Another Year Comes to an End – Reviewing my 2009 Goals

Hi all

When it comes to the end of another year, it always feels like a good time to reflect on the previous 12 months – to think about what you’ve achieved, what you didn’t achieve, assess the goals you had set for yourself, and start thinking about your goals for the next year.

At the beginning of the year, I set myself some goals for 2009, and it’s interesting to score myself now. Continue reading to see how I went and what I need to change in 2010.

From a personal perspective, I think I achieved much of what I planned to at the beginning of the year. I had a goal to have a photo featured on APOD, which I achieved in February 2009 with my Moon, Jupiter, Mercury and Mars Conjunction image. I wanted to enter more Karate tournaments (and place well!) which I did achieve by the end of 2009. I had some related emotional and financial goals which I probably didn’t focus on as much as I should have, so it’s not really true to say I achieved them. I did spend more time with my family which was great and I will set myself some similar goals for 2010 and ensure I spend more time focusing on them.

From an astronomy perspective, again it’s been a mixed bag. In the first 6-7 months of the year it was great – I was highly motivated. I wanted to write more articles for IceInSpace and for mikesalway.com.au, and I was doing that – creating new articles at least every week, sometimes more frequently. I was getting lots of visitors to my site, placing well for relevant searches on google, and I had big plans for continuing to grow my site.

Unfortunately in the last 4-5 months it’s really dropped off. My motivation for astronomy has been on a serious decline.  All throughout the year, I haven’t been getting the images I wanted to – terrible weather and terrible seeing meant I had my worst year yet in terms of planetary imaging. I got a promotion at work which meant I became very busy, and just had less time to do other things or put thought into other things. I haven’t been writing articles for IceInSpace or my blog, I haven’t been outside with the telescope for over 3 months now (except for the 1-off odd occasion at a viewing night or IISAC2009) and I’ve really been enjoying my martial arts, which has meant something has had to take a back seat – and it’s been astronomy.

I’m hoping the motivation for astronomy will pick up again in 2010 – but it won’t happen by itself. I will have to set myself some goals to achieve and focus on them, try and get some spark or interest again which re-ignites the passion.

From a career perspective, it has been a good year. I had some goals to achieve some KPI’s to get a bonus, to stabilise the platform and the product, to make some great improvements, all which were achieved. I also got a promotion to Software Development Manager – which has been great. But it has meant that things got a lot busier. More to think about. More responsibility. Less head-space to think about other things (like astronomy). I’ll have some new KPI’s for 2010 which will focus my career where it needs to go.

I also set myself some physical goals – mostly to do with helping achieve my karate goals (including my journey to black belt). But I did achieve almost all of the physical goals, including the 5.4km run (consistently around 24 minutes), the 100 pushups, situps and squat kicks (all in under 10 minutes), improving my kicking and being able to high kick much easier and more regularly, and grading to my advanced brown belt (1st Kyu) which I did just the other day.

There were some physical goals I didn’t achieve, such as improving my flexibility (being able to touch my toes! Damn hamstrings!) and going jogging at lunchtime at work – so they will carry over to 2010.

All in all it’s been a pretty good year – some great personal and career highlights, but just not enough time to do everything I want to. Or, more likely, more focus is needed to ensure I spend the time to achieve the things I set out to.

I’m certainly concerned about my astronomy and photography goals for 2010. I really want to get back into doing some more astronomy, astrophotography and general photography. I want to keep growing IceInSpace (including a site re-design), I want to get back into writing more articles for my blog (including a site re-design), and I want to take some great photos again. But at the same time I know it’s going to be a busy year for my karate – I’ll be hoping to grade to my Black Belt (Shodan Ho) in June, which will take a lot of time and preparation (physically and mentally), as well as the tournaments I want to compete in.

And I haven’t even mentioned my family and emotional goals for 2010, career goals etc. Where will I find the time!? 🙂

I think I’ll need to spend the next few weeks (and on holidays at Birubi Beach) gathering my thoughts about what I want to achieve in 2010 and write down my goals.

Shihan Lliam said it best – set your goals in concrete, but set your plans in sand. Things can change frequently throughout the year so your plans may need to shift and change, but as long as your goals are set in concrete you will keep your eyes on the prize.

How did you go against your goals? Did you achieve what you wanted to? What stopped you from achieving your goals? Please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading.

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