It’s nearly the time of year when we all make brave/bold/ambitious new years resolutions. I tend not to because I never see them through so I’m making a todo list instead.
This year instead, I’m going to make a todo list for me to keep dipping into and coming back to instead. Seems a few others thought this was a reasonable idea so I’d love to hear the things you’re all planning on ticking off your lists through the year.
With that in mind, there’s a few things I would like to do both web related and personally but I’m keen not to trivialise them by making a daft promise on the back of a few beers at 12:01 on January 1st! I’d rather take a structured approach because for me it’s a bit more likely I’ll actually do it and not simply *lose* the metaphorical list a few days into January.
The 2012 Todo List
I want to keep it short and manageable but like all todo lists, I will be striking off things as they’re done and adding new ones. It’s tragic that I live and breathe the web to the point where I’m actually even thinking a new years resolution list isn’t very agile and doesn’t really allow for much flexibility. Send help immediately…
1. Become a better writer
I’ve no dreams of becoming an author or a speaker but I do enjoy the theraputic nature of writing a blog. I’m very aware however that I swing between between 3 main types of blog post – Reactionary, observational and experience based stuff like the freelancing category posts.
I’d like to introduce a bit more structure and thought to my reactionary posting, one of the things I enjoy about owning a blog is the freedom to do and say what I like and if people enjoy it, great. If not, they’re welcome to not read it or make comments/get in touch.
However, there’s certainly an art to blogging and I’d like to do more research and practice in 2012 to make my points better, less verbose and write about more varied subjects. Lets see how that goes.
2. Make more, Share more
I already try to share as much as possible and I believe in the power of Open Source but it would be good to keep pushing stuff out there. It may take a year, but I might finally figure out how to push stuff onto GitHub to share.
I already have two things I believe in that are out there – Docpool – Shared documents for designers and my Barebones WordPress Theme but one of the highlights of this year has been seeing the plethora of awesome snippets, scripts and resources shared by fellow designers – particularly with respect to responsive web design resource where the speed of development this year has been awesome.
I’m by no means as prolific as most in this area but I’d like to at least try to make more and share more this year, even if it’s just by being better at #1 above!
3. Offer to be a mentor
I’d never considered I might have anything to offer until a recent spate of mails from freelancers just setting up / starting out who’d obviously stumbled across my various outpourings on how I did/do things and it was nice recently to be able to offer a few thoughts to Julien who took the time to drop me a friendly mail with some questions and combined with a lovely post by Chris Wharton about becoming a mentor. I figure it might be good to either get involved with the local University (Huddersfield) or simply throw the offer out there to anyone.
4. Be a designer again
I don’t really maintain a portfolio on this site anymore, largely because since I went full time at Offroadcode 2 years ago, I’ve been too busy to do too much outside office hours. Some of the work I was showing in my portfolio (while I was still proud of it) was 3-4 years old. It had little in common with what I now do and my working practice, knowledge and experience have all changed, improved and been refined so it was very much a vault of “old classics” in a way.
Like many, I love reading (and seeing) the blogs of Trent Walton and Dan Mall because they’re art directed (as well as being well written), it’s an approach I’d like to look at implementing on some topics in 2012 as it will help with flexing design muscles and in a way, replace my old portfolio pieces with living copy and design.
5. Physical challenges
The mind needs the body right? I’ve started running training this year and I’ve got a Marathon in Manchester at the end of April and also plan to continue the long distance running with an Ultra distance event later in the year. Along with that, I also try most saturday’s to run at my local ParkRun (a 5km run) and want to get my time below the 20 minute mark by the end of the year.
Update: 15th Sept 2012 – I did it! Ran 19:52 for my first sub 20 minute 5km race.
That’s my list, what about you?
It’s a short list for sure. Lets start slow and steady and cross them off and add more when it’s appropriate. Several folks said they might make a todo list instead, send some links or add a comment/tweet – I’d love to see your plans too!