Personnal Goals

People usually do it for the New Year, but for me the beginning of September was time to think about what I want to accomplish for the next year.

What better way to keep the determination to accomplish my goals than to publish them online and be publicly humiliated if I don’t succeed?

So here is what I want to achieve until September 1st, 2010 :

  • Write 40 blog posts. I aim for one a week but there are always vacations and weeks where I’m too busy on something else. Forty sounds like a good start for me.
  • Read a book a month
  • Code four small projects, one every three months.

After talking to my wife, she kind of forced me to get a fourth goal.

  • Lose 10 pounds.

I’m not going to elaborate on this one. Talk to my wife :)

Why did I want to set goals?

I read quite a few books and articles saying that setting goals gives you a way to focus your energy. And a colleague of mine is impressing me by his ability to focus on short term achievements to attain his long term goals. Now is the time to see if these goal-oriented fanatics are right.

Why did I chose these goals?

Blogging – I’m committed to continuing on blogging for the next year. It allows me to try some creative thinking techniques when I’m out of subjects. It also forces me to organize my ideas and learn some subjects in more depth before I blog about them.

Books – I already read about 9-10 a year but I wanted to stretch a bit and go for one per month. That should be pretty doable. Books allow me to find new interesting subjects to talk about and I was always an avid reader. The book I’m currently reading is Peopleware. As I’m reading it I’m experimenting with mindmaps. I’ll publish my insights in another post.

Personal projects – pretty much every years I code bits and pieces of small applications. I lay down architectures for more ambitious projects. But (shame on me) I seldom finish a personal project. Time is lacking or more interesting things come around. Whatever the reason, the result is that nothing gets done. Well this time I want to turn things around and focus on closure – I want each project to be finished, in a repo (trying git right now… loving it so far) and tested to my satisfaction. I’m not sure if all the projects will be publicly available, but at least one is going to be.

Final Thoughts

I selected short-term goals to get in the habit meeting my commitments. Setting weekly, monthly and quarterly goals seemed like a good start. Eventually I would like to have a Big, Hairy Audacious Goal, something that will drive me for years to come.

This is only the beginning…

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