The 2014 Resolutions

The 2014 Resolutions

I haven’t done a New Year’s Resolutions post in a couple of years, but I think this is an important year to document my goals.  Professionally, I’m getting pretty settled in helping Fannie Mae produce better software both faster and cheaper.  I love this job, but I fear that my enjoyment and the relative stability could cause me to lose my sharpness if I am not careful.  With that in mind I set out to identify a few resolutions that I could force myself to stick to in 2014.  As in years past, I have endeavored to make these goals measurable and completable.  I have never understood how people effectively stick to resolutions that have no accountability (e.g. “eat less carbs”).

  1. Run a Marathon in 4 hours – While I don’t consider myself vain, I have been known to be pretty hard on myself about my weight.  I have always been a little “big boned” and my weight has fluctuated from the high side of normal to various levels of too big.  With some introspection this year, I have decided to give up on the dream of looking like an athlete.  I am 30 years old and work far too many hours to do the kind of training required to look like I just walked off a football field.  Instead, I’ve decided to make my only health goal this year a fitness one (rather than a weight/diet goal).  I will run a marathon (hopefully Pittsburgh) in under 4 hours and will make a deal with myself that if I am in that kind of shape, I should be pleased with my looks and just try to maintain.

  2. Read 12 Career-Focused Books – Consulting is great for your industry perspective, every project is essentially a case study.  You’re forced to consider all of the latest technologies and management techniques and how to apply them to your customer’s problems.  Now that I’m not consulting I fear that my industry perspective is not as broad as it used to be.  I am hoping to counter this by reading books about how various technologies and management practices are being leveraged (in addition to my regular article scanning).

  3. Administrative Excellence – One side effect of my consulting and startup background is that I am often times careless with more administrative tasks.  At the startup, everyone in the company knew what I was working on at any given point.  In consulting, your billable hours and customer satisfaction are all that really matters.  At a company the size of Fannie Mae, a place where IT is not the core business, executives rely on administrative information (time cards, status reports, cost center budgets, etc…) to measure performance.  I am making one of my goals this year to train myself to be far more rigorous in my completion of these administrative tasks.

  4. Finish Korean Level 2 on Rosetta Stone – Some of you may know that my girlfriend’s family is from Korea.  She is a fluent Korean speaker and I feel that gives me an opportunity to learn the language of the world’s 15th largest economy with a free tutor (also a great way to talk in code any time we want).  I have been studying Korean for a little over a year, but without a hard goal I have barely made it halfway through the first of three Korean courses on Rosetta Stone.  My goal is to redouble my efforts and finish the second course by the end of 2014.
There you have it.  If you know me personally, feel free to check-in on where I am.