Flowering RockAt the start of the year I set myself a list of goals to try and achieve in 2011. As we have now passed the half way mark in the year I am going through my list and looking at the progress of each item.

This is a follow on post from Part 1 so you might want to read that one first. This post covers the remaining categories which are Self Improvement, Finances, Photography and Travel.

Overall I am very pleased with my progress so far. It really does help to have some goals to aim for. I wonder how many of these things I would have achieved it I had just pottered along aimlessly as I was doing before…

Self Improvement

Learn how to use Twitter properly and incorporate it into my day to day schedule

Still not convinced with Twitter. I seem to spend far too much time reading tweets from other people so I only tend to check about once a week or sometimes even less. That’s why my tweets are so infrequent.

There’s still time to improve though…

Learn how to create a WordPress template and hopefully create new design for my blog!

Not sure if I’m going to find the time for this one. I quite like the design I have so I think I will look at making a few tweaks rather than creating a whole new template from scratch.

Read at least 12 (e)books, one a month, to help me in some way. Areas to think about are Finances, Photography, Productivity, Software Development etc.

I have read a few books so far, some paperback and some eBooks:

I haven’t officially finished the iPhone development book but there is only a section or two left to read and I don’t really feel the immediate need right now.

This isn’t too far off the target of 6. There are a lot of fairly short ebooks on my reading list so the full year target of 12 should still be attainable.

I had planned on buying the bundle of personal development ebooks I mentioned recently but as I already owned a few of the products I decided to give myself a bit of time to think it over. Then I made the mistake of leaving it slightly too long and went back to have another look after the sale had finished…

Find a complete development environment I am happy with for creating web applications and create at least one application by the end of the year

Not sure this is going to happen now as I have switched more towards iPhone apps for now. This is still something I would like to get into but even the simple task of deciding which language to use can be a bit overwhelming as there are so many out there now…

Learn how to develop for the iPhone/iPad. This seems to be reliant on owning a Mac!

Well I am now a proud owner of an iMac and am currently working on an iPhone app for my first client. I hope to have this app finished very soon now…

Overall I am really liking the Xcode development experience. There is so much useful info out on the web as well so whenever I get a little stuck a google search usually provides pretty much instant answers. I wish this was the same for Delphi as that is what I do most of Windows development with and finding help usually requires a lot of digging…


Sell all my read books that I have no intention of reading again

Books seem to be quite hard to sell. Single books don’t seem to have much value on either Amazon or eBay, even hardbacks seem to sell for next to nothing. The only books that seem to have any real value are textbooks, as long as they are still considered up to date, and other books that are pretty new. As soon as a book passes a certain age the market gets flooded and the price drops, dramatically.

They must still have some kind of value to someone. I think I might get a whole bunch of CDs, DVDs and books and try my hand at a Car Boot Sale or something. Everything a pound…

Carrying on the decluttering theme I plan on clearing out the garage and the shelves in my office and selling as many things on eBay or Amazon as possible

I have made a reasonable start and have managed to sell a few things on eBay and Amazon. I need to keep this up though as there is still a lot of stuff to get through…

Ensure I make enough money, from my business or other miscellaneous sales, to cover all of the living expenses for my wife and I every month

This is still going pretty well. I’m still not bringing in as much as I was when working full time but with selling stuff online as well we have had a bit left over the last few months…

Ensure that our savings will grow to accommodate any plans for the following year

As I just mentioned there has been a little bit extra the last couple of months. This still isn’t really enough though.

I need to start earning some passive income. The ideal solution is that I create my own product that I can resell without any additional work, rather than just trading hours for money which isn’t getting me anywhere…

Yes I have kept myself very busy but almost exclusively on projects for other people. This is something I really must try and put right in the second half of the year!


Process my whole back catalog of digital photos. All of them!!

I haven’t really touched on this one. Unfortunately photography is one area that has had to slip a bit with the extra workload I have taken on right now.

Now that I have a Mac the way I process photos is changing anyway. The standard iPhoto program is very capable but as Aperture was so cheap from the Mac App Store I couldn’t resist and I am really liking what I see.

As always there is a bit of extra time to get to grips with any new program but Aperture seems very intuitive and I find it very quick and simple to keep on top of things. Now I just need to start tackling some of the backlog of older stuff…

Scan in any slides and negatives that I do not yet have in digital format

Again no movement on this one. It’s still important though so I really want to get started before the end of the year.

I have, at least, got the scanner to hand. Now I just need to get it up and running. Actually I have so much desk space maybe I can find a permanent home for it? That might help get me started…

Create a side income from my photos

I still have a few ideas but just haven’t found the time to do anything about them yet…

This goal is more of a ‘nice if I can’, rather than ‘I really want this’ so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I don’t achieve this one.

Photograph something off my my Bucket List

There are a few possibilities here. Kingfishers, Red Deer on Exmoor and Puffins.

Shirley and I are off to Lundy Island soon but I don’t think it is Puffin season.

I have seen Kingfishers fly past on a nearby stream but haven’t managed to find a suitable perch to take photos of them.

So I think the best bet will be the Red Deer where the best time is Autumn so fingers crossed…


Take a beach holiday to get some much needed sun and recharge the batteries

Done. Managed to cross this one off the list very quickly as Shirley and I went to Lanzarote back in January. The weather did take a turn for the worse though as you can see from the follow up post And Then The Rain Came Down but we still managed to get in a fair bit of sun before that happened and it was still very relaxing…

Go away with the whole family

As mentioned earlier, the Holiday To Wales with the whole family was a great success. It really does seem to bring everyone together.

I hope this annual family get together continues to be a regular thing…

Plan a family holiday for next year

After our trip to Lanzarote earlier this year we thought that it would be nice for the rest of the family to come and experience what it has to offer.

We have already put down the deposit on a villa in Lanzarote that’s big enough for all of us. It looks pretty good too with it’s own swimming pool along with table tennis and a pool tables to keep everyone busy.

Just need to organise the flights now…

Organise our next big adventure

Shirley and I have been talking about where we would like to go and I think the plan is to wait for a bit and go for a big adventure. We are current thinking of destinations for a full round the world trip…

There is probably going to be a couple of years before we can really tackle this one though, for various reasons. But I’m really looking forward to it already!

[SignOff copyright=”Shirley O’Shea”]

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Hi Pete

Always good to hear how you’re getting on. If you want anyone to beta test your iPhone apps just let me know.



    Pete O'Shea

    Hi Darran,

    My first app is being designed for a friends company so he has been doing all the testing. It’s pretty much done so should hopefully be released to the store in a couple of weeks. When I start creating one for myself then I may take you up on that offer…


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