Reflections on month 1

JanuaryI must admit that January has been a difficult month.   A number of issues at school around key IT systems have put a high degree of focus on part of my team requiring them to seriously step up and take on new challenges.   The last two weeks of January have been particularly difficult as we have struggled to fix the issues which have arose plus where we have found it difficult to identify alternative solutions.   Now, as February begins, however, after many days of struggle, solutions have been found and these solutions not only represent a solution to the problems but also an improvement on the setup as it had been previously.   I must admit to having become stressed during January and also to being annoyed at times as to my inability to resolve the issues in hand.   I also acknowledge having seen things as a “Failure” to find a solution as opposed to a “not yet” moment.   I need to be more conscious of this in future as my behaviours are what people see as opposed to my intentions so if I talk the talk I need to be seen to walk the walk.        I have also noticed myself using an old favourite phrase of mine:  “The problem is…..”.    This is definitely something I need to knock on the head, as stating the problems will most likely sound either negative or obstructive in search for solutions.   Am not sure if “the challenge is…” sounds any better but the main thing will be to take care to avoid labeling inconveniences, difficulties, momentary challenges, minor deviations from the plan, etc. as “problems”.

Professional Development

The above problems have led to me getting more directly involved with some of the schools IT systems.   This has meant dusting off my old SQL skills and learning some new software solutions, etc.   It has been fun to get directly involved although at times frustrating such as when I spend around half a day updating a tables data just to find out that an automated routine deleted the tables data every evening.   This goes to indicate the importance of documenting systems, something that is generally left to last and therefore often missed out altogether.

I must note that the above wasn’t an area I had foreseen as professional development  I would be doing this year however it has certainly challenged me and forced me to learn new things.     Challenge was one of things I had identified in my pledges so I am happy in this area at least for now.   I would also say that this highlights some concepts in the book “Open” which I have been reading recently in that my learning was in a time which suited me plus via online resources and forums as opposed to more traditional training or PD models.

Fitness

On a personal note my efforts to maintain a minimum of 30mins exercise a day in the form of walking , have been successful.    I doubt I will ever manage to do kilometres worth of jogging in the morning before work, as some do, however at least I am making an effort and making some, albeit modest, progress.

Reading

My reading in January has seen me complete two books in Open by David Price and The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely.    I have also done a little additional reading around data science and python programming.   The one thing I am looking forward to is having the garden at my new house done and to being able to sit out when the spring finally arises, to read a book or two.   Am sure I will be sharing a few photos of me sunning myself, with a beer and a good book in the months to come.

Journaling

My journaling started off particularly well this month with me putting aside time to take notes on my experiences of each week.   Sadly as other issues arose as indicated in my opening paragraph, this has dropped by the wayside.    As I reflect on this the urgent/important quadrant diagram jumps to mind.     The things I have focussed on during some of this month have been the urgent items and have also been important however journaling, although not urgent, may be very important in the long run in providing me something to reflect on.    Without a record to reflect on I am at the mercy of my incomplete and often inaccurate recollections of things. Any attempt to derive improvement is negatively impacted upon by the resulting inaccuracies or omissions.  I will need to try and ensure I make a greater effort to secure my journaling time against other needs and tasks which may encroach.

In Conclusion

I cannot believe that the first month of 2018 has already been and gone, that one twelfth of the year is gone.   As I often say, “onwards and upwards”!

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New Year Resolutions for 2018

I look forward to the new year, 2018, and what it might bring.   For me it is a bit of a new beginning in that I moved into my new home in November/December and therefore 2018 marks my first year in my new surroundings, a home of my own as opposed to rented or company provided accommodation.

So with a new year approaching it is time to set out some pledges for the year ahead.

Family Memories

This year I am going to start with wellbeing as opposed to work targets.    I want to make more memories with family during 2018 including possibly taking a holiday or at least short breaks together.   I haven’t had what I would consider a proper holiday now in over 10 years so it would be nice to sort something during 2018 however I am aware that this is dependent on finances and the fact I have recently purchased a new home may mean this isn’t possible.  At the very least we need to make the most of our surroundings for family weekend getaways.    I want to be able to look back and be able to easily identify family memories from each of the months of 2018.

