Every year near my birthday I set down and review my goals from the prior year to see just how much progress I have made and whether they have changed. This year is no different. My goals are usually realistic and I do not make too many of them.
The major goal I had last year was to be ABD by the end of the summer....annnnd...a very pleased me can check this off my list. I have worked very hard to get to this point and am basking in this major accomplishment!. Now it's on to my dissertation which is to be my goal for the coming year. I don't expect to be done in a year, but just make progress towards the end....a finished and approved dissertation.
Another goal was to get into better shape physically. Like many people who pursue a higher degree while working full-time, finding the time to exercise becomes challenging. Sufice it to say that my condition has deteriorated. While not exponentially, I was more fluffy than firm. Something I have not mentioned in my blog so far is that I was very close to obtaining certification as a personal trainer a few years back....before I began work on my Master degree. I've went from being full of energy, lean and muscled, comfortable in my own skin to feeling more tired and honestly a bit frumpy. I was in the gym strength training 3 x a week and walking 5 miles or more 3x a week as well. Well the good news is that even though I am up at 5:30 to get ready for work and make my 1.5 hour commute to work, and have about three hours each evening to take care of home and personal tasks, I am working in a half hour 3x a week to strength train and another half hour 4-5x a week to walk. After a couple of false starts I am proud to say that I have lost a couple percent of body fat and gained muscle over the last year. My goal for this coming year is to reduce that body fat to 20% and continue to build muscle.
My last goal was to continue to become more fluent in Adobe Flash and video production and editing. On all fronts I have completed this goal. My Flash skills now include a basic knowledge of Action Script and I am more familiar with my Sony HD video camera capabilities, and video editing in Premiere. My goal for the next year is to continue to learn more Action Script, delve deeper into Premiere, and become adept with After Effects.
So how do my goals relate to online learning? First of all getting my Ph.D. in instructional design for online learning is a no brainer. The more I know about this subject the more I can be of assistance to institutions of higher learning. Becoming more fit figures into instructional design as I continue to learn more about the body mind connection, motivation, and how using proper form in strength training is a learning process. When you work to repeat a proper movement and finally do it without thinking about it, you have assimilated that information. Online learning is about connecting prior knowledge to new information, motivation and engagement, and learning how you best learn. The last goal is part and parcel to what I do as an instructional designer and multimedia specialist. I must continually hone my skills in this area, keep abreast of new developments, and ascertain whether any new technology is worthy of application to online learning.
Perhaps you have your own personal goals. These are important to not only move forward, but to see where we started and where they have taken us. Life is a journey and I am enjoying the experience.