No Nashville for Me
Back on Jan I wrote about recapping my 2010 goals and set forth some new items for 2011. Well the first quarter of the year has come and gone and time to reflect a bit on where I’m at.
First off I had signed up to run the Nashville 1/2 marathon for the 3rd straight year. I’m sad to say that is not going to happen. I did train for it and am ready to run it but a few things have led up to me NOT heading down to run this year. I do plan on a long run this weekend in honor of this and plan on finding a 1/2 more local to get involved with over the summer. I am getting a new master bathroom unexpectedly however and that works starts this week so all is not lost.
I did win my weight loss goal/contest and actually have dropped 15 lbs this year. Feels great and just need to stay focused and keep the weight off at this time.
My involvement in the football program is going well. I’m currently on the board and contributing via helping with maintaining the website, setting up FaceBook, and twitter accounts. I’m also helping out in various other fun projects including merchandising and planning for a great game day experience. Here is a picture of one of my projects that I ran. I’m so excited to get the tunnel out there on opening day and watch the players run out onto the field.
Can't wait for opening day!
Spending time with the family is always a something that I want to continue to work on. I feel my focus on this and writing it down has allowed me to do so. I find that I’m able to pull myself away from the computer more often than I did last year. The bills can wait, so there are weeds in the yard, and work is not down that can wait also.. As my kids get older they seem to need me less but I’m still finding things to do with each of them.
- My youngest Emma (5) just learned how to ride a bike with no training wells and loves when I watch her. She is really into soccer and baseball this year so that has become our bond.
- Caleigh (7) still loves her crafts and reading is her big thing. I find myself letting her read to me for 15-20 minutes and not cutting it off at 5 like I used to because Quicken was not update with this months checks.
- Finally the eldest Matt (10) is quite the gamer on his new PS3. We have had some good battles in Madden but most of all it’s the ability to play catch in the yard that I think we cherish the most.
Can’t forget the wife either. She is the glue keeping us all together and her ability to be in 4 places at once and still remember to pack snacks is amazing. She deserves an entire blog series as her ability to do what she does is mind blowing.
At this point i’m in maintenance mode. Need to keep things moving and identify what’s next but most of all it’s about enjoying the time as it passes and focus less on the end result.
In December I shared a post about how I was going to use SQLShare to do some continuous learning.It’s so cool to get an email every morning showing how well I’m tracking to my goal. As you can see below I have been tracking pretty good in January. I did adjust my goal down a bit to 60 minutes per month and as of today I’m at 35 minutes out of 60. Another neat thing is that I’m starting to see some videos done by folks I follow on Twitter it’s nice to hear a voice to go along with the profile pics and tweets.
Check it out can’t hurt to give it a try.
More than half way to my goal!
It’s the start of a new year. Time to reflect on what I did accomplish last year and think about what this year will hold. Last January I documented my goals for 2010. I felt that by writing them out and posting them my likelihood of success would be greater. For the most part this worked so I’m doing it again.
Blog once a month – I was able to do this, started off the year strong and struggled in Q4 to keep going. Topics are still a bit all over the board but I feel good about writing 24 posts in 2010.
Beat my 1/2 Marathon time by 5 minutes – I actually beat it by 9 minutes for a time of 2:21:51 as I wrote about in April.
SQL Community involvement – Started off the year great and tapered in the fall and winter. Still keeping involved loosely but other priorities took over such as my football coaching.
Looking back I feel good about all these things. As expected things changed mid year and I had to re-focus some of my attention to other things. This is natural when looking out a year ahead. I have read a lot of posts lately around people in the SQL community changing jobs and deciding to focus on different technologies. Things change and in my mind the only way to fail is to not plan for it or expect it.
So with it being a new year I need some new goals. Not feeling as inspired as I was this time last year it’s been a bit more difficult. Here is what I’m going with.
I signed up for the 1/2 Marathon in Nashville for April again and I’m currently in a friendly weigh loss contest. So my first goal is to shave off another 5 minutes from my 1/2 time. To that end I have set a goal to run/workout 3 times a week.
Another thing I’m planning on doing is getting more involved in the youth football program I coached last year. I’m looking to get myself more integrated into the organization and help out more from a volunteer standpoint above just the coaching I have been doing.
This last one is hard to measure but its something I really want to focus on. I am looking for ways to play more with my kids and enjoy more family time. It’s scary how fast they are growing up and as they do they seem to need me less and less. I want to make sure that I stay involved with each of my 3 kids and can relate to what’s happening in their lives.
