1.1.14

2014

Reviewing a year is actually easy - hindsight 20/20 and all that. What is not easy is planning for the next one. Resolutions are bunkum. All the cool kids plan goals. So that's what I intend to do this year. Goals.

Family will take a higher priority again this year as it did last. I've so many activities planned to do with the boy this year, I cannot wait for time to get me there. I'll leave it at that.

Financial planning is probably going to take up the bulk of my free time this year. I want to get my finances in order, start using a better system to organize all my future planning and stuff and if I can understand things, probably even go beyond the basic investing of my 401K. Its less about second incomes and more about understanding how money works.

This is probably my toughest challenge this year - continuing to lose weight and exercise a lot more. I'm doing pretty good, but my workout schedule is both erratic and unplanned. I need to plan out what I want to do and stick to a schedule. That is probably the only way I will get to a more healthier me.

One of the things I don't do well is write consistently. This year I am going to challenge myself to write atleast 3 posts a week. I am going to mix tech walkthroughs with idle musings and try and get an even mix of writing. Its less for any practical purpose and more about making sure I can continue to write well. I see the recent stuff I've been writing - including this brief - and I've a long way to go to improving my writing. Hopefully, writing remains, like riding a bike, easy to remember when you actually get down to doing it.

I want to keep learning. That's a perpetual goal for me, but this year I want the learning to be a little outside of my comfort zone. One of the things I want to start doing is be a better handyman. I think I can get some minor carpentry skills and gardening skills under my belt. I want a summer of gardening activities with the boy and maybe some minor wood work. There will, of course, be the usual chores of a New England homeowner - staining the deck, yard work, mowing and such - and I want to learn some skills that make these chores less tedious.

Technology continues to be my bread and butter and inevitably most of my learning will be technology this year. I sat down and made a list of all the tools and frameworks I intend to learn before this year is out. Most of these tools will be forgotten and probably never used, but my interest is in learning how these are designed. This for me is the year I learn something more about software design. The Harvard Extensions SE certificate course looks really good and I will probably get started with that. Will a certificate be useful? I don't know. I'll probably look around some more to see what I can find before choosing a professional certificate course.

Learning technology is all very good, but what I need to do is build more stuff. This year I will publish an app to the android app store. I have a vague idea of what I want to build - a better alarm clock. Simple enough that I can break my teeth into the whole process without killing myself.

A lot of the stuff I want to learn is web technology and I barely share all the demos and code I have on my local machine. I want to start using github a lot more and start using heroku to deploy sample apps. This should be fun. I think I can make the time to do this without having to sacrifice a lot of my free time - the tools really are mature and ready for even someone like me with very limited time on hand

And as always, books games, and movies. I've a personal goal of reading 25 books this year - with a slightly less emphasis on sci-if, if I can manage that. No re-reads this year - which is what takes up most of my time. Gaming has been on a two month hiatus and my only plan is to finish all the PS3 games i have before the PS4 comes in. More movies also, once I walk through the Ghibli pantheon, I want to go to Kurosawa, sift through Bollywood and Hollywood movies of 2013 and redbox any new movies. I'm excited about this the most.

There. All of my broad reso...ahem...goals listed. They are actually less ambitions once I sift through them. There are some professional goals but mostly I just want to plan my leisure time better. More time with family and less time hand wringing. Isn't that the secret to a better life? 2015 will tell me I guess.