The Only Lars

Byte-sized adventures in software engineering

Personal Achievements

Everyone makes at least some attempt at resolutions each new year - even if they say they “don’t make resolutions”. How can you go through life without goals to better yourself as a person? Based on my past, though, we very often do not write them down or forget about them entirely before the end of January.

The problem with goals of mine in the past have always been that they are very generic and/or very difficult to satisfy. I have made a deliberate effort to make my goals for this year both small and specific. This will make it much more difficult to justify my way out of satisfying my goals for this year and much easier to satisfy more goals is they are more achievable.

Achievement Unlocked

So, in the spirit of both personal growth and gamification, I bring you a new page with my personal list1 of “achievements” for 2013 that look like this:

Read three non-technical books

I don’t read enough. I read plenty of technical content, but not near enough book-books (some rare individuals call this “fun” reading).
  1. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) - Tom Vanderbilt

Achievements must be:

  1. Specific - Specific goals have less room to be “justified” by you as “technically” completed. Examples include “Learn C”, “Run More”, etc.
  2. Quantifiable - This goes with being specific. This makes it very clear as to the completion of your achievement. Did you <insert achievement title>? Yes? Achievement unlocked. Easy.
  3. Achievable - If you’re a brand new engineer now, your goal should not be to become director of your department this year.

What About You?

So what are your 2013 achievements? Feel free to steal mine here if you so choose.

  1. I’ve obviously omitted the truly personal achievements about my life like friends, family, etc.