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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

Thinking about goals for 2011

The SQL community is inspiring, and there are a lot of people that work hard to contribute to it. With all the efforts (I hesitate to use the word “competition”), it inspires others to try harder and do more. It’s no wonder we have a huge number of SQL Server MVPs, well over 200.

 

I’ve somewhat gotten trapped in the “I should do more” mentality, spurred on by my talks with Andy Warren (LinkedIn | Blog | @sqlandy) and his efforts, reading about all the events others go to, seeing the regular blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts about user group meetings. However as I look forward to 2011, I realize that I can’t “compete” with others, and I can’t necessarily do more.

 

I do feel the need to give back to others. This community has given me a great career, and I would like to do what I can to help others. That’s the “Purpose” part of Drive that I think we all need. At this point in my life, the purpose seems to be more important to me than it has been in the past.

But life is busy. As I think about 2011, I want to do more SQL Saturdays, make more of a commitment to the local user groups (3 in CO), try to grow beyond SQL and teach/talk to the .NET and Windows groups, maybe reach some college kids and help them prepare for the workforce.

I can’t do it all. I need to step back and focus on what is effective, efficient, and doable. I want to get some goals that make sense for this point in my career, realizing that I can only do so much and still take care of my family.

I’ve committed to 4 SQL Saturdays and 1 other local event. As much as I’d like to go back to a few places, I realize that I need to hit some new events. Please feel free to ask me to come to your event, and I will consider it, but remember that I cannot travel every weekend. I will keep invitations in mind, and I have a queue of places that I could not make in the past, but will try to get to in the future. Chicago and Dallas didn’t make 2010, but they are on my 2011 list. My apologies to Malathi in Louisville for missing that city, but they will have top priority in the future. Columbia has sadly conflicted every time with me, but I will get down there to see Brian one of these years.

As things stand now, I am thinking that some of the conferences are going to be out for me because of the stress that travel places on the family. Or at least my time will be cut down. I only spent two days at TechEd last year, and it’s possible that I might do the same for more conferences this year.

Other goals are working on the MCM written test for now. That’s my SQL Server goal and while I don’t think this is the year for me to take the lab, I think the exposure to the process and the effort to learn more about SQL Server is well spent.

A lot of words above to say I don’t know what I should do 10 days into Jan, but this week will hopefully allow me to focus on getting more specific items down.

Comments

Posted by Jack Corbett on 11 January 2011

I think this is an great post.  It is easy to set goals, but as Brent Ozar said in his post, www.brentozar.com/.../trackback, "I’ve done annual goals in the past and been nothing but disappointed because life changed my plans along the way."

Sometimes it is better to set and share "big picture" goals than specific goals.  I don't think that means not to have some specific goals, but to be share your "big picture" goals and then when it is time to evaluate, evaluate if what you did helped you progress to you "big picture" goals.

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