Saturday, January 5, 2008

2008 Personal Enrichment Goals

After last year’s trial run, I have high hopes for this year’s list. These build on some of the goals from 2007 but it’s a much more challenging list. Frankly, there’s one or two goals that flat-out terrify me. But, that’s what personal growth is all about, right? *nervous smile*

Full post has list of goals and brief descriptions. Total in list is 21. (Yikes!)
There’s three categories of goals: Work, Study & Self-Improvement

I. Work

1) Attend "Basic PM" Short Course by MPIF: The MPIF has an excellent 3 day course on powdered metal (PM) parts for people who purchase or design them. I’m really excited about this as PM isn’t a material category that was really focused on in my Engineering Material courses.

2) Attend at least 1 class through Company University: It depends on my schedule but there are several classes offered that interest me. I’ll probably do this toward the end of the year.

II. Study

3) Study Command Line And Scripting: While Ubuntu is perfectly functional without command-line knowledge, I think it would be good to learn for several reasons. It would make me less susceptible to someone recommending a malicious command to me. And this type of interface is common to all Linux distributions even if there’s variation in some of the commands. Knowing the CL broadens the places I can apply my knowledge.

4) Take NISD Class “Intro to HTML”: This is to help me get some basic knowledge. I’m really just looking for enough to interpret and possibly tweak my weblog template.

5) Must read 20 Non-fiction Books: This is under study because (I hope) reading more non-fiction will expose me to a variety of topics. My parents were kind enough to get me several books for Christmas so I have enough reading material to get through over half of this requirement.

6) Begin Process of Linux-Professional Certification: This is a maybe. If I can take the first exam ("101") over the web, I definitely will go that far at least. This would be a good way to test the studying I do for Goals 3 and 8. My eventual goal would be for a Junior Level Certification so I'd only need one more test to do that.

7) How do I Set-up A Charitable Endowment?: I have a number of long-term charity goals so I’d like to have a bit more understanding of how to structure my finances for those goals.

8) How do you build an (GUI?) application in Ubuntu?: Not really a goal so much as a question. There’s two or three applications I’d like for Ubuntu and no one appears to be developing them. If I can answer this, perhaps next year I’ll add creating those applications to my PE list.

9) Take a First Aid / Emergency Aid Class: This didn't get done in 2007. It strikes me as a hugely important skill so it stays on the list until it gets done. At the very least, I’d like to get CPR certification.

10) Teach Myself: Controls Engineering: Note how vague this is. Controls was the one engineering course I did incredibly poorly in. No amount of studying helped me very much. So, I bought a different textbook because the old one makes me freeze in terror. I don’t plan to go through the whole thing this year but if I get through about 1/3 of the chapters, I’ll be quite satisfied.

III. Self-Improvement

11) Take First-Level Test for Krav Maga: Must be done before end of the year. This is in service to my longer-term self-defense goals. I’ll have to start attending more classes. But hopefully, I’ll be able to give it a shot.

12) Make At Home & On-the-Go Disaster Kits: Last year in my area, there was an ice storm and record-level rains due to hurricanes disintegrating over San Antonio. While I have some of the expected disaster survival materials, they are scattered throughout my apartment. I’d like to have everything in one, easy-to-locate bag.

13) Update to Gutsy Gibbon Ubuntu: Currently I'm at Feisty Fawn. This will likely be the first thing I complete. I’m already reading through update threads in the Ubuntu forums to get see what the typical problems are. Once I feel OK to handle typical problems, I’ll back-up my install and update.

14) Develop Better Financial Tracking: Specifically to track non-salary income (like from interest, etc). I do put it into my budget (somewhere) but I plan to do some financial restructuring this year and I’d like to keep a better eye on things.

15) Get Laser Eye Treatments: Kinda terrifying. Even though not wearing glasses would be great, I have trouble picturing my face without glasses on it. They've been a key feature since I was six. I’m going to have to spend a couple months talking myself into this.

16) New Plants for Patio Garden: I tend to plant the same seven or eight plants every spring. So, this year I’m going to mix it up a bit. Try some new things. I need to go browsing in Home Depot to get some ideas.

17) Maintain Weblog: And not just maintain. I have a tentative list of improvements I’d like to make as well as a goal of 20+ posts each month. I think the minimum posting will be straightforward, but the improvements will require some preparation.

18) Go Skydiving: GULP. Exceptionally terrifying. This is my “OMG-Am-I-Crazy?!” goal. A friend did this recently after swearing never to and she had a ball. At some point in my life, I would really like to travel into outer space. This would pretty tame in comparison with that.

19) Be Sociable: Wildly general, isn’t it? But I really do have trouble interacting with people especially those I don’t know very well. Even doing something as simple as commenting on someone else’s blog results in some anxiety. So, I’m hoping I can make more of an effort to engage in activities which require interaction with people outside my circle of friends/coworkers.

20) Support the WGA Strike: Since the strike probably going to be a long-haul, I’m going to do what I can to support it. I’ll maintain my original strike prohibitions AND, if possible, I may additionally support it financially through donations/purchases of Strike Swag. Also, if there’s enough warning, I’d seriously consider attending a Fan Picket Day for either “Bones” or “Supernatural”.

21) Purchase Google OS Phone: This is of course dependent on availability. Due to the horror stories surrounding contracts and phones, I’ve purposely avoided any cell phone beyond the plain old pay-as-you-go kind. My current cell had no camera, music playback or other fancy features. I figure learning a more complicated phone would be good for me and I like the idea of using an Open-Source phone that I can change as I like.

Dear God, this list is intimidating! But if I can have just one or two experiences as fun, educational and fulfilling as my switch to Ubuntu in 2007, I’ll consider it a good year.

No comments: