2009 Goals

There is a first for everything. This year, for the first time, I’m going to announce some goals I have for 2009. Before this, if I set any goals for myself, I kept them to myself. This year, I think these goals are reasonably achievable and announcing them will give me more incentive to actually do them.

  • Ride at least 6000 miles: Last year I road 3000 miles. I started in late April and took a month or three off after that. This year, I can do better. I doubt you should expect more than 6000 in 2010, but anything is possible.
  • Lose another 20lbs: One year ago, I weighed myself at 212lbs. At my height, that is “obese” according to BMI. Before that I had been up to around 220lbs. I’m down around 190lbs now and hit a low of 180 this year. I’d like to lose another 15 to 20lbs and end up around 170. And while exercise, like all that cycling I’ve been doing, is healthy, I actually lost most of the weight before I began biking. My secret? The Hacker’s Diet. Essentially: your body is a machine that consumes calories and burns them off or stores them as fat. If you want to lose fat, consume fewer calories.
  • Become a Debian Developer: I use Ubuntu and Debian on almost all the machines I set up. I recently got a couple of packages sponsored into Debian — and have already fielded the first bug report. At work, I help develop and package open source software. I think I can make some great contributions to Debian and Debian Medical in particular. (I wrote more about this on the work blog.)
  • Start teaching my children to program: I wrote about this two years ago but never did it. Part of it was a lack of preparation and material on my part and a lack of interest on theirs. My son just turned 10 and has begun to show an interest in the work I do. My oldest daughter is almost 12 and should know some basics. And I should take some time out to focus on this sort of activity with them. I’ve been going over the problems on Project Euler and I think some of those problems are simple enough to start with. As an added bonus, they’ll learn some math concepts. I think I’ll set up Squeak on their laptops to teach them.
  • Go the whole year without buying a TV: My wife threw out the TV last month. It was probably inevitable anyway since we were completely analog and don’t even have basic cable — in February we would have been stuck with the DVDs we had sitting around. This doesn’t mean we’re without video entertainment — laptops and a DVD system in the minivan take care of that — but it does mean that no one is asking to turn on the TV or play the PlayStation. When she first threw out the TV, there wasn’t even any moaning from the kids. TV was nice to have, but no one needed it. My wife even said she felt less stressed without the TV around.

That seems like a good way to start off the new year. What are your goals?

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