Lesson #25: Setting goals for yourself for 2024
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Some personal news: I will be running my first-ever marathon at the 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2024! I am raising $5,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support their important mission and research and I would be honored to have your support. Make a donation here. I’m now over halfway to my goal! Thank you so much for your support.
Setting goals for yourself for 2024
Happy New Year! If you’re like me and love new beginnings, you’re probably thinking about the things you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I’m a firm believer in setting OKRs for myself (yes, I’m that person), but even before I know what an OKR was, I was still a regular goal-setter for the new year. Over time my goals have become more clearly defined and reasonable.
If you’re looking for some suggestions for the year ahead as an engineering leader, I’ll run you through mine so you can take inspiration. Mine are a mix of personal and professional goals.
As usual, it’s important for your goals to be SMART:
The clearer your goals are, the more likely you are to achieve them (assuming you want to put in the work).
So, without further ado, here are my OKRs:
Objective #1: Build IT expertise required to make Spot AI IT successful
Starting in the new year I’m heading up IT at my company. While I’ve been in charge of our SOC2 and HIPAA audits for a while, this formalizes things a bit more with an IT Engineer directly reporting to me now. I want to make sure I’m setting myself, my company, and my new direct report up for success.
Complete learning material for A+ certification [Q1]
Attain ITIL v4 Foundation certification [Q1]
Complete learning material for Security+ and Network+ certifications [Q2]
Read 5 books to build IT knowledge [Q3] (I have the books listed out as well.)
Objective #2: Become a prominent Engineering Leader
As you can probably tell, this engineering leadership focus is something I’m super passionate about, and it’s something I want to keep building professionally. My KRs for this one are geared around building an online presence and speaking.
Reach 50,000 LinkedIn followers [Q4]
Hit 10,000 subscribers on Lessons in Engineering Leadership [Q4]
Complete two cohorts of my new Engineering Leadership Maven course [Q4]
Speak at at least 4 conferences next year on engineering leadership [Q4]
Objective #3: Perform regular volunteering work
I always add volunteering as a focus for my objectives so it stays front and center. If you’re interested in finding a way to volunteer, I highly recommend checking out Catchafire for opportunities.
Participate in a minimum of 4 FIRST events in 2024 [Q4]
Maintain at least 1 open Catchafire project at any given time [Q4]
Objective #4: Build functional French proficiency
Daniel and I will be spending a month in France this year and we’re also taking in a French student for a few weeks through an organization to which Daniel belongs, so I’d like to be functional at the very least with my French. I’m using French Today and Memrise to learn, and of course practicing my speaking with Daniel who is light years ahead of me but is also learning.
Complete French Today L1 [Q1]
Complete French Today L2 [Q2]
Practice French for 20 minutes for 90% of days [Q4]
Learn 1,500 new French words and phrases [Q4]
Objective #5: Achieve new fitness heights
I always have many fitness goals in various areas each year, and this one is particularly well planned out, especially with my marathon!
Complete Dry January [Q1] (My best friend’s bachelorette is my one exception!)
Row 5k meters in 24 minutes [Q2]
Run a half marathon [Q2]
Run a marathon [Q4]
Take 100 barre classes [Q4]
I hope you take inspiration from these to create your own goals! And if you’re not at all goal-driven, you do you. This type of goal setting doesn’t work for everyone!
What I’m reading
I’m still reading Wiring the Winning Organization by Gene Kim and Steven J. Spear! I think it’ll definitely go on my recommendation list.
Check out the full book list for recommendations and an ever-growing reading list.
Note: Links to books in this section are affiliate links to help support the purchase of the rest of my books :)
What I’m working on
I’m off today so tomorrow I’ll be back into the swing of things! January is end of our fiscal year, so I’ve got FY25 planning while wrapping up FY24. We come out of our code freeze tomorrow so we’re going to hit the ground running this week. I’m excited for the year ahead and hope you are too!
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