Personal

Epic Life Quest – 2020 Update

I started keeping a written record on bigger goals in life from the year 2018 – following the example set by Steve Jones and Brent Ozar. This method of keeping track is called ‘Epic Life Quest’. I wrote my first blog post on it in 2017, and then another in early 2019. This is my post for 2020. Below are the goals I set and how or if I met them.

1 Finish off Microsoft Big Data Certification. I am already working my way through it. I will devote every saturday evening to it and hope to get it done.
Wheeee….the certification is gone πŸ™‚ Considering the track record Microsoft has until now with certifications I think it is not longer valid to make them a goal in of itself.
2 Continue with watching pluralsight/pass summit videos and listening to podcasts whenever time permits.
I’ve done well in this area, although I could do better. Pluralsight was hard to dedicate time to. This year, I made a change. I bought a galaxy tab and keep it on my living room table. I have a rather large living room and walk up and down there as part of my fitbit goal in the evenings. I usually listen to podcasts while I walk – this year, am going to turn pluralsight videos on instead. And keep weekend for podcasts. I think this will help me find the necessary time as well as get some good learning in.
3 Complete writing second book I have committed to. 
I went about half way down the road with this, learning about graph data and the feature in SQL Server. But the feature did not evolve to the extent expected and was not book worthy. But I learned a tremendous lot about trees/hierarchies and graphs while working on it. This learning will be very useful for further blog posts/ug talks and so on.
4 Read two pages of a tech book every day evening with tea. I am intentionally keeping this goal very small and doable. This is also based on a few experiences with reading.
I failed miserably here. Not because of the goal but because I set it for mornings and am just not a morning person. Even though I live really close to work, I just get up in time to swallow some breakfast and get ready to get in. Also, am suffering some sleep trouble with mid age feminine stuff and it is really hard to predict a morning very well. So for 2020, there are no early morning goals.
5 Blog @ one post every two weeks – again, scaled down from one post per week and trying to keep it modest and consistent.
I could not keep up any schedule with blogging and most of my blog posts ended up to be community related or personal growth related. I did however, write 3 articles for SQLServerCentral and one for Simple Talk, which left me thrilled. I think if I find a juicy tech topic I will still stick with writing for one of these two sites instead of on my personal blog. It gets me more exposure, lots of interesting questions and some pocket money as well. 
6 I am planning on 4 tech events – SQL Saturdays at Raleigh, neighboring Charlotte, Louisville and then the PASS Summit towards end of the year. 
This happened. And this will be the same goal for 2020 as well. The only difference perhaps is that I plan to submit to speak as well at all events. I am unsure of submitting to PASS Summit or participating in Speaker Idol, which has been a longtime goal. It will depend on how I do health wise as well as how work/job and personal goals pan out. I leave it as a loose goal for now.

On personal front – 
1 I plan to continue with hiking and exploring national parks. I am planning a trip in Spring/early summer with some visiting family members.
I do not think an overseas trip will materialise this year.
Yes, this happened. Visited Colorado/Rocky Mountains as well as Smokies.
2 I plan to continue with healthy eating and exercising goals. 
Yes, Fitbit is happy. My allergies have gone up sky high so eating ‘healthy ‘ is not even an option. Am able to keep up with what I can eat and come home for a hot meal, both of which are blessings.

Goals for 2020 are as below.

1 Have one book ongoing to read. Alternate between a tech book and a book on personal growth. Blog book reviews so that others can benefit. Ideally, the time to read is a good 15 minutes to half an hour on the recliner after returning from work.
2 Listen to Pluralsight/PASS summit videos during evening walks.
3 Submit at least one article to SQLServercentral or SimpleTalk every month.
4 Keep weekends free of tech stuff or social media.Ideally, this is time to do some artwork/cook and clean/read something fun and various activities that help rejuvenate.
5 Keep up physical activity and eating habits.
6 Plan to visit one national park or another country in spring/summer, and 3 week vacation in India with family during the holidays.
7 Attend SQL Saturdays Louisville,St Louis,Raleigh,Charlotte and PASS Summit. My goal is to attend these events regardless of if or not am chosen to speak.

My learning goals include – in-depth Query Store and Xevents, R Programming, some SSIS and SSAS and if time permits some C#/F#.
On the art side – have taken up a rather ambitious cross stitch project and loving every minute of it. Plan to take this to completion.

That is my rather simple goal list. Hope to live through it. Wish everyone a happy new beginning in 2020!

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