Since it's January 1 and I'm resolving to post at least one article a day on here, I'll begin the process by describing my New Year's resolutions.

I don't usually make a big deal about the whole resolution thing. If I create a set of self-imposed rules I'm more likely to want to quickly discard them due to a rebellious streak that seems to run through me.

However, I want 2019 to be significantly different, more profitable, enjoyable and just generally better than its preceding years so I'm going to try and change the way I go about things. A set of resolutions it is then.

Get Fitter

I've never been someone who excercises just for the sake of keeping fit. I have had jobs that meant lots of outside activity and I played sport for many years which meant I maintained a decent level of fitness and agility.

2006 changed all that when I became ill. I'm not too sure what caused it but I started to suffer from reactive arthritis. Something entered my bloodstream which meant that my body went to war with itself. A best guess is that an insect bite/sting I suffered was the source of my problem.

I became quite unable to excercise and even had difficulty walking or holding on to things for a while and although my health gradually improved with time, I still suffer from soreness, particularly in my hands. C'est la vie.

I'm certainly carrying more weight these days so my plan is to go out walking, dig out the rowing machine that's languising in the cellar and dust off my bike. I'm reducing my alcohol intake and knocking off the Maccy Dees and Pizzas. I'll also be following an ad-hoc 5/2 system for meals.

Lastly, I've expressed an interest in the Back Onside initiative from Rugby League Cares.

Rugby League Cares is launching Back Onside, an exciting new health and wellbeing programme designed to encourage men to start enjoying exercise again.

Back Onside will be delivered at 11 clubs by current and former professional Rugby League players who will work with participants to build strength, stamina and fitness in a fun and friendly environment.

My nearest participating location is with Leeds Rhinos at Headingley. My in-laws live right next door and so I have some ready-made babysitters for Fraser while I make a fool of myself in shorts.

Improve Time Management and Workflow

For the past five or six years I've effectively been a stay-at-home dad. It wasn't planned that way but my wife Lisa's business took up an awful lot of her time. My ability to be creative or complete complex tasks was severely restricted since any hours available to me came in irregular broken blocks.

I need uninterrupted long periods to fully immerse myself into what I'm trying to accomplish. I exist on the Makers Schedule and not the Managers Schedule as described by Paul Graham in his famous article.

Lisa's business has now closed meaning that she won't be away from home as much. I can adopt a new schedule in my life and have predictable regular times at the keyboard. Lovely.

I'm going to increase my use of tools like TaskWarrior, TimeWarrior, VimWiki, Mattermost and Trello to improve my workflow.

I realise the benefit of recording my activities. Often, I'll have a tricky problem to solve and I find a solution online. It's annoying when I find that the author of the solution is ME and I'd completely forgotten I'd encountered the problem before.

I must write stuff down, in VimWiki of course!

Don't attempt to make people use new stuff

This drives Lisa nuts. It goes like this: I find myself working with people whose technical abilities are limited to whatever web browser came on their laptop and maybe serial Microsoft Excel abuse.

I try to suggest that there are better tools for tasks we're trying to achieve. I get blank looks of horror—people don't like change.

I then rant at Lisa about person A doing task B and if only they'd use tool C the world would be a happier place. She has a stock dismissive response because she's sick of hearing my complaints.

Therefore, I'm no longer going to try. I'll use what works for me and I'll just let other people trundle along in first gear. Life's too short for me to get all worked up.

Conversely, I will not participate in tasks using old fashioned ways. You want a big file from me—it ain't going via email matey!


I think I spread myself too thinly. I try and pick up several different new skills—often simultaneously—and I overload my brain. Specialising in fewer skills will boost my expertise in those I choose and will make me more productive.

I use the trio of GIMP, Inkscape and Scribus for design work since I use Linux exclusively on the desktop. I'm proficient in each, I want to be at an advanced level in them all.

I intend refreshing my web development and server management skills to keep up with modern standards. I get my web development feet wet every day but you only have to be distracted for a short period of time before the knowledge starts to go rusty.

This year I'll be part of a project that will require a lot of database work. I'm looking forward to polishing that particular skillset as the year unfolds.

Earn a crust

I sell myself too short, all the time. I suffer from imposter syndrome and I hate quantifying how much my time is worth in monetary value. I'd honestly rather just do things for love and appreciation.

I'll still enjoy volunteering for worthy causes or when I see the task as part of a hobby or leisure-time interest but I'd like to go on holiday with my family, buy stuff and enjoy life. That costs money and I'm proficiently skilled to sell my time. I'm open to all offers!

Do more

Lastly, I want to push myself. More writing, more coding, more creating, more tweeting and instagramming, more photography and more designing. All the little things that make up who I am but just taken to the next level.

And no Facebook. Ever.