2016 New Year Goals

I don't like to use the term "New Year Resolution" because when you resolve to do something you are pretty much saying you have to do something.  This puts you in a success or fail scenario.   No one wants to fail, so that means you typically create resolutions that you can achieve.   We don't always achieve them, but we can.   

I prefer to set goals.   Goals are a bit more fluid.   You can set goals for things you are confident that you can achieve as well as goals that will stretch you.  The good thing about goals is that even if you don't achieve them, they may still move your forward.   That's at least how I see things.

So...  here are my goals for 2016.

  1. Get in the best shape of my life.   I started this goal a year and a half ago when I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.   It was a shocker and an eye opener and I started my journey to getting healthy again.  I started hitting the gym and eating better and now my blood sugar is under control.  It's time to take it to the next level.   So.. what will I do differently?
    • Eat better.   I started eating better after my diagnosis, but not as good as a could.  My goal is to eat less bread, less simple carbs, and more whole fruits and veggies.   This will not only help control my blood sugar, but will also allow me to burn fat easier.  Your body won't burn fat with exist insulin in your system.  So, the diabetes is fighting against my efforts to lose weight.   It's time to fight back harder!
    • Better endurance.   For the least year and a half I've been hitting the gym 4 days a week and lifting heavy.  This has done wonders for my metabolism and how I look and feel.  However... I still have about 30 lbs to lose and I don't feel overly athletic.  I can squat 315, but I can't run a mile without stopping.  Time to change that.   This means more athletic type exercise like Tennis, running, swimming, and maybe even martial arts.  I'd also like to incorporate some yoga as my flexibility sucks!
  2. I want to become a software developer.  This again is an extension to another goal.  (It's good to have longer term goals!)   About two years ago I decided I was going to teach myself how to program.  Now, I've been in Info Tech as a UNIX Systems Admin for about 18 years.   So, I've done my share of scripting (shell, perl, etc).  However...  I wanted to learn how to properly write programs.  Plus, I needed to do more advanced things as part of my job so it just made sense.  So, I chose a language to start with (Python) and started learning.   I quickly fell in love with programing and I'm still learning as much as I can on a daily basis.  This year, I want to move to more development heavy tasks at work.  What will it take to reach this goal?
    • Learn, learn, learn.   I've been taking courses online and I typically spend about two hours every afternoon taking the class, studying, and programming projects for the courses.  I have committed to the most aggressive part of my training yet for 2016.  I'm aiming for becoming a full stack developer, although it's the middle & backend work that interests me the most (writing API's, automation, application logic, etc).  
    • Convince my boss to let me do more development work.   We have a broad range of skills in my team.  We have system admins, architects (me), and developers.  As an architect, there are a lot of development to be done.  I need to either convince my boss to give me more of those development type tasks OR convince him to move me to the development side of our house.  
  3. Kick butt at work.  2014 was a pretty good year for me at work.  2015 was weird.  We went through a lot of transitions at work and I don't feel like I did my best work.  I don't do well when I'm not doing my best.  It's kind of a downward spiral for me.  I tend to feed off my own successes or failures.   In the case of 2015, I just felt a bit stagnant.  So, regardless of goal #2, I need to do great at whatever tasks I'm given.  This will also pave the way for the direction I want to go with my career.