Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Goals and Theme Word for 2010

I was tagged by Lori Edwards (Blog Twitter). I am now to produce a set of goals and a theme word.

Before moving forward, I feel I need to take this time to look back at last year’s goal list here. I can tell that a new goal needs to look back at the goal list more often. I do not recall the last time that I referenced this post. It may be the way that I deal with goals. I commit them to paper and memory, then just attempt to direct my life in that direction. Sometimes, they fall into place without my help, as I am already oriented that way. Others fall on the wayside, as they were not in the right direction or maybe not the right definition of task. Still others, I simply forgot to do, meaning I had not fully committed them to paper or memory. If I can orient my direction in the same direction as my goals, and define my goals in such a way that they are accomplishable in that direction, then viola, they tend to accomplish themselves without reference to their original documentation. However, I believe that it’s necessary to revisit them from time to time, to ensure the definition is up to snuff, the direction is proper, and both are meshing well. I will add this to my list this year.


Last Years Goals

Lets start off with a summary of what I documented last year as my goals or resolutions.

1. I want to do more with my local user group.
2. Produce presentations. 4-6 presentations for the year
3. Speak at SSWUG.
4. Perform Regional Mentor Duties.
5. Blog
6. Articles
7. MVP
8. Read
9. Topics
10. #InboxZero

Now, let’s dissect them a bit, explaining where I feel I fell in their accomplishment, or not.

1. I want to do more with my local user group.

I struggled with this this past year, as I was unable to produce interesting content myself, and unable to tap into many others for presentations themselves. We had a couple meetings that were a success. Others were not. Changes are afoot for this goal that will truly help out the local user group.

2. Produce presentations. 4-6 presentations for the year

I actually produced 8 presentations for SSWUG this last year. 2 of which were preexisting presentations. So, inadvertently, I accomplished this goal without actually thinking about it. I was headed in the right direction, and this simply took care of itself as I went there.

3. Speak at SSWUG.

I had the honor and privilege of speaking at both SSWUG conferences this last year. It was a blast, and I learned a lot myself. I hope to continue to be able to do so in the future.

4. Perform Regional Mentor Duties.

I actually stepped up a bit more on these duties this year, and really tried to spend more of my free time performing tasks to assist in this task. It felt good to give, felt good to produce. I will continue to feed from this trough.

5. Blog

I wrote a bit on my career blog, wrote more on my hobby blog, and started apersonal blog for things that didn't fit into either of the other two categories. For my career blog, I had 1 month with a single blog post. 1 month with 2 blog posts, and the rest with 3 or more, and some months as many as 7 posts. Not tons, but I felt good about them. For Christmas, I wrote an incredible amount on the personal blog, ending with this summary. I have had great comments on my ability to write, enough that keeps me going. At first, I thought that blogging meant writing about SQL topics. But I have learned this year that writing is just that, writing. I need to practice more, and get better. I feel that something is looming just out of reach of my awareness that will require this skill in my future. I will continue to strive to perfect this talent and hopefully be ready for the challenge, when and if it comes. In the mean time, I head down the dusty road that many have traversed previously, and simply write.

6. Articles

I did not write as many articles as I had hoped for. With preparations for SSWUG presentations taking up quite a bit of time, and rest time afterwards for other hobbies, I didn't write a ton. I have dedicated myself to writing, and found that I needed to write about many other things, other than SQL. I wrote a couple short stories, produced quite a bit of blogs, and have a couple articles sitting in unfinished states. So writing has occurred, I have just not delivered in the fashion I had anticipated, it’s evolved a bit.

7. MVP

I was nominated again this last year. Again, it was an honor to be nominated. Other than continuing on my course of actions, I cannot actually do anything towards this goal. I maintain my course thru life, and with the other goals I do accomplish, maybe this one will be picked up along the way. Maybe not.

8. Read

I have done this task, not as planned, but differently. I had added a lot of blogs from others, and tried to keep up. I would get distracted and frustrated at my ability to keep up. Sometime ago, I cleared out all my unread blogs, starting at #InboxZero. This was very hard to do, and took me a couple weeks to actually pull the trigger. Once done, a bit of time has passed, and I now am looking down the barrel at over 300 unread blogs already. This teaches me that I may never be able to keep up, so this task needs to be modified in its perceived accomplishment.

9. Topics

I am much more proficient with GoldenGate replication than last year. This is a technology that is specific to my company, and I have practiced with it quite a bit and become much more skilled at it. It was not what I meant when I wrote this particular goal, but along the road of life last year, this one was picked up and accomplished.

10. #InboxZero

All year long, as I imagine the future will most likely continue, I struggled with this task. This was not an accomplishable task in one or even many sittings. This is an ongoing task. Once burned into my brain, its become a hobby I attempt to accomplish on a small scale for a small period of time. The thing I have noticed is that others are doing the same thing and blog or tweet about it. If I was an influence on them, great. They are an influence on me, as we all attempt to perform this repetitive task, and incorporate it into our daily toolboxes of skills.


