Goals, Not Resolutions

2009 Calendar

Over the years, I’ve decid­ed that set­ting for goals is a bet­ter notion that res­o­lu­tions. A res­o­lu­tion is some­thing that, once you’ve broke it there seems lit­tle point in keep­ing it from then on. They are so all-or-noth­ing. A goal is some­thing to keep striv­ing for. Even if you don’t reach it, at least you’ve made some progress. So, with that in mind, here are some goals I’m set­ting forth for Two Thou­sand Nine (in no par­tic­u­lar order):

  • Write More — I could­n’t write much less than I did last year. I bare­ly man­aged to get out a post here per month, which is awful. As for Ains­ley’s blog, it fared far worse; and that’s what most folks real­ly want to read about! We’ll be doing a sim­i­lar jour­nal of grow­ing up for Cole­man-Dyer No.4 (aka “Baby Boy”), so I’ve got to keep focus and get a good work flow going to keep every­one updated.

    My work blog­ging life has been off to a pret­ty good start (evi­denced here and here), but I need to do more there as well. It’s some­thing that my com­pa­ny real­ly seems to val­ue me doing and I enjoy it. Obvi­ous­ly, it’s a bal­ance between get­ting my oth­er work respon­si­bil­i­ties tak­en care of. How­ev­er, I’m real­ly push­ing in a direc­tion to merge those togeth­er as I think it is a great form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion for users.

  • Take More Pho­tographs and Video — Last year was real­ly a low point as far as this goes, which is dis­ap­point­ing as we failed to cap­ture a lot of Ains­ley’s grow­ing in ways I had real­ly hoped to (that being said, there is vol­umes more video and pho­tos of her than either Angela or I at that age — just as a byprod­uct of who we are and the times we live in). A lot of this is just form­ing good habits of hav­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion tools on hand and remem­ber­ing to use them. Hav­ing some good, sim­ple tools real­ly helps. So, I just ordered a Kodak Zi6 HD pock­et video cam­era. By all accounts, it’s dead sim­ple to use and pro­duced nice, HD video. Plus, it’s quite small which can’t be dis­count­ed in mak­ing such devices handy to use.

  • Learn an Object Ori­ent­ed Pro­gram­ming Lan­guage — I’ve start­ed learn­ing C#, as I think that will help me bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate with some of my devel­op­er col­leagues. It’s also a mod­ern deriv­a­tive of C, so it should (hope­ful­ly) help me get clos­er to learn­ing C++, php, and Objec­tive C — all lan­guages I also would like to know. John­son keeps urg­ing me to dab­ble in Ruby, and that may or may not hap­pen. But at least I’ll under­stand a lit­tle more about OO programming.

    Mind you, I have no illu­sions of becom­ing a pro­gram­mer full time. I may bare­ly use this at work at all. But, if I can 

  • Learn to use Reg­u­lar Expres­sions — Pow­er­ful time sav­ing tools which help me get parts of my job (and per­son­al life) done faster. That’s a no-brainer.

  • Take Ains­ley Swim­ming — There’s a pool just a half block from our house that will be open in late Spring, so my excus­es will be hard to come by. She might not do much more than splash around. How­ev­er, if I can get her to just maybe float and kick a lit­tle, I’ll be most pleased.

  • Final­ly Get Some­thing Out of Twit­ter — Call this giv­ing into peer pres­sure or just get­ting used to the smell of the Kool-Aid; but I have decid­ed to give Twit­ter a real chance. I’m not going to treat it as some fringe gad­get but a core part of my day and how I com­mu­ni­cate with the world. We’ll see how this goes. And, yes; I’m way behind the curve here. I’ll try and keep the dumb posts to a min­i­mum, but actu­al­ly add some val­ue there to the fast mov­ing cloud.

  • Run One Short Road Race Per Month — I know; the trite New Year’s res­o­lu­tion: exer­cise more. Well, this one is a very rea­son­able one for me and some­thing I used to do with ease (though before hav­ing a kid). But even if I have to run at lunch or in the evening, I think I can fit in enough to pull one 5k or 10k out of me a month. I’ll even try and drag Angela and the kids out with me come the summertime.

I think the com­mon­al­i­ty here is that these all are just using my time bet­ter to get more out of my inter­ac­tions with those around me and those who I want to keep in touch with. Con­sid­er it lessons learned from 2008, I sup­pose. It was a tough year and one that drained me of the will to reach out to oth­ers. We’re in a much bet­ter place in life now and I have a lot less bag­gage caus­ing men­tal fatigue.

So, wish me luck and if you post some res­o­lu­tions or goals of your own, let me know.

Hap­py New Year.

Categorized as General

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.

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