New year

Some people set their new year by the Gregorian calendar. I tend to do mine by my birthday, which is in a couple days. There’s something about fall that makes me ambitious and inspired.

This year is a big milestone birthday for me, so I’m trying to be mindful about my goals, what I want to accomplish in this shiny new decade, and I thought I’d tell you about them, as accountability.

Professional goals

  • Get an invitation to give a paid keynote.
  • Write three new talks.
  • Write a workshop on Minimum Viable Tech Writing for Developers.
  • Actually sell that workshop and deliver it at least once.
  • Participate in more formal mentoring of others.
  • Develop at least a small passive income stream.

Personal goals

  • Ride either a century or do back-to-back 60 mile days. (Cycling)
  • Learn enough CSS to fix this WordPress template and its stupid inability to properly indent bullets.
  • Sew myself a pair of pants I am happy with.
  • Enter at least two items in the Minnesota State Fair.
  • Teach the kids to be totally dish-autonomous.
  • Hire an accountant.

I think the key part of goals that get done is that they are testable. Some of these tests are obvious, some less so, but they are not ambiguous, like “get in better shape”.

The other thing I try to do is for goals that I have control over, I have a bunch of steps and mini-goals to work toward to get there. Before I can sew pants that I like, I need to finish watching my pants classes, sew a pair of pants I can use for fitting, and make alterations to the pattern. To write a workshop, I need to outline it, write a draft, test it with an audience, and revise it.

What about you? Do you have any goals for this year, or for the time between now and the winter holidays?

Heidi Waterhouse

Heidi is a mercenary technical writer and travelling salesperson of better process and product thinking. She loves writing herself out of a job and teaching people to save themselves from future pain.

Upcoming appearances

DevOpsDays Seattle
DevNet Create
GOTO Chicago
Deliver:AgileAlliance
O'Reilly Software Architecture/Velocity
The Lead Developer London