It is easy to cruise along, following the same old path, working the same old job, going through the same old motions, letting opportunities pass by because even though things aren’t going great they aren’t that bad. You wake up one day and realize that the birthday you couldn’t wait to get to – #21 was close to fifteen years ago. After a while you go through life feeling that the world around you just exists and there isn’t much you can do about it because of this excuse or that excuse. The movie What the *&*#$$# Do We Know? provides a great perspective on this:
Does the world around you control you or do you shape the world around you? It’s up to you to decide and the annual tradition of New Years resolutions are the perfect opportunity for you to take control of your life, to decide what direction you are going to go in, to decide what you are going to achieve this year and what you are going to actually accomplish this year.
The first thing to do is lay out some goals for 2009. I’ve got lost that have been in various stages for years across multiple different categories. Some have been accomplished to one degree or another, others have been languishing for years.
Stay in great physical shape by going to the gym and exercising 3-7 days per week.
Get out and ski at least 20 days per year.
Do more networking and expand the social circle of friends, partners and associates while doing a better job of staying in touch with them.
Engage in more continuous learning and soak up more new skills and knowledge.
Move to or create an environment that facilitates continuous learning and growth.
Eat more healthy, get rid of unhealthy habits and do whatever it takes to get a good night sleep almost every night.
Read at least one new book per month.
Use the [relatively] new windsurfing setup and get at least 15 days on the water in 2009.
Build a CMS from scratch that can be used across multiple websites.
Learn the technology skills that are so desparately needed to leverage years of online marketing experience – PhP/MySQL to start and then go from there.
Find an environment that facilitates learning and growth each and every day – could be the current situation, could be on my own, could be at a new job.
Learn one new skill or software program every quarter.
Get up to speed on Google Analytics
Develop the skills necesary to utilize the APIs from various technology companies – the most likely would be Google and CJ.com.
Learn testing tools including Google Optimizer & not only the tools but the proper testing methodologies to conduct tests that mean something, improve performance and create a better experience for the end user.
Utilize the mix of personal and professional goals above to build out one or more websites that facilitate learning how to build a business from the ground up.
Build out SeasonSkiPasses.com to be a complete directory of ski resort season passes by next ski season so it is the number one site on the web for which to find a great deal on a season ski pass.
Get either EnjoyFreeShiping.com, SavingsIQ.com or ApplyOnlineForACreditCard.Net setup with a basic home grown CMS that can be integrated/connected to various data sources to push (Digg, StumbledUpon) and pull data (from APIs).
Develop an understanding of the WordPress platform to be able to make this blog look better and be more functional.
The biggest goal for 2009 is simply learning.
Whatever I do, wherever I go, it has to be determined by where the opportunity lies to learn the most (and maybe ski and windsurf too).