Apparently, to make goals more achievable they have to be specific, measureable, written and you need to be accountable.  That is what this entry is about for me.  I don't like making New Year's resolutions.  I'll make some experience objectives that are important to me.  I know it is just semantics, but it works for me.  For a start date, the Chinese New Year is arbitrary enough and starts on February 10th.  In the coming year I am going to (in no particular order of importance):
  1. Meet more celebrities.  This is pretty easy since it only requires me to get to more genre conventions. I can't call them "comic conventions" since there might be comics, but there will also be toys, science fiction and fantasy, written and filmed, games, etc.  The really need a new name. The push: I will attend all the conventions put on at the Irving Conventions Center and at least one outside the DFW area.
  2. Sew more.  I enjoyed the near mental breakdown of trying to assemble something that have vague instructions.  My poor wife, being an introvert, assumes my cussing, fussing, grumbling and exasperation are signs I am not enjoying myself.  You'd think after 14 years of marriage she'd know.  This is too vague of course, so I will complete AT LEAST three of these:
    • Revised Voyager jumper
    • Star Trek: Next Generation uniform
    • DS9/Nemesis uniform
    • Star Trek Original Series uniform  (all in science blue/green of course)
    • Battlestar Galactica original viper pilot
    • Battlestar Galactica recent bridge officer
    • Old West Sherriff
    • Ren Faire garb
    • A contemporary suit
    • A contemporary shirt
    • The push: I know of at least two people who are photographers.  I will complete a photo shoot in one of these outfits. 
  3. Date my wife more.  I do pretty well with this, but I need to make sure we get time weekly.  Not just going out since that would make me poor in a hurry, but separating ourselves from the kiddos for at least an hour.  We have a 12 year old and a TV.  I'm sure they can manage.  The push: put it on the calendar with reminders. 
  4. Go out with friends more.  I will say yes every time a friend or SUITup Gents gets together unless an important prior engagement is on the calendar or I’m sick.  I need to get out more, pretty simple and my wife needs a break from me dating her all the time.  The push: If you know me, you read this and you need another person along, let me know and I am there.
  5. Shape my back yard oasis.  I will do one thing a month to start shaping my little slice of heaven.  I have been talking about it for too long.  It’s time to start breaking some ground.  The push: the annual Stines Halloween party is officially on.  I need to have the yard ready for you costumed critters.
  6. Organize photos.  I have two comic short boxes full of photos.  I have a box of pretty boxes to put them in.  The two need to meet already.  The push:  I have a blank space where I moved the games down from over the TV for the kids.  I need something in that space.
  7. Play my trumpet more.  I will pull out the trumpet at least once a week and play some tunes.  I scarified years of work and cash for that thing, I should get some continued use out of it.  The push: put together an ensemble to play at…(senior citizen home, school, night club, I dunno).  It will largely depend on the mix of instruments.
  8. Get outside more.  I think many (most?) women agree a man looks good in a suit.  I know I look good on SUITup Mondays.  I’m damn hot.  But if it looks like your inside all day playing video games, you lose some of that manliness.  To that end, I plan on getting outside more.  I will go camping at least four times this coming year at least once by myself, hike a 10 mile trail and walk every day.  The push:  Tell the kids I’m taking them camping.  I’ll never hear the end of it until we actually go.
  9. Remove expectations.  How often do you look forward to something, build it up in your mind only to be let down when things don’t go the way you want them too.  I think we miss out on more than a few opportunities by being blinded by what we think should be happening.  I know this seems contrary to making objectives like the preceding, but I would argue it’s in harmony.  The objectives give me a direction to start going while a lack of expectation would allow me to change course and follow that path that presents itself.  To go with the flow, you at least have to walk in to the river.  The push: …only the flow.
  10. Get to 195 lbs and be at least a comfortable 36”waist.  When I finished school for the last time, I was at my heaviest of 235 lbs.  Once I got my degree, my stress levels plummeted and I lost 15 lbs within the year doing almost nothing different.  I have been 210-215 since then regardless of how much or how little I do.  The push: have a “before” photo taken in all it’s embarrassing glory and have a trusted friend hold it.  If this objective is not achieved in six months, that photo is release on facebook. (shudder)
  11. Expand my professional network.  I need to leverage synergy and grab the low-hanging fruit.  My objectives need to be value-added and actionable with a clear strategic fit with my new paradigm.  OR I could take my peers out to lunch.  I will take out a vendor or customer who is roughly equivalent like controller, credit manager, CFO, etc. to lunch once a month.   It never hurts to learn from others or know people in your industry who have seen you face to face.  The push: have a simple, but thought provoking question.  Tell my boss I’m doing it and have him follow up with me.
That is a pretty good list to get me started.  If I achieved even half of that I think I could count it a success.  I have a couple of other personal objectives but it’s not necessary to have all one’s cards shown.  If you know me and you read this, hold me accountable.  Ask how I’m doing on something.