Achievements in 2011

Last January, I posted on here about what I had achieved during 2009 and what I had hoped to achieve during 2010.

  • Up the work rate
  • Build up a personal brand
  • Continue learning and try to pick up a new language.

Naively, I had assumed that most of what I wanted to achieve in 2010 would be handed to me on a plate, so didn’t really put much thought or time into how i’d achieve what I wanted.

Come August / September, 2010 – I realised that I just wasn’t going to fulfil any of my achievements – and that was a bit of an eye-opener.

I’m on a fairly good wage through my day-job, I can cover my bills & provide for my family. Completing these achievements wasn’t a matter of life-or-death, living on the breadline type thing. It was just a target… and I failed.

And that was a bit of a stark realisation. I had set myself 3 fairly simple challenges to complete throughout the year – and I didn’t hit any of those targets.

It kind of makes me feel like a failure. That’s quite a hard thing to write.

So time to nip that in the bud.


I’ve got another list of achievements that I’ve put together over the past few months. There’s close to 15 of them and I will complete at least 8 of these. If I can pass more than 50%, then it’s good. More than 75% would be fantastic, and 100% would be amazing.

Here’s my list of achievements for 2011.

Complete a photography project

In 2009, when my son was born, I started a project365 – a photo every day for his first year. That fell by the way side after 3 or 4 months. In 2010, I followed Rick Nunn and Nocturnal Monkey as they both attempted and completed a project50 (50 photos, 50 days – all with a 50mm lens). I Attempted my own too.. but only got 35 photos in before failing.

So in 2011, I’d like to complete a photo project. A photo a week perhaps? or to complete a Project50.

Lose a stone in weight

I’m a sizeable chap; around 15st in weight. According the medical statistics, for my weight; I am classed as morbidly obese. It doesn’t bother me too much but I’d like to lose some weight. A stone isn’t a lot when you think about it. Some exercise & healthy eating should do the trick.

Lose 2 stone in weight

A bit of cheating here, but it follows on from the last one. I’d like to lose another stone to total a two stone loss.

Run 5K

Hopefully to compliment the previous 2 achievements, I’d like to be able to run 5k. I’ve always led a sedintary life style. Working in offices pretty much all my life – and seeing as I hit 30 in 2011, it’s time to look after myself. I’ll follow the ‘Couch to 5k’ route and I aim to run 5K.

Attend a web conference

For the last 3 years, I’ve wanted to attend a web-conference, be it dConstruct, Build or some other web conference. A place to listen to others talk about what I’m passionate about, and what I love doing.

To be honest, this one’s an easy one though as back in July when Simon Collinson announced New Adventures In Web Design, I signed up immediately. That’s all set for January 20th and is looking to be an incredible day.

Learn a new language

I’d like to learn a new programming language. I’m fairly coherent with HTML & CSS, but I can’t help but feel useless when it comes to backend languages like PHP & Javascript.

I tried learning PHP once, and I did also touch on Javascript a few years back but nothing came of it on both ocassions. So this time, I will learn one and put said new language into practice on new projects & designs.

Learn a new language redeux

Nearly identical to the previous challenge, but a proper language – like French or Italian.

I learnt Spanish at school, and although I can’t remember any of it, I feel it wont take long to jog the memory. Listening to other people speak Spanish, I can pick out a few words and this is 14 years after I passed my exams at school.

I quite fancy Italian though.

Up the Workrate

Try to complete more design work than previous years. 2010 was a bit quiet really compared to 2009 – but I want 2011 to be better than both put together.

Get 2 New clients

Easy to explain – get 2 new clients during 2011.

Build a Brand

This goes hand in hand with the previous challenge & one that carries over from last year. I want to create a logo, a name, a brand. I love Tim Van Damme’s Made By Elephant and JamFactory branding. I want something like that. A mark that I can apply to the work that I do and I want people to recognise it as me. I realise it takes years to build this type of brand up but we all start somewhere.

The later half of 2010 saw me fleshing out some concepts & I think i’m pretty happy now so I’m running with what I’ve got and see how far I can get this year.

Produce a track & get it played

A far fetched one, but it’s a challenge. Back in my DJing days (1996-2002 ish), I made a couple of tracks for a few DJ’s I knew. Some of these were played on radio, and some played in clubs. It was a nice feeling and one I’ve wanted to experience again – So I want to produce a track, pass out to a couple of DJ’s and see if it’ll be played on Pirate Radio / online / in a club.

Wishful thinking – but a challenge none-the-less.

Redesign & realign

My personal website is in dire need of a refresh. I’ve been tweaking, changing and moving things around ever since I fleshed out the main site over 2 years ago. I wasn’t overly happy with it then, and really not happy with it now so I will give the ol’ girl a new lick of paint in 2011.

Start that secret project

Yes, that Secret project I’ve only told my wife about. I will start that. It’s design related but not web related. I’ll post about it when I get there.

A Recap

So that’s a lucky 13 challenges, which for ease – I’ve listed below:

  1. Complete a photography Project
  2. Lose a stone in weight
  3. Lose two stone in weight
  4. Run 5K
  5. Attend a web conference
  6. Learn a Language
  7. Learn a Language redeux
  8. Up the work rate
  9. Get 2 new clients
  10. Build a brand
  11. Produce a track & have it played
  12. Redesign & Realign
  13. Start that Secret Project

But Wait, It’s October?

Ding! Well spotted. It is indeed October, and 2011 is 3 months away. Problem is, I’m motivated right now, and I’ve set myself some challenges. I’m not going to sit here and while away 2 months just waiting for January so things stay prim & Proper.

You are the architect of your own future

This has become my mantra after I saw it tattoo’d on someone’s arm a few months ago. You design your life, you control it – noone else.

So there’s no point hanging around. I’m starting from the 1st November and will continue until 31st Oct, 2011.

You can keep track of my progress here. I know some of these tasks can’t really be measured, but I will be estimating my progress on each challenge.

Wish me luck!


Leave a comment