My goals for the coming year? Similar to last years, with some modifications.

1. Do more with Local User Group.

I have been a leader of this group for quite some time, and have been approached by another member to let him take it over. It may be a good time to step aside, let others perform tasks, and simply help out, instead of run the show. This is the direction I am leaning towards now. Give it some new blood.

2. Produce presentations.

Last year, I came up with a random number. This time, I want to leave it open, and simply keep it in the back of my head to produce as many pieces of presentation content as I can. I hope that its many.

3. Speak.

I am dropping off the goal to speak at SSWUG, and simply making it Speak. I want to simply find good venues where I can share my skills and knowledge with others, and become better at presenting. SSWUG is definitely in there, as well as local user groups. I may have the chance to speak outside of those two locations, and hope that I can.

4. Perform Regional Mentor Duties.

During the SQLPASS summit, I was inspired by our fearless community liaison Blythe Morrow (twitter) to do more. In fact, it was kind of a threat that I took seriously that she was going to pile on more work for this volunteer effort. I welcomed it, and began working. I intend to do more here as time permits.

5. Blog (write)

I am modifying this one to include writing. That’s the goal of my blogging, to practice writing, and hone that skill. Someday, maybe I could write a book? In the meantime, I will write as much as I can about as much as I can. I have been inspired by a lot of SQL folks, as well as others. I have always been an avid reader, more so in my youth. I grew up reading Piers Anthony, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, C. S. Lewis, Robert Ludlum, John Saul, David Eddings, Margaret Weiss, Tracy Hickman, Orson Scott Card, to mention a few. I love to read lyrical prose, in all its forms. Paint me a picture with your words, and I can almost enter your extended reality and see it as you see it. I want to get better at this skill. The SQL folks that have inspired me are Steve Jones (blog|blog|blog|twitter), Grant Fritchey (blog|twitter), Paul Randal (blog|twitter), Brad McGehee (blog|twitter), to name a few.

6. Articles

This goal will be dropped, and added into the above goal of simply writing. Writing an article should be as important a task as writing a blog post, documenting a process for my employer, penning a witty tweet. It’s all words, and my goal is to have the same result with them all. Paint a picture of a reality that I see, so that you can exist in that realm for a period of time of your choosing.

7. MVP

I'm dropping this task from the actual list this year. My direction is such that if this occurs, great. If not, I am not to be detoured from continuing on this path.

8. Read

This one will receive a modification. I will continue to read, as life permits, but not feel like I have to read it all. I will continue to seek out those posts that have relevance to my skills and interests. I will seek out those posts from folks that simply inspire me to be better. I will try out other posts that are suggested and can be added to my toolbox. But I will not feel the crushing guilt of not reading everything that everyone writes as soon as its revealed. I simply cannot read that much.

9. Topics

As the year progresses, I hope to add to this with actual topics. Let’s say 2-3 new items need to be picked up, learned, and somehow incorporated into my life. More on this as time marches along this year.

10. #InboxZero

As this is an ongoing task, and has become part of my habits, I will not continue to have this as a separate task. I believe then that it has been accomplished in a sense, as it has become part of me, and no longer needs to be listed out separately.

The last statement I made is indicative of how I perceive goals or resolutions. They should be added to your list such that they become part of your life, and no longer need to exist in a list that you can check off. They become part of who you are. This frees up your task list to accept new and exciting items yet in your life to be accomplished, while continuing to accomplish the newly incorporated habits from last year’s list.


Themeword

So, thats all fine and dandy with the goals and explanations and wild wordage to explain my quirks, but what about a themeword? That one is a bit harder. As I write this, I have had quite a few words floating around my grey matter (which is a great short story by Stephen King, you should read it someday). Let me list them out here.

  • NoDrama
  • Relax
  • Prioritize
  • ReadMore
  • Play
  • WorkEfficiently
Somehow, I don't think that I can apply a single themeword to my next year. Along with the goals i have listed, along with the general direction I want to head, there are many themewords that I will be working on during the year. I take life as the opportunity to better ourselves, learn as much as we can, serve our fellow man, and ultimately perfect myself as much as I can. Others will help along the way, but I gotta do the brunt of the work, as I have been doing since this realization hit me at some time in my younger years. Unfortunately there will never be a time that I can retire from these tasks. So, its business as usual, working on perfecting myself, and enjoying life along the way with all its quirks.


Tagging

I wish to tag the following folks.
Pat Wright (blog|twitter)
Joe Webb (blog|twitter)


2 comments:

Lori said...

Impressive list of goals, TJay! I'm impressed :)

EdwinaHugh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.