Fitness

Fitness continues to be an area I don’t make any real progress on.   I am worried that I may once again plan to undertake fitness measures however fail to make progress.   I do not want to be sat here in a year writing the same old thing in relation to fitness.   The challenge is finding something which I am happy to do and which I can sustain.   Looking online various sites suggest a minimum requirement of 150 mins of exercise per week which based on 5 days on and 2 days off seems to suggest 30 minutes per day.    My thinking therefore for this year is to achieve 30 mins of brisk walking per day.   I will of course review this in January to see if I can increase this target as compared to various others who run kilometres per day my target doesn’t feel that challenging or inspirational.   That said, the target is for me and you need to start somewhere!

Reading

Reading is an area which I made significant progress on during 2017.    My hope is that I will be able to continue this into 2018.    I think a continued plan of 1 book per month, or 12 per year seems as reasonable expectation.    At this point I have already purchased 12 books for 2017.   I will be sharing the titles and my intentions shortly.

Professional Development

In terms of my own personal development, I have taken the CISA and CISSP IT exams in December in 2016 and 2017 respectively.   I want to continue challenging myself to undertake professional qualifications however at this time I am unsure as to which qualification would be best to pursue next.   I am also conscious of the additional workload such qualifications result in.   As such this is something I would like to consider in 2018 assuming I can both identify a suitable qualification and also identify sufficient time, including potentially ceasing or reducing other activities to allow myself to take this on.   If I was going for something I think the CRISC exam may be the one I would choose.

Work

From a work perspective the thing which is likely to take up my time as Director of IT during 2018 is going to be the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) being introduced in May 2018 along with a number of related IT security changes we will be making.    As such a target for the year will be to have successfully introduced the planned changes as well as having established compliance with the required GDPR regulations.     Another target area for me in 2018 will be to streamline the available school data such that it is easier to interpret and make use of.

As a manager I would like to continue to work with and develop the excellent team of staff I have at school.    There are already a few challenge ahead in 2018, however these are not something I can share here.     My hope is that in 2018 we can address and weather these challenges before going on to grow and develop as a team.    My hope is that our whole school satisfaction survey for 2018 will be as positive as the 2016 and 2017 surveys have been.    The positive outcomes achieved to date are the result of the excellent team which the school has working in IT Services.

From a teaching point of view I will be continuing to work with Lower 6 pupils on a digital citizenship programme.   I would like to make this programme as useful and interesting for students as possible, and achieve a programme of study which I am happy with.

Reflection

In 2018 I hope to continue the process of keeping a journal however with a greater level of regularity.   I also plan to conduct a monthly review so that I can better capture the achievements of each month while they are still fresh in my memory as opposed to trying to remember at the end of the year.

2018, new challenges and opportunities

2018 marks a new year filled with new opportunities and new challenges.    We cannot predict the future however I hope that my resolutions at least set me up with a path or direction through the year ahead.   I suspect the path will change and develop as the year progresses, and as I need to respond to challenges and even failures.   In failures, I accept that these will occur however I hope to take them as either “First attempt in learning” or as “not yet” moments.  I hope that at the end of 2018 I can look back with fond memories of the year, and with positive outcomes achieved in the face of challenges.

And so a new year begins!!    Happy new year to all!!

2017, a month by month review

Before 2017 ends I thought it might be useful to reflect on the year on a month by month basis.   On reflection it may have been better to review each month at the end of the month as opposed to trying to remember back at the end of the year.    I am well aware of how our memory often betrays us when looking back over any period of time.    Thankfully I did have a journal to review however my entries were far from regular or consistent.    So, below is 2017 in monthly:

January

The BETT conference was an important part of January.   This year I had gone with a very specific plan as to the vendors I wanted to see along with the various seminars and presentations I wanted to see in the single day I intended to attend the BETT event.    As it was I found it to be a very busy and successful day in which I picked up a number of thoughts and ideas.   Sadly, although the event itself was very successful my trip back to Somerset turned out to be a little fraught following car issues in the form of a faulty battery.  My drive back to Somerset was therefore plagued with worries of my car giving out on the motorway or worse of losing my cars lights driving on country roads as daylight was disappearing during my journey home.

February

I cannot remember back to February and what I undertook during this period.   From my journal logs it was quite a productive period in terms of meetings attended and progress made however nothing jumps out at me as something achieved during this period.   Maybe this is inevitable that some period will be filled with the work required to underpin future achievement, without there being any discernible achievement during that period.   One thing of note for February however is the fact I surprised my wife for Valentine’s day.   I have never been one for Valentines gifts or making a big thing of this overly commercialized event, however in a bid to show my wife how much she means to me I decided that I would make a special effort.    It is important that I consider making such gestures a more regular event, not requiring of a specific national day such as valentine’s day.

