2011–A look back

A Look Back

As has been my habit for the past few years, I wrote out goals at the beginning of 2011. I try to no longer make resolutions, as I am not sure that resolutions are really a good thing. Goals I can work towards. I can track progress. I feel like I accomplish something when I make the goal; and that is important, at least to me.

I feel like this year was a good one.  I was able to keep track of a lot of my goals, and I feel like both my professional life and my home life are in good shape.  Both could probably use a tweak here or there, but on the whole I’m very happy.  As I’m writing this, I’ve been spending time with my family and will continue to do so as we bring in the new year. 

2011 Goals

Goal 1 – Exercise

This goal was to exercise at least three times a week.  This did not happen.  There were a few different times where I was able to do this far more than the goal over the course of a month or more, but on the whole this is the only goal I feel that I failed at (even if it is possible that it averaged out to a half hour three times a week, which I doubt).

Goal 2 – Read Novels

I was able to meet my goal of reading fifteen or more non-technical books.  I enjoy reading for pleasure.  I think it calms me and it jump starts my imagination. 

This year, I read: The Water Method Man (John Irving); The 158 Pound Marriage (John Irving); Home Fires (Gene Wolfe); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson); The Girl Who Played with Fire (Stieg Larsson); The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest (Stieg Larsson); A Game of Thrones (George R R Martin – A Reread); A Clash of Kings (George R R Martin – A Reread); A Storm of Swords (George R R Martin – A Reread); A Feast For Crows (George R R Martin – A Reread); A Dance with Dragons (George R R Martin); The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories (Gene Wolfe); When Gravity Falls (George Effinger); A Fire in the Sun (George Effinger); The Exile Kiss (George Effinger); The Fourth Hand (John Irving); The Fire in His Hands (Glen Cook – A Reread); With Mercy Towards None (Glen Cook – A Reread).  I also read several graphic novels, which some might count and others not – Walking Dead TPB 9 – 14; 30 Days of Night TPB 1 – 3; Spawn Collection Volume 1.

Goal 3 – Save Money

The goal was to save three months worth of living expenses.  I’m relatively certain that I have done so.  I did not keep track of my budget as closely as I could have, but I feel like I have a decent hang of things.  With that said, I think that I’ll be resetting this back towards zero shortly as I expect we will probably be attempting to buy a house soon.

Goal 4 – Training. 

I feel like I potentially overachieved on this one.  I was able to read finish my 70-451 blog post series and pass the MCITP test that accompanies it.  I have received good feedback from several people saying that it was helpful to them.  I was also able to complete watching all of the MCM videos.  I was able to attend several conferences from SQL Saturdays to SQL Rally to Pass Summit.  I attended every user group meeting.  And, finally, I was able to complete my goal of reading at least six tech books.

In 2008 I read the following tech books: SQL 2008 Internals; Guide to SQL Server Team-Based Development; SQL Anti-Patterns; DBA Survivor; Performance Tuning With SQL Server Dynamic Management Views; SQL Server Statistics; Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit – 2nd ed.; Expert Cube Development; Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for the Accidental DBA. 

Goal 5 – Community Involvement. 

I feel like I partially completed this goal.  With that said, I didn’t have a good idea of what the goal meant.  I did present at SQL Saturday Tampa, Orlando, Pensacola, Jacksonville and Atlanta.  I also presented for JSSUG and at SQL Rally.  I attended all of the user group meetings and the mixers for the user group meetings.  I answered questions here and there on twitter, although not much at all.  But I do feel like I talk back and forth with people in the community a lot more these days.  I don’t know that I logged in to the MSDN forums to answer a question at all.  I also tried to do as much as I could at work helping out my teammates and other co-workers.  And, finally, I was able to keep up with the blog for the first half of the year pretty well, although I feel like the second half I have been overlooking it the majority of the time.

Goal 6 – Don’t Overdue it

I don’t really feel like I burned out too bad at any point in time this year.  And, as I mentioned above I feel like my home life is going pretty good.  So, I consider that a success.  I do feel like the months where I pay attention to my hobbies I don’t do as much with the technical community, but that is ok.

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