Goals for 2011
I was tagged by Denis Gobo (blog | twitter) in a Review of his 2010 Goals. I didn't make such a post last year at this time, so I had nothing to check against. But that doesn't mean I can't start with my goals for the coming year, right? A few areas come to mind:
I have set a challenge for myself to speak at 10 events this year. So far I have submitted sessions to the following, or plan to do so when I can; at least one is already confirmed:
SQL Saturday #60 (Cleveland, OH, February 5)
SQL Saturday #65 (Vancouver, BC, February 26)
SQL Saturday #67 (Chicago, IL, March 26)
SQL Saturday #71 (Boston, MA, April 2)
SQL Bits #8 (Brighton, UK, April 7-9)
SQL Rally (Orlando, FL, May 11-13)
PASS Europe (Berlin, Germany, ???)
PASS North America (Seattle, WA, Oct 11-14)
SQL Connections – Fall (Las Vegas, NV, ???)
Blogging About the Same, Give or Take
I plan to continue blogging here at sqlblog.com as frequently as I have over the latter half of 2010 (I was pretty busy and stressed for the first several months). I am going to try to maintain a better average than I did in 2010 (~10 blog posts per month). I'd like to do more personal blogging, but there are only so many hours in the day, and only so many of you willing to tolerate missives about my own life – so I'm not going to set any false hope there. I also plan to keep up my submission pace of 2 tips per month to mssqltips.com.
I need to read more. I just started reading a Christmas gift, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. As an avid dog lover, I am sure this is going to be an emotional roller coaster I am not prepared for; hopefully reading more will raise my tolerance over time. I think I should get a kindle or a nook though, as I'm horrible at keeping my page…
Walking the Dogs More
I'm one of those lazy people with a fence – so instead of walking my beagles multiple times a day, I just open a sliding glass door and let 'em rip. The problem is this isn't enough exercise for them or for me – I need to get them out more. I'm not talking about the obligatory walks around the block, though I need to do more of those, too. I'm talking about the day trips where we go hiking in the woods. We went on several hiking trips over the last few years but we very rarely bring them. I think we can try for a better record this year.
Attending More Sporting Events
Since Nicole and I both love hockey and football, I'd like to make it to more live games. Last year we went to the Winter Classic at Fenway, the Olympics in Vancouver, and the playoff game that New England lost within a few minutes of the first quarter. So it will be a tough year to beat. We won't make it to Winter Classic, and I reneged on a 10-pack of Bruins tickets – including games against the Leafs and Habs. But we are going to a World Junior medal round game next week – we have no idea who will be playing, but I've always wanted to go to the World Juniors, and have always made excuses. So we're off to a good start this year.
Preparing for the MCM
I don't think I'm going to go for it this year, but I would eventually like to go for this certification, even if it means I first have to obtain some of the other certifications that I don't value all that highly. That means I've got some non-fiction reading to do, too. I know what I know, and for the most part I know what I don't know, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding (or I guess, as Bill Cosby would say, the proof is in the pudding pop).
As you may have read back in October, I shifted gears in my career and took a new and radically different position with SQL Sentry. I want to continue helping them strive to be the best SQL Server software vendor, period. In November, our Performance Advisor software won the Best of Show at SQL Connections; we also released a free tool for the SQL Server community called Plan Explorer, which goes above and beyond Management Studio (and any other alternatives) in helping analyze execution plans and determine the source of performance issues. We have an imminent new release of Performance Advisor with plenty of enhancements and new features, several projects on the go that will help solidify our spot in the 3rd party vendor landscape, and I have some ideas for shaking things up a bit more in 2011 and beyond – so stay tuned!
Keeping in Better Touch
Yesterday I went to lunch with a friend from Nipissing University who now lives in Sundridge, Ontario. I couldn't believe that it had been several years since we had seen each other in person. I need to be better about keeping in touch with all of the people in my life, past and present. I have a few people who I think about a lot, but unfortunately it doesn't get much further than that and an annual Christmas card. While I will be traveling a lot more in 2011, I do hope to make more out of both my trips to Canada and my spare time at home.
A lot of these goals are hard to quantify, and if there's anything I learned in my previous job, it's that managers really love to have goals that are measurable. In this case I'm just going to have to use these points as a rough guideline over the next year, but hopefully I will end 2011 feeling very good about the goals I set and the success I had in reaching them.