March

March saw me present at ICT Conference 2017 at King Edward VI School in Southampton.   My topic was that of ICT policy and practice and in particular the 10 main challenges as I saw them at that time.    I wouldn’t say my presentation was anything near my best given the scope of the topic however I found it a worthwhile activity and it was particularly useful to get feedback from attendees on the challenges as they saw them at that time.

April

In April I actually took a little of quality time for myself, taking time to sit in the garden when the weather was nice, sipping a beer and reading a good book.    This needs to be something I do more often however I do note that my reflections at the time were that I didn’t achieve much during this period.   A bit of chill time isn’t something which normally comes to mind when we reflect on achievements and it is only through reviewing some of my journal logs from this period that I am now even able to identify that I found this time to chill in April.

May

I turned another year older in May and as with April managed to spend some time chilling but also spend some time outside with my son playing football.    Good weather doesn’t occur as often in the UK as it did while I was living in the UAE.    As such it is important to prioritize and use good weather as an opportunity to spend time outside with my son and also my wife.   This needs to be something I remember for future.   There will be plenty opportunities in winter to write or do other indoor activities however in April and May are the best opportunities for getting outdoor with the kids and family.

June

During June I attended the MovingOnEd event.   For the first time this allowed me to meet Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist) and Kate Jones (@87History) who previously I had only conversed with online via twitter.   As it turned out Kate lives in Al Ain in the UAE where I had lived for a number of years.   We apparently even lived there during the same period time before I moved back to the UK.    At the event I also had the opportunity to meet with Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth) and get a signed copy of his book Learning with E’s.

July

July saw me board a plane to return to Glasgow for the first time in almost 2 years, and only for the 2nd time in almost 10 years.    The reason for return was that of the funeral of my Gran.    I can’t help but think of the phrase “matches, hatches and dispatches” in reference to the only occasions when the family come together as a whole.    It is important to consider the finite nature of our lives and therefore the need to make the best of what we have.   A part of this for me will be ensuring I make time to visit my own parents more regularly which has been something I find to be a challenge given they still live in Glasgow while I now live in Somerset.  This is something I need to consider and action in future.

August

The final preparations for the new academic year were undertaken during August.    As such it was a busy period and as a result I didn’t record much of what happened during that period.    The only thing I am aware of was starting to making use of Buffer as a service to help me manage my social media interactions.

September

September saw the start of a new academic year and a particularly difficult project in the form of changing the schools Mobile Device Management Solution.    As a 1:1 school from year 7 upwards, a change in the MDM would impact on a large number of students and staff and therefore the change was not without risk.  Having considered the risk associated with the change, along with the risk associated with remaining with the then current solution it was decided to make the change with the preparation work done during the summer.   Although the prep work had been done the true test was always going to be when the staff and students returned.   As it was the change went well and we managed to start the process of getting students onto the MDM albeit with one or two issues with individual students.   This process then continued throughout the term with the percentage of students on the MDM being steadily increased towards the targeted enrollment figure of 90% or more students.

October

I attended the ISMG Fraud and Breach Prevention summit in London during October.   I found this two day conference to be excellent with lots to take away in relation to IT cyber security.   The event included a number of high level presentations including contributions from the UK Metropolitan Police and the FBI to name but two.    The main take away I remember from the event was one presenter commenting on how he had predicted correctly that this year had been worse than the previous one in relation to cyber security, breaches, challenges around cyber security and cyber threats.   He went on to rather bleakly predict the year ahead is likely to see a continuation of the trend with things getting worse still.   I tend to agree.

November

November saw me finally complete on the purchase on a house followed by the traumatic task of actually moving from our rented accommodation into our new home.   A number of issues which I wont go into during which various service providers did not cover themselves in glory made the experience all the more traumatic.    After 10 years in rented or provided accommodation I am just glad to once again be able to consider the place I sleep at night and wake in the morning as “Home”.

December

December saw me finally sit the CISSP exam for which I had been studying for a significant part of the year.   I went into the exam feeling as if I had done everything I possibly could however also feeling that I would still fall short of the 70% pass mark.     As I finished the exam and left the booth in which I took the computer based test, I felt I would not pass given the number of questions where I had to arrive at my chosen answer via a process of elimination as opposed to knowing the answer to the question.    Much to my surprise the letter handed to me following the test indicated I had passed.    I must admit to being surprised however also happy that the work that went into studying must have paid off.   I tended towards allocating the pass to luck whereas the woman on the front desk at the test centre, the woman who handed me the results letter, suggested I should attribute my success to hard work and study.