Nothing earth shattering here but documenting and posting this out there will hopefully keep me focused.
Wow it will be September in 2 days. It is simply amazing how fast time can go by when you are busy and how at one point you can be so focused on one thing and life can quickly take a left turn. I started out the year with some goals in mind that I posted on this blog back in January. I’m a checklist, goal kind of guy. I like to set goals or have a list for everything in my life. My wife asks me to do something I have to write it down or I will forget. Too much going on in my melon to remember anything these days.
I have been able to do a good job completing most of the goals. I have blogged at least once a month and often more that than. The topics have varied a bit and not as technical as I planned at the start of the year. There are reason for this as my role is one of leading and managing and less on the technical side of things so it was hard to bridge that gap. I was able to re-dedicate my self to health and fitness and beat my 1/2 marathon goal. I have run a few more races than I planned actually and hope to keep doing some this fall. I have not trained since early August but have some reasons behind that below. As for my SQL Community involvement I started off the year really good but have slowed down lately. I need to see how this is going to fit in my future but am keeping my finger loosely on pulse at this point. I was a daily twitter user for much of the first half of the year but now rarely open it as my focus is elsewhere. I do continually encourage my team to take advantage of what there is to offer and drive them to these great resources so consider me an advocate.
So with all that success I need to understand what the rest of the year holds. It’s just past 1/2 way point we have 4 months to go in 2010 and I need to have a list or some goals to keep me focused.
The Left Turn
Not sure if I promote it much but I am pretty avid sports fan. By biggest passion being football. Fall is football time and in August football began for me. This year I am head coaching a 9-10 year old tackle football team which was much more of a commitment than I could ever imagine. To be honest I am probably putting more into it than I need to but my passion for this has driven me to go that extra mile. This has been my undocumented goal for the 2nd half of 2010. To really put forth the time and effort to make a great football experience for the players, coaches, and parents that I work with on pretty much a daily basis. This has involved everything from organizing the league draft info, to setting up my teams practice plans and playbook. Countless meetings with other coaches, emails to parents, learning about new drills and player safety. I even was able to go to a mentoring night sponsored by our league the TCYFL where Tony Dungy was the guest speaker. Now that we playing games it’s reviewing film, working on coaching fundamentals, and working with team parents to ensure the boys are having fun.
It’s amazing the tangents that I’m able to draw from the football field to the boardroom so to speak. I was recently involved in a management training class from my employer around communicating with impact. As I sat in this day long session learning how to speak on my feat, resolve conflict, and motive people through words I could not have imagined how useful these skills could be outside of the office as well.
So my goal for the rest of the year is to really focus my efforts on good communication and team development both on and off the field. I hope to leverage the learnings on the football field to helping coach my team at the office and really drive a fun and productive team of SQL DBA’s. In additional I’ll continue to use my mentoring and management skills learned at work on the football field to hopefully help my team drive to some victories. If nothing else I hope that my efforts in both of these areas of my live will result in a fun and positive experience for all of those around me.
So Quick update…. Life currently has me in a strangle hold. I find myself writing this and wondering why I’m not sleeping right now. Constantly on the go.
A few of the finishers celebrate before the rain.
We survived the Country Music Marathon. I won’t go into to many details but please check out our coach Kevin Leather’s blog for some details on the race and some great stories. He does a great job of capturing the moments. Congrats to all the runners and hope to see everyone again next year.
Personally I smashed by goal of cutting 5 minutes off my time. I blogged about my goals for 2010 and you can read that here. However I beat this by almost 9 minutes finishing in 2:21:51. I actually had a much tougher time this year. I felt much worse but do feel that starting my training a bit earlier, training harder, and being a 2nd timer helped.
Of course the after race party at the hotel with all the other Noggin families was fun as always, plenty of pool, beer, pizza, and action. It is so fun to get away and just take over a hotel every once in a while. Cowboy Glen was the kids entrainment this year with many renditions of Simon Says.
Hey there you yellow bellied sap sucker!
On To the Next Thing…
This Sunday May 2nd at 2PM we will be having a fund raiser and race signup party for the Joggin for the Noggin 5K in August. Please stop out and have a brew, sign up for the race, or just enjoy our great company.
Details on the event can be found here.
