2012 Was A Reasonably Successful Year

Happy New Year. As one year ends and a new one is about to begin it’s time for me to look back at the year that was and remind myself of the goals I set. It’s time to reflect and decide what I did and didn’t accomplish in 2012. Later in the week I’ll look ahead to the year to come and share some goals I have for 2013.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and if you’d like to look back at my success and failure with my goals in previous years here you go.

As a reminder here are the 4 goals I set for the year.

  • Finish redesign and start a WordPress framework
  • Improve time and task management
  • Find people to work with
  • Write an ebook
Calendar open to January, 2012

What I Did and Didn’t Accomplish in 2012

I’m giving myself 2 1/2 out of 4 as a grade for accomplishing the above. It wasn’t my best year in terms of getting things done, but it was certainly better than the previous year when I finished none of what I had set out to do.

Finish Redesign and Start a WordPress Framework

Yes and kind of. The redesign was my major goal for the year after letting it slip in 2011. If it was the only thing I completed last year, I would have been happy. If you were here at the start of the year and still here now, you know I redesigned the site. Yay for me. It still took longer to complete than I expected.

Why I never learn to plan projects like this with consideration for client work is something I’ll never understand, but as usual the redesign was on again off again for much of the first half of the year while I worked to pay the bills. Eventually I did finish and even managed to create a series of posts sharing how I went about redesigning the site.

As far as a framework is concerned, I didn’t develop one. My goal with a framework was very modest after a couple of years not completing more ambitious goals with it. All I wanted was to have the start of a framework in place that I could use to speed up development work. Instead of starting my own, I decided to use an existing one, underscores, developed by people who know more about WordPress than I do.

I’m giving myself a tepid pass on this goal. The redesign clearly passes, but the framework not so much depending on your point of view.

Improve Time and Task Management

Yes, as much as one can ever complete improving these things. This is really a goal that has no end so instead of giving myself a pass/fail for finishing it, I’m giving myself a subjective pass for having gotten more done in 2012 than in 2011.

For example when the year began whatever post you were reading here was probably one I had finished the day before. By the spring I was a scheduling posts a week ahead of publication and by late summer I was scheduling them two to three weeks ahead of publication. I lost a little ground by spending half the month of November on vacation, but even now you should be reading this on New Year’s Eve while I’m writing it in mid December.

In addition to my blogging process, I also reworked the process in which I design and develop sites for clients. It has allowed me to be more productive. For the most part I did get more done this past year.

It’s still not enough. It never is I suppose, hence my recent start of podcasting to help me publish quicker. There’s always more we want to get done than we actually get done it seems.

gener 2012

Find Some People to Work With

Yes, but not quite how I expected. You may remember that asking others for help isn’t easy for me and while the ultimate goal was to find some help with projects that require more than me, my goal was simply to ask for help and ask I did.

It was one of the very first things I did when the year started. I had some ideas for my small business forum and I asked some people there to help with what I think could be a reasonable business model for the site. It was hard for me to ask knowing I’d be handing over some control and a portion of my success to the abilities of others and I was proud of myself for asking.

It got better when I quickly received a lot of “yes I’ll help” responses. Unfortunately the actual help never arrived. I started a discussion providing some details of what I was thinking and asking for feedback so we could all talk and shape the idea in a way everyone liked. Very little in the way of conversation occurred though and it was mainly me talking to myself.

I think when everyone said yes they were thinking it would be me doing a lot of work in setting some things up and them helping a little where they could. I have no doubt they were all sincere is offering assistance, but I had been looking for more active involvement on their part.

Since I had goals more important to me than working on the forum, and since the active involvement I’d been hoping for wasn’t coming, I decided not to pursue things and work on the redesign.

Admittedly I was a little disappointed in how it all turned out. Technically I completed the goal, since I considered my asking for help the measure of success, but I can’t say it felt like I successfully completed anything.

Calendar for national novel writing month

Write an eBook

Nope. I’d love to tell you I at least made progress, but outside of a brief time in early fall, I never could manage to put much into this. After I took the new design live this summer I had to put some time into a couple of client sites. Then my schedule cleared a bit in the early fall and I started again on the book.

I did flesh out and reorganize the outline I had started and I even collected a lot of resource material. Then I started writing articles for other sites and work on the book fell off. Partly because of the time committed to writing for others and partly because I can only write so much in a single day or week and this goal once again fell by the wayside.

My failure here is definitely frustrating since it’s something I not only want to do, but think it’s something I should and probably need to do if I’m going to transition my business from one that is entirely client and service based to one that has more product based revenue streams.

A part of me thinks I need to take a month or two off in order to devote all my time to getting a book done. A more rational part of me reminds myself that during that time off the bank is still going to expect the mortgage on time and the utility companies are still going to send bills with due dates. I’ll probably need to eat here and there during that time too.

I haven’t given up on this, though. In fact it’ll be a goal for the coming year. I’m not entirely sure what’s the best way for me to get it done other than raising it on the priority meter. I’ll talk more about it when I share my goals for 2013.

Summary

Last year wasn’t too bad in terms of accomplishing the things I set out to do. Naturally a number of other things came up during the year like they always do. Clients for one. More writing for others for two. I learned quite a few things such as how to build responsive sites and some basics working with Sass. I also reworked my process for designing and developing client sites so I did accomplish more than it might seem looking only at these goals.

Overall I’m giving myself 2 1/2 completes out of 4. I took something off for using someone else’s framework instead of my own. I’m taking a little something off for not getting help with my forum, even though I technically completed the goal, which was to ask for the help. Writing a book is the only goal I completely failed at, which I suppose isn’t too bad overall.

Next time will be my first post for 2013 and I’ll take a look at the goals I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I’m planning an ambitious year which could mean plenty of success might come my way or it could mean I fall flat on my face in abject failure. Either is certainly possible, though you’ll have to pay attention all year to find out which happens.

Happy New Year everyone. See you again in 2013. Be careful celebrating tonight, but do have a good time.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

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