2017 has been a busy year and sitting here at the end of it, it feels as if it has flown by.   I am sure there were many challenging points in the year when the flight of time did not feel so swift.  That said, I think it has been a good year with a fair number of achievements or memorable events to list.   Here’s to 2018 and sitting down in a years time with an even bigger list of memorable moments from the year.

 

Review of 2017

And another year draws to a close and once again I find myself sat down reflecting on the year which has passed.   This time as I sit down, I do so in my own new house having only recently relocated.   This alone is a nice feeling as for the last 10 years I have been either in company provided accommodation while in the UAE, or in rented accommodation.   To actually be able to talk about “my home” is a nice feeling and a nice way to finish the year, albeit I do admit to a highly stressful period of moving plus also a number of trials and tribulations throughout the year in relation to getting to where I am now.

Looking back to the broad targets I set myself back a year ago then, one of the first targets I set myself was to #BeHappy.    Am not sure I can look back and confirm that I have been happy this year.   I can recount some moments, but can recount more moments of stress, anger, etc.   This may relate to the ease with which we seem (or maybe just I seem) to be able to draw to mind negative events over positive events.   Taking a narrow perspective on my review of the year helps here if I change the question to one of, am I happy with what I have achieved this year.    This revised question is more positive focussed and leads to me considering the fact I have bought a house, recently passed my CISSP exam, oversaw very successful project work and also received largely very positive feedback from colleagues and students.    I suppose there is always room to be “more” happy however it is key to admit that this is seeking the perfect lives which TV and Movies might contain, situations which are impossible to achieve in this chaotic ever changing world.

#BeConnected was my 2nd target and this year I am reasonably happy with my connectedness.   It hasn’t been consistent during the year, with the first half of the year seeing me significantly more involved than the later half however this was due largely to prioritisation and other workload related issues.   During the year I managed to finally meet a number of people I have followed, and conversed with on twitter, in person.   This included Mark Anderson (@ictEvangilist), Stephen Tierney (@leadinglearner), Kate Jones (@87History), Andy Cope (@beingbrilliant) and Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth) to name but a few.  It is always nice to be able to meet in person and I snagged a signed copy of Steve Wheelers book in the process.

#Toexperiment was my third target and I am not sure I experimented either to the extent or in the way I had hoped.   I think this may be something I need to take forward into the year ahead.

#ReadReadandReadSomeMore was my third target and like #beconnected I was most successful in the first half of the year.   The later part of the year this seemed to drop away particularly as I started to focus on studying ahead of my CISSP exam.   I believe I met my planned rate of reading of 1 book per month and I plan to share my book list shortly in a separate blog.    The need to continue learning and the potential for reading to contribute to this continues to be clear in my mind so this will be definitely be something I will plan to carry into 2018.

#BeHealthy is always a target which I never fully get to drips with.   Health and exercise consistently fall low on my priority list and this year has been no exception.    This will require some detailed thought for next year in terms of if I really and committed to making progress in this area.   If not then I shouldn’t list or worry about it, however if it is something I want to achieve then I need to be firm in my commitment and on the planned strategies I intend to use in moving forward in this area.   Maybe its time to order a fitbit or similar over Christmas?

#BeFamily…….Another one which I don’t feel I made much progress on.   This is one for me to reflect on further however not one I feel able to share here at this point.   I also need to accept that I am inherently more negative focused than positive, and therefore my perception continues to err on a more negative view of what may not be negative to others.    That said, it is still an area I believe I need to work on.

2017 has been a good year in terms of what I believe I have achieved.   It has also on reflection gone very quickly which is usually a good sign in that when things go quickly I must have been engaged and focused such that I didn’t appreciate the passage of time, what Csíkszentmihályi refers to as Flow.    Having met Stephen Tierney I wonder whether the key for 2018 is to narrow my focus and focus on what is really important in 2018, discounting the items which are 7 out of 10 or 8 out of 10 in terms of importance and only listing the 9 and 10 out of 10’s?    Maybe I should establish a list of core and secondary priorities?   This is something for my next blog and for my pledges for 2018.    2017 is all but gone and I can be happy with the year.  Let’s hope that I can build on this in 2018 to have an even more successful year and maybe finally deal with the #behealthy and #befamily aspects to a level I consider acceptable.

Merry Christmas to all.

