Last night I posted that there was a stack of items next to my desk. It is a big stack. And since then I added to it.

BenSpark's 2009 Life Changing Commitments
Photo-A-Day #1363

In the coming year I have committed myself to taking care of a few things. These are in no particular order as far as importance.

I Commit to Having more contests on my blogs.

XShot 2.0. is on top of the stack. I received it as a contest prize or by mistake I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Apparently I was supposed to receive something else but the labels got mixed up. Well, since I have an XShot 2.0 already I think I’m going to give this one away. I have XShot as one of my affiliates and I have been using the XShot longer than any other blogger I know of, plus I introduced many of them to the device (i.e. Ted Murphy). Yet, I’ve only been able to get one person to buy one from my blog. Maybe I will give this one away to the blogger who has the best idea on how I can sell more XShots through this blog. Leave a comment with your best idea and I’ll choose the one I like most. That person gets the XShot. So it is purely subjective as to who wins, so, amaze me. That is the top of the stack.

I Commit to Learning Chinese

The things on the stack are two books are on the Chinese Language, Learning Chinese Characters and Learning Chinese The Easy Way. I am committing myself to 15 Minutes A Day to learn Chinese in 2009. I’ll be documenting that journey on my new blog 15minaday.com. If anyone does know Chinese could you please let me know if the header is correct, I don’t know a thing about the language yet.

I Commit to Getting my Diabetes Under Control

I have Type II diabetes. It sucks. I have made many changes to my diet to help control the disease and I am on a medication for it as well as for the neuropathy in my feet. Foot pain I thought was Plantar Fasciitis was actually neuropathy that went undiagnosed for a long time. It sucks, I can’t go barefoot at all because of the pain (I suck it up in the shower). I have three books that I am reading to help get me on better track with my diabetes. The first book is called Conquering Diabetes by Anne L. Peters, M.D. The next book The World’s Fittest You by Joe Decker. I bought this a couple of years ago and haven’t cracked the spine. Another diabetes book I received from my sister. It is called The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan.

I Commit to Being More Charitable, and Support Those People Who Inspire Me.

The next four books are copies of Combinations by Ed Gerety. Ed Gerety is probably the one guy online that I get inspired by more than by Ted Murphy. That is primarily because I’ve known Ed longer and he is a motivational speaker. I purchased four of Ed’s books to give to my high school. The book is on student leadership but it certainly can be adapted to being a blogger. Ed was offering those books for $4.00 each, a complete steal. The offer was supposed to end by December 19th but it still looks like they are available at $4.00. I suggest you check it out as well as Ed Gerety’s Dream Big Blog. Ted, if you are reading this post all the way down to here look into getting Ed to speak at IZEAFest 2009 to get the crowd excited, motivated and ready to dream big.

I Commit to Becoming a Better Photographer

I’m inspired by my friend Andrea because she knows so much about how to use her camera in all situations. I point and shoot at what I like, I sometimes venture beyond auto but not often enough. The next book is the Nikon D80 Digital Field Guide (not sure what makes it digital as it is a book but whatever). I was going to use 15 minutes a day blog to talk about digital photography but that was a bit of a cop out since I know a thing or two about it, but not enough. I bought this book so I could get better and more technical with my photography. I know what to shoot but what is the best way to shoot it.

I also have a very old book from Kodak called How to Take Good Pictures. I also have Digital Photography for Dummies and The Kid’s Guide to Digital Photography. Each of these books will also be part of my commitment to learning more about photography and how to improve. The bottom of my stack is filled with Photography Magazines, Popular Photography, PCPhoto, Rangefinder, AfterCapture. I must commit myself to reading them when they arrive from now on. I find that when I read them later I often miss things that have already gone past that I could have been part of. I’ll look through each magazine and write at least one blog post a week on what I learned.

I’m also following a number of photographers that inspire me. I don’t always read their articles because there is just so much. So I will try and pick an article a day to learn from and blog about. I’ll start with learning something from these 10 Hot Photography Tips and Tutorials from 2008 from Digital Photography School. I want to learