Category Archives: resolutions

Old Year’s Resolutions

This seems like a reasonable time to look at the resolutions I made at the start of 2008, and see how I did. Maybe even rate my success in each on a scale of 1 to 5, just for kicks…

Goal One: Spend more time in nature. Progress: I did go hiking in the Muir Woods when visiting friends in San Francisco earlier this year, went up into the Verde Valley late this summer, and I went on a few hikes around the Phoenix Zoo this fall. I’m not sure my backyard counts as nature since it’s in the suburbs, but I did spend a lot of time tending to my gardens and hanging laundry on the clothes line. All in all, I did not do as much out in natural settings as I would have liked, but I did improve over previous years. Rating: 3 out of 5

Goal Two: Finish a first draft of my book. Progress: FAIL! I wrote some, made a few attempts at an outline, but I have already worked more on my book in 2009 than I did in all of 2008. Looks like I need to push this goal forward and make it a higher priority in my schedule, since it is a high priority in my heart. Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Goal Three: Physical Fitness. Progress: Not bad at all. I ended up at about the same weight as I started the year, so that’s what I’ll focus on in 2009, but my cardio health has improved dramatically, my strength has increased overall, and I have actually come to enjoy physical activities – especially in the spring and fall when the weather is so great here. Plus, I actually finished a 5K! Rating: 4 out of 5

Goal Four: Get more done at home. Progress: I have done well on this one. I take care of my honey-do’s a lot more often before even getting reminded of them, I seek out new things to do that will help out, and most of all I’m really enjoying taking pride in keeping the household in good shape. I can still improve a LOT, but I think I’ve done well for 2008. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Goal Five: Do 175 hours of volunteer work, and give at least 10% of our income to charitable endeavors. Progress: This was one of my big successes this year, I exceeded both of my goal numbers. Now to figure out what to do for an encore… Rating: 5 out of 5

Goal Six: Help others attain their goals and dreams. Progress: I worked for most of the year with a small, dedicated group of individuals to figure out how to start a non-profit that could assist others in trying to address the social needs of their communities. On a smaller scale, I got involved with or led several efforts through the year that managed to get people giving their time, money, and energy for the betterment of others. Hopefully these efforts will have a compounding effect that creates far more good than I could ever do on my own for others. Rating: 4 out of 5 (there is much yet to be done)

Goal Seven: Spend more time with friends. Progress: Whether it was hanging out with Mike at Chipotle, setting up virtual coffee breaks with friends who live in other parts, having people over for meals or parties at our house, or traveling to stay with friends and catch up on things – 2008 was a banner year for friendship in my life. I wish I’d been able to visit a few of them that I didn’t get to, but there’s always 2009. Rating: 4 out of 5

Goal Eight: Travel to three places I have never been, at least one of which is more than a leisurely day’s driving distance away. Progress: Well, I have been to San Francisco, but my wife hadn’t so the trip there in March sort of counts (we went a lot of places while there that I certainly had never been to). Locally we drove up to Cottonwood and stayed a couple of nights at a lovely bed and breakfast there. So… two out of three. Not bad. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Goal Nine: Spiritual. Progress: I did not get as involved in a community of faith as I had hoped. However, I did go deeper down my personal spiritual journey. Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Goal Ten: Be a champion for children. Progress: We have yet to be placed, but are still on the fostering list. I went and volunteered for two days at an after-school program in San Francisco and had an amazing time. Mostly, I spent quality time with my nephew and niece, and have grown to where I feel like I’m “good” with kids. If plans go well, I will be able to make a bigger impact next year. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Goal Eleven: Be sensible about money. Progress: We have hit some HUGE goals this year financially despite the economy. We have some investments that should be exciting to watch over the next few years, and are on track with our aggressive plan to pay off our mortgage (the last standing debt we have). Rating: 4 out of 5

Goal Twelve: Improve my mental health. Progress: I have never felt sharper, nor felt like I learned so much in so little time. Rating: 4 out of 5

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There Is Simply Too Much Awesome

I am seriously drooling over this position at Scott Berkun’s site. If I wasn’t committed to the Outstanding Club and being a mentor for another project for the close foreseeable future, I would be all over it. Wow.

Lead the planning, brainstorming, organization and development of a new online community for the 1,000+ community of leaders, PMs and managers who reside on the legendary pmclinic. Objectives include taking the list out of the technological dark ages and onto the web, while retaining the stellar signal to noise ratio, and e-mail only options, subscribers cherish. It’s a huge opportunity to play a rare leadership role on a high visibility project in the tech-sector, software development and project management communities.

Checking In

Believe it or not, I am writing blog posts. You just aren’t seeing them live yet. I posted a few things over at the Resolution Revolution today, but mostly I’m writing honking-long items that I want to “get right” before unleashing them on the blogosphere. I suspect they will be worth the wait.

So much of the immediate future is uncertain. Children, travel, money, health… a lot of unknowns in the near future that are big and sort of ominous and whatnot. I’m not crazy about having so much so far up in the air, with no real way to determine where it all might land yet. I know, that’s life, but it seems like lately it’s been a bit much.

Oh well, off to a Chinese New Year dinner with friends – yum! Happy New Year!

House Rules

As we look more into the idea of introducing children into our household, I’ve been reading up on ways to create order (or at least some semblance of managed chaos) in making rules and having children stick to them. In reading one article on the matter recently, I came across these statistics – I’ve seen them before, but I never put them in the context of modeling behavior for a child before:

  • 55% of the meaning people make in their interactions is based on what they see.
  • 38% is based on how it sounds (voice tone, volume, speed)
  • 7% is based on the actual words that are being said.

Now, I think those numbers are people “in general”. I wonder if they differ (I strongly suspect they do), and how much, and in what direction, when it comes to an audience of children.

This Weekend I Remembered the Milk

I signed up for a free account at Remember The Milk this weekend. I have been looking for an electronic solution to managing my non-work tasks throughout the day (make a dental appointment, pay the doctor’s bill, call so-and-so about such-and-such… you get the idea. So far I really like the tool, and anything with a cow as its mascot is okay with me generally.

Another Kooky Idea of Mine

Are you one of those people that have wayyyyy too many ideas for the temporal reality we as humans exist within? Yeah… me too.

As I mentioned in my tenth resolution for 2008, it is my hope to find ways to be a champion for our youth. There are so many challenges facing them today, it’s hard to know where to begin. Do I try to focus on just one or two through fostering or adoption, find a way to help meet the needs of the youth of my community on a larger scale, or some mix, or… what?

One idea I had, spawned from a post and then comment I made on my Hacking Your Passions blog regarding the importance of storytelling as we humans grow and try to make sense of our world and the culture(s) we’re a part of, is to somehow begin an organization that focuses on arming parents with the tools they need (inspiration, encouragement, idea sparks, etc) so they can create wonderful tales to tell their children at bedtime. It’s really a simple idea, but if you could encourage more parents to not only tell stories to their children but have the children create stories of their own, it would create an invaluable tradition and real time spent interacting with kids.

Last year I went with some work mates to read to children as part of an event tied to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and it was amazing how eager those kids were to read books. Even more so, though, they were eager to talk about the books. They’d often look at the images and come up with their own version of what’s going on. I got so many lessons from that single one hour event, and for a year I forgot about them. Maybe it’s time to give that memory some more attention.

2008 Resolution Twelve – Mental

My three 2008 goals to improve mental health:

  1. Play more cerebral games such as Scrabble and Crosswords
  2. Listen to podcasts and audio books while exercising, driving, etc. – in downtime
  3. Read a book every week