Now that 2011 has come to a close I wanted to take a few minutes to review the year and the goals I had set at the beginning of the year (click here to see those goals). I’ll follow up with new goals for new 2012 year soon.
Year in Review
2011 was a big year in many ways. This year included a change in employers, buying a condo, my oldest brother getting married, starting a new relationship with my girlfriend Sarah. helping plan 2 conferences, writing two chapters of a book, and numerous other activities. Some of my activities from the past year (condo, new job, and book writing) were much more time consuming that originally thought. I was able to accomplish many of my original goals set at the beginning of the year, but I also had major shifts in available time and focus. I’m taking this into consideration for this upcoming year. Perhaps I will only set goals for 6 months at a time or adjust numbers to provide more open time. Always room for improvement as long as the desire and commitment is there.
- Blog – In 2011 I intended to blog at least twice a month. I wasn’t able to keep up the pace that I had hoped (ended with 20 for the year, but many were in the first half). Surprisingly though my statistics for visitors and site hits have steadily grown over this year. Despite missing the mark on number of blog posts I consider this a success as I have helped a number of people (via comments or emails) and also met new contacts through my blog.
- Speaking – I intended to slow down the number of conferences and user groups that I spoke at this past year. I did accomplish that by “only” speaking at 6 conferences and 1 user group. This pace was much more manageable. Also with all of the travel I do for my job now I expect to slow down that pace further this coming year.
- Open Source – I began a side project on CodePlex called SavePSToSP. I did support it for a number of months, but not through June as I had planned (mostly due to new job and condo). I continue to use this project as a demo during classes I teach and may return to develop it further in the future. Overall this was a mild success.
- Volunteering – I helped out with planning for the SharePoint Saturday Columbus and Stir Trek conferences as well as serving on the steering committee for Buckeye SPUG. With my new work travel schedule my involvement with BuckeyeSPUG is not as high as it used to be, but I should have some more flexibility later this coming year.
- Windows Phone 7 Development – I did receive a corporate Windows Phone 7 (both from Sogeti and Microsoft) but did not have the time to create an application for the platform. I still have an idea that I would like to turn into an application so it is still a possibility to create that this coming year. This was a missed goal though for 2011.
- Portal and Collaboration Lead – At the beginning of the year I was still working at Sogeti as the Portal and Collaboration lead. I had intended to learn two additional portal and collaboration solutions aside from SharePoint. Due to switching jobs halfway through the year this goal changed a bit. I did research into SharePoint alternatives during the first half of the year so I will call this halfway successful.
- Volunteering – My volunteering with both my parish’s high school youth group and Columbus GIves Back have slowed down due to my travel schedule keeping me out of town during most of the meetings or events. I still helped out when I could though, so I will call this a partial success.
- House / Condo – My apartment lease ended this summer and I bought a condo. Part of the decision to go with a condo vs. house was the included upkeep of lawn, snow removal, etc. I’m very happy with the added space, owning my own place, and neighborhood that I moved in to. Now that I work from home when I’m not on the road it’s also nice to have a home office.
Some will be quick to point out that my new job and travel schedule (40-70% on the road throughout year) has caused me to not fulfill many of my goals. This is partially true, but it has also opened up a number of new opportunities and experiences that otherwise would have been impossible. I’m getting more of a handle on my travel schedule coming into this new year and also hoping to build up more local customers so that I’m not on the road 3 out of 4 weeks a month. It’s all about work / life balance and I’m learning the importance of that more and more as I get older.
A big thanks to so many people who have made this past year successful and filled with happiness and great memories. I look forward to the coming year continuing to help out SharePoint related communities, publishing of a book I helped write (more details as the release date firms up), and growing my career and personal life. I hope all you readers have set and tracked your own goals for the year. If not this is a great time to start.