If I had 2014 goals, I cannot say that I remember them nor any from the prior years. By publicly writing out my goals, I will have a record to look back on next year and I will have sense of accountability to maintain them. Documenting these goals forms the basis of a plan that will be a road map for decision making in the new year. Personal goals are like setting a mission and our resulting actions should be to support that mission.
Not writing goals down makes it much harder to follow them. The truth of the matter is, life happens, distractions occur and this is why resolutions made at the beginning of a new year are laughable by many. When people begin the year by hitting the gym, diet or even halt an addiction, it is a result of a nagging emotional itch that needs to be scratched. As time moves along, emotions change, we move on and forget why we even resolved to make those life changes to begin with. The simple solution, write them down.
I am working through my undergraduates degree, my day job keeps me busy and as the God ordained leader of my household, my family is my top priority. With so many things going on, I find it challenging to find time for myself. Maintaining this list of goals will help me organize my time more efficiently as these goals remain towards the top of the heap of things ‘to-do’.
This is what my wife and I came up with:
My wife and I have come to terms that we need to get a smaller house. A few years ago, she lost her job we agreed for her to be a stay at home mom and we sustained a loss of income through a rough housing market. Plus, we have rooms that do not get used and a lonely pool. The extra space I’m not using needs to be heated, insured and taxed. Running the pool pump for 4-8 hours a day and maintenance takes a toll for something that sees such little use these days.
Now the market has come back and we are no longer upside down, we now have the opportunity to get into something that makes more sense. This is something I hope we can tie up this year so we can have a real chance at paying the next mortgage off to be totally debt free since this is the only thing I owe on. The current mortgage on a single income, just feels insurmountable and we want to put more towards our retirement.
I’m a big man and I really need to lean down. I am currently sitting at 310 lbs and need to reach a target weight of 210lbs for my 6’4″ height. Being an IT professional, it does not help that I battle with sitting all day. I have spurts where I try to get out and walk in the mornings, but sometimes life just gets in the way and I choose not to make my weight a priority.
Since I am now setting this as a 2015 goal, I have been taking proactive steps. I began a calorie budget and tracking my intake through the FatSecret app on my iPhone. I did this a few years ago and went from 310 down to 270 over the course of a few months and even maintained that for awhile. The calorie budget helps keep me be more aware of what I am eating and be more responsible. My wife is joining me this time around, I predict that I will be more successful this time around having an an accountability partner to keep me motivated. My target this year is to reach 260lbs.
Get More Certifications
In my new career as a information security professional, I need to amp up on some certifications. The GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT) certification is going to be the first one on my list to get at the beginning of this year. I just took another practice test yesterday and scored a 80%. I only need a 70% to pass, but I want to get at least 90% to be put on a private SANS mailing list. With this certification, I’ll have a nod from the SANS institute that I have what it takes to be a competent ethical web application/website hacker.
As a personal and professional goal, obtaining my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP ) certification is on this year’s goal sheet. I have a mammoth 1600 page book by Shon Harris to read to prepare for this exam. This exam is 250 questions that must be answered withing six hours.
I am going to commit to reading 12 books this year, and I am tracking my progress through Goodreads. Most of what I read is Christian, technical and sprinkle in some fiction. My wife and read marriage books to each other, which is really nice for us to have that one on one time with each other.
With my spare time, I like indulging in video games and watching Netflix. What I did last year was to spend less time doing these activities and reading. I have to admit, I felt a lot happier and more accomplished.
My pastor at First Baptist Sweetwater challenged us to read the Bible this year. Before he posed this challenge, he provided this recommendation last year at the new member’s class where I began. I was afraid I would have to start from scratch, but he said I could join the challenge as long as I read most of it this year. I started this year at the 35% completion mark and my goal is to finish the Bible this year.
I will write more this year. I can’t say I am ready to commit to a daily blog, but I will write more. I do not want to build any additional websites, as I have my hands full with those that currently occupy my portfolio.
I have a full plate for 2014, and achieving these goals will set me up for a better 2016.
I hope your goals are just as awesome this year and wish you the best of luck.