The past couple years, I’ve made New Years resolutions related to advancing my career. I’ve already started thinking about plans for next year. These goals have helped me focus on making some serious improvements. While I haven’t met every goal, they’ve been very effective in upping my game.
While I’m pretty happy with where my career is going, there are other parts of my life that could also stand some improvement. I’ve recently been focusing on my weight. I’m down 16 pounds, with another 9 to go; and I’ll probably see if I can extend the weight loss by another 10 or 20 pounds.
My relationship with my wife has suffered a little over the past few years. She’d been busy with school the past 4 years. Earlier this year, I had spread myself too thin with my involvement in local user groups, volunteering, and conference presentations. I realize that we have to work on our relationship in order for it to stay strong and healthy. I’m not really good at knowing how to do that. But I’m going to try setting some goals that will have a positive effect on my relationship.
I always have a lot of things going on at once. I seem to thrive on multi-tasking. But one down-side is that I leave a lot of things hanging. This happens with many of my side projects, as well as chores around the house. One example is when I do laundry. It often takes me days to fold the laundry, and then sometimes a couple more days to put the laundry away.
So I’m going to start making an effort to be better at finishing things. I’ll put the clothes away as soon as I fold them. I’ll put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher when I’m done eating.
Putting Things In Their Place
This is related to the previous item. It drives my wife crazy when I leave the door to the new pantry open. And it drives her crazy when I leave shoes and clothes (and lots of other things) around the house. While I think she goes overboard in her need for order, I know that it helps her focus on other things when she doesn’t have to worry about the house being cluttered.
It should only take a little bit of effort to meet her half way. I’ll focus on keeping the house less cluttered — or at least confined to my own spaces. I’m sure it’ll have a positive impact on me as well.
Being More Conscious of My Time
When I over-extended myself earlier this year, I had more extracurricular activities than I had time for. I didn’t do a very good job of planning my activities around each other. I had to give up one of my major activities (being involved with the UNIX and GNU/Linux user groups). Even with that, time for my relationship suffered.
I’ll need to plan my time better, so that I’m not stressing out with all the things that I need and want to do. I also need to procrastinate less. Being mindful that it’s affecting my relationship will hopefully help a little.
I’ve had this idea for a little while. I’d like to do a family retrospective. I’m a little less sure about this one. I’m not sure I could do a good job of running a family retrospective myself. But I occasionally go to the therapist with my wife. I’d like to do that more, so we can focus on our relationship in that setting. But I’d also like to do some of the things that teams do in Agile retrospectives. Like check in on how we’re progressing on our goals. And brainstorming ideas on things to try to improve things. Perhaps this list will give us a starting point of things we can talk about.
Focus on the Relationship
Probably the biggest thing I need to do is to set aside time just to spend with my wife. Quality time. Date night. Spending time with my wife always makes us both feel better.
Using a Shared Calendar
As a practical matter, we really need to start using a shared calendar. Well, actually, we already do. But it’s a paper calendar on the wall at home. That makes it hard to use when we’re not at home. Finding an electronic calendar that we can both see would be helpful in planning my time and planning date nights.
As my wife always tells me: happy wife, happy life.