Goals for 2017

As I once said in my post “Goals for 2016“, I don’t have New Year’s resolutions I have goals. Resolutions are great but I’d prefer using the smart goals method to help make my goals more of a reality. 

I didn’t do that badly last year but I definitely need more accountability in my goals this year so if you want to volunteer to hold me accountable on a single goal or more feel free to leave a comment below.

I’m going to keep my thoughts about the new year short as I have another post planned for that. For now, let’s jump into things!

An explanation of the goals and what make them smart goals will follow the short list otherwise, this will be a monster post.

Goals for 2017:

Personal Goals:

01. Low-Sodium Diet
02. Health/Weight Loss
03. Increase water intake
04. Daily exercise
05. Make an actual exercise plan
06. Be more strict with my budget

Professional Goals:

p01. Acquire employment
p02.
Learn Angular

p03. Increase my SQL and Datastore knowledge
p04. At least one TDD project that gets finished.
p05. Attend a conference in my field.
p06. Read 12 books
p07. Attend 5 or more meetups


Goals Explained:

Personal Goals:

01. Low-Sodium Diet

I have high blood pressure which is controlled by medication. I already keep my BP in a good range but adding more low-sodium dishes to my life would help that. I’m not going to go full on low-sodium in every aspect of my life but I think will help me in the long run and I’m sure my transplanted kidney will be happy about it.

Specifics:

25% of the dishes I prepare will be low-sodium by March 1st, 2017.
50% of the dishes I prepare will be low-sodium by June 1st, 2017.
60%-70% of the dishes I prepare will be low-sodium by October 1st, 2017.

02. Health/Weight Loss

I don’t care what other people think about my weight I’ve gone through too much in my life to let that bother me now. What I care about is being able to do the things I want to do and on a vain note be able to dress the way I want to without it costing a fortune.  If you noticed I put weight loss as a separate thing from health as the two don’t really go hand in hand though for my purposes they sorta do this year.

My main goal is to have the physical ability to do whatever I want to do. I’m more concerned about my energy levels and physical condition, not my waistline. On the flipside, there’s also a part of me that would like to not be overweight my entire life but that’s more of an emotional thing. I know that with my medical issues this will be very difficult for me so what I really need is ongoing support.

Specifics:

Walk the 2017 Buffalo Kidney Walk without being exhausted at the end.

240 lbs by March 30th, 2016.
220 lbs by August 16th, 2017 (my birthday).
200 lbs by December 31st, 2017.

03. Increase water intake

I drink about 2 cups a day now but I’d like to increase it to 8 cups. I’ve done pretty well on decreasing my soda intake to about once a week or once every other week. Though I do have issues with over drinking it when I’m visiting family. Before you say anything yes I know that 8 cups of water a day is an arbitrary thing and has no medical research behind it.

Specifics:

3 cups a day by February 15th, 2017
4 cups a day by March 15th, 2017
6 cups a day by June 15, 2017
8 cups a day by October 15, 2017

04. Daily exercise

I can’t do intense workouts because of my medical issues but there’s not one reason why I can’t exercise every day. For any potential employers reading this I’m fine I just can’t do intense physical labor is all.

Specifics:

Since this is a daily goal I’m going to track it by percentages of days completed. Since this is a simple yes or no kind of thing I’m not giving myself as much time as the other goals.

50% of the days in a month by March 1st, 2017.
75% of the days in a month by June 15th, 2017.
100% of the days in a month by August 16th, 2017.

05. Make an actual exercise plan

Since I’m limited in what I can do I need to figure out a safe and effective exercise plan and then execute it. I do have a list of exercises I can do now but I want to expand on that. For any potential employers reading this I’m fine I just can’t do intense physical labor is all.

Specifics:

Consult with my doctor in January when I go in for my semi-annual checkup.
Compile a list of exercises by February 15th, 2017.
Post the list of exercises somewhere, like MyFitnessPal, so I don’t lose them and others can comment on them.

06. Be more strict with my budget

I’m pretty good at sticking to it but sometimes I go $10 or $20 over budget and say to myself “well that’s what the buffer is for.” I’m tired of doing that and eating into possible savings or money that could be used for something else.

Specifics:

Honestly, I’m no sure. I think I’ll try the Dave Ramsey envelope system and see how that works out for me. This will probably be a goal that will become clearer as I try to accomplish it.

Professional Goals:

p01. Acquire employment

This is my primary goal for 2017. Why? Because on December 1st, 2017 my Medicare benefits from my kidney transplant stop. That means my medication cost will skyrocket so unless I’m employed and on group insurance, I won’t be able to pay for my medication. 

It’s true that I want to and need to be a software developer because I love to create software and solve the problems that make work life difficult for people but this year I have to focus on what will help me the most. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place right now. On the one hand, I have to find employment this year. On the otherhand, I want to find a place that I’d like to work at and feel like I’m making a difference.

There’s one place I really want to work at but I won’t name names since I’m still going through the interview process. It’s the first place I’ve interviewed at that made me feel welcomed and like I was at home. I also feel like it’s a place I could actually grow and make a difference. I won’t hear back until mid-January so keep your fingers crossed.

Specifics: 

Find employment with medical insurance before November 1st, 2017.

p02. Learn Angular

This has come up a few times in job interviews. After one of my most recent interviews, I’ve decided that Angular is no longer something that would be nice to know but something that should be a required tool in my developer toolbox.

Specifics:

Gather study material by January 15th, 2017.
Create study plan by January 30th, 2017.
Have a good working knowledge of Angular by March 15th, 2017.

p03. Increase my SQL and Datastore knowledge

It’s come up a few times that I rely on Entity too much and don’t talk about stored procedures and actual SQL statements in interviews. I also don’t work with a data store that often even though I did complete MongoDB University. In response to that, I’m going to directly work with different providers (Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, maybe DocumentDB) and host those project on GitHub,

Specifics:

Research which databases and document stores to study by January 30th, 2016.
Make a study plan by February 10th, 2016.

Revise Timeline in the first week of March to see how the study plan will be laid out.

p04. At least one TDD project that gets finished.

I’ve always wanted to use TDD from start to finish ever since I first heard Uncle Bob speak. There’s not much else to say about this one.

Specifics:

Complete by August 20th, 2017.

p05. Attend a conference in my field.

I went to a WordPress conference this year and even though it’s not something I develop in I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m looking forward to finding a conference that fits my skill sets and interest this year!

Specifics:

Attend a conference in my field by December 31st, 2017.

p06. Read 12 books

I found that reading a book in my field and outside of my field every month helped shape my outlook on life and how I view my profession. This is a goal from last year that I plan on continuing but this time I’m going to shoot for one book a month.

Specifics:

Buy and read one book every month of 2017.

p07. Attend 5 or more meetups

Getting out there in the world and meeting other developers has been great for me this year so I want to continue that trend by attending as many meetups as I can in 2017 but making 5 meetups a minimum.

Specifics:

Go to at least 5 meetups before the end of 2017.


Well that’s the end of my goals for 2017. Want to know how things turn out? Sign up for my weekly blog update below or subscribe to the RSS feed to find me having coffee in your inbox.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I talk about my year as a whole and how things happened outside of my 2016 goals.

Want to help me stay on track with some of these goals? Leave a comment below or send me an email

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