2010 Resolutions and Themeword

I’ve been tagged by Tom LaRock


…to broadcast my resolutions for the next year for all to see (or at least the 6 readers of my blog to see, and the corporate attorney for my company to read should I say anything detrimental to THE HAND THAT FEEDS.)


There is only one issue though: I don’t *do* resolutions.  I never have.  What I tend to do – and have done since my teens – is to take time to list out all the things that come to mind about what occurred over the past 365.25 days at the close of each year.  Those journal records are personal (and probably embarrassing, so much so that I don’t even go back and re-read them.)  I’m sure some day my grandson will run across a battered Mead spiral-bound, college ruled notebook and, after marvelling that we used to write things with ink on paper, proceed to thumb through these lists from 1983 and cloak himself in shame for his family that is so thick and dark that he’ll wonder if he’ll emerge into the light ever again. 

Or he’ll just laugh his ass off thinking that his Grandpa used to make out in the back of a 79′ Chevette to a Rush mix tape.

However, I digress… which is exactly why I don’t do resolutions.  I tend to wander in my personal and professional life.  Sure, I’ll stay on task for a project/task/initiative/what-have-you, but once the goal is met and the project is closed I am off to the next assignment or fire.  It is a nature of being the only resource that does what I do for my company over the course of the first 9 years I worked there – I’m still fighting to come out of that mode now that I have additional resources to fall back to when I need to.  This carries into my personal life (as all things tend to do when you do what you love and don’t call it work.)  Your personal life and your professional life tend to blur into one.

However, because I value Tom’s friendship and also those he tagged as well in his post I will succumb and for the first time ever list my resolutions for 2010.  Since my personal and professional lives are so intertwined you will see items that pertain to both.  This will be an interesting exercise for me because I will work towards meeting or exceeding each of these goals over the next 12 months.  Something that in, and of itself, is a goal for me.

2010 Goals

  1. Finish the book:  When Louis Davidson and I began writing our Dynamic Management Objects For Performance Tuning book 12 short months ago I figured that it would be an easy project that we would complete in a couple months.  I just submitted the last of the content to my editor yesterday.  Writing a book, as so many have expressed, is not light task.  The work is hard, the stress is amazing, and the end result is handed out for free at booths to those who half the time just want a free t-shirt.  Louis put it best though: “When I told you it would be great if you wrote a book you should have noticed I used the past-tense of ‘write'”.  How To Quantify Success on 12/31/2010: There better be a book on my bookshelf with a photo I’ve taken for use as the cover image – with MY name on it somewhere.
  2. Present More:  I became a Microsoft SQL Server MVP in October 2009.  This was such a great moment in my professional career, not because it was a campaign won, or an accolade I solicited to obtain, but because it was tangible validation of the volunteer work I’ve done for the SQL Server community for the past 10 years.  What I thought was even cooler was the comment from our (then) MVP Lead when she notified the world of my MVP award stated “Welcome Back.”  Starting in late 2009 I started presenting as the obvious next step in volunteering within the community.  I’d been doing it as the host for the PASS Quizbowl for years, but that was me wearing my chimp suit and making snarky comments for the benefit of comic relief.  As a presentor people expect you to teach them things.  They have made accomodations in their personal or professional life to step away from their other pressing concerns to come as listen to you for 50+ minutes.  You better make it worth their time.  I strive to do that with each new presentation I give.  How To Quantify Success on 12/31/2010: A listing of at least 12 presentations over the course of the year.  A goal of 1 per month.
  3. Volunteer More:  I see the MVP as an affirmation of past work, but also as a call to duty to challenge myself to do more.  I’m still re-assessing if I plan to run for the Professional Association For SQL Server Board of Directors – I’ve always felt that I do a good job as a utility player, coming off the bench to do any job asked of me.  However I do like a challenge, and feel that I can contribute significantly in that role.  We shall see.  If not, you shall still see me working on the PASS Program Committee, standing up in front of all of you making fun of participants in the Quizbowl, answering questions on Twitter and via blogs, and writing for MSSQLTips.com, Simple-Talk.com, and SQLServerCentral.com.  How To Quantify Success on 12/31/2010: Renewal of MVP in 10/2010, 24 articles written for MSSQLTips.com, 4 articles written for SQLServerCentral.com, 48 SQL-Centric blog posts at thesqlagentman.com
  4. DMVees Expertise:  I’ve always wanted to learn a single subject inside-out.  I’ve long been a trivia master; knowing a little bit about many disparate subjects.  I’ve never been good at taking the time to dig in super-ultra-mondo-mega deep at something to the level I could be called a Master.  I took the time to research and write about approximately 20 DMVs and DMFs for the book.  However, I want to expand not only that range, but the depth of that range.  Therefore it is my plan to identify and research, test, code-to-death 4 additional DMVs per month.  Currently there are 136.  This would put me over the 50% mark by the end of the year.  How To Quantify Success on 12/31/2010: The blog posts, articles, and tips on the various sites I write for should provide proof of accomplishment in this regard.
  5. Physical Fitness:  Probably the number one resolution for Americans is to get in better shape in the coming year.  That is a hard task and it is not just a single-year accomplishment – it’s a lifestyle change.  I’ve been working hard at this for the past two years: changing how I eat, when I eat, and the excercise I get.  We it Information Technology sit on our asses all day long (and all night long in many cases.)  I realized that I was heading towards a future of inflatable doughnut devices under me and chocolate doughnuts in me if I did not change things in 2008.  Since then I’ve gone from 180 pounds and 25% body fat with an unhealthy BMI to match to 160# and 18% body fat with a healthy BMI.  I feel the best I’ve felt in years – my attitude towards life and those around me is greatly improved, and I am addicted to the process now.  How To Quantify Success on 12/31/2010: 15% body fat and a body weight 165#-170# should do the trick.

These are all runners-up to the true goal of the year, and one that I am not particularly good at in my opinion:


This is also my themeword for the year.  Why?  Because as I get more involved in my professional life I get less involved in my personal life.  I always swore that I would be the best father out there.  I based it on the following formula:

(( Mike Brady + Heathcliff Huxtable) * 0.5) + (James Conrad * 0.4) + (Tom Smith * 0.1)  ——–>No jokes about closetted architects wearing ugly sweaters and dancing like a retarded hampster-dancer please.

James Conrad is my maternal grandfather and a kick-ass man who stormed the beaches at Normandy; hunter, fisher, father, husband, supporter of my now deceased Grandma through countless recurrences of Cancer.  He has been a stong figure in my life since my father passed when I was 3. 

Tom Smith was the step father I had from the time I was 8 years old until his passing in 2008.  Stern, faulted, but always interested in the upbringing of a son that wasn’t even his.  We were never truly close, but were closer than we ever had been at the time of his passing. 

I did not turn out like I planned though.  I don’t know if it was because of a lack of a true fatherly role model – that drove my desireto be a great father, but I find myself 11 years into this adventure still figuring my way in the dark.  I find myself more like Archie Bunker (to stick with the fictional father meme) capable of love and truly loving, but buried under so much of a shell that I can’t express it as much as I want.  So my main goal is to be a constant presence in the lives of Austen Robert Ford, and Trevor Moon Ford.  To not just be there for them, but be for them.  How To Quantify Success on 12/31/2010: There is no simple test for this one.  If, when they have kids of their own, I did my job right then it will be apparent that I was not just A Parent.

There you have it.  What I plan for in 2010 (and beyond.)  I’m tagging Andy Leonard (because of all the Fathers I know, he’s the Daddiest!)  I am also tagging Joe Webb for similar reasons and Colin Stasiuk because he is the coolest Canadian I know that is not in Rush or named Tommy Chong.  Heck, he’s so good, he already posted his response before I could ask him too! 

Happy 2010.  Just think, two more years and this will all be over with!