2016: The Year of Quantifiable Goals

Now that 2015 has come to a close, it is an opportune time to think about my goals for the upcoming year. I did a pretty poor job of creating any sort of accountability for my 2015 goals (not even sure what they were at this point), and found that blogging my 2014 goals and mid-year retrospective rather useful for that purpose, so here is the 2016 version.

Because my appetite often ends up setting unrealistic expectations, I decided this year I would create more realistic goals with the “opportunity to exceed”. I’m also going to take a page from a friend on his goal setting, declaring quantifiable numerical values in order to track tangible progress.

I’ve found that when I create these lists, there end up being two main themes:

  • Professional / Career Development
  • Get off the Computer

Professional / Career Development

Write 24 Blog Posts

Kicking off the list with a pretty obvious one. I dropped the ball on posting new content in 2015 after a pretty successful 2013/2014. I’ve got a variety of excuses as to why that was, but there isn’t much that can excuse a posting cadence of “once every 3 months”. Setting the bar at 2 posts a month seems pretty reasonable.

Collect All Trailhead Badges

Will touch on this a bit more in an upcoming blog post, but as part of maintaining expertise in the Salesforce ecosystem I’ve set a goal to stay current on Trailhead modules. My current job only touches on a subset of the platform, so Trailhead has proven to be a nice way to get some pointed hands-on experience with features I wouldn’t use on a normal project.

I already have 51 of them already done thanks to a couple weekends in November, so finishing the last 20 shouldn’t be terrible. The overall goal is to end 2016 at 100% completion based on however many new modules come out during the calendar year as well.


Salesforce rolled out some new certifications during the second half of 2015, and I still need to take (and pass) the Platform Developer I & II Transition Exam.

As a bit more of a stretch, I’ve been eyeing the Pardot certifications for a year now, and would like to knock those out in an effort to increase my knowledge of the platform.

Present 1 Session at Dreamforce

Pretty self explanatory; I had a blast last year presenting 2 sessions at Dreamforce, and would love to present again this year. Already starting to think about different topics to submit.

Contribute 12 Pull Requests to Open Source

This one is a bit new for me, as I haven’t made much of an effort in this department in the past besides an ad-hoc bug fix or two. As a way to give back (and keep my skills sharp) I’ve set a goal of submitting 1 pull request a month to any open source project.

Ship Some Apps

Like most people, I come up with useful ideas (usually only useful to myself) for apps all the time. Sometimes I even start working on them. Very infrequently do I finish them before losing interest. This year there are 2 different app types that I want to ship, which is defined by actually listing them on their respective stores:

1 AppExchange App

AppExchange is Salesforce’s version of an App Store. My goal is to create some sort of free app, likely a Lightning Component, and go through the process of deploying it to the store.

1 Ionic (iOS) App

While I don’t have the patience to re-learn the native language(s) for writing iOS apps after more than a year of not touching it, I am interested in leveraging Ionic to build an iOS app in order to learn about that technology.

Get off the Computer

Read 18 Books

I  was reading at a rather voracious pace through the middle of 2014, but the last 18 months I have read very infrequently. As part of the greater goal to not stare at a computer screen (does E Ink count?), I’m looking to read 18 books in total. I’d like to make at least 6 of the books “work-related”, but giving myself some leeway to just read anything for the other 12.

30+ minutes of Woodworking (3x/month)

My primary hobby that isn’t computer-related is woodworking, through a variety of different styles. While I am rather limited living in an apartment with creaky floors at the moment (ruling out the power tools), I do have the tools for whittling and relief carving.

Last year there was very minimal woodworking; only a few trips to the power tools stored in my parents’ basement for scroll sawing and woodturning. This year my goal is to focus on the hand tools and create a reasonable cadence of spending some dedicated time 3x a month.

Exercise (Run 3x/week, Lift 3x/week)

This one went pretty well for 80% of 2015. My wife and I ran the NYC Marathon on November 1, so there was roughly 6-8 months of training that focused on running 4-5 times a week. Of course, once that goal is accomplished…that cadence fell off a bit. In any case, running 3+ miles 3x a week (or equivalent cardio workout) shouldn’t be an issue.

On the other hand, I have always ignored strength training. This will be more annoying to be diligent about, but I’m setting a goal here of 30+ minutes 3x a week.

Learn Spanish (30+ min 5x/week)

A recurring theme from my 2014 list. I have what LinkedIn calls elementary proficiency in Spanish based on 4 years in high school, but it is essentially just knowing a good amount of vocabulary without being particularly adept at holding a conversation. While that is good enough to survive in a foreign country, I have a goal of being conversational at some point (which I would define as not having to translate between Spanish and English in my head before talking).

Since the end result is not something I can track quantifiable progress on, instead I’ll shoot for 30+ minutes of practice 5x/week through conversing with my wife or apps like duolingo.