 

New Academic Year Resolutions

And so the new academic year, 2017/18 begins…..

Firstly let me wish everyone all very best for the academic year ahead.

Following reading a twitter post be @darynsimon I thought this made a good opportunity for me to write down some of things which I hope to achieve in the academic year which now lies ahead.

Management Information

As I have previously written, in schools we have a massive wealth of data however I don’t believe we make the most of it.    I think there are two reasons for this, one being the fact that data is often held in the rows and columns of large spreadsheets such that it isn’t easily or immediately accessible to those who wish to use the data.    The second reason is that the data is set out to show us what we hope to already see.   For example showing the statistics of boys versus girls.    But what about the correlations which might exist which are not readily visible or expected.     As such one of the things I want to work on this year is trying to make data more accessible, including making use of Microsoft PowerBI to hopefully achieve this, and also trying to make use of various statistical analysis tools to analyse the data in new ways and hopefully identify new correlations which can then be acted upon.    I still believe it is what goes on in the class which matters most however my hope is that data might give us new insights and allow us to make better decisions.

Sharing and my PLN

I want to spend this year sharing my thoughts and ideas online plus further developing my PLN.   This includes developing a series of sessions on digital literacy and on preparing students for a digital future.    I also want to revisit using video and possible video blogging, which is something I looked into a couple of years back however failed to make much progress.   I would now like to get back to this and hopefully this time get further with it.

EdTech

As I now enter my second year as a Microsoft Innovative Educator I want to experiment a little more with a variety of edTech solutions during the year ahead.   I would like to try and be a little more creative with my use of technology.  Part of this will include looking to make greater use of the Office 365 suite in both working with colleagues and also in working with students.     Yammer is one resource in particular I intend to experiment with.     I also want to have a look at how Flow might be used to streamline my day and, as mentioned above, looking at how PowerBI might be used to better manage school data.

Reading / CPD

Over the calendar year so far I have started reading a lot more than previously and this is something I want to continue to do throughout the academic year.   I feel such reading is both relaxing but also a valuable professional development and personal growth opportunity.   In addition to this I am also challenging myself to prepare for a formal IT accreditation with plans to undertake the CISSP exam in December of this year.    This will represent a significant challenge in preparing for what is quite a significant exam however I consider the challenge to represent desirable difficulty.   In my view only by pushing ourselves can we truly hope to grow.

I look forward to the year ahead and to seeing what 2017/18 will bring.   I also look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with other educators both in person and online during the year ahead.

Reflections: 2017 so far

Having just turned 41 years of age, it makes for a good time to reflect a little on the year so far.   Firstly I think its important to note that this year appears to be disappearing very fast.   I feel at this point as if the Christmas period was only yesterday.   I suspect a quick review of past posts will show a similar perception throughout the year.   I may be able to draw positive conclusions from this, in that time flies when you are having fun, or negative conclusions in that I am that busy I am unable to stop and truly experience or review the events that have occurred.    A third option, and the one I think I will stick with on this occasion, is the that this clearly highlights the frailty of our memories to accurately reflect past events.

During the last few months I have taken to journaling to try and keep a record of the things I have done and how I have felt.   Sadly this has been a little hit and miss with some weeks consisting of daily records of each day while other weeks have been empty of record.    This is something I want to try and be more consistent with and I have been considering that maybe I will need to reduce my blogging in order to release time to facilitate this.   Given that one of the reasons for blogging is to have personal records of my thinking, which is the same reason for having a journal, this trade off seems logical.    As such this may represent the last of my blogs for a little while at least.

I found the recent Secret Teacher article in relation to English teachers not reading quite interesting given that I had set one of my targets or pledges to be reading at least 1 book per month.   I continue to progress well on this target with the hope that I will continue to do so.    I am finding the act of reading to be relaxing but also thought provoking as I explore subjects such as stoicism, culture and also how we think.     The Secret Teacher article strikes me as representing gross generalisation, which is often a feature of online educational discussion, although generally this is backed up by some research.

The area of fitness continues to be one of my weak areas.   Still I am unable to keep up more than a sporadic attempt at physical exercise.    As I have repeatedly said before this is an area which I need to continue to work at.    I am starting to wonder whether the issue here is that I am basing my targets on what other people do while my aspirations should clearly be much lower.     A quick glance at twitter highlights various teaching colleagues across the world who have engaged in their daily or weekly run.   Am afraid the best I can hope for is a monthly or yearly doddle.   Maybe the fact that it is in my mind and therefore I am making sporadic attempts is the best I can hope for.    I suppose I can also be positive in that I have played an hour or so of football with my son on the last three nights.   Progress is progress, even if it is little and infrequent!

