Betterment Health Personal Development

2009 in review

2009 was a watershed year for me, as I set out to break out of a slump of mediocrity and begin my journey to becoming better.Β  In 2009 I decided to start looking at my own development and let me to draw up the most comprehensive “goals” list I have ever put together.

Overall, 2009 was the year I rekindled my love for meeting & getting to know people. It’s no secret that part of this was due to Twitter, however this served mainly as the mechanism to be able to meet new and wonderful people (as mentioned here in my Connecting to People post, about my social-media-inspired trip to Melbourne). 15+ years ago I was using IRC to meet new people and arrange social gatherings, BBQ’s in the park, movie nights, trips away, etc. I really enjoyed IRC and the power it had to connect us to people we had not yet met, as well as continuing the relationships we had built up. Twitter does this for me today.

In order to capture the thoughts on 2009, here’s a breakdown of my personal 2009 goals with some commentary on each one:

1. Increase my volunteering efforts (First volunteering event was on 4th Jan)

The biggest volunteer effort of note was that I became the coach/manager of my 7yr old’s Soccer team. I was directly involved with the development of his soccer skills, and many times during the season he said “I’m glad you are the coach of our team, daddy”. You could not ask for more than that πŸ™‚

2. Researching the Blanda name/family tree/how β€˜Blanda’s’ are related (already begun)

Facebook has really helped me understand more about the Blanda name, and connect with many Blanda’s all over the world. I’ll continue the work throughout 2010 to not only connect with more Blanda’s, but also to know more about them & how we’re linked together.

3. Improving the quality of my relationships, both personal & business, including visiting more people and having more people over for lunch/dinner/a drink or a chat (includes spending more time with my boys).

Here’s perhaps THE BIGGEST win for me in 2009 – As mentioned previously, I had neglected my love of relationships & people, and through Twitter, Facebook and Skype, I’ve found new ways of connecting with people that culminated in becoming a regular at many Sydney coffee tweet-ups’ including #escm, #nscm, #wscm and #coffeemornings. I’ve met many wonderful people at these tweet-ups, some of whom will feature prominently in my 2010 Goals!

4. Understand how I tick

This is one of the most difficult things any of us need to do – understand how we work. What we like, what we don’t like, what irks us, what makes us burst into flower and really succeed at life. During 2009 I began my research into the Brain and how it works, dabbling in anything related to physiology and psychology. This is a work in progress and has helped me understand what happens to me when I am tired. See Understanding Yourself & Taming The Ugliness (an apology).

5. Work out what I want to do with the next few years of my life

  • Getting onto Twitter has opened my eyes to a number of people who can help me answer this question (or at least assist by asking clarifying questions)
  • This blog is and will continue to be part of my journey through life.
  • The next few years will almost certainly involve Volunteering, People, Relationships, Storytelling, Exercise and enjoyable activities.

6. Become fitter: All of the below are either a part of or will be a result of becoming fitter:

  1. Participate in more cycling events (including completing the 90km version of the Gongride)
  2. Take up a martial art with the boys
  3. Participate in more walking/jogging/running events (including completing a Half-Marathon)
  4. Build a small gym in my garage
  • The second biggest win for me in 2009 was in the atrea of physical fitness. I did a lot more km’s on my bicycle than in previous years, including teaming up with some Twitter friends for the 90km Gongride. I also began riding to the coffee mornings to keep the riding up.
  • We did not get to take up martial arts as a family – we did not have the time/ability to include it in the schedule in 2009, and will be revisited in 2010.
  • I did complete the Sydney Half Marathon as well as the Sutherland2Surf and City2Surf runs.
  • The gym in my garage has a few dumbbells and punching bag. Couple this with the stepper and skipping rope, there’s more than enough equipment to keep us fit and healthy!

To Summarise 2009, I give myself a A- rating – I will build on this momentum when I publish my 2010 goals. I would like to hear your thoughts on my 2009 goals, OR to contribute your thoughts on what else I can add to my 2010 Goals (there’s still time!) Leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

13 replies on “2009 in review”

Hey dude,

I have been following your progress over the last year and am inspired, I have taken a similar but different approach in my goal setting, I have 6 main goals and am in the process of narrowing those goals down into smaller goals, which will in turn be narrowed again into manageable goals.

I have set my goals around being better. a better dad, a better husband, a better boss, a better worker, a better friend and a better me. I will be blogging my efforts and hopefully this will in turn inspire someone else. Well, here is hoping!

Cheers mate, thank you for the inspiration, I have really enjoyed your posts this year and wish you the best of luck next year.

Thanks for sharing these, Andrew. They are amazing goals and congratulations on your progress. My goals tend to be a little more modest – especially when I look at your goals 3 and 4.

Re: number 3 – I’m curious, how will you know when you have improved the quality of your relationships? What are your ‘measures’ for want of a better word?

Re: number 6 – what measures are you using to assess your increased fitness?

Thanks for giving us a special glimpse into your world, Andrew.


Best to you, Robin πŸ™‚

Congratulations Andrew… I think you need an A++. Just to document your goals and then successfully mark off your achievements is amazing. The fact that you put them into a public forum and call for comment is truely worth the ++’s. Many of us don’t even both with documenting let alone ask for others to input. Your lead is encouraging me to start to be more proactive…

Cheers Larissa πŸ™‚

@Cat – My wife is doing the meditation thing right now so will look to add that to my list, too πŸ™‚

@Ben – Dude, that’s great to hear – I tried to keep things as simple as possible, and didn’t want to go into the goal/sub-goal/minor-goals field – the main focus is that being proactive is enough to start me in the right direction. We should catch up soon and compare notes πŸ™‚

@Robin – great questions! Re: #3 – at the moment it’s purely subjective. I have met many new people, and would gladly give up my time to help them out, and am sure they would do the same for me. Compared with 1 year ago, there would only have been a handful of people I could say that about. I also know more about some of my non-twitter/FB friends as well, simply by asking questions and chatting more ‘in-depth’ with them. Ultimately, that IS the question for all of us – how do we measure the value of our relationships? For #6 it’s easy – things don’t seem so hard anymore! Running more than 5k’s in the past was not an option, and now it doesn’t faze me. Riding for more than an hour would have me gasping for breath and now it’s not an issue; after the Gongride (90km) I felt like I could ride on for hours. I also don’t make excuses for not exercising anymore πŸ™‚

@Larissa, @Robin, @Julie – you may be right, and thanks for the votes of confidence. However I’m not ready to go to the top of the class just yet…perhaps we’ll ‘suspend’ the A++ for 12 months and see how I go then πŸ™‚

@Francie – Thanks for your thoughts πŸ™‚

@Kate Tribe
Thanks for your input Kate, certainly a great way to frame your goals. I kinds like the ad-hoc focus on positive things though, as I have been known to wallow in the ‘crap’ (3-) things too many times in the past, and found this year has been easy simply focusing on the positive things.

Will chat to you more about 3+/3- at a coffeemornings πŸ™‚

Hi Andrew! Thank you for sharing.

I saw an absolutely awesome transformation of you this year. Lucky me for getting to witness the change, or rather your enhancements.

Can’t wait to see what 2010 brings – because of your hard work and diligence it will not be short of totally magical.

Thanks for always giving your best self to all of us. You’ve become a good friend in a very short time because of your openness and generosity.

Cheers & best,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *