January 1, 2013.

This date – any January 1 for that matter – is as arbitrary as just about any other day when it comes to making a decision to start anew, set a resolution or set a challenge.  Yet this is what many do on the first day of a new year.

My Life is a Series of Broken Resolutions

In the past I’ve set and broken many New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve also seen this occur on a larger scale when I was a member of the local YMCA.  You were lucky to find open time on any of the equipment from January until March.  Come April though you had no time finding a place to park your car and your slowly shrinking rear.

I’ve blown off goals of taking a photo per day though I’ve been taking photos since my first Instamatic was given to me in 1974.

I’ve blown off reading one self-help or business-oriented book per month for a year as a challenge from Buck Woody (twitter|web) on our first Alaskan SQL Cruise in 2011.

I think I’m getting better…

In September I made a vow to exercise 30 minutes a day… and succeeded.  In October I followed that up with a vow of 50 “perfect pushups” per day for the month.  While I fell short by two days because I was in Las Vegas and couldn’t bring myself to do pushups on a hotel floor, I did cap the month off by doing 50 of them 4,000 feet above the Grand FREAKING Canyon.  I not only have witnesses, but I also have a paralyzing fear of heights so I think that buys me the two final days off.

The Challenge for 2013

It’s with this newly-emboldened sense of accomplishment that I put out a challenge on 1/1/2013 to do something that we’re already doing (hopefully):


That’s it.  Learn.  One thing per day for an entire year.  I’m not asking for you to learn Japanese in one day – or Klingon.  I’m not challenging you to learn how to hotwire a car, but that would be pretty cool.  I’m looking for the simplest of things but you can make it as complex as you’d like.

The Documenting is the Hardest Part

You don’t get off that easy though because now comes the hard part.  I also want you to document it and be prepared to share your new-found information / skills with others.  Documenting is an easy task – but one that many avoid like a muttering, boil-covered, knife-wielding stranger in a dark alley at 3:00am.  That is why I’m not placing any hard and fast rules around this challenge.  Just learn something new every day for a full year and write it down as you see fit – be it a notebook, blog, Excel spreadsheet, Notepad file, or some other permanent method and be prepared to discuss with others.

The Sharing

If you’re joining me on one of my two SQL Cruises in 2013 we will be discussing this topic in one of our dedicated Office Hours periods.  If you’re blogging about your plans to take on this challenge please reference this blog post; think of it as a #TSQLTuesday that lasts for 365 days.  If you’re posting your progress on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social media outlets please use the #learn365 hashtag.

Happy New Year and Happy Year of Learn365!