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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Goals for 2010

Last year I wrote about my goals for 2009. Yesterday I looked over them and evaluated my performance. I think it was pretty good, not not perfect. However setting goals that you easily reach every year is probably not the best way to do things. I feel like I’m cheating if it’s easy.

However I’m not so goal driven anymore, certainly not anything like Mark Cuban. In fact, I haven’t often set goals, and don’t often look at them at work since I like my life, and I enjoy it. I’ve accomplished a lot, more than I ever thought I would and don’t really feel the need to do a lot more.

That’s not great for a person, and I’ve seen many people get a little lost in the world without a purpose. I don’t want to get that way, so looking on to 2010, I reluctantly set these goals.

  • Continue managing the forums, but at a reduced, 300 post a month level.
  • Blog 5 times a week, M-F, on at least 2 SQL Server technical topics a week.
  • Learn Reporting Services – at something better than an average level. Maybe not an expert, but work towards being able to use it and answer > 50% of the questions I see.
  • Attend one SQL Saturday – At least, though I think I’m slated to hit 2 in 2010 at least.
  • Write a book – I’ve had three topics in mind for awhile, but I haven’t moved forward well on this. I need to finish one in 2010.
  • Build 2 new presentations. I’ve given one of two presentations pretty regularly over the last few years, but I need to expand, and find some other things to talk about. Not that these aren’t still relevant and good presentations, but I need to try some new ones.
  • Take all my vacation in 2010 – I’ve been bad about this in the past, carrying some over, selling some back. With some good guest writers, there’s no reason for me not to get away from work more.
  • Travel to one new city for work – Likely this will be Vegas, but I ought to spread my time around the community.

That’s a good list, perhaps not everything I want to get done, but this ought to keep me fairly busy at work this year.

Comments

Posted by Dugi on 31 December 2009

Write a book ...serious challenge but I want to know is this something more than "The Best of SSC Volumes" or anything else!

Posted by toddq on 12 January 2010

Excellent goals, all of them!  However, I am a guy who sets goals and forgets about them too often.  Do you have a good reccomendation for reviewing them throughout the year and keeping yourself on course?

Posted by Robert Frasca on 12 January 2010

Hi Steve,

I can't help but notice that the tone of some of your posts seems a little less enthusiastic lately.  Just in this blog post alone you said "...don't really feel the need to do a lot more" and "...reluctantly set these goals".

First of all, you have my, and everyone elses I'm sure, respect for the yeoman effort that you put into this as it's clearly very demanding.  That being said, perhaps it's time to look at something else.  

If something else isn't an option perhaps looking at it from a different perspective might be helpful.  I think goals, whether personal or professional, are why we get out of bed in the morning.  I like to write down goals as affirmations and visit them on a daily basis.

"My new presentation on SSRS is awesome and I've learned so much preparing it."

"Holding my finished book in my hand is a feeling that can't be beat."

Reading these affirmations is a little awkward and uncomfortable at first since you haven't actually done the work yet, but I've found that it's an excellent way to get my subsconscious pumped and when that happens suddenly I'm making progress and feeling good about it instead of regressing into the old negative habits that my subconscious knows only too well.

I write down weekly, 90-day, and one year goals.  I also have some "ultimate" goals that I'm working toward.  For example, 30 years after the rest of my high school class graduated from college, I will finally be getting by BS in June after 5 1/2 years of nights and weekends.  I don't "need" it at this stage in my life but it's something that's important to me and that's all that matters.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion which you can take or leave.  Regardless, your work is important and is valued probably far more than you know.

Have a great year.

Posted by Ells on 20 January 2010

I sense a tone that this is done more as a chore than something you want to do. If you are happy with your life then why the continual push.

This year will be different for me. The key goals for the year are

1. I want to do an MCITP in database developer 2008. As a BI developer this is not core but will help.

2. Travel over to Canada and go see some Polar Bears.

3. Be a bit more organised in running my company and just hold onto the cash that comes in a bit better.

4. Take up racing motorcycles!

So far its all looking good and should all be easily achieveable  but I dont see an issue with that!

Have fun.

Mark.

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