going to set for 2013 you ask? While I have some specific goals in mind but I want to give some time to thinking about what those goals are and put together a plan for how I want to accomplish them. So really my first goal for the year is to come up with goals for the year. Sounds kind of silly but if I take the time to plan them out I think I have a much better chance of accomplishing them in 2013. I'm committing to coming up with more specific plans by Sunday evening (Jan. 6). That's not to say I'm going to have the whole year planned but at least have a few specific plans in mind to get started on.
Hopefully by this time next year I'll be able to look back and feel like I've accomplished what I set out to.
This is a follow up to my Goals for 2013 post from earlier this week.
I've given my goals for 2013 some thought and have come up with some good and reasonable ones. I've tried to make them as measurable as possible so it will be easy to decide how well I'm doing throught out the year. These are mostly related to personal improvement of the usual new years resolution sort. Without further ado here are the goals I have for 2013 so far (obiously subject to change).
There will definitely be others but this is a good start.
While I feel like I grew a lot as a developer at Amazon last year after switching to my new team in December I really want to extend myself this year and learn some new subjects, mostly unrelated to what I do at work. Here are a few books I want to get through:
END GEEK SPEAK
I have two goals in mind:
Most or all of these goals we'll probably do in the Spring or Summer.
Now that the holidays are over (not to mention all the snow having melted) it's now back to the normal day-to-day routine for many, including me. Some would say that with the new year we have an opportunity for a new beginning. There are certainly reasons to celebrate the new year, including a new president being sworn in and the hope for an improved economy, environment, etc. etc. Typically this is the time to profess your dedication to one or more new year's resolutions.
I have in the past participated in this tradition with a reasonable amount of vigor but this year I've decided to do things a little bit differently.I heard somebody (may have been a friend or maybe even Oprah) ask recently why we should need an excuse to better ourselves? Why should we need to wait for the beginning of a new year to start working on our goals? Instead of committing to one or more resolution's, which I would've likely failed, I've decided to start a list of things that I want to accomplish in my life; both long and short term goals. I've done a pretty good job of accomplishing general health-related goals like eating better (NOTE: as I type this I'm eating pizza and drinking a beer) and exercising more (which isn't really saying much given that I hadn't exercised regularly for years after earning my degree) so it's time to move on to other things.
Instead of committing myself to a single goal I simply want to make sure that I'm constantly moving forward with at least one of them. A lot of my goals are long term which tend to be a bit intimidating. I believe the only way that I can accomplish these goals is to break them down into smaller, more attainable ones. Combining this with regular "check ins" to see what I've accomplished will help me move forward.
I realize this whole thing seems a bit structured but sadly that's really what I need in order to accomplish anything. Having gotten that out of the way here are some of the things I'm going to try and accomplish:
Lots to work on but I'm only committing to gradual improvement. Maybe if I get saucy later on in the year I can commit to more but at this point I really need to take baby steps.