2014 Resolutions Review 08: Shifting Goals

I just got back from a 10-day business trip to California, and so I’m posting my Groundhog Day Resolutions Review a few days late. One of the highlights was going to a fancy steak restaurant to try “A Tasting of New York Sirloin”, featuring USDA Prime Dry Aged steak, American Wagyu, and Japanese Wagyu in small portions side-by-side. It was the most money I ever spent on a dinner, but when I reframe it as a “workshop in fine steak”, the price seemed much more reasonable. It helped that I was eating with two other fiendishly picky eaters, and we talked food all night about the difference between each cut of meat at great length. Ahhh!

But I digress! Today I am wondering how much closer I am to my 2014 goals of…well, one reason I do these monthly reviews is to reorient myself.

Recapping 2014 Goals

On February 2nd, I’d laid out the following goals:

  • Take more “first steps”, with less planning. Trust in my ability to solve problems when I encounter them.
  • Write and deploy software applications
  • Share my interests with everyone to see where it goes
  • Create better marketing content for my stuff

The gist of these goals, in hindsight, was to reduce the amount of resistance I felt when starting projects while also sharing more of what I really liked to do so I could attract like-minded people to talk to. I paied attention to the resistances I faced, got better at acknowledging the true amount of time it takes to get anything done at all. Most recently, I made a critical distinction a month ago that my personal projects were not actually fun. They were instead laying the foundation for future capabilities that I wanted, and as such were actually a form of work. That was oddly liberating, because I was no longer expecting “fun” from activities I actually found draining, and this lifted my spirits.

Redirecting the 2014 Goals

Last month was also my 10 year blogging anniversary, and I did a bit of reflection about what I’d accomplished. What stood out most were these two thoughts:

  1. I have been writing much more reflectively, mostly about process, for the past several years. I have not been sharing what I really find interesting, because I didn’t know very much about it. As a result, the blog has been feeling much more inwardly focused than I like, and I want to change that up.

  2. To turn the blog toward outward focus, I want to write about the stuff I really like, as opposed to the stuff I know. It occurred to me that there were many long-standing interests that I’d never successfully pursued for one reason or the other. For example, I am really drawn toward music composition, but some part of me believes it is out of immediate reach. I vowed that I would not let these dreams die!

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p>As a result of these insights, I’ve essentially re-written my 2014 goals as a set of six (plus one) new project 10-year initiatives:

  • Making a Video Game
  • Illustrating a Book
  • Achieving Creative Freedom
  • Composing Music
  • Creating new Thinking Tools
  • Making Physical Products
  • Making Delicious Food

These are all long-time dreams that for one reason of another I haven’t pursued despite my attraction to them. They’re areas in which I have little practice or natural technical skill, but nevertheless hold me in thrall. They’re big, daunting, and I feel like like a little kid trying to play with the high schoolers. They are worthy challenges! The original motive to reduce resistance in my creative process while sharing what I liked to do is still at the top of my mind; I feel I have a better grip on the resistances I have internally, and am capable of dealing with them.

What Got Done

The past month was largely devoted to the project work with Science through Technology Enhanced Play (STEP), the project I’m working on through my friends at Inquirium. The trip I just got back from was at UCLA, where the primary investigators (PIs) at UCLA and Indiana University got together to evaluate the state of the 3D tracking hardware. Preparing for this trip has taken up most of my time, to the point that everything else in my project queue has fallen to the wayside. On the other hand, a lot of the work I’ve been doing is applicable to my 10-year initiatives, specifically that of making a game and creating thinking tools. I’m learning an awful lot about Javascript, and am seeing it become a more viable development environment than I would have imagined. While Javascript in its ECMA5 revision is still a little ratty around the edges, ECMA6 is promising to correct some shortcomings. HTML5 itself is becoming a nearly universal world-wide platform that doesn’t require installing anything through an App store, and the advanced media capabilities are maturing to the point that one can actually do some really cool stuff on it that I would not have thought possible in a web browser. Technology marches onward!

Other than that, though, I didn’t get a whole lot done for myself or my personal projects. Amazon sales of the stationery products continue to hold steady, and I did start pushing again to get some new products out.

The Month Ahead.

The greatest challenge facing me now is balancing work with personal projects. Also, I need to schedule a lot of long-postponed health and household chores. I haven’t had a physical in 7 years, and I’m way overdue at my age. The house needs to be cleaned up and cleansed of junk so I can continue with the Living Room Cafe project. I want to be very relaxed about this, though, and not feel stressed out. I think if I can maintain a simple focus on getting one chore done at a time, without putting any expectations on myself other than maintaining motion, I might be able to get more done. We shall see.

I’m also thinking of making November a month of product making, so I can leech energy from people who are participating in Nanowrimo this year.

I’ll consider next month a success if I make progress on the following:

  • One or two more products on Amazon
  • More progress on Project 1401
  • Eye exam, Physical, Dentist
  • Snow tires
  • Fun posts! With pictures!

Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2014

Here are other posts about Groundhog Day Resolutions for the 2014 season.

  • The original post about Groundhog Day Resolutions
  • 02/02 Kickoff - Setting Goals!
  • 03/03 Review - So Far, So Good!
  • 04/04 Review - Setting Realistic Expectations
  • 05/05 Review - ADD and Incremental Progress
  • 06/06 Review - Trudging through the Blahs
  • 07/07 Review - Limited Progress
  • 08/08 Review - Unusually Productive
  • 09/09 Review - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
  • 10/10 Review - Shifting Goals
  • 11/11 Review - Chugging Away
  • 12/12 Review - End of Year