Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 124 of 365 - December in Review

My life started returning to normal during December. Having the last 10 days of the month off from work certainly helped.
1. Lifting - I started Wendler's 5 3 1 program. Having exactly what I need to do spelled out is working well for me. I am making every workout and getting the reps in. I am not getting weaker and might be getting stronger. If I can sustain the program for multiple cycles, it will be a very positive change to my lifting approach. I also cleaned out some unused stuff from my home gym.

2. Eat on $4 a day - Nothing of note here. I continue buying most of my food from Aldi and avoid most packaged food. I did relax things for my vacation. I am not tracking the dollars spent, nor do I feel a real need to. Any additional improvements here would be on the order of a few hundred dollars a year, so investing more time is difficult to justify.

3. Become competitive at pool - This goal remains on hold, possibly indefinitely. I have other things I would rather do. If I could instantly turn my pool table into the money I paid for it, I probably would.

4. Maintain my home - I locked in my refinance rate and am only a few days away from closing. I read the book "How Buildings Learn" and added a few more home improvement books to my queue. My wife and I are both in support of putting more into our home. We spent the past week purging the house of unused things. She even got some nice pictures together for the walls and started the process of setting up our fireplace. Great progress here.

5. Excel as a quality engineer - I had a successful performance review and delivered during a high pressure project. My boss and I still need to agree upon what the company considers to be my 2012 goals. Testing specific reading was limited to some of "Agile Testing", but the other book I read this month has strong parallels to software design. Once again, the goal I am paid to work on shows the most progress.

My focus has narrowed to lifting, caring for my home, and work.

I am really excited about how my lifting is going. For the first time, in a long time, I am not missing workouts and happy while lifting. Closing on the refinance will feel like a major triumph in January. There are a lot of parallels between improving my home and the principles of lean product development. That synergy is helping to stay focused in both areas.

I kind of knew when I started that 5 goals was too many. I figured my focus would bounce around from month to month. However, It is unlikely pool or eating cheaper will get much attention over the next couple months. Focusing on my other goals does a better job of meeting the needs pool and eating cheap were supposed to service.

January will be a good one!