The Year Ahead

One of my favorite part about new years is the tradition of setting goals and looking forward to what can be accomplished in the year to come. I am a firm believer that the more explicit and concrete a goal the more likely it will be achieved and that by writing down and sharing our goals we further increase the chances we will not let them fall by the wayside. 

1) Embrace being an Introvert. I think there is a lot of pressure out there for introverts to act and behave more like extroverts. This is often framed as an push to "be more social" or "don't be anti-social". I think this is a false dichotomy. Being an introvert does not mean you are anti-social. For me being an introvert means I operate best in either solitude or small groups. I still enjoy socializing but I have found the sweet spot to be socializing in groups of 2-5. Going forward this year I am going to concentrate on building the relationships necessary to support this kind of socializing and I am going to attempt to minimize the amount of time I spend socializing in larger groups or mitigate that time by focusing on socializing within a subset of 2-5 people.

1b) Improve my social skills. This may seem like a bit of a contradictory goal to the goal above but I believe it to be quite the opposite. Being an introvert and having poor social skills are NOT the same thing. Embracing your introversion and avoiding socializing are NOT the same thing. I also need to recognize however that my social skills are lacking. I am going to attempt to correct this by studying the problem. Specifically I am going to read the five or so books on people skills recommended by Derek Sivers.

2) Be a Nerd. I have a bad habit of "dumbing down" my nerdiness around people who I believe will judge me for it. I am going to stop doing this. In other news if any wants to play a game of Hearthstone I am ULF#1295. Also Rick and Morty is the greatest thing on television right now and watching other people play the various variations of sports ball is boring. Go play it yourself. 

3) Get back into the Nitty Gritty of Computer Science. Lately I have been focusing on big picture policy and management issues in my career. I want to get back in touch with my technical roots over the next year. I am going to start programing again, build a home Cyber Security research lab, learn a new programming language, and start and finish one programming project (of any size) that requires me to learn a new technical concept. 

4) Fitness. I think almost everyone has this goal, but like most things that are broadly popular across time and space that is because it is a good idea. I will have a separate post on this. There is a lot I want to do.

5) Adventure. Seek out more of it. Go on more Hikes (20-30 in 10-20 different places). Learn to swim in the ocean, snorkel, kayak, and surf. 

6) Get back into cooking and start eating healthy again. Learn to cook 10 new things, and cook at least 3.5 meals a week.

7) Write more. Practice writing (not e-mails), re-start your blog (Nailed it!) and make 52 posts over the next year.

All right so that is it for now. I will check back in on these goals at least four times over the next year. If at the end of this year you see me in real life and can name a goal I didn't complete I will buy you a refreshing beverage.