I know I’ve said it before, but 2010 was an amazing year. I can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store for me.

A year ago, I sat down and wrote some goals for myself. I achieved almost all of them, and they opened doors for me that have led to opportunities I would never have imagined. I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about what I can ask myself to do next year. I want to continue working on the amazing opportunities I’ve been given, try some new things, and (most importantly) inspire and help others to do cool stuff too.

Professional Goals

Continue to blog. I’m not going to set a specific goal for a number of posts. I felt I failed last year when I did that. I want to put up some great, high-quality blog posts here. I’ve been keeping a list of things I’m interested in blogging about, so that when I have some time, I can sit down and write.

2011 is my year to jump into the deep end of the pool. Goals:
3 user groups
3 SQL Saturdays
1 other event
Dates are already set for presenting to the WI SSUG (February) and MADPASS (April). Maybe a Chicago-area SSUG will ask me to drive down?
I’ve submitted sessions for SQL Saturday #67 Chicago. I plan to submit to East Iowa. That leaves one more for the year, at least.
I’d love to have another forum to present in. Perhaps it will be 24 Hours of PASS, and perhaps it will be something else.

Attend PASS Summit:
This is the year I go and take PASS Summit by storm. The last two years, I had asked (and counted on) my employer to send me. I realized that isn’t a given, so this year I’m paying my own way. I will volunteer, beg, and save my pennies to be able to go.

Support Cool Community Projects:
The SQL community is full of SQL People with amazing ideas. I’ve been honored to be asked to participate in a couple of them. I’ll be a SQL University professor, be a SQL Person, storm the internets for the SQL Denali News Team, and help the PASS WIT chapter. I can’t wait to see what other ideas are born this year.

On that topic, my goal is also to say “no” this year. It is fun and exciting to be asked to help with a project. However, one person can’t do everything, and I am beginning to understand this. If I am asked to help with something, and I don’t have the time for it or interest in it, I will politely decline. This will be a big step for me, because I hate saying no.

Help Others:
Nothing is more exciting to me than to help someone else realize a goal. Whether I am editing a blog post or reviewing a resume, answering questions about Twitter or connecting two people who have a common goal, I love to help.

Help Myself:
All of those seem very soft-skill, community-oriented goals. I don’t want to pick any hard-and-fast goals for myself, like “be the master of such-and-such feature or technology.” I do, however, need to increase my technical knowledge, of SQL Server and beyond. I want to get two certifications this year. I’m currently studying for the 70-432, and take the exam January 24. I want to get a second certification later in the year. I’m also going to write a PowerShell script. I really am, I promise, Aaron.

**Personal Goals
Dear running shoes, I have big plans for you this year. HUGE! I want to: run my four favorite 5Ks (Soul Burner, Cross Country, St. Joe’s, and Race for the Light), run two (yes, TWO) half marathons, conquer the Warrior Dash, and put 500 miles on my shoes in 2011.

Five hundred miles. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? That’s less than two miles a day. It’s only ten miles a week. I may need new shoes halfway through the year, but it will be worth it.

I recently discovered snowshoeing, and have fallen in love. I want to get a few miles on those this winter. I also want to build up my hiking this summer, and do a 10-mile hike by September.

In The Kitchen:
Provided I don’t end up in the emergency room because of a cut or a burn, I can’t wait to make more messes in the kitchen this year. Now that I’ve conquered Hollandaise, maybe I’ll work my way up to Bernaise, or cook a whole turkey. (I may need people to help me eat it, though.) This is also the year I volunteer for Men Who Cook, a fundraiser to benefit Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services.

At heart, I’m a bookworm. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to in 2010, because I got wrapped up in other things. I’m going to make a point to read at least two non-technical books a month this year. I have quite the stack on my bookshelf already waiting for me, so this should be easy.

There are a few other things, too, like being an active member of the Oshkosh Jaycees, and skydiving for my 30th birthday.

So, 2011: bring it on. I can’t wait.