Goals for 2017

The Truth of It

It’s that time of year again. In the past 12 months your friend has been awarded Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) status and you have stagnated at work. Your diet plans have fallen through and you’re back to your original weight. But hey, if we didn’t fail at all our goals what would we strive to work on in the new year.

Without Failure There is No Success

That first section is all true but I’m not down. I’m actually invigorated knowing that a friend of mine has been recognized by Microsoft and even though my diet plan fell through I did show myself that it was possible to lose my extra weight. I lost 30 lbs. in just 6 weeks and it was the first time I have lost weight in close to 10 years. This is the year I turn things around and start taking control. Not some halfhearted attempt, and not some cheesy new years resolution. The time is right for both of those things, but I am truly going to the win this year.

Mind & Body

Professional Goals

In 2017 I will post to my two blogs at least once a week. I have a responsibility to post to this blog and programmingfromscratch.com. My biggest issue with posting this last year has been that I have struggled with topics to post about and time to write about them. I am doing my best to combat that issue by actively setting aside time each week to think about potential topics. Each Monday I will set aside 30 minutes specifically to think about potential topics until I have a backlog of 50 topics for each blog. Once I have 50 topics I will begin to refine those topics as much as I can before posting about each one. I will still have to add a new topic at a rate of at least one per blog per week but that should be pretty easy once I have the ball rolling. At the time I am writing this post I have 20 post ideas for 6FigureDev and around 5 for ProgrammingFromScratch. At the rate I am going, and with the time I have set aside on Mondays I should have no trouble keeping this commitment

Second on the list is working on side projects. I have set aside 4 hours a week to work specifically on side projects. Currently I have a side project started with @matsubonsai (John Callaway). So for the first part of the year that is what I will be working on during that time. As part of this goal I would also like to contribute to open source. I don’t have any particular projects in mind but something in a different language would be fun. I might start by simply asking if they would like help with documentation.

Third is video recording. I have been consistently recording videos for the @StPeteDotNET (St. Pete .NET Meetup) here in Tampa, Fl area. I haven’t been so consistent about getting the videos on YouTube. Also, just before I moved to Tampa my own site, ProgrammingFromScratch.com, was getting one video per week it’s YouTube channel. I am wanting to spin that process up again. This is probably the most time consuming goal that I have. Just editing a 10 minute video can take over an hour. That doesn’t include the time it takes to record or script the video. All told a 10 minute video could take an entire days worth of effort. I plan on putting out a video as often as possible but I have a feeling I won’t be able to make a once a week video goal. For that reason I will commit to one video a month and we will increase it if possible.

Last but not least, I am committing to at least 4 presentations in 2017. The presentations must be at either a meetup or a conference and at least one of them must be at a conference. I am really looking for John’s help on this one as he is currently able to speak at that many events in only a few months. I find it difficult as a developer to put myself “out there”. I know I am capable but that voice in my head keeps telling me I’m a phony. I am hoping to quite that guy down this year and really make an effort to contribute to the community. If I manage to hit my goal of 4 events quick enough I would like to keep going and speak at as many engagements as I can muster.

Personal Goals

Along with all the activities listed above, I am also working to loose weight and get healthy. To that end, I am starting a diet plan that I will not stray from. I may falter but I will get back on track and continue with the plan I have set. This is a working plan but I have the first 2 legs of it just about nailed down.

First, I will consume nothing but water, juice, fruits, and vegetables for the month of January. V8 has a juice offering called V8 Fusion. The taste of these juices is not terrible, they are cheap, and they are easy. The first juice I will drink everyday is one bottle of Healthy Greens. This juice tastes, well, terrible. I have to chase it with water and it takes a long time for me to drink this bottle. The second bottle is less restricted and can be any of the V8 Fusion flavors. I quite like many of them.

Why drink the one I dislike first? This is the core basis of my diet plan, Eat the Frog. Yes, it’s a book about procrastination, but it actually applies to eating as well. I’m only just talking about this here, but “eat the frog” applies to all my goals for the new year. I am going to focus on the things that make me uncomfortable or that I don’t really want to do before I give myself the satisfaction of the reward.

Back to the diet, The second phase starts at the beginning of February. In February I’m going to give myself 1 cheat day a week. On my cheat day, which is a reward for doing good all week, I am allowed to literally eat what ever I want. In my previous attempt at a diet I cheated at least every other day and still lost 30 pounds it 6 weeks. So, I figure one cheat day a week isn’t going to kill anyone. I know this seems like a backslide to anyone paying attention but it’s not really. I am still going to eat better than I have been. I’m just not going to count calories or anything like that.

The third phase is where I know what I want to do but haven’t narrowed it down yet. I want to introduce another meal during the week. One day, Two days? I’m not sure but the meal needs to be something planned, measured, and counted. Also, I’m going to again “eat the frog” If there is something I like more at the meal it will be eaten later and anything I don’t like at the meal, broccoli for instance, I will eat first. If I can’t bring myself to eat the good food first then I can’t have the other food. This phase is still not nailed down though and will need more work. I will update you when more phases are ready.

Be Resolute

I make this promise to you and to me, I will be resolute in 2017 and complete all my goals. I may stray but will not falter. This year is about planning and preparation, For instance I am writing this post on December 12th, 2016. I’m already ahead of the game and intend to stay that way. Please let me know if any of you are struggling with similar issues. Diet, Motivation, Procrastination. We can work together and fix them. I am more than happy to share what I have learned and would love to hear what anyone else has to offer. Comment below or send me a message on twitter. Until next week, I hope everyone is having a good new year.

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