2012 Goals – January Retrospective

February is now upon us and it is now time for me to figure out what exactly I’ve been doing with this first month.  Has it gotten me any closer to the seven goals I’ve laid out for myself?  Well, lets take a look at them shall we?

#1 Participate in Tough Mudder / Get in better shape

I think I’ve done pretty well on this one.  I’ve put my money where my mouth is and signed up for Tough Mudder and have begun working out everyday as opposed to whenever I could find the time.  This has done well for me since I’m no longer having as many back problems as I was before.  Granted, I wasn’t exactly fat at the time (I weighed about 200lbs at the beginning of December) but I’ve managed to gain more muscle and lose some fat.  The one place I’ve fallen down is not running as much as I’d like.  By the time October rolls around I need to be able to easily run five miles and as it is I think I can jog about a mile before I have to start walking fast for a quarter mile before I can take off jogging again.

I’m going to give myself a good job with caveats: continue the exercising but make sure to run each day and try and add a quarter mile each week to my jog.  If I can jog about a mile each morning I should be on my way to where I want to be.  A side goal to this is I’m running in my Vibram Five Fingers KOMODOSPORTs which should help build up more muscles in my lower legs and get my ankles, etc. a workout that they’ve been sadly missing.

#2 Continue Learning to Play the Guitar

I have to be honest and give myself a failing grade for this one.  I haven’t touched my guitar much since the end of December 2011.  I picked up Rocksmith on the PS3 which I figure will help me get better at guitar since it is a video game and I can’t stand losing at video games.  I picked it up and started playing it some a few days ago, so my goal is to devote about an hour a day or so to playing it such that I can at least pretend I’m getting used to playing the guitar some and I know eventually I’ll get the hang of moving around the neck of the guitar and I’ll start adding in more theory to it.

#3 Propose my PhD topic

This is not where I want it to be, I’d like to have it written done and in the books, but alas, not the case.  I have it down to one experiment left to do which will help determine what I write as what exactly I’m proposing in my PhD.  The nice side-effect is I’ve started learning SPIN‘s model checking language Promela (somewhat fulfilling goal #4).  Also, since I’m so close, I’m putting down a goal of finishing my experiment by the end of this week and writing the last bit of my proposal by the end of the week after so I can change this task to “Writing academic papers and getting the heck out of school :).”

#4 Learn another programming language and bush up on some old ones

As I stated in goal #3, I’m on my way to doing this one, however, I’d like to add another functional language to my repertoire and to that end, I’ve decided to learn Scala.  There might be better ones to learn but Scala keeps me in the Java VM world which is what I code in for work (not counting the occasional shell script, etc).  I’d like to get back into programming more C/Objective C/C++ just for myself so I might look into writing some apps for the iPhone or iPad in the near future.  I’ll give myself a good job on this knowing that I want to do more.

#5 Finish painting rooms in my house

Yeah, I didn’t touch this at all.  It’s on the list and maybe in the next month or two I’ll get onto it.  I’m going to put my foot down and say I’ll have the two rooms painted before June.

#6 Remove the children’s playset from my backyard

Like #5, I haven’t touched this one at all.  It looks pretty unsafe and isn’t exactly stable, but it is big and heavy.  I figure getting rid of it is going to be a multiday affair.  I’ll probably entice people I know to help me get rid of it with some beer and pizza when the weather gets nicer.  Luckily, this is a long term goal so I can keep putting it off. 🙂

#7 Brew my own beer and make it good

I think I’ve hit on at least one part of this.  I did brew my first beer, I just won’t know if it is any good until summer or winter depending on how long I let it age.  I figure I might let it age until wintertime just cause I think it’d make an awesome winter beer.  I have another beer ready to brew so I can figure out how well I brew in the next month or two and re-evaluate from there.

And there you have it.  I did a complete run-down on where I stand on my goals for this year that I care to talk about with the entire world.  Overall, I think I’m moving in the right direction but there are always things I can do to make it better.

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