Goals 2018

For many people, bringing in the new year means coming up with resolutions. This year, I was one of them, and I’ve come up with a few personal goals. I want to give myself the best chance of success that I can; for each of the goals, I’m targeting SMART objectives–Specific, Measurable, Acheivable, Realistic, and Testable. This ensures that I can be accountable to myself and do what’s needed to get them done. Without further ado, here’s my list:

Publish a blog entry twice a month

This one’s pretty straightforward. I’m going to write and publish two blog posts a month. By breaking it down to two per month instead of 24 in a year, it keeps the process in line with an agile workflow. Some topics will be more technical than others, and I’ll try to vary the technical depth of the posts as well. I’ve got a list of ideas lined up, but if there’s anything in particular you would like to see, let me know.

Read at least one non-fiction book per month

In order to keep up with professional development, I’m going to read at least one non-fiction book per month. I’ll continue reading blog posts and other digital technical documents, but I find that reading books helps build my depth of knowledge and gives me additional things to think about.

My current reading list:

Speak at a large conference

I’ve been speaking at meetups and smaller conferences for a while now, and I’d like to push myself to present in front of a bigger audience. I’m getting started on a few submissions for some open and upcoming CFPs, and I’m going to submit to at least five to conferences coming up this year. Submissions won’t necessarily turn into acceptances, but I’m guaranteed not to be selected as a speaker if I don’t submit any. I’ll make sure to tailor each submission to the conference for my best chance of acceptance.

A few of the conferences I’m most interested in (in alphabetical order):

  • DockerCon
  • GopherCon
  • KubeCon / CloudNativeCon
  • LISA

Excercise regularly

During high school, I used to run five to ten miles every morning before school started. Since then, I’ve become less and less active, and I’d like to get into better shape. I’ve also gained a fairly substantial amount of weight over the past three years, and excercising will help with my weight loss goals as well.

I really enjoy riding bike, and I can ride both on- and off-road to get out of the house for a bit since I’m full-time remote. My initial goal is to ride for 30 minutes a day for four days per week on my indoor trainer then move outside when the weather gets a bit nicer.

Practice playing guitar regularly

I want to get better at playing guitar. It’s a good hobby that doesn’t have many associated recurring costs, and learning to play an instrument provides many mental and health benefits. I’m using Rocksmith 2014 for feedback while playing, and it’s working well for me so far.

By achieving these goals, I’ll improve personally, professionally, and physically. There’s a lot of other things I hope to get done this year, but that’s enough to work on for now.

Mike Newswanger

Sr Software Engineer at Elastic; previously SRE at Stack Overflow — go, performance, kubernetes, containers, databases

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