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Goodbye 2009, hello 2010! With the holidays over, a new year begun, and school starting back up tomorrow it is time to make some plans. In the past, I have gone the traditional resolution route, joining millions of others with the promise to get in shape, loose weight, be proclaimed wildlife photographer of the year (OK, I admit that resolution is still alive and kicking). Unfortunately, previous resolutions have rarely been achieved, in part because there was no concrete goal, and success was hard to verify. After all, what exactly does get in shape mean? Does that mean I can climb the stairs without breathing hard or should I be able to run a marathon? Without a clear definition of success, failure is all too likely.
This year, I have decided to approach things a little differently. Instead of resolutions, I am setting goals. Goals which can be easily monitored and in which success is clearly defined. By setting concrete goals, I hope to actually accomplish the objectives I set out to achieve and to be able to take satisfaction when the accomplishments have been achieved. A lot of things I have read suggest that goals are must more likely to be achieved if they are shared publicly. The idea being that the more people there are who know about your goals, the more motivated you are to keep working (after all, embarrassment can be a strong motivator). So, in the interest of increased accountability, I am posting my four major goals for 2010.
Goal #1: Photographic Goal – Take more pictures in 2010.
It might look a little ironic that I just said I am setting concrete goals for 2010 and my first goal is to take more pictures. How concrete is that? Actually, it is. In the past, my photographic efforts have largely been concentrated by bursts of intense photography, followed by long periods of hardly picking up a camera. Weekends dedicated to photography were interspersed between work and family, coupled with the occasional photographic safari. In 2010 I intend to pick up my camera and take picture on a regular basis. To help with this, I am implementing a weekly photo gallery blog post showcasing highlights from the previous week. One of the challenges that I am looking forward to as part of this project is increasing the variety of subjects I photograph. I frequently focus on wildlife photography to the exclusion of everything else. With the inability to travel after wildlife each week, it will be necessary for me to diversify the subjects I am shooting and hopefully develop and challenge my photographic vision.
How will I know I am accomplishing my goal? – Regular (weekly) postings to this blog showcasing my latest photographic work.
Goal #2: Professional Goal – Improve my knowledge and understanding of online teaching.
I firmly believe that the future of education is online. I currently teach at a private school in San Antonio, but each year I see more coursework moving into the virtual world. In 2010 I want to expand my understanding of how online teaching works and determine if it is a career direction I would like to pursue. With this in mind, I have enrolled in the online instructor certification program at the University of Wisconsin – Stout. This 5 course program is based entirely online (which is good because Wisconsin is a heck of a commute from Texas) and will provide a firm foundation for future online teaching.
How will I know I am accomplishing my goal? – Academic success in the online courses I will be taking.
Goal #3: Fitness Goal – Train for and compete in a triathlon.
In August I started swimming to improve my health and fitness. During that time I have progressed to swimming a full mile, three times a week. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, I am a goal oriented person. I have a difficult time doing something just for the sake of doing it. I work best when I have a specific goal in mind. So, in early November, I started thinking about fitness goals and I came up with the idea of competing in a sprint triathlon. For those who don’t follow triathlons, a sprint triathlon is the short version (they use to be called tini triathlons, but it really ruins the macho image so they changed the name). It involves a 0.5 mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run. To prepare, I have started a 13 week training program to get ready for my first triathlon. At this point, I can do each of the individual segments, but I need to continue to build my fitness base so that I can complete all three components back to back.
How will I know I am accomplishing my goal? – My day of reckoning is March 6th, when I will compete in the Athens, Texas sprint triathlon. Surviving the triathlon will be considered a success.
Goal #4: Family – Spend more time in the great outdoors.
Last, but not least, I would like to spend more time with my family in the great outdoors. When we lived in Utah, camping was an important part of our summer activities. Since returning to Texas, however, our family has not been camping, robbing Tristan of the experiences his sister Kara grew up with.
How will I know I am accomplishing my goal? – In 2010, our family has the goal of going on a minimum of 2 camping trips.
Well, that does it. These four goals will help to shape the course of my life over the next 12 months. Now, what goals have you set for 2010?