I tend to not set New Years resolutions unless I am really serious about achieving them. I have three kids, a demanding (yet rewarding) job, and extra-curricular commitments to tend to. At this point in my life, there’s little use taking on a new challenge unless I can figure out a way to go all in and achieve something significant.
So here’s a list of the things I’ve chosen to go for in 2012. Much like a fundraising campaign I decided to start some of these things quietly toward the end of 2011 to make sure they were things that would hold my attention. In no particular order:
Publish at least one post per week on my blog (yes, this post will count!) and spend about 20 minutes each day writing. I have developed a nasty habit of starting posts that never get finished. In 2012 my standards for “definition of done” will be lowered. Instead of never being satisfied with an article, never completing research, and thus, never “shipping”, I’m going to take a minimally viable approach to my writing.
Also, by making a commitment to writing a little each day I think I’ll be more consistent in honing my skill set as a writer. This will serve as both a personal conditioning exercise as well as a means to achieve the goal of publishing one article per week.
I have been musically inclined for most of my life, but have no formal training. I’ve played the guitar for 20 years, but am not much better today than I was 18 years ago. Piano has always been on my list to learn. My goal is to practice at least 30 minutes a day, five times per week and not break the chain. A more substantive goal will probably be added to this as well. For example, “perform three songs in front of an audience by X date..” For me, preparing to perform or teach drives me to new levels of proficiency both at work and at play.
Run Half Marathon.
I have run for fitness in the past, but a friend of mine asked me back in September to run a 15k (9.3 mi.) with him. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I enthusiastically agreed and have been training for the race since. I tend to get shin splints when I run.. bad. In the past I’ve always quit when the pain got to me, but since I’ve set this as a goal, I’m going to go get some professional guidance on how to resolve the aches and pains for good.
On New Years Eve day I ran seven miles which gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. Over the past few months I’ve come to enjoy running, and I also like that I’m more fit, weighing less and feeling more clear-headed since beginning a regular exercise routine.
Vacation and Family Time.
This year I’ll be more deliberate about taking time to relax with my wife and family. My company has a use it or lose it vacation policy (a good thing IMO). Over the past 6 years I’ve typically lost anywhere from two to five days of vacation. No more. We usually take several trips per year, but they are rarely planned well in advance. So, the goal is to take 2-3 mini-vacations with the family as well as an uber-vacation during the summer. This is the year that I’ll also start taking one on one road trips with my son.
So, these are my personal goals. Ambitious yet achievable and well balanced with my professional goals. Now that I’ve written them down and shared them publicly I have little choice but to achieve them.