2010 – My goals

My idea for 2009 was to have no new year’s resolutions, just a keyword for the year, #create.  That didn’t work out too well, I can think of countless excuses, one being the birth of my daughter in Jan, which played havoc with the amount of free time I thought I may have.  But the reality is that without clear goals, you’ll never accomplish much.  So for 2010 I ‘ve decided to set clear goals, and make them public, so that I don’t have any excuses to back down on any of them.



Although I think I’m pretty good in this department, supporting my wife when she needs it (most of the time), and spending quality time with the kids, I think I can improve.  There are times when we say we’ll do things with the kids but then circumstances do not always allow it.  For the next year, I will try my best to do everything I say I will do with/for my family, or at least think before replying in the affirmative, making sure that circumstances will allow for what we want to do.

When anyone asks you to do something, the easy way is to just say yes at the time, because you’re busy with something, and you don’t want to break your attention span.  But if you spent 2 seconds thinking about it, you would have known that you’re making an empty promise.


I’ve been lazy this year with my training (cycling), but am upping it a notch in 2010.  I want to get onto a podium at a race at least once this year, I’m not fussy which one, but last time I was on a podium was in 2006 (provincial time-trial).  I also want to complete the 2011 Iron-Man (3.8km swim, 180km cycle, 42.2km run)

To accomplish this, my training program needs to adjust, and I need to shed some extra weight I’ve been carrying around since I quit smoking (7 years have flown by).  My goal here is to lose 10kg by the end of March, a healthy 1kg per week.

How do I approach this?  Easy, I have to be a diet nazi.  Lots of people think that with the amount of training I do, there should be no problem in losing weight, but the fact is that your body adapts to your environment.  Even spending 8+ hours on the bike per week does not automatically guarantee me to lose weight.  The only way is to consume less calories than what you burn, consistently.  I’ve signed up for a pro account on dailyburn.com, and am religously tracking everything going into my body, as well as the amount of calories I burn.  One thing I have learnt about dieting is that you should not deprive yourself of your favourite tastes, that just sets you up for failure.  So I’m allowing myself a cheat every few days, with some rules attached.

  1. if I skip the meal before the cheat, the cheat is not allowed,
  2. portions have to fit in with my overall calorie intake each day.

I’ve started this already and have lost about 3 kilos in the last 3 weeks, so fo the next 3 months I’ll try to get used to that permament hungry feeling while my body burns up the extra weight.

Another thing I have to do is be more scientific about my training program, for 2009 I did a lot of aimless riding, but not much targeted training.  This will change for 2010, I’m busy developing a training program that will probably run in 5/6 week segments.  As soon as am done with that I will post it here as well.



In the last year my twitter usage has increased dramatically, and my blogging has decreased.  One reason for this was the amount of time available, but also the fact that I’ve started getting quite good at saying things in 140 characters or less.  If you know me personally, you’ll know that I’m not really one for a lot of small-talk, and normally say things in as few words as possible, sometimes totally confusing my audience, and other times properly offending them because of a misunderstanding.

So for the year ahead I need to change that, and start talking in paragraphs not just sentences.  I want to increase my readership on all my blogs (yes I have more than 1), this site being my first project, target for the first 6 months being 500 regular readers, for the others I’ll be happy with 250 regular readers each by end of June.  Exactly how I’m going to accomplish that is not entirely clear, but I’ll start by posting more often, and making sure that what I write is what people want to read.  The only way for me to confirm that is for people to start commenting on my posts, even if you need to be nasty about my views.  I enjoy a good debate.

Instead of doing what I’ve been doing all along, blogging in spurts and then letting it sit idle for weeks/months at a time, I’m now going to start scheduling posts to go out on a regular interval, with an absolute minimum of 2 posts per blog per month.  That’s a total of 6 posts per month, which should be easily accomplished.

This is something I’ve enjoyed for a long time, but I got frustrated by my old point-and-shoot, and bought myself a Canon 40D DSLR not so long ago.  I’ve mastered the basics, but am not pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.  So for the next year I’ll be dedicating one Sunday morning a month to photography, going out to locations and shooting.  I’ll need to juggle that with my racing schedule, but am sure somehow I’ll be able to make a plan.  I’m not going for quantity of shots on these outings, I’ll rather go for quality, hoping to take a few photos, but playing with light and subjects.

To force me to do these, I’ve already started the Wordless Wednesdays posts, and will be doing one every week, using my own photos only.  I also want to participate in one or two photography communities whether online or offline, and will be joining in on photowalks as often as I can.  If you like any of the photos I post, I’ll gladly send you a print quality copy, as long as it is for personal use only.


I’ve always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, and according to multiple sources, I’m not half bad at it.   But in the past year I haven’t had the time to do much cooking, work and a baby kept me a bit busy, and with my wife now working from home full-time, she does the cooking during the week.

This past year we’ve also spent way too little time with our friends, all of them having fairly young kids makes things a bit tricky to arrange parties that everybody can attend.  But for the year ahead I want to seriously start experimenting with my cooking skills again, and that would provide the perfect opportunity to invite people to enjoy the good food with us.  So if you’re a close friend or family member, expect some invites.  Will be doing something at least once a month.



I’ve come to realise that although I’m good at what I do (Development Manager) I don’t necessarily like all the aspects of my work, and would like to delve a bit deeper on the technical work again.  To get back to the coalface, I may need to move on from where I’m employed currently, as it doesn’t seem that I’ll ever get the chance to work on the kind of problems I like solving here, for various reasons which I won’t bore you with now.

To get to the point where I’m happy with my technical level again, I’ll be doing three things.
Read more code
Why, because to become good at writing, you need to read more.  I see a number of the Alpha geeks doing this, and think that it is a good way to learn.  I’ve been doing it informally for a while, but never take the time to really do a deep dive in any code I’m looking at.  So for 2010, I’ll be taking one open source project a month, breaking it down in modules, and really doing a deep dive on it.  I’ll be taking smaller OS projects, and will be writing about my understanding of things.
Write more code
Ultimately, you cannot learn to write by reading alone, so I would need to do some development work.  My plan is to launch two applications, one before the end of March, and one before the end of June.  I’m toying with a few ideas for this, and both would be part of a bigger strategy to grow my sideline business.
Contribute to Open Source
From July onwards, once I’ve launched one or two apps as part of the growing my business goal, I will also then join an Open Source project, I’ll select one at that time, and start contributing as much as I can, based on the requirements of the project and community around that.

Stock Trading

No, I’m not a professional, but I do trade for real money.  I’ve been dipping my toes in the market, and in the last year had a few losses, but also had 2 investments with more than 40% growth in under 12 months.  My aim for the coming year is to do at least 2 trades per month.  Not based on arbitrary tips, but based on good solid research.  I’ll be identifying my targets and then doing the necessary research on each before deciding on a buy/sell.  Originally I had my goal pegged at growing my current trading funds by a percentage, but after some thinking, decided that it wasn’t a realistic goal.  I changed it to a number of trades per month, so that I can hone the research skills, and still have the freedom to lose some money, in the name of learning from my mistakes.
That wraps up a fairly long post by my standards, and I think I’ve set a number of achievable goals, stretching me, while not going so far that my family never sees me.  I’ll be doing a review on myself once a month to see whether I’m making these or not.

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