2009 Goals

I hesitate to call them resolutions, as there isn’t really anything earth shattering about them. However, I do think that these are realistic goals that need to be done this year.

  1. Lose 30 Pounds
    • I started on the Hacker’s Diet back in August, and have lost twenty pounds since then. I have noticed small changes in me, and I like that there is less of me to drag around.
    • While the last couple of months have had zero lost weight, I also haven’t gained any weight. Considering November started off with a two week visit from my mother-in-law and lots of banana bread, followed by Thanksgiving, my birthday and the holidays, I consider that a win.
    • So, keeping with the winning streak, I intend to lose another 30 pounds by the end of 2009.
  2. Get to work on time
    • I’ve gotten into a really bad habit of dragging myself to work almost whenever I feel like it. I have flex time, so as long as I put in eight hours it’s not a huge problem. However, I now have the reputation now of being a bit unreliable when it comes to showing up to work and keeping early morning appointments.
    • The traditional Boeing engineering schedule is 7:30am to 4pm with an unpaid half hour off for lunch. I’m not too keen on being in at 7:30am, but considering some of my co-workers had been here four hours by the time I got in today at 11am, I think there is room for improvement.
    • My lead is usually in at 9am, which strikes me as a much more sane time. Showing up to work either before or at the same time as him on a daily basis would go a long ways towards reforming my image as a night owl.
  3. Spend less time "wasting time" on the computer
    • I have a habit of getting lost on the Internet. It’s time spent in a daze, reading whatever is in front of my eyes. As one person on Wikipedia put it, it’s a library that never closes. I always find it fascinating and tend to learn a lot of marginally useful things, but I rarely produce anything useful from it. Even just sitting here on LiveJournal and writing down these goals is a useful exception to this behavior.
    • While I don’t think it would be healthy to stop all online exploration, it needs to be balanced with productive activities such as writing, programming or just plain unplugging and getting out of the house.
    • I think that spending more focused time on finishing some projects I have started will help, but there are drawbacks.
      • Organizing and then executing tends to be my biggest pitfall. I can waste lots of time organizing, or waste lots of time executing without organization. For example, if I just "spend time doing something" I won’t know where to start, or I’ll get frustrated quickly and stop.
      • I’ve tried to-do lists like Jott and Evernote, but they tend to be easily ignored.
      • I haven’t taken a close look at idea or mind-mapping, but it feels like it is in the wrong direction for me. Big picture stuff I tend to understand.
      • I need to get better at taking a task and breaking it into sub-tasks so that it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming or grandiose.
    • If anyone has any suggestions on this, I’m all ears.
  4. Focus more on my health
    • Some of it I’d rather not go into on a public posting, but suffice to say it includes the above three goals (diet, a more regular routine and behavior modification / "mental health").
  5. Grow Food
    • As a kid, my mother and father went to a lot of trouble to make sure that my brother and I had plenty of fresh food on the table. Since there wasn’t much else in the way of entertainment out in the boondocks, I was usually dragged kicking and screaming into the garden to help.
    • Over time, I had gotten lazy with respect to food and nutrition and took a lot of things that I had back then for granted. As part of my diet, I took a good hard look at what I was ingesting and decided to quit eating crap.
    • Then the economy took a dump. In reading up on how people survived the Great Depression, the one overwhelming fact was that people were able to grow their own food. Even city dwellers found creative ways to have a garden, and were able to either eat what they grew or trade it for other goods.
    • So, I’m figuring out how to do this. The city of Seattle has a system of community gardens called P-Patches that are available for a minimum investment of time and money. Also, while my mom was out here for Christmas, I made one of her gifts to me teaching / reminding me how to grow plants. I’ve got a few herbs and a juniper that will become a bonsai tree. They seem to be dying already, but it’s a cheap start.
  6. Spread my money around a bit
    • Yes, that sounds bizarre in this economy but I can’t think of a better way to say it. This doesn’t mean that I intend to spend more money, but it does mean that I should spend my money on a more diverse group of… recipients?
    • For example, in the past I have used what I consider discretionary spending primarily on physical stuff; books, computer parts, tools, and other things. While this isn’t bad, I haven’t spent as much on ideas, causes or "free" software.
    • In the process of buying small apps for my iPhone, I realized that I have access to many more applications that could also use a few bucks here and there. It’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to do, but it seems that it’s easier to ignore the ideas, causes and "free" software while focusing on buying stuff.
    • Before the end of 2008, I gave $30 to the Wikimedia Foundation. Not much, and certainly not much compared to how often I use it, but it was a start. Mozilla, Kiva, TortoiseSVN and The Nature Conservancy are on my short list as well.

4 thoughts on “2009 Goals”

  1. The Hacker’s Diet works well. I just wish I hadn’t gained weight since I lost the ~25 lbs while playing with it a few years back. I guess some of that is muscle, but still…

  2. I’m a huge fan of kiva.org. I’ve been with them long enough that my initial loans gradually got repaid and then I could reloan out the same money again. I find that kind of awesome.

  3. Grow food

    Growing food can be surprisingly interesting, and the schedule required can help with some of the other stuff as well.

    I started vegetable gardening 4 years ago. My advice:

    1. Start easy with stuff that’s not tempermental to grow.
    2. Start with stuff that’s a lot better home grown than what you get in the store.

    #1 and #2 explain why so many people buy tomato plants.

  4. well, if you’re looking to spread some money around…i’d gladly take some of it (o.k., well, actually A LOT of it) so i can get my own place again! ;-P

    -joe f. (your annoying childhood ex-neighbor *LOL*)

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