2015 in review and 2016 goals

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Last year I started writing down my goals for each year.  My thought was that writing them down would be more meaningful than just thinking “I should try and do X this year”.  So I want to take a quick look at how I did and talk about 2016 as well. 

2015 Goals

Run a marathon
I signed up for, and attempted to run, the Twin Cities Marathon this fall.  I knew going into it that I wouldn’t run the whole thing.  My training schedule fell apart after the first month.  While I could list all of the reasons why (Our 2nd kid was on the way, work was crazy, etc) there really are no excuses.  In the month before the marathon I seriously picked up training again but it wasn’t enough.  My new goal became to run half which I was able to do and I considered it a huge win for me.  Having never run a race that big, I was a little hesitant about it but the experience was AWESOME and I’m definitely keeping this one on the goal list for 2016.

Start work on finishing my basement
Its amazing how much work is required before you even start buying build materials.  In 2015, we did start planning work, but haven’t gotten much further.  That being said, the work we got done in 2015 will line us up nicely to finish it this year so that’s a win.

Start actively contributing to the open source community
I had intended on getting more into the programming language Go but after some initial attempts I backed down.  I felt I was getting ahead of myself so I decided to focus on Python.  I found myself a mentor and we’ve started having semi-regular calls to review my progress and just talk about the language in general.  I’m hoping to start a more regular cadence with that this year and really focus on making some solid contributions to OpenStack.  In addition, I was able to make some contributions Kubernetes but it was more on the bash scripting side (but I think that still counts…).  I’m looking forward to doing more in 2016

Get better at time management
I feel like I’ve done well here.  My initial attempts at this were hand written lists which got misplaced and had a tendency to just keep getting longer and longer.  After trying pen and paper for awhile, I found an app for my phone where I keep track of tasks, their dependencies, and their due dates.  Since I take my phone with my everywhere this has been hugely helpful.  I’m hoping to keep this pattern going in 2016. 

Become a grill master
This past summer I bought a Big Green Egg and despite some early challenges, I’ve been really happy with it.  I’ve had great success smoking, grilling, and even baking on it.  There’s still lots of room to grow here though and I’m looking forward to trying more new things on it in 2016

Be healthier
I feel like I’ve made significant gains here but haven’t yet gotten where I want to be.  I have, for the most part, cut soda out of my diet.  I was prone to drinking soda most afternoons at work and I’ve since replaced that with water.  I also did quite a bit of running this summer but I need to find a way to keep working out in the winter.  More to come on this in 2016.

I’ve made a lot of progress here.  Emails are prioritized and I’ve stopped reading emails on my phone that I know I need to take care of later when I’m at my computer.  I was surprised how many emails I would read on my phone, and then totally forget to take care of later (m partially blaming email flags which dont always work in the mail app).  This goal was a clear case of how small tweaks in process and behavior can lead to huge gains in productivity.

Waking up early
Something I’m still working on but it’s been getting better.  We had our 2nd kid this past fall and since then I’m becoming more and more accustomed to early mornings.  I’m hoping to get on a more regular schedule but for now I’ll say this has gone well. 


2016 Goals

Run a marathon
Like I said above, the experience running just half of the marathon in 2015 was amazing.  I’m looking forward to running the full marathon this year and making it a regular occurrence each fall.  I’m also talking about flying out to Philadelphia this summer to run a half marathon with my sister. 

Finish the basement
I think we have a real shot at this now that things have mostly settled down from the 2nd kid arriving.  We’d love to have the extra space for when family comes and having an actual office for me would be a huge win. 

Contribute to OpenStack
Very recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time looking at OpenStack.  Since I’ve started playing with OpenStack I’ve realized it’s an ideal place to study and work with Python.  I’m hoping to get two birds with one stone here and learn more about Python at the same time I learn more about OpenStack.

Ever since I started looking at Docker and Kubernetes I’ve known it’s something I want to be deeply involved with.  While I studied both technologies deeply when they both became mainstream, I’ve since been occupied with other things.  It’s been 4 months since I looked at either piece of software seriously and I’m sure both have changed dramatically.  My goal for this is to get back up to speed on both and hopefully stay up to speed.  I really enjoyed blogging about both and I got some great feedback so I’m hoping to find time to start doing that again as well. 

Be healthier
While I made some good strides on this goal in 2015 there’s a lot more ground to cover.  This year I want to focus on starting a regular exercise schedule.  I’m fairly good at doing this during the summer when I can be outside, but struggle during the winter.  I’m hoping that along with this I can start waking up earlier to get my workout done before breakfast.  That would be a pretty awesome way to start the day if I can pull it off.

All in all  2015 was a great year for me and I’m looking forward to what 2016 brings.  Hopefully this time next year I’ll be happily reporting that I was able to meet all of the 2016 goals!

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