Looking Ahead To 2019

In this post I’ll look ahead at what I have coming up in 2019 and what I look to accomplish.

Background

In previous years I have typically blogged at the start and end of the year about my goals and retrospective.  In mid-2018 I started capturing a monthly retrospective (see How I Do A Personal Monthly Retrospective).  While I’m doing these personal retrospectives more frequently (monthly vs. yearly) they usually contain more personal things than I would feel comfortable sharing publicly.

Ahead in 2019

Baby number 3

The biggest thing I’m looking forward to in 2019 is that my wife Sarah and I are expecting our third child later this year.  We’re finally starting to share the news outside of our immediate family.  I’m very excited and happy that our family is growing and I look forward to sharing our love with our new baby.

Exercise

For the past several years I’ve been running a few 5k races, quarter marathon races, and obstacle course / mud runs.  This has been a good way to push myself to stay active and healthy.  This year I’ve already signed up for a 5k and an obstacle course race in the first half of the year.  I’ve already started training for both and it’s amazing how much better I feel physically and mentally after getting into a good workout routine.  I find that I have more energy and motivation to accomplish things and hope that I can keep this up in the coming months.

Faith life

My Catholic faith has always been a big part of my life, but this year especially is an important year as my wife is preparing to enter fully into the Catholic Church.  I’m proud to support her on her faith journey as well as continuing to raise our children in our shared faith.

Technical leadership

In 2018 I went through a program at Microsoft called Technical Leadership Development Program (TLDP).  The purpose of this program is to identify individual contributors (ICs, not a manager of people) and grow their technical leadership skills to make a bigger impact inside and outside the company.  While there were many takeaways from this program one of the big ones for me was the following progression of stages (starting at bottom and going up) for a technical leader:

Technical Leaders…

    • Stage 4 – Drive Impact Through Strategy
    • Stage 3 – Drive Impact Through Others
    • Stage 2 – Master Individual Impact
    • Stage 1 – Grow Individual Impact

 image

At the start of 2018 I would estimate that I was in the 2nd stage of mastering individual impact and not realizing (at the time) that the next stage was to move onto driving impact through others.  Note that this progression to stage 3 doesn’t require moving into people management.  Instead you can remain an individual contributor while still increasing impact through other people.  I tested the waters with this process through the 30 Days of Microsoft Graph blog series and a few other side projects.  I’m looking forward to continue this progression in 2019.

Reading books

Each year on average I read 2-4 books, usually during slow weeks around holidays when I can devote more attention.  In the past year I’ve found a number of great books in a number of topics including science fiction, religion, and technical leadership.  I should probably join a Good Reads program but have not done so yet.  Instead I usually end up hearing about a good book recommendation from a friend or coworker and then picking it up from the local library, borrowing from a friend, or similar.  I’m not always able to reserve time each day / week, but I do find that I sleep better when I read for at least 10+ minutes before going to bed.

Conclusion

These are the things I’m currently looking forward to in 2019.  Thanks to my mentor Sean McDonough for urging me to get this written.  I know much will change throughout this year, especially once baby #3 arrives.  Here’s to a successful start to the year and continued growth.  If you have your own goals or plans for the year please share in the comments.

-Frog Out

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