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I don’t do New Year Resolutions so I set some goals instead

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Happy New Year!  It’s the start of a new year and a new decade.  I wasn’t going to write a blog piece today, but an idea that formed whilst I was tweeting seemed like a good starting point for a topic so that why we find ourselves here!

I don’t do New Year Resolutions.  Other than one major one I actually made (and have kept) several years ago, there are very few things that I find are necessary to promise myself I’ll do in order to make myself a better person or to make a new beginning.  In all honesty, I’m pretty happy with my lot.  We’re in a recession and thankfully both my wife and I are still employed.  We own our own home, are happily married and despite our son making a journey through tantrumville, we feel extremely lucky to be parents.

This all aside, I don’t find anything wrong with having a few objectives or goals that I’d like to achieve over an undefined period of time.  For those that missed them, here are the first six “goals” that I set myself whilst tweeting earlier today:

  1. Re-organise iTunes and rip the 2000 CD singles and 1000 CD albums I own and haven’t properly digitally archived.
  2. Repair mountain bike so I can heighten the handlebars and get out on it more. I cycled coast-to-coast 2yrs ago – I can do better!
  3. Find a way to spend more time playing World of Warcraft than administering my guild (& be less tolerant of those who impact my game)
  4. Make the time to sit accreditation to compliment my years of work experience in IT. I won’t (easily) become an architect without it.
  5. Socialise & spend more time with or speaking to friends that I’ve neglected due to (sometimes) excessive computer time over the yrs
  6. Find a way to make goals 1 – 5 work since they may well conflict with, or at the very least contradict, one another =)

I have no idea why those thoughts came into my head and, of course, goal 6 is a little bit of me poking fun at myself.  I’m sure I could have created a list a mile long with other things too; I’m good at writing to-do lists, I’m just not very good at clearing them down!  Looking back over the list I’d say:

Goal 1 is a lot to do with my dislike of 95% of modern music – I own a lot of music since I used to be a DJ.  I want to listen to music I’ve not heard in years and perhaps expand what I already own.  iTunes Genius suggestions could be a potential starting point for new music.

Goal 2 is the obvious, “I need to get fitter, how am I going to go about doing so”.  It avoids the clichéd “diet” promise although I will be making a concerted effort to eat less chocolate and snacks since I don’t like the extra chin I appear to be growing!

Goal 3 is my feeling guilty about how much time I spend playing what is essentially a game on my computer.  It can detract from family / social time and the administration of the guild takes a huge amount of time simply because I let it.  I have to learn to stop being afraid of my perception to others, but at the same time make sure the guild is run in a manner that is fair to both our guild community but myself too.

Goal 4 I have needed to do for a very long time.  My role is very skilled and there aren’t an awful lot of people who work in my field.  The best way for me to progress my career and earn more money is sit a handful of exams so that I’ve accreditation that proves my knowledge and cements my experience.  To do this, I need set aside time and essentially revise the textbook answers to my vocation.

Goal 5 will be the hardest of all.  I work at a PC all day, I use a PC on an evening and weekend quite a lot and through the use of my iPhone I am always “on” and connected.  Whilst this has shaped, enriched and helped me over the course of the past twelve months, I also feel I’ve neglected friends and family.  I need to step back, think about how much time I spend doing things that either involve no-one else or has an impact on time that could be better spent with others.  There’s nothing wrong with my interests or past times, but I have to work better at the balancing side of things.

What goals or markers have you set yourself for the year / decade ahead?  Is any of the above strangely familiar?  Have you found yourself in a similar situation and are now out the other side and have words of wisdom to impart?  Any comments or thoughts are welcome below.

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