The theme for this year was understanding yourself. We focused on a popular personality test, the Enneagram. Each month we talked about a different type. We discussed how you can use this to not only understand yourself but also those around you by knowing their basic desires, fears, and motivations.
It’s been an interesting year for us this year. We hit several of our goals, others changed due to life circumstances, and even others are still in progress.
Setting goals in public is valuable. Not only does it show people that you are serious, but it helps a lot with your motivation. In addition, public goals also let other people know what you are up to, which can help you get good advice and even result in making new contacts who can help you. Goals are also critical – if you do not set goals for yourself and work out how you will attain them, you’ll end up achieving someone else’s goals instead. Finally, goals are also useful in hindsight – as you get older, you’ll start to notice the patterns of both success and failure and can adjust your goals accordingly in subsequent years.
Speak at a conference again. I miss conferences. I submitted several talks but none were chosen. I’m going to take some time to review the talks that were chosen and write up a few that will meet the needs of the conferences where I want to speak.
Run a 5k race. I’ve gotten into running this past year. I’m not very fast yet, but my focus isn’t on speed it’s on endurance. I’m looking to completely run a 5k next year. As a lofty extra, I expect to reach this early in the year, I’ll add that I aim to complete a 5k in under 30 minutes. No sweat for a runner, but a good challenge for me.
Get my Azure 204 Certification. I’ve started the courses on Pluralsight and have gotten approval from upper management to spend time learning and they are working on getting approval to pay for me to take the exam. I just have to do the work to prepare for it.
Set aside regular unstructured creative time each week. This may be for creative writing, painting, I’ve been getting into drawing. Guitar practice doesn’t count, but this can be just playing or writing music on the guitar. My goal is to set aside one night a week where I have nothing planned and allow myself to be creative. So much of what I do is specifically to accomplish a goal and I tend to not do things or let them fall behind if I don’t have a goal in mind. This is relaxation and creativity without a goal…no selling it, etc.
Improve my focus by spending less time watching TV and more time reading. I’m going to limit myself to an average of 10 hours a week of TV. That sounds like a lot but it’s less than 2 shows a day. I’m also going to read a minimum of 24 non school, podcast, or work related books. Now they may be about development or leadership but they will not be required for any of them so text books will not count.
Learn to say no better than I do now by putting an emphasis on the activities that I value separate from church, work, and the podcast. If my time is taken up by what I want then I’m more likely to say no to the things that will take away from what I want to do. I’m going to the gym every weekday and doing something on the weekends to move around. I’m going to set aside a time every day for Bible study and prayer. I will also practice my guitar every day, I will be working up to an hour a day. Finally, I will review Albanian by reading, doing homework, or watching something in Albanian each day.
Continue to increase my exposure to Russian language and get the ability to type effectively in it.
Finish the developer creativity book I had planned.
Get an Amazon certification of some sort for work (probably just cloud practitioner)
Get a more solid financial plan together. Right now there’s not as much structure as I’d like and I think I’m leaving money on the table.
Eat more homecooked meals and fewer restaurant ones (money, time, health). Basically, I want to stop defaulting to going out to eat, unless it’s something where the extra money, time, and detriments to my health are actually worth it.
Take more breaks and actually play games, read, etc. Everything has been hyper-focused around productivity for several years and it’s getting a little out of balance.
Be in the black at the end of the year. This past year the goal was to break even and we did for a good part of the year. In 2022 our goal is to make a profit.
Move the podcast website off of wordpress. While wordpress has served reasonably well for a while, it is fairly limiting and requires periodic maintenance to avoid threats. It’s also not as performant as we would like. We have a new site in the works, but it will require some work on our editorial process to get things where it is as straightforward as the existing site when adding content.
Change Developer Launchpad to be more content based and not an in person meet up group. We have a few ideas that we haven’t solidified where we will focus on creating content to help developers advance in their careers.
Theme for 2022
The theme for 2022 is resilience. In the last 18 months, most people got at least one nasty lesson on the importance of resilience, whether it was because of a job loss, a major change in a relationship, a death in the family, or because their entire social life was upended. However, the fact is, life changes, and sometimes changes a lot in a very short period of time. Fragility is the natural state of things – it takes systems, planning, and preparation to set things up so that they can be relied upon, even if the assumptions underlying the system become unstable. Note that resilience doesn’t fix things that are fundamentally wrong – it just smoothes out the disruptions that occur when surprises happen.
Tricks of the Trade
Goals can be deceptive when you don’t have the right frame of mind. If you are too focused on where you want to go then you will not see how far you have come. However, if you are too focused on what you’ve accomplished you’ll become stagnant and never move beyond where you are at that time. The trick with goals is to always be striving for more, but still live in the moment and celebrate the victories you’ve had so far.