Thoughts toward annual goals – 2008

1:34 pm Observations

I’ve been putting some time into thinking about setting some goals for next year. I’ve been concentrating pretty hard on my “day job” as we head into testing and prepare for an impending release – ready or not. As an aside, software development schedules are so ridiculous – with all these smart people, you would think that common sense would enter in somewhere.

Anyway, enough about them; let’s talk about me.

Take the technical trek?

One of the biggest issues I’m working through is what kind of projects I want to concentrate on over the coming months. I really want to put together a book. In fact I have two and a half ideas for content. One on a religious topic and one and a half on life skills and personal improvement topics. I thought I would do the religious one first – but now I’m thinking that one would not provide the benefit for the effort extended. Most of the concepts I would cover are already adequately addressed elsewhere. Do I really need to have the same thing only my way?

That brings me to the second (and a half) book(s). Here again, I wouldn’t be presenting anything shockingly new. However, I am going after a different audience and I will be packaging the information in a new and, hopefully, meaningful way. So I think I’ll put my effort there. More on this soon. I want to break this task down into manageable bite sized pieces. Well see what happens.

With respect to software development – I don’t believe this is part of my long term vision for my life. But to transition out will take some serious planning and commitment. I am able to support my whole family from my current arrangement. If I’m going to replace that, I’m going to have to really get creative. If this is indeed my decision, I am going to lay out a ten year transition plan to make the switch. What? Is ten years too long? Should I shoot for five, or three? I’m not that confident yet – so I’m more comfortable with ten.

If that is my direction, I am not going to be able to dig into PHP and frameworks and try to become a web development guru. It’s not my path, it’s not really my passion, and it’s a diversion of tons of time and thought. In my line of work there is always the “build versus buy” decision. I’m deciding to buy instead of build. What are the ramifications of this?

  1. I’ll have to depend on others to get the results I want. I may even have to pay for something I could “just do myself.”
  2. I’ll have to collaborate, share, and work with others more. The ‘Lone Ranger’ strategy isn’t a winner here.
  3. I’ll have to give up on trying to solve technical issues myself as my knowledge becomes more generalized.

Those will be some things will take some swallowing. On the other hand, what technical knowledge I do keep up with will have to relate to my current “hold the fort” work.

Aligning with a vocation

So if I’m not going to be a technical nerd – what am I going to do?

  • Conflict resolution, mediation, coach counselor
  • Life coach
  • Financial counselor
  • Author
  • Web site manager
  • eMarketer
  • Tutor / teacher / educator
  • Minister

How do I take those options and coalesce them into one direction? They all generally relation to teaching or counseling others. The eMarketing comes in with including the Web as a venue for activity. Helping people in their situations, financial, relational, or spiritual are all underlying motivations. This needs more definition, but it also need some sort of monetization model. Do I write materials or a book and offer that as a product? Do I sell my time for coaching or to give presentations? I don’t want to sell time – that’s what I’m currently doing. There has to be a better way.

Shoring up the underpinnings.

I also want to focus on the fundamentals. My physical improvement, my mental growth, strengthening my family, and becoming organized and proactive. These are all areas that can only improve by small incremental victories gained over a sustained period of time. But without a plan, these little victories aren’t planned or won. Here are some areas that I would like to focus on:

  • Family relationships – making plans as a family. Becoming the best family we can be. Setting complementary goals.
  • Physical exercise – not to reach a weight, but to gain energy and improve my quality of life as I age.
  • Financial tracking – testing and tracking personal and business accounts is the baseline for improvement.
  • Processing information once, whether paper or electronic. Putting things in their proper place.

I know many of these things are pretty vague – but I still have some time to further define these things. I’m just putting these here so they are somewhere. If you would like to add your thoughts or reflections – feel free!

Powered by ScribeFire.