I Need Some Updates

As I type, 2017 is drawing to a close. For many, this time of year is a time of reflection on the past year and planning for the coming year. I recently saw this Windows message in the corner of my screen and realized, “You’re right, Windows. I do need some updates.”

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions for a number of reasons:

  • I’d rather set goals.
  • I’m not a fan of the timing.

Are Goals Better?

Yes. Much is written about Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound goals with good reason.

The Timing?

My friend, brother, and co-host of the Data Driven podcast, Frank La Vigne (blog | @Tableteer) follows a family tradition and sets goals for 1 Nov.

I set goals almost weekly. I don’t wait until the beginning of a calendar year. But I don’t exclude this week from my normal goal-setting. I mark another trip around Sol like many but in goal-setting terms, it’s just another week.

Current Goals

I have a stack of goals that I categorize as near-term, mid-term, and far-term.

Near-term goals include business endeavors for DILM Suite and Enterprise Data & Analytics and Biml Academy.

Mid-term goals include blog series and book projects that I am writing and planning.

Far-term goals include things like relocating to Costa Rica.

If you peruse these goals, you’ll notice that they move farther from work and towards personal. That’s intentional. You may also notice there’s very little here about personal goals. Do I have personal goals? Yep, I have personal goals. They’re, well, personal.

You may wonder how I time-slice activities – especially when it comes to work on the far-term stuff. Many nearer-term goals actually feed my long-term goals. In this way, near- and mid-term stuff are milestones towards achieving far-term stuff.

How so?

Consider DILM Suite which consists of mostly free and some open source products. The free stuff – like Catalog Browser – is helpful and cool, but it also leads to sales of  SSIS Catalog Compare. The for-pay products – SSIS Frameworks Commercial and Enterprise Editions and SSIS Catalog Compare – are gaining momentum. We’re selling more licenses and implementations. Either – or both – could be acquired by a larger entity in coming years. An acquisition could play nicely into my plans to relocate to Costa Rica.

In Practice

The topic of your goals isn’t nearly as important as their existence. You should have goals. If you don’t, please consider starting with a single goal.

Here are some tips and tricks I find useful (this is not an exhaustive list!):

Write it down somewhere where you can see it regularly – like a sticky note on the bathroom mirror or a legal pad in your work area. Reading it – even causally perusing it – helps remind you of your goal(s).

Re-prioritize regularly. Things change. Having goals will actually drive changes – that’s a normal and healthy part of the cycle. Life happens. You do not exist to serve your goals; your goals exist to serve you.

Check it off when you complete a goal. It’s a good feeling to get something done, to ship, to throw the switch in Production, to hold that book or read your name in the by-line of an article or blog post. Consider the words of the redneck sage, Larry the Cable Guy: “Get-r-done!”

In Conclusion

As 2017 draws to a close, don’t spend too much time looking back. Spend the vast majority of your time looking forward to 2018. That’s what I do. You can’t do a durn thing about 2017 once it’s in the past. Am I advising you forget about 2017? Goodness, no! Learn from 2017. Build on 2017. That’s what I’m saying.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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One Reply to “I Need Some Updates”

  1. Thank you, Andy, for a great and inspirational advice! Happy New Year to you and your family as well! Looking forward to reading your blog in 2018.

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