2009 Review and Aims

calendarAt the beginning of 2009 I had been in my first full time job for 2 months, had graduated from my Masters degree less than a month ago and had lived in my newly purchased home for just over a week. With so much going on I didn't have time to think up a New Year's resolution. The only thing I had planned was that I wanted to get a blog up and running this year!

Whilst on holiday I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to achieve once I got home. I realised that on returning we'd be almost halfway through the year and that setting down goals for the second half of 2009 might be a good idea. So here they are - my 3 Mid Year resolutions, the first one is personal, so those of you here just for the techy stuff should skip to No. 2!

  1. Get Fit
    Quite simply, diets don't work - at least not long term. The only way I'm going to shed my extra stone is to get off my arse every once in a while and do some exercise! I did quite well with this before my holiday - I've taken up jogging & gotten involved with a summer rugby league.

    My goal for the rest of the year is to be able to jog steadily for 30 minutes without dying afterward (Yeah, I'm that bad). Hopefully I'll be able to run the Race For Life next year, and then aim for something bigger and better. If you follow me on twitter prepare for many rugby/fitness related tweets*!

  2. Conquer Javascript
    Javascript is my nemesis. I started programming in Java, C++ & PHP and did the typical: "I know other programming languages so I'll be fine with Javascript" thing. Only I'm not, its scoping and prototypal nature have continually tripped me up. Now it's time to take the bull by its horns.

    I've started reading "JavaScript: The Good Parts" by Douglas Crockford, and it's explained many of the things that have caused me trouble in the past. Once I've finished the book I plan to find a set of tutorials to follow to use to relearn Javascript properly. Hopefully then I'll be able to complete a few tools I've got on the back burner.

    My goal for the rest of the year is to be able to write my own application from scratch and to become familiar with at least one Javascript library (probably either Prototype or YUI).

  3. Make this blog successful
    Having already achieved my main goal for the year in setting up my blog, I now need to define some criteria for success so that I can continue to move forward with it. Given that this is meant to be somewhere to put personal projects and share my knowledge, I think the best success criteria are a combination of both my productivity and how well the content is received. This means posting regularly and improving the number of visitors, subscribers & comments.

    My productivity goals are to ensure that I publish at least one blog post each week, including a full Symfony tutorial, and to complete at least one of my personal projects. On the blog side I'm hoping to improve my visitor figures from 20 per day up to 50 visitors per day and my comment average from 3 per post to 10 comments per post. I'm hoping that these goals are realistic and useful measures of how well I'm achieving my aims.

Writing this now is great because it gives me a month to get started and put good habits into place. I will be reviewing my goals in time for July 1st when they will become proper mid-year resolutions!

Does anyone else make mid-year resolutions? Do you think it's a good idea? Drop me a comment linking to posts about your goals/resolutions and I will be sure stop by.

P.S. I've now added this blog to Technorati as part of my plans! Technorati Profile

* Note: this will not reduce the number of cheesecake and other delicious dessert related tweets