A quick list of my goals for 2019 and a look back at my goals for 2018.
So it turns out I didn’t have any goals for 2018. Some people are very goal oriented. I’m not. I prefer to just work on whatever is in front of me. I’m not against goals. In fact, I think they can help make life meaningful, productive and enjoyable. But I also think that if you are too focused on your goals, you may miss out on stochastic opportunities that happen to pass you by. So regardless of forgetting to set goals, here are some things that I accomplished:
I am by far most proud of the things that I accomplished programming. I learned how to and built a model using the Random Forest algorithm in R that predicts where cultural sites are. I learned how to and made an interactive chart with D3js that uses the USGS historical flow database API to chart current river flows against historic flows. And, I’ve started building an App with Django that will help my sister track her livestock herds over time.
I feel like I’ve turned a corner a bit with my programming skills. It used to take me a whole weekend to learn something. Now I can get the basics under my belt in a few hours and work on the more complex chunks over time.
This year at work, I had a great year. I feel I finally made the transition from young dude to full fledged accepted equal colleague. I owe a lot of that growth to my manager Joe and my boss Nate. Joe gave me a lot of opportunities this year to go beyond my job title and Nate didn’t hold me back from doing those things. By far, I am most proud of the relationship that I helped facilitate between CPW and the BLM during Travel management planning. We had a pretty rough relationship after previous projects that I helped put behind us. It took a lot of talking through things and making people realize that the conflicts that our agencies were having were not a result of malice, but a instead were created because of different goals.
I’ve also been working on a lot of programming too. More randomForest stuff in R with high resolution Aerial imagery and I am working on writing up my process for the cultural model I built, which I will cover in my 2019 goals.
Every year I try to read 12 books. For some this may seem like a very easy thing to do. But not for me. I don’t read that often, and when I do, I read really slowly. I got really into Orson Scott Card again this year. I read all the prequels that have been written, which were amazing, but other than that I failed. I read:
- Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card which is the first of the prequels to Ender’s Game which cover the two formic wars prior to Ender
- Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card which is the next in the series.
- Earth Awakens by Orson Scott Card which is the last in the prequels part one
- Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card which I thought would be fun to read again because was so good the first time I read it. It follows the same time period as Ender’s Game but from the perspective of Bean.
- Wizard and the Profit by Charles C. Mann. This one I am still reading. It is really dense.
- American Gods by Phil Gaimon. I also didn’t finish this one, but I hopefully will this year.
I really missed the boat on reading books this year. I only finished four. Better luck this year.
I’m going to contradict myself and set some goals for the upcoming year:
I’ve started working on an app for my sister that will help her track her cows. My sister is a genius! But she has a really hard time with spreadsheets an important part of what she does. Fortunately for her, she is a cattle rancher and spreadsheets won’t make or break her business. Hard work and more hard work are what she needs to be successful. But spreadsheets would help her, and so many other ranchers, produce a better product. So, I decided, as a spreadsheet master (that might be a little over the top, but…), to make her an app that will do the spreadsheeting for her. The app is made with Django and will use forms and a database to house all of her cow information. So far I have the basics in place, and I hopefully will launch a very basic prototype for her in the next couple of days. But, it is far from finished. We’ll see how it goes.
I have two goals for work. The first is to complete my write up on the cultural model that I built and present it to the state with an eye on publishing it. The second is to hire a great crew and be a really great boss. I’ve been getting burned out on supervising people. But it really is the best part of my job and I would like to focus on it more. I guess I also have a third goal, which is to work really hard at continuing to build relationships between my coworkers, other agencies and myself.
I’m going to do it this year - 12 books. I’ve already read 1 and I’m halfway through a second.
Get outside more. I love to sit in front of a computer and create and learn (like right now). But I also love the outdoors. I need to get out more. I’m going down the Grand Canyon in April. 21 days on the water should be a good start with that goal. I also want to get in better shape so that I can be a better High School Mountain Bike Coach. I want to inspire my team.
I want to continue to build my brand and build websites for people with a focus on good enough and not perfection.
That seems like enough for goals. The basics are be productive, read and then spend some time outside. Sounds fun.