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A Simple Plan

Planning and goal setting have never been my strong suit.  I have improved skills in a somewhat organic way largely by random reading and practice on a regular basis.  Repetition has proven to be my friend and my plan is to continue that with a plan, albeit with more focused intention.

In the past I learned to set goals in a way that simply focused on the end result.  Examples include things like, improve production by 30%, or, obtain 5000 more page views per month.  This year I decided not to focus on the end result as much but how I might accomplish the result.  I came to this conclusion after beginning the pursuit of my Masters in Computer Information Systems with Colorado State University in 2016.

I completed 5 of the 11 classes required to obtain my degree and during the summer semester I participated in Object Oriented Systems.  I began to realize that the growth in knowledge came from the practice (assignments) that I completed.  This sparked me to return to Project Euler and work on exercises that require a bit of thinking to strengthen my skills.

I owe a bit of thanks to the blog by Henrik Warne and specifically his post about “Working as a software developer.”  There are several great points about how to improve but the one the really struck home for me is to program (i.e., practice)!  Reading about programming or watching other people program is efficacious in as much as it may be required to learn syntax or structure.  But becoming a better programmer requires practice.

Another point of interest is the recent exposure to “The Growth Mindset.”  This is integral for anyone to really accomplish their goals!  There are many facets to overcoming obstacles in life, but our mindset (fixed vs. growth) is a great place to start.  Without realizing it, I have changed over time to a growth mindset.  But the affirmation of what it is and resources to strengthen it encourage me to persist with it.

Finally, reading more books is something else I aim to accomplish this year.  There are many reasons for this but primarily I am motivated by Dave Ramsey and his plan to become debt free.  When people are on his show they are asked how many nonfiction books they’ve read and which one is their favorite.  Topics I plan to endeavor are self improvement, programming, and the one true faith, the Catholic Church.

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