Looking Back At 2008 And Ahead To 2009 – Part II

Last week I took a look back and now that we’ve put the past aside it’s time to look ahead to the next 11 1/2 months of 2009. As I did last year I’ve set myself some realistic goals I’d like to accomplish and thought I’d share so we can all look back a year from now and either make fun of me for not doing what I set out to do or gather for one big pat on the back. Hopefully the latter.

If you read my last post looking back you’ll notice my goals for this year are mainly to finish some unfinished business from 2008. What I’d like to do in 2009 is:

  • Get more organized and be more productive
  • Develop a business model around WordPress
  • Follow through on changing the direction of this blog in order to grow

Getting Organized

One thing last year taught me is that I need to be more organized so I can work more efficiently and be more productive. It’s not that I’m disorganized and I do get a lot done, but I found in order to work on my own projects it meant working ridiculous hours. I don’t mind working, but having to put in 80 hour weeks month after month is too much.

Hipster PDA - with new templates
Creative Commons License photo credit: karindalziel

Last year after redesigning the site I felt burned out for a time, which kept me from getting started on the next goal. I realize there are a lot of things I’m not doing now to gain back some time that I should have been doing long ago.

A good example is making better use of code. All developers reuse code from project to project and I’m no exception. I can tell you right now that the next menu I code for a site is going to be based on an html list and then styled with css And yet I also know I’ll be typing it all from scratch. There’s no reason to do that when so many code editors let you build a library of code snippets you can quickly add to any project.

Code snippets are far from the only thing I can do to gain back a few minutes here and there and as the year begins I’ve been putting more effort into little things like saving a small block of code so as to never have to type it again. Ideally within a month or two I’ll have gained back a few hours each week, which I can then put toward other goals.

Develop a Business Model Around WordPress

I started using WordPress when I first set up this blog and over the years I’ve been designing and developing WordPress themes for clients and myself. I’ve talked often enough about the scalability issues of a service oriented business and know for me to grow I need to begin developing my own products.

WordPress seems like a natural fit for me, since I know it’s innards pretty well after working with it for a few years. Even more I really enjoy working with. The obvious choice for a business model is to sell premium themes, but I can see that model changing and if I can be ahead of the curve so much the better.

1905 world map in German
Creative Commons License photo credit: surrealpenguin

New Directions for the Blog

I’ve talked quite a few times about changing the focus of this blog and by now I’ve probably bored you with some of the details. I can hear you all saying, “yeah we know where you want to go with the blog, so just shut up and go there already.” Ok maybe that’s me saying that to myself and not you saying it back to me, but I have mentioned this more than enough.

You know I want to move toward the design part of the name in the logo up top and now it’s up to me actually move there. I’m slowly getting back to the rhythm of blogging after being away for a bit.

Other Goals

One lesser goal I started playing around with last year and would like to play around with more this year is affiliate marketing. It’s another way to expand beyond services, but it’s not at the top of my agenda yet.

I also have this small business forum to work on, but most of my ideas for it need it to grow a little more so outside of some basic promotion and general forum posting those ideas will likely hold till next year.

Of course one of the things I learned last year was to expect the unexpected so who knows. Maybe one of my lesser goals will become more important to me and maybe a month from now I’ll decide to go off in a completely unplanned direction.

I closed last time asking how well you achieved your 2008 goals. Now I’ll ask if you’ve set any goals for 2009. What are they? Did you give yourself a time frame to get them done? Do you like to set goals that reach beyond what you can likely achieve to push yourself or do you like to set more realistic goals?

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7 comments

  1. I feel like I am going overboard by always being the first to post on entries…

    I know I mentioned this a bit on the part I, but I would like to do several things in hopes they increase my visibility.

    1. Redesign blog using a design, I create
    2. Post more on forums
    3. Post on blogs
    4. Enter design contests/ Create themes for WordPress
    5. Market my services and skills
    6. Use twitter and other forms of social media more effectively

    • Nah, It’s fine being first.

      Those are all realistic goals. Most are very specific. #5 could probably use more detail so it can be broken down into more manageable chunks.

      Think about how you’ll market the site and take some smaller steps to achieve the larger goal. Several of your other goals are actually those specifics.

  2. I always try to make new plans for new Year and keep some promises. This year I want to be more organized. We will see at the end of the year ;) Happy New Year everybody!

    • Organization is definitely one for me. Last year taught me how much time I wasn’t using as effectively as I could and I hope to correct that this year.

      I’ve already started doing little things to help free up a few hours each week.

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