Breaks are Great
I recently took some time off over the holidays. I was off for 12 entire days in a row. A few of those days were holidays and weekends but there were some working days mixed in. The unique thing about this time off was that I was almost completely disconnected during this time. This was a refreshing change from how I normally take time off. I didn’t go anywhere really, just spent most of the time at home. We did take a 2 night trip about an hour away but that’s not really traveling is it?
I did check the blackberry everyday just to see if anything came up and would have jumped on if needed. This did not happen however. I didn’t catch up on Twitter, blogs, etc. Did the occasional checking of local news as I don’t read the paper but that’s not work. The beauty of this time was that when I came back to the office on 1/4/2010 I was totally refreshed. I feel a new sense of urgency, organization, desire, and drive. These are important things to have anytime but are most critical to starting the new year off right.
With that said I’m in goal setting mode. A few things I need to accomplish in the pending days are finishing up reviews for 2009 and then set some very measurable goals for me and the team for 2010. In addition I of course have my own personal resolutions or objectives for this year, much like some folks I follow Ted Krueger (blog / twitter), Tim Ford (blog / twitter) which I’ll share in this blog entry. My main reason behind blogging about goals is that I have read that if you write something down and publicize it, you have a better chance accomplishing it. So I’m testing that out this year.
So here we go
1) Continue to work on my writing skills and continue to contribute to the online SQL community. Blog at least once a month this year.
2) Rededicate myself to health and fitness. The holidays always get me off track but I’m dedicating to start running again and get involved in more sports and training opportunities. My ultimate goal is to beat my time (2:31:15) by 5 minutes in the 1/2 marathon on 4/24 in Nashville, TN.
3) Get more involved in the SQL Server community.
- I started this blog with that being hopefully part of my involvement.
- I have also started using Twitter and hope to continue to be active in that area. I attended my first SSUG meeting in Dec and want to continue down that path in 2010.
- Finally I have signed up to attend SQL Saturday #31 in April.
So I have committed to this and I need to get going. Enjoy and hope you have some goals of your own this year.
Posted in Career
Tagged Career, Goals
Review time is upon us and I thought I would share some tips on writing the dreaded self evaluation. One thing to keep in mind is that the role you are currently in is your job and hopefully part of a career that is yours not the company or manager you work for. You need to treat it as such and don’t let anyone else but you be in the driver’s seat.
It is often hard to sit back at the end of the year and in 4000 characters or less summarize why you are great employee and more importantly a valuable asset to the company. This is why the notion of continuous performance management seems to be the trend these days. I suggest you take that and run with it. Keep track as you hit major milestones on projects, step up and do something great. If that is not the case, stop once a quarter or once a month to reflect in writing what you just accomplished for the past 30-90 days and how that makes you a valuable employee. If you can’t think of anything then maybe you need to take a hard look at your career or decide to do something that makes you that invaluable employee and allows you to have such reflections.
The idea behind these reflections is to keep score. Whether your goals are good, bad or non-existent, you still should keep score. An area to focus on when evaluating yourself is to provide the background to justify your rating. No matter what your company’s or personal rating system is, you need to provide the facts and data to support your rating. Simply restating your tasks or essential job functions is not good enough. A play by play is best kept for regular status reports and one–on-one session.
At review time focus on how your efforts benefitted the business, your customers, or your immediate team. What actions did you take above your normal responsibilities which helped to make a coworker’s job better, have to perform less work, or make better decisions? It’s not enough to do just what is needed, identify why performing the task or meeting the objective made a measurable difference.
Measure Twice Cut Once
Often it’s not easy to tie your actions to some measureable number. Some might say that sales people have it easy, there is direct revenue tied to their goals more often than not. In a support role this could become more difficult. Sure you may have met the quota for closing x tickets per day, maybe you even exceeded that by some large margin. Is that enough to say you exceeded your goal? Possibly. However in many situations that is not enough, but think about how you were able to beat the quota by so much. What if everyone on your team was able to do that? Would the company be better off? Would your customers get their issues resolved quicker? Could you do more with less and reduce the cost of the department. This is what you need to focus on. Take the steps to share your success and make the folks around you better. Enhance a process to reduce waste. Find a way to do something more effectively that benefits everyone not just you. This is what will set you apart from simply doing the job you are asked.
Does it Matter?
This is what employers are looking for. I have read 1000’s of resumes and the ones that simply state what the person did fall quickly to the bottom of my pile. I’m looking for how their actions added value, saved the company money, made the teams they supported smarter.