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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I’ve never really made or kept New Year’s resolutions, but I think that goal-setting in general is a good idea. The beginning of a new year is a great symbolic time to set new goals for yourself and contemplate goals already met. With the accessibility attendant with web publishing, I’m going to declare my goals publicly this year so that I can get to them easily. Accountability is not an issue since I probably don’t know you and you probably won’t take me to task for not fulfilling them (except for you: J-Dog, T-Money, and L-Man). In no particular order:
<ol><li>Make a budget and stick to it. With the reduction in paid employment at the Brown household, we can no longer spend money as we make it. The need for fiscal responsibility has never been greater so it is time to craft that grown-up bastion, the household budget. I’ll also make specific financial goals regarding debt reduction and so forth, but I’m not committing those to this site because it’s none of your business.</li><li>Get things done. I’ve done a first pass at Getting Things Done and I really like the principles involved. It suits my style better than any other time management system I’ve encountered. I just need to reread the book for clarity, set up the way that’s best for me, and start a new habit. At some point, I’ll probably also post a review here since I’ve got a lot to say about the book.</li><li>Read How To Raise a Brighter Child, finish Parent Effectiveness Training, and read Liberated Parents, Liberated Children. Though my daughters are only two months old now, they’ll be walking toddlers in no time. I want to read these three books because I want to give them every advantage that I never had.</li><li>Reread Atlas Shrugged. I’ve read this book many times and I’m about due for a refresher.</li><li>Create I’m paying $19/month to host the site, so I’ve got to make something of it.</li><li>Migrate to Zettai, including all content. Same argument: I’m paying $10/month to host and $19/month to Zettai, which allows me two domains under the plan I’m on. It’s going to be a herculean task since Blogger helpfully doesn’t have an export tool and Plone doesn’t have an import one. That’s just for the blogs! I’ve also got hundreds of pages of content. The good news is that once I get migrated and created then I’m going to upgrade my account to the plan that allows 10 domains. That’ll be sweet!</li><li>Finish Love is Never Enough. I’ve read about half of cognitive psychologist Aaron Beck’s fascinating book on relationships and I’m sold. He’s got excellent advice for couples and he’s much more reasonable—read: not hyperbolic—than Albert Ellis, who seems to tend towards self-promotion. Sandi hates the title, which I agree is a little over the top and was better when it was “Love is Not Enough,” but she can’t disparage the underlying message. I owe it to Sandi and the girls to try to be the best husband I can be.</li><li>Baby-proof the entire house. The time is fast approaching that the girls will be up and about. I want to be ready for it so they can explore at will without heightened worry.</li><li>Use Python to develop a Cocoa app. I’ve been learning Python for a few months now, though I haven’t had an opportunity to apply my knowledge to any effect. It’s a neat little language and, with the Objective-C bindings of PyObjC, I’d like to make a Cocoa-based app for Mac OS X in the coming year. Okay, that’s a little ambitious so I’d like to at least conceive of such an app in the coming year. Perhaps I’ll resurrect my Java program idea—jCommute—and make it with Python. Hmm.</li><li>Start a list of at least five viable business ventures for the future. After two months of parenthood, I realize that I’m not going to have time to actually start a business in the first year of their lives so I want to just prime the pump, so to speak. I’ll act on the ideas in the next year or two.</li><li>Control my temper. Those that know me may be surprised to know that I have an uncontrolled temper, unless you know me really well. I think some of the previously mentioned books will help me to be a more contemplative—read: less reactive—person. Sandi and the girls deserve an even-keeled husband and father. More importantly, life is too short to waste the psychic effort on letting things get to you.</li></ol>That’s a lot of resolutions and goals, I’ll admit. I’ll have a wrap-up in a year and we’ll see what I’ve accomplished. Best of luck to me.

[UPDATE (1/6/04): More thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions.]