2007: A Year in Review

I started out this year with big goals. Let me summarise them here:

  • Lose weight and get healthier.
  • Set aside more time just for myself.
  • Set aside time just for Nicola and I.
  • Set aside time for the whole family.
  • Finalise unfinished business from 2006.
  • Take real holidays.
  • Reduce the amount of negative debt we are carrying.
  • Increase the amount of positive debt we are carrying.
  • Work on getting two ventures up and running.
  • Seek customers who are doing exciting things.
  • Strengthen my network of contacts.
  • Get more experienced at the business side of things.

Now that I’ve listed them out I’m going to touch on each of them, although I’ll jumble up the order a little bit as some areas that I have failed kind of explains what happened in other areas.

Set aside time just for Nicola and I (FAIL)

Friends and colleagues of mine will know that I separated from Nicola not long after writing down this set of goals. So I guess that is a big fat fail right there. I’m not going to go into the reasons because I don’t think that I should blog that kind of stuff. Naturally, separating from someone means that you tend to spend less time with them.

Set aside time for the whole family (NEUTRAL)

Obviously the revelation above probably has some impact on this, and whilst I haven’t spent as much time with Bella as I would like I think that I probably valued that time a lot more. This is an area that I want to work on in 2008.

Set aside more time just for myself (PASS)

Its funny how when you do get some time to yourself you realise that empty time is largely wasted and that there is only so much decompressing that you can do. This year I had lots of days where I had nothing to do and whilst I tried to use them to relax I ended up filling them with travel or other social commitments.

One thing that I have enjoyed is getting back into some science fiction reading. I love reading science fiction because it confronts us with what *might be*, and the more extreme the better. As a technologist I accept that we are on the steady march from what everyone knows what is possible to what only a few consider might be possible.

Lose weight and get healthier (PASS)

I’ve definitely lost weight this year but I seem to have hit a plateau again where I am having trouble breaking through. Whether I feel healthier or not is debatable – I think it is just because I’ve been a bit more active, I haven’t done lots of extra exercise of done much in the way of dieting.

Finalise unfinished business from 2006 (NEUTRAL)

Whilst not necessarily to my satisfaction, unfinished business from last year is wrapped up from my perspective. It was more of a handball, but I am not sure where it went after that. Still I did a lot of work getting my finances sorted out which was actually from beyond 2006.

Take real holidays (FAIL)

This has been an exceptionally busy year with a lot of travel and turmoil and I didn’t get a chance to take a proper chunk of leave. I tried to get a fair bit of time off at the end of year but events conspired to make that not happen. I’m going to work on improving this in 2008.

Reduce the amount of negative debt we are carrying (PASS)

Well, the “we” effectively changed to an “I” as the responsibility of repaying our negative debts fell to me. I managed to keep on top of everything and towards the end of last year I finally became debt free which is the first time in about ten years.

Increase the amount of positive debt we are carrying (FAIL)

While I managed to get debt free I didn’t really make any significant steps towards home ownership, although it is squarely in my sights for this coming year. But I am also still interested in venture work, but I’ve realise that is more for the love of it.

Work on getting two ventures up and running (FAIL)

I really only worked on one venture this work in any kind of leadership capacity, that is TFS Now which is not without it challenges. However the whole experience has taught me a lot and I am looking forward to failing again next year.

Seek customers who are doing exciting things (NEUTRAL)

The year 2007 was pretty good with all the new technologies that we have been playing with for a couple of years finally going RTM. I was lucky enough to work with one customer that was using this new technology, and interestingly Readify is its own best customer with this stuff because we tend to just jump straight in with the latest stuff for our production systems (if we can’t make it work, who can?).

Strengthen my network of contacts (NEUTRAL)

I now know that the best way to make contacts is to “do stuff”. So in working on TFS Now I was introduced to a lot of people at Microsoft who were aligned on the same goals I was. Having said all that I think I could have done better on the business contact side of things, but that is where the whole “do stuff” realisation came from.

Get more experienced at the business side of things (NEUTRAL)

I think that I am starting to get a bit more of a feel for the business side of things. The truth is that there is no recipe for success, and from what I can tell the business side of things is every bit as difficult as the technology side of things – if not more difficult.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this year past has been a wild one for me on a personal level, and if I look back at my goals I think what I achieved kind of reflects that. Some of my goals are going to carry forward to this year which will probably post up tomorrow.

If you want to see how others are going with their goal setting, check out Darren Neimke Live Portal.

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