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Epic life quest

May 7, 2021

Today I want to talk a bit about my goals in life, and how I organise them.

Some time ago I cam across the idea of epic life quests. I originally heard about them from Brent Ozar, who had originally heard about them from Steve Kamb, and I liked the idea behind them. I started to work on my own and about 5 years ago I started writing it down. The full list of everything on my quest is here. I realise I’m probably never going to achieve everything on this list, but it helps me keep a certain amount of focus on things that matter to me long-term.

I broke my goals up into various sections, including travel (because I love to travel and have a lot of places I want to see), and hobbies (because it’s important for me to keep doing the things I enjoy and not just working), as well as some work goals.

A couple of years after that, when it was coming close to the end of December, I started to think about what my New Year’s Resolutions would be that year. I was looking at the usual stuff, like lose weight, exercise more, learn something new, when I realised those goals sucked. They weren’t measurable, they never motivated me, they usually couldn’t be broken down into smaller chunks, and largely they were just vague aspirations to be better at some stuff. I decided that year I wasn’t going to do resolutions, I was going to set myself some New Year’s Goals.

I did that, and pulled some of them from my epic life quest and made up a couple more that were just things I needed to get done in the year to stop myself from backsliding, and came up with 6 goals. I hit 3 of them at the end of the year, and although a 50% success rate wasn’t ideal, it was dramatically better than my usual 0% success rate on resolutions. I decided to do that again in the next year, and set myself 10 goals. Unfortunately that was last year, and we all know what a dumpster fire 2020 turned out to be, but I still achieved some of them which was, again, better than nothing.

So, this year I’ve carried that on. So far I’m not doing great but that’s because the New Stars of Data talk happened and interrupted a lot of my planning. I still feel like I’m on course to achieve quite a few of these:

  • Tidy up and create some ‘branding’ for my professional presence e.g. this blog, potential talks etc.
    • I think the content on this blog is alright, but it could probably use a facelift
    • The about me page needs an update, and I need to create a couple more pages as well
    • When I update the look of the blog it would be good to update the presentations I give to have a similar look
  • Have a painted 40k combat patrol
    • One of my nerd hobbies, I’ve always loved the Games Workshop games and now seems like a good time to get back into them as I live just down the road from their HQ.
  • Have a painted blood bowl team/underworlds warband
    • More Games Workshop stuff
  • Blog once a week for 6 months solid
    • Last year I did this for 3 months, this year I’m pushing for 6
  • Weigh under 95kg every day for 3 months
  • Sort out the garden
    • Not on my epic quest
    • Garden is a state, and I need to properly attack it at some point or I will get in trouble with the letting agency
    • Does potentially get me closer to having my ‘garden party’ garden, which is on my quest, but only if I get the full garden party setup before I move
  • Earn the Azure Data Engineer certification
    • This is almost certainly getting dropped to make room for the New Stars of Data talk
  • Finish my novel
  • Host a proper Halloween party
    • This means everyone dresses up, appropriately spooky decorations and snacks
  • Frame and hang all holiday pictures
    • I’ve got quite a few paintings etc. from different holidays and I want to get them all framed and hung up around the house
    • Not on my epic quest
  • Stretch goal if Covid allows – Jordan desert trek
    • Not happening this year
    • Plan was to trek through the Jordan desert to Petra and the Dead Sea
    • New plan is to do a combined Egypt/Jordan holiday next spring when that will hopefully be more practical
    • This will tick a few goals off the holiday quests
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