It’s at this time of year that most people begin to review all that was completed in 2017 and attempt to set some new goals for 2018. A lot of people I respect in the industry have presented their goals for 2018 and I noticed that I hadn’t done a post for last year to say what my goals were. This year however I want to have it documented for both posterity and for accountability.

So, where do I start with goals for 2018. I don’t really buy into just having new years resolutions as these are usually something like “I need to go to the gym more” and then you handover half your years wages for the privilege of sitting on your couch. For me the goals for the coming year need to be something tangible, relevant and achievable. Some of them are stretch goals so there a bit more challenging to reach but that’s part of the joy really. In order to figure out what goals I wanted to set I took a look back at what was achieved last year and what I didn’t get around to doing. If anything was still relevant it could be carried over to the new year.

In general 2017 was a personally outstanding year. I know a lot of people are glad to see the back of it but it provided some great achievements and memories for both me and my family. On Australia Day I was sworn in as an Australian citizen which was an emotional experience and a great way to kickstart the year. I took stock of my career over the previous Christmas holiday period and looked at the opportunities within my role, where the company was going and what my role was morphing into following some heavy organisational restructuring. I had a realisation that I was struggling to achieve a good work-family balance and that something had to change. Due to significant out-of-hours work requirements, as it was a global role, I wasn’t really present for family events or moments and when I was I was just tired and general a curmudgeonly old bastard. While I was enjoying my job I wasn’t enjoying my family time so I pulled the pin and moved into a locally based role rather than a global one and took the opportunity to move into a Solutions Architecture position. I have to say that it’s been an immense change and my own mental health is much better for it.

From a personal development and community perspective I feel I really came out of my shell. As a severe sufferer of the Imposter Syndrome it was a major achievement to present to audiences on a number of occasions. I presented at the Cisco DCUG, VMUG Userconn as part of vBrownBag, Melbourne VMUG and Cisco Live. The Cisco DCUG went from strength to strength with international speakers such as Lauren Malhoit presenting for us in March and Cisco UCS CTO Raghu Nambiar presenting later in the year. Towards the end of the year I got involved with Yadin Porter de Leon’s Level Up Project initiative which I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes in 2018.

2017 was also a year of travel. In July we all went back to Ireland for my sisters wedding and spent a few weeks travelling around, spending time with family and visiting old friends. Later in the year we visited Washington D.C. for a bit and on the way back to Melbourne stopped off in Disneyland. I have to say I was concerned about how much my daughter, at 4 and a half, and son, at 2 and a half, would actually enjoy it but it was wasted energy. They loved it, as did my wife and I. The sheer joy they experienced was amazing and if I get one more chance in my life to experience the sheer unadulterated excitement my son did when he saw Lightning McQueen (or Lightning The Queen as he calls him) I’ll die a happy person.

Despite all the changes and travel what were my goals for 2017? I didn’t make them public but I’ve broken them down into two sections, those achieved and those missed.


  • See Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
  • Move job
  • Do one non-cycling exercise a week
  • Attend a non-usercon VMUG
  • Do a presentation on UCS Director
  • More networking, inside and outside of work
  • Learn powershell
  • Learn more about NVMe


  • Cycle 2000km in a year
  • Learn Irish
  • Get DCUG involved with Cisco Live
  • Write 1 blog post per week
  • Read at least 4 non-technical books in the year
  • More focused in the moment

For 2018 I’ve broken down my goals into personal and work related. As last year I set the goals without managing them or keeping track of progress I’ve decided that this year I will have a schedule in Google Docs to keep track. For example, I have scheduled myself to cycle 3 days per week and do Irish in Duo Lingo on a daily basis. This is the target but I’m not going to stress out too much if life gets in the way and one is missed here and there. Can I get a drumroll please!!! Here’s the list for 2018:

* Duo lingo regularly – easy and digestible way to learn Irish
* Stretching regularly – I’m getting old so this can only be a good thing
* Exercise regularly – cycling and tennis
* Practice mindfulness and investigate meditation
* Sit up straight – sounds silly but I slouch too much
* Read more books – allocate 3 x 30 minute periods to reading
* Do at least 2 public presentations
* Ride at least 2500km – that’s between 45 and 50km per week
* Ride a sportive
* vNotions – 1 blog post per week
* vNotions Blog upgrade – change template and branding

Personal Stretch
* Learn to paint and/or sketch
* Ride on the track
* Be on a podcast
* Write an API call – pick any language but understand and write API calls
* Set up a new Whiskey blog
* Do a bike mechanic course
* Do another Whiskey workshop

* Complete the data centre migration, successfully with minimal impact to critical systems
* Implement a Data Governance Framework
* Understand the business more and how each business unit interoperates
* Get certified in ITIL, TOGAF and AWS Architect
* Join professional organisations such as IASA, DAMA, and ISACA

The stretch goals are one’s I would definitely like to achieve but given that it’s already a pretty extensive list I don’t want to overload things. For the most part the personal goals involve long term commitment that will hopefully be habit forming/changing. The stretch goals are mostly one off elements. It may seem like too many but I’m taking the approach that it’s a long year and if they are at least on the radar there’s a higher chance of them being completed. So there you have it, wish me luck.

If you’re still locking down some of your goals for 2018 I’d recommend having a read of both Eric Shanks post over at the IT Hollow and Melissa’s post at vMiss about reviewing opportunities and how to go about setting your goals for the year. If you already have your goals set and have posted about them let me know as I’m always interested to hear what other people are up.

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