New Year & New Starts

So, here we are again. New year and it’s time to get going with things that I want to be doing, so just what is that? Well I have done objective setting before and never stuck to it for one reason or another, be it too much on or just not being in a position to do things. After what has been a hard year health wise due to a rather unpleasant back injury that I picked up.
Reflecting back on the past year I have actually managed to achieve a number of things that I have been doing, primary among these is finally completing my Open University degree. I ended up getting a 2.2, which is not what I was aiming for but non the less after seven years it has finally been completed. That took a very large amount of my time last year as I was running three level three modules at the same time (the recommend between 8 and 12 hours of study per week for each). Also I managed to complete the 70-461 & 70-462 SQL Server 2012 exams from Microsoft, leaving me most of the way to the MCSA. Finally I managed to attend a number of training courses last year, with the highlight being the two SQL Skills IE1 & IE2 courses in London. This was something that I had been looking to try and do for a while and it was a great experience learning from not only Paul, Kimberly, Jonathan & Joe, But also from fellow attendees who were had me knocked for six for the best part of nine months I’m back on my feet.

And so, now I find myself looking ahead into the new year (yes I know we are already one month in), what do I want to achieve this year?

Personal Achievements

My main focus this year is going to be shedding the excess weight that I have put on by not being able to do anything due to my back injury sustained in 2012, I have ballooned from fifteen stone to just over twenty. So the plan is to be back at or around the fifteen mark by the end of the year. Hopefully hitting the gym three times a week will help me out of this front, along with improving my diet I think that this is feasible. Another element of this is that I am hoping to get back to martial arts and climbing which I really enjoy.

  1. Get my weight down to fifteen stone by December
  2. Get back to martial arts training and get another grading completed.
  3. Go climbing at least twice a month between April and September.
  4. Be able to comfortably run 10KM by November

Work & SQL Server

On a work and SQL Server perspective there are a number of things that I want to get under my belt this year, the first of which is to try and get more involved in the community side of things by at least submitting sessions to try and talk at user groups and events here in the UK. To this end I have already been very lucky to have a presentation on Compliance accepted for SQL Saturday 194 in Exeter which I hope will be a success, I would also like to try and speak at one or two user groups other than Southampton this year if I get the chance.  Also this year I am going to do my best to get along to at least five training events and at least three conferences again as an attendee, I have already got the SQL Skills IE3 & IEBI courses booked and will be out in Chicago for those which I am really looking forward to as I am also using the week in between to have a holiday. Finally I would really like to get the MCSE in SQL Server 2012 which is another three exams over what I have already, though I have scheduled the 70-463 for the end of March so we will see how it goes.

  1. Attend five training courses in 2013
    1. SQL Skills IEBI – Booked
    2. SQL Skills IE3 – Booked
    3. T-SQL Internals pre-con booked for SQL Saturday 194
  2. Achieve SQL 2012 MCSE by December
    1. Achieve MCSA by end of April.
  3. Present at, at least two non-user group events
  4. Present at, at least two user groups that are not Southampton
  5. Attend at least three conferences

On the whole I think all of this can be reasonably achieved, I just need to knuckle down and get it done. So here’s to the new year and all that it holds, may it be a good one and enjoyable at that.