2 Feb 2012

My Personal Goals for 2012

After reviewing my goals for last year, it is time to reveal my goals for 2012:

  1. Reduce my weight to under 70 kg.
Lose weight now

Over the past few years, my weight has gradually crept up. With a tagline like “will code for cake”, how could my weight not increase?  As a software developer, my job is sedentary, and due to a chronic knee injury, my running days are over.  But this year, I’m going to lose the middle age paunch, and get back in shape.  I’m currently weighing in at 75 kg; back in my University days, when I was running and climbing daily, I weighted 68-69 kg.  I’ve already starting looking seriously at my diet, and I am exercising daily.  You can follow my progress by checking my bodyweight log – I update it daily.

  1. Release a mobile application and a web application.

Over the past few months, I’ve been pretty disheartened about my career in general, and about programming in particular.  After taking some time to reflect on this, I realised it was for a very simple reason – I wasn’t doing any serious coding.  At work, I’ve spent the last 3 years working with SharePoint.  This isn’t the place for a Zed Shaw-esque rant on SharePoint development – suffice to say that the SharePoint isn’t the most stimulating platform to work with, and could definitely count as one of the most frustrating.  In particular, I’ve spent the past two months configuring SharePoint demos, as opposed to actually coding.  At home, I’ve haven’t done in serious coding on personal projects in far too long.

To get my passion for programming back again, I am going to start following Scott Hanselman’s advice and start doing more.  In particular, I will stop watching TV in the weekday evenings, and start work coding my personal projects.  As well more coding, I will be learning a new language – at the minute I'm still deciding whether to learn Python or Ruby. But my first project will be a Android application.  More news to follow soon!

Android Logo
  1. Save 30% of my net income (in addition to pension contributions).

This follows on from my goal to increase my saving to 20% last year.  In the event, I saved 18.76% of my salary in 2011.  To increase my savings to 30% will be a major challenge, but one that will be useful to attempt, even if I fall short of the actual target.

Save Money Vacation

The three goals above definitely reflect the lessons I learnt from last year’s goals.  The new goals are:

  • Limited in number and scope – I’ve only got limited time and attention to focus in specific problems. So I need to focus on a small number of goals that can give the most benefit.  That is the main lesson form one of the best books I read last year – The Power of Less
  • SMART.  I (and for goals 1 and 2, you!) will be able to track my progress.

Hopefully, I will successfully achieve all of my goals – but even if I don’t, I intend to have fun trying!


  1. Hey mate. Great post. Almost feel inspired to do the same and make some goals for 2012 myself. I always set goals that are high level and vague so I should probably take a bit of time to make them more tangible. Plus a bit of public accountability wouldn't hurt either. Yeah I read Leo Babauta's book too. Couple of years ago now but can remember the jist of it. Looking forward to seeing what you develop in the mobile space. Is this going to be the open source thing you'd been planning or is this something different?

    Be good to keep an eye on it. Do you do the GitHub thing? Only just got into it myself. Haven't got any public projects yet but all in good time. Currently learning Python. Slowly but surely getting to grips with it. As a result I've put any possibility of learning Ruby on the backburner for a while at least. Which is a shame given that Rumble Labs just started that Belfast Ruby thing. I'd already committed to learning Python at that stage. Bad timing I guess.

  2. Hi Johnny, thanks for your comment. Not sure yet if the mobile app will be open source or not - I have a simple idea just to get something done and out there. I might decide to build on it later.

    I prefer Mercurial myself - the tooling for Windows developers is better, though Git is slowly improving. Heard a great podcast on Git the other day - http://herdingcode.com/?p=384. Regarding Python vs. Ruby - still not sure. Ruby is definitely more popular for web development, but Python (to me at least) comes out as the better all round language. I may do a trivia application in each, just to see which I prefer.

  3. Hi, Just find you blog after googling SharePoint-attitide related stuff... I'm after 3-4 years with Sharepoint 2007/10/13 and have the same conclusions.. with SharePoint you do not do any serious coding.. mostly just configuring stuff, write SharePoint components webparts / jobs / features which does not allow you for much... and to be true.. are designer very, VERY badly.

    Right now I'm quiting this shit and starting (I hope) much more thrilling job which will bring me back to ruby/python.



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