I know there a lot of people who don't believe in new year's resolutions; I am not one of those people. As much as I think it is important to take stock of your life on a regular basis, I appreciate the tradition of taking extra effort to do so at the start of a fresh calendar year. And so, here are my thoughts and hopes on what this upcoming year has to offer.
Weight lifting is a large part of who I am and what makes me happy. As I posted earlier, 2009 was both a great year and a traumatic year for Project HUGE. After months off, I am now slowly, but steadily getting back into the gym. With four workouts under my belt in the last two weeks, I feel physically refreshed and mentally pumped about being back in the gym. In the coming year, I hope to keep that attitude and consistency going.
In general, I want to be more proactive about my health. I need to make it a priority to get in touch with my doctor for the proper referrals and diagnostics for my hand. Once that is done, I need to make it a priority to find a way to pay for any physical therapy required to fix my hand. Without my hand, there is no way that I can reach my potential in the gym.
As far as lifting numbers go?? Right now, I'm so concerned with just getting back in the gym, I hesitate to make any numeric goals. But, in the spirit of unbridled optimism, by 2011, I'd love to be deadlifting 405lbs and comfortably squatting 315lbs; these movements, after all, are the least hampered by my various injuries. Let's get huge!!!
Computer Programming Skills
I do my best to be learning all the time. I view my brain as something that has an infinite capacity; and as such, I try my best to cram it full of an over-abundance of technical goodness. So as far as hopes for 2010 go, I think not in terms of learning as an activity, but rather as what I want to concentrate on.
Object Oriented Programming (OOP) and Object-Relational Mapping (ORM). Learning object oriented programming has been an uphill battle for me; every thought I have on it leads not to closure, but rather to five more unanswered questions. And, to make matters worse, I haven't given it much thought in the past few months. With the release of ColdFusion 9 and its native ORM / Hibernate integration, I really need to get back on that learning track.
Groovy and Grails. It's been a long time since I've learned another programming language. This year, I'd like to build an application using Groovy and Grails. Not only is it interesting to see how different languages solve different problems, but I think learning another language can help me think more effectively about ColdFusion.
ColdBox. Yes, I'm one of those home-grown framework guys. But, no more! I've heard nothing but outstanding things about ColdBox; this is the year that I will fully embrace it and see how it can help me build applications more efficiently.
AJAX Applications. I want to continue giving a lot of time to jQuery and AJAX-heavy applications. I feel strongly that these are my future and I need to really master them.
In addition to picking these areas of concentration, I also want to make it a point to attend non-ColdFusion user groups and MeetUp.com groups; I want to collection a diversity of problem solving perspectives and broaden my horizons.
Two years ago, when I started my company, I needed to stop contributing to my retirement plan - I didn't know if I was going to have enough money to both keep investing and survive on. Two years later, I am still not sure that I can do both; but, I know that I can't keep putting it off. This year, I want to make it a priority to get my retirement plan back on track. I want to start "paying myself first" (ala. The Automatic Millionaire), and then worry about budgeting for it second; if I need to cut back in other areas to make retirement possible, well then that's just what I have to do.
I currently have a Roth IRA over at ING Direct (the one I haven't contributed to in two years). It used to be great; but, when they switched over to ShareBuilder, I lost confidence in it. It appeared to go from a managed retirement account to an online trading application. I'm a computer programmer - I don't know squat about investing; and, a plan that requires me to do research about investing just doesn't feel like the right fit.
I've heard good things about Vanguard's retirement account; and, with names like "Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund", it just feels like the kind of hand-holding guidance that I'm looking for.
Love And Relationships
I love the holiday season - the snow fall, the christmas lights, the gift giving; but, as much as I love it, there's nothing like a jazzy christmas album, a romantic walk through a snowy park, or a hot cup of spicy apple cider to remind you that you are single. And, when money is not in abundance, that feeling is only amplified. The holidays can be a lonely time; and, lonely in a way that friends and family cannot change. As such, I have given a lot of thought to my romantic, intimate side lately and wondered what the upcoming year might hold.
When I think about relationships, I try to go beyond the longing. When you're single, it's easy to think only about the good parts - the new year's eve kiss, having someone to wake up next to, a movie companion, inside jokes, someone to hold hands with. But the truth is, relationships are not just about the good parts; and, they're not just about You - they're a lot of work (I don't mean that in a negative way). So the question I must pose to myself is, am I in a place in my life where I can make that a priority?
To be completely honest, I don't think I am. I have too many other priorities right now that would vie for dominance. I know there is no "right" time to have a relationship; but, for the moment, I think I am going to concentrate on working towards my many other goals. And, if it happens to happen, well I'll just figure out then. But, as for 2010, I have no real hopes in this department.
Friends And Family
I've never been the best friend or family member. This year, as with every other year, I hope to be better about that; I want to see my friends much more than I do now.
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone
As Clark pointed out to me the other day, it's been a good while since I've really stepped outside my comfort zone. As my last hope for 2010, I want to find more opportunities to push myself to do things that I'm not comfortable with and to force myself to grow as a person. I have no idea what that entails exactly; but, as I encounter things, I hope to have the mental fortitude to respond with determination rather than with fear.
Here's to a good year!