Welcoming 2009 with some Goals

A belated happy new year! I've been reading a lot of 'lifehacker' blogs recently - the original LifeHacker, ZenHabits and unclutterer.com being the main three - and am hoping that 2009 will be a good year to declutter (both digitally and in the real world!). I thought it best, then, to outline some goals at the start of the year and see where I get with them over the remaining 359 days.

Get Married

I've been engaged for well over a year, so it's really time we started planning the wedding.

Run a half-marathon (and raise some money for charity)

Plymouth hosts a half-marathon run around the city in May each year, and this year I hope to be running rather than watching it. The last time I ran this distance was before I went to University, so I have a few months of training; 137 days according to the website, which doesn't sound very long. I took the first tentative steps this week with a 3 mile jog, and will be keeping a training log on Twitter.


After Christmas, I made a start at 'uncluttering' by donating clothes and clearing out things that 'might come in useful'. Reading unclutterer.com, as well as books like the 4-hour work week, is inspirational for aiming for less (in a good way!). I'll also probably check out Leo Babauta's The Power of Less soon, although I have a wealth of books to get through at the moment.

Learn Ruby/Ruby on Rails (well!)

I've played with Rails and am currently developing a personal project to learn the more intricate parts of this powerful framework. Coming from PHP, Ruby seems incredibly clean and well-structured and my experience so far is that Rails is a nice framework to use.

At work, I've built a custom framework based on my experience with symfony to power the application I'm working on. I've recently found out, though, that a new project I'll be working on is likely to be in Rails, so hopefully this will provide some motivation and time to get to know ROR properly.

I'm also using Ruby for some GTK apps (using the ruby-gtk bindings), as I've now moved exclusively to running Ubuntu on my machines. I have few open-source project ideas I'd like to get off the ground, and being able to use the same language for web and desktop apps makes sense.

Microblog More

Microblogging is a lot easier than writing long posts, and more suited to me, hence signing up to Twitter. So rather than promise to blog more, I'll make sure I tweet more, and use this site as a repository of code, discoveries and pondering.

Release some software...

I've been working on a personal web project in Rails (see above) that I hope to release at least at a beta state within the next few months. I'll hopefully be posting more about the development in the near future.

...and contribute to open source

As well as my main project, I've got a few small-scale open source apps I'd like to build, both for functional use and to hone Ruby-GTK It's time I gave something back to the open-source community, especially now as I'm now exclusively using open-source desktop software.

This list is by no means exhaustive (and is a little tech-heavy), but hopefully will act as a guide for the next year. There will doubtless be lots of other goals cropping up, and things that I've forgotten about for now. My final goal, then, is to make sure I keep this list up-to-date.