I am not sure where to begin. I have written time and time again about a new direction that I am heading with this blog and have felt a complete lack of focus the last few months.
Here’s a quick recap.
In January I decided to go back to school. I enrolled at BYU-I in their Web Design and Development program. I had 3 classes (7 credits) and one of the classes was an Introduction to Graphic Design. Throughout the class I spoke often (weekly) with my instructor about a career path in the field. He made it very clear that there were two basic career paths with Graphic Design.
The first option is to get hired as a graphic artist and start at the “bottom of the totem pole”, working your way up. Being able to support a family is obviously very important to me so this option was dead.
The other option is to just freelance. I am not going to spend the next 4 years finishing my degree to then be a freelancer working job to job with little security or guarantee. It became clear to me that Graphic Design, for me is not something I am going to pursue as a career. It can be a neat hobby or interest but is not going to be a main source of focus right now.
The other two classes were random General Ed classes. While they were interesting and I am glad I learned what I did I felt like I was wasting valuable time and energy with projects and assignments that were of little value to me. All this time up until 2:00 – 3:00 am most nights of the week took away from time I could have been building a business – hence no post or change to this blog since December.
It is time for that to change. I would rather spend my time building some additional income sources than in school.
So my plan now is to spend my time following a system and making it work. There are thousands of other people that make money each month online.
Why can’t I be one of them? I can and I will be.
Goals for 2013
As of right now I have some general goals in place for the rest of this year. I need to refine them a bit but generally speaking, here they are.
Get access to one program that I am comfortable with and follow the process exactly
Unsubscribe from all other email marketing lists. Focus on the one
Detail progress on this blog 2-4 times per week
Earn $1000 – $1500 online each month
These will be modified as needed over the course of the year and as needed.
In about 3 weeks, I am beginning a new phase of my life. I am entering a Web Design & Development program for BYU-Idaho. The Winter 2013 semester is the first semester that is it offered 100% online which is perfect for me as I balance full time work, church responsibilities and a busy, growing family. I have been waiting for the opening of this program for about a year now and am looking forward to it with great anticipation.
A Look Back
I originally purchased this domain back in April 2004. At the time, I was a financial planner looking to get a website set up for my business. I slowly began to teach myself a little HTML on the side as I attempted to build a site from scratch. I became immersed in learning about hosting, SEO and especially design. This resurrected an interest in the field of Graphic Design with roots dating back to high school. Eventually I learned about blogging and the power of WordPress and a whole new world opened up to me.
I have since given up my business as a financial planner (after 10+ years). I have been wanting to focus more on learning Graphic Design, specifically Web Design and Development.
This brief story brings us to the present.
A Look Forward
Moving forward this site is going to be less about random posts and more about what I am learning my classes. I will post regular (weekly) updates about topics that I am learning and maybe even a video tutorial or two. It is my thought that I can use this as a free resource to others who are looking to learn about the topics of web design and development.
I am starting from a fresh install of WordPress and Thesis. Right now there is obviously nothing special about the design of the site but that will change over time.
Late last week as I was going on a bike ride at lunchtime and I saw a work colleague of mine getting ready for a run through the streets. In passing I told him about some trails in the mountains a couple miles away and that we should head up there one of these days at lunch. Monday came and we decided to head up there the next day at lunch, even though that is typically getting into the hottest time of the day.
We left the office by 11:45 and got to the trailhead about 10 minutes later, ready for a quick 3-4 mile out and back. We had the choice to take a trail straight up the canyon and have some shade along the way or around the west face of the mountain that was relatively flat, but in the sun most of the way. We opted for the flatter, sunnier side of the trail.
I have posted about Dry Canyon before and have a few experiences on this trail. It is a fun trail to run because there are a few small climbs, then some decent but nothing a couple out of shape dudes couldn’t do on a lunch break. Plus as a bonus, the views are pretty clear and open to the valley below for 90% of the run. In fact, in trips past up this same trail I have found myself enjoying the scenery so much that I wasn’t paying too close attention and the next thing I knew I was on my stomach, having tripped over a rock in the trail. Lesson learned.
The run was quick and quite fun. It took us 30:06 to go 3.08 miles (9:47 min/mile) with a total elevation gain of 1,030 feet. More details here.
Here is a quick view from atop the side of the mountain.
The view in this picture is not the best view on the course but gives a pretty good idea. This is at the very beginning after we had completed the route. The views from the middle of the run are much better , in my opinion.
Recently I have begun running a little more again. Without having a time based goal (like a marathon) to work towards, I have been thinking about why I want to run and how do I get the motivation to just run for the sake of running and exercise.
One of the things I really liked about training in the past was the tracking and metrics behind each run I went on. I got rid of my iPhone with the app that I used and went to an Android. Unfortunately the Android marketplace has, in my opinion, inferior apps. In addition to that I have major problems with the phone crashing, locking up, terrible GPS signals and battery life. I digress.
This last week I found an app that seems to work pretty well though and tracks fairly accurate. It still eats battery pretty quickly though. I created a free account to track the workouts on my Garmin Connect account and have been excited to be able to track again. We’ll see how it goes.
I rode to work last week and tracked my to and from routes and it seemed to track well. However, when I start the app up each time I realized after the first ride that it took a few minutes to connect to a GPS signal so the workout is a little shorter on the site then it actually ended up being in real life.
Last Saturday I went on a 5.7 mile run through a trail that took 56 minutes to complete. It was a fun run, even though I am a little out of shape compared to where I was this time last year.
I am excited to begin running again and look forward to tracking and watching numbers rather then planning for an upcoming race in the future. I do have some thoughts around what I want to do but for now it is fun to get up in the mountains and seeing what is out there.