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”).
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.
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).
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.