My connectedness is another area which is giving me similar thoughts to the above.   I feel that I should be doing more in terms or writing blog pieces, contributing to twitter chats, contributing to publications, etc.    Now again this may be comparisons with others who appear to be doing more.   Again, twitter and other social media seems to present us with models to follow however I am increasingly wondering if these are the right aspirations.   Are the few education stars on social media distorting what I perceive as normal expectations or more accurately my expectations?   These stars are a very small percentage of the overall educational body of individuals across the world yet they are very public and visible.   If plotted on a graph of connectedness they would be outliers, being significantly more connected and active than most, however this has an effect of significantly changing the average connectedness.  Take them out of the equation and the average would be significantly lower.    In addition to this there is the psychological factor in that they are very public and therefore come easily to mind.   This ease with which they come to mind makes then seem common which again impacts on the perception as to the connectedness of the average educator.   This makes me think of Coveys book, “First things first”, and that there may be a need for me to reflect on what actually is my “first thing”.

Five months of 2017 have now be completed and I must say that they seemed to have passed quickly.   The summer period is now not that far away and I look forward to using some of the time over this period to reflect and plan for the start of a new academic year, to energise and also as discussed above, to re-evaluate and identify what truly is important.   I may also look back and review my previous evaluations of the year, as I have posted year over the last year of so with some regularity, to see if any patterns are emerging, however that’s for another day!

 

 

 

 

Reflections: The first quarter of 2017

And so April is upon us, and the 2nd term of the 2016-17 academic year comes to a close.    I have said it a few times already this year, but how time flies!

I thought now would be a good time to review the year so far and to look back on my resolutions for 2017 and evaluate the progress made to date.

When I wrote my resolutions I listed a need for mindfulness including an awareness of my emotional state, however I don’t think I fully appreciated the importance of this aspect of life.   My recent reading of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and also The Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday have both further brought this into focus.     Our reality is viewed through the lens of our perception, therefore if we take a more optimistic view, if we focus on what is in our control, then we can bring about a more positive reality.     With this in mind I think I have made some progress, for realisation is a step in itself.   This however will need to be something which I continue to consider, and to revisit.

I don’t feel I have been as connected during the first quarter of 2017 as I maybe was in 2016 with a reduced engagement in twitter balanced out against a slight increase in my blogging.   I think this is reasonably fair and acceptable outcome.    I am starting to consider the depth of connection, with a view that some of my social media based connections are generally more shallow than corresponding in-person connections.     This seems to suggest that my focus should be more on attending events and building in person contacts however I am unsure as to how I will be able to fit this into a busy schedule.    I also wouldn’t want to lose out on my diverse range and highly valuable Professional learning network where it exists online.

My reading has definitely been going well so far this year.   As we reach the end of the 3rd month of the year, I have completed reading 6 books.     The books themselves have all been reasonably deep titles including Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.    I have very much enjoyed reading more, and even managed to find a single sunny day to spend outside in the gardening reading.   Hopefully the months ahead will provide more opportunities for this to happen.

As has been the case before the health and physical exercise side of things has slipped.    My planned walking across campus daily was adding time to my day albeit only 20mins or so and as such, and especially given the cold winter weather, I decided to stop this activity.   I now need to find some way to address this area in my life even more so having saw the news the other morning which raised the concern of the high percentage of people in the UK who live a sedentary lifestyle.    I suspect I am one of those people!

The family side of things have met with some success so far this year.   I am now spending a short daily burst of time with my son on his maths development in particular.   I have also managed to remember some of the key family dates and surprise my wife in doing so.    This is something I need to continue to work on.

My current book which I am reading is Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan.   I think it will be interesting to revisit my reflections having completed reading this as it has already raised some interesting ideas in relation to pleasure and purpose.   At this point I think I am more of a busy, or purposeful, person.  Am not sure yet whether this is a good thing or not.

I tried for a period to engage in daily journaling however this dropped away in the last month or so.    I think this may be an interesting practice to pick back up possibly using a purpose vs. pleasure framework for notes.     Hopefully this is therefore something I can recommence and sustain through the final term of the year.

All in all, I feel things are progressing steadily in terms of the things achieved, however time is seeming to fly by.   They do say that time flies when you are having fun, so for now I will be content to leave these reflections on that positive note.