3.03.2009

5 year goals

My last set of 5 year goals are complete - I have completed my PhD in MIS and started a career in academia. I have started a family which is nearly complete in size (1 more month, honey...you're almost there) and ahead of schedule (okay, so the pill doesn't always work).

Where will I go from here? I think its about time to start a new set of 5 year goals. Consider this my working list as I haven't put all thought into it that I want. If anyone has comments or suggestions, I would love to hear them.

First, I came up with a list of areas that I deemed worthy of my consideration.
Categories - professional, financial, friends/family, and health

Professional development:
First, become established in my career as an academic and market my knowledge. Becoming established in my career entails more than simply getting tenure. I should be well published and "known" for my research in business ethics and human computer interaction.

I should also have highly polished classes that provide a high bang for the buck. In other words, my classes should provide students with an excellent education in the subject matter in the most efficient manner I can create. Merely being good at my career is fine, but if no one knows about it, few opportunities will arise for furthering my career.

Financial:
With EMU providing a large chunk of cash to a retirement account, my next most important financial goal is to start a business or two. My wife and I have talked about several business opportunities. In 5 years, it is certainly doable to start at least 1 business. Several ideas we have discussed include real estate management, a kids' culinary school franchise, and a camp for objectivist kids, as I've talked about before. I may also do some consulting to help fund business development.

Friends/family:
My wife and I have started reading about Positive Discipline and trying to approach parenting in a bit more productive manner by actively re-evaluating our parenting styles and making it consistent with the values of reason, purpose, and self-esteem. While I have no specific 5 year goals for parenting, I do plan on continuing to improve my approach to parenting so that my children develop healthy virtues in a loving and nurturing environment.

With our move to Michigan, we have few friends nearby. In order to see them more often, we need to plan more mutual vacations so that we can enjoy visiting with them, but not miss out on fun vacations. Any suggestions for family friendly vacations?

Health:
Over the past few years, I've lost my habit of working out on a regular basis. It was easy to maintain workout routines without children...not so much anymore. We also sold our weight bench and treadmill. Maybe its time to buy new ones. But what I really would like to do is experiment more with my diet and exercise routines to find something that maximizes my energy levels, physical strength, mental agility, and general health. For this goal I need to spend more time researching and writing specific plans. I've already bought some diet books recommended to me by some friends of mine - Good Calories, Bad Calories and Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Within 5 years, I want to be in better condition than I was in high school. Strangely enough (at least to people who know me back then), that does not necessarily include endurance. See, I used to run cross country and participate in triathlons. While I still think triathlons are fun and may do them again, that is not my first objective. I'm looking for more core strength and practical conditioning for everyday living. I want dexterity and agility. I want to be able to keep up with my kids when we play whatever sport they are interested in.

Well, I think that's about it for my goals. Like I said, this is a work in progress and I welcome input.

5 comments:

  1. Pekka Lehtikoski6:37 PM

    Hi John,
    Health: Fencing might be what you are looking for. It is exiting, fun, and can be started at any age. Plus you can bring the children along when they are about 6 or 7 years old.

    Best regards,
    Pekka Lehtikoski

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  2. John:
    Admirable goals. Wishing you the best of success.

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  3. Pekka,
    Good idea. Fencing is a good idea. I've consider martial arts as well. That'll be something I'll have to research a little more and see what's available in the area.

    Mike,
    Thanks. I appreciate your kind comments. Now, I just need to put them into practice.

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  4. My wife reminded me of one further goal, to take up a hobby of woodworking and carpentry. I did a little woodworking in college and really liked it. Recently, I acquired a circular saw and some other tools to help get me started. I'm really looking forward starting some projects this summer. Should be fun.

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  5. > " I've consider martial arts as well. That'll be something I'll have to research a little more and see what's available in the area."

    If I can help, let me know. I studied a little Taekwondo; "grab arts" (in a Kung Fu school); and Jujitsu. The jujitsu was best for me for self-defense purposes because it required a lot of contact and closing in (which I had feared). But the school did not emphasize peak physical fitness. The sensei (about 35 years old) looked "out of shape," but he was very skilled in fighting techniques. (Jujitsu, I was told, is the original martial art from which judo, karate, and aikido have emerged. Jujitsu was designed for soldiers.)

    If your main interest is physical fitness (which is step 1 in self-defense), then a careful examination of the routines of the dojo are as important as the martial art in general. "Go and watch" is the advice I received, and it paid off. (Some schools require participation of some sort, even before paying. They don't like being on display to gawkers.)

    The physically most demanding program I attended was the grab-arts program (about a year for me) at an Indonesian Kung Fu school. It was the school, not particularly the program, that set the standard for fitness. All the students, even the ones specializing in stick-fighting, were expected to participate.

    We did lovely exercises such as the "crocodile walk," which means getting into the down part of a pushup, six inches off the ground, and then "walking" like that from one side of the dojo (school) floor to the other. It was exhausting but energizing.

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