Tim Steele

Tim Steele

Web Developer

Columbus, OH

  • January 27, 2014

Life is a marathon, not a sprint

I don’t know who is the original owner of the “life is a marathon, not a sprint” quote is and a cursory Google search attributes the quote to multiple people. It doesn’t matter who said it, because he or she is full of shit. Life is more like a white-water rapids boat ride down an eighty year long river. At times you can float gently along with the current, enjoying the calm. Other times you have to fight the raging water, paddling for your life. And sometimes, life flips your boat upside down and throws you down a waterfall just to see how well you can swim.

A couple months ago, my naive past-self was making plans: I was going to do this “blog thing”, I was going to become more socially (media) active, I was undertaking a personal project that I was hoping would spawn into a potential business. What happened? Life.

I started going back to school, after a seven-year hiatus. In those seven years I forgot how involved school is, and grossly underestimated the amount of time I would be spending on school outside of the classroom.

At work, I was transferred to a new project – one that required nightly code releases, weekend work hours, and a bucket-o-stress to meet deadlines.

Well, here I am now – I switched jobs to a much more developers-have-a-life-outside-of-developing style employer. I am finished with my first semester back at school. Now it is time for some reflection.

So what did I learn? I learned that I need to set deadlines for my personal goals. Otherwise, when things get crazy, it becomes very easy for me to put off “me” time activities that I enjoy – such as blogging, tweeting, personal Web projects – in favor of “zone-out” time, which usually involves a marathon of Pawn Stars and a comfy couch.

So we are approaching New Year’s Day and I thought, “what a great opportunity to set some goals and deadlines, and call them ‘new years resolutions’.”  So, here are my “resolutions” for 2014:

Tweet More

Since ‘more’ is a relative word, and since I didn’t tweet a whole lot in 2013, doing it ‘more’ in 2014 is a pretty easy goal. So, to make it more measurable, I am going to put some hard numbers behind it: Five tweets a week. That means I still get to relax on the weekends.

Tweeting, I believe, is a good way for me to get my name out there as a brand and as a developer. Facebook is nice, but I prefer the one hundred and forty character limit of Twitter and I believe it is a feature and not a restriction. Plus, recently my Facebook feed has become a stream of babies and weddings (I am apparently now at “that age”).

Blog More

Blogging more than the four times I blogged in 2013 shouldn’t be hard to top – but I am going to set up some metrics: One new blog entry a month. One a month doesn’t seem like a terrible amount, but I am taking baby steps here and making sure these goals are achievable. Life will be busier some months more than others and I want to make sure I am not just blogging useless garbage in order to make my quota. I like to think that future historians will one day, reference my blog entries  as they discuss the daily life of a web developer in the Kardashian era of human civilization.

Do Something with TigerCatDigital.com

I am not just going to do “something” – I am going to design and develop the Web site and have it up and running by March 31st, 2014. Also, I want to write one new blog entry a month. Tiger Cat’s blog entries are going to be more focused around the Web development and design industry, topics such as what is Tiger Cat working on, what are my views on current industry events, and why do restaurant websites make you download a PDF instead of giving you an HTML menu. Maybe I will get a contributor, and if his mother also starts reading the blog than I will get at least two page views to my site.

These are my three achievable goals for 2014. Feel free to hold me accountable – send me a tweet telling me how I am not living up to your expectations. I am going to hold myself accountable. Even though life may be one hell of a raft ride, I need to make sure that I am taking the time to enjoy it.