Random Resolutions

I am not a 'resolution' type of person, but I will use the New Year as an excuse to post a few random goals I know I need to accomplish in '09-

1. Re-read Elements of Style. Do this in a last ditch effort to start writing using correct grammar and sentence structure again. I have written technical documents for so long that anything more complex than explaining how to turn on a computer in kindergarten-level detail is becoming more and more of a challenge.

2. Read more. I started out three years ago with a couple of books that I bought to read but never found time to read them. I now have a two shelf bookshelf with one shelf completely full of books that I have bought with the hope that I will one day read them. I have sworn to buy no additional books (except for technical ones - sorry - it's my job!) until this shelf is cleaned off. Reading more will also help me correct my bad writing habits (see #1).

3. Work less. OK - my boss wouldn't like reading that, but I've really blurred the line between work and personal time in the last year. It was a rough year with a lot of projects, but I must not look at emails during lunch (Treo) and on days off (I love my old "keeping the inbox manageable excuse" - I've had myself convinced on that one). In fact, I am off today and Monday. My email is turned off. I cannot even accidentally look at it. I feel...free!

4. Try to not take on so much. I think I thrive on being busy. There are days that I rarely sit down. If there is not a work project, there is a home project (current to do items for the house include staining the deck and putting whirly-birds in to vent the attic) or I think of some crazy activity with the kids (such as throwing pizza on the roof and flying electric helicopters into trees - which happened last week) . I need to sit down and rest more (partially so I can read more - see #2).

5. Get more sleep! Oh, me - I am on a run of almost a week of 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. I blame upgrading my Zune and downloading podcasts. "This American Life" kept me up until almost midnight last night (but it was worth it - best show on the radio).

6. Speak up! There are just some times where I should be a tad more vocal. For the last year of so there have been times where I have just bit my tongue to preserve the status quo. There is a delicate balance involved in this one. And - no - this does not apply to work. I speak up plenty there.

7. Figure out which side thing I do could actually make me happy (and financially stable) for the rest of my life and put more into it! Building and managing web sites? Fixing computers? Writing online? I do all of these things part of the time (which might contribute to my need for #'s 3, 4, and 5!!). I wonder if I need to take the leap and do one of them really well all of the time (or at least more of the time). Writing I enjoy the most but what will I really do with that (other than technical writing - oh - already do that)? Fixing computers is great and there is some money to make and anyone can be cheaper than places like Geek Squad (who are way too expensive but fill a needed niche!). Websites are cool but take up a ton of time if you are too OCD (GUILTY!).

Wow. Once I started writing, I got on a roll! I only had number 1 on my mind when I sat down.

I had a couple of vague goals like this for myself in '08 and I'll write up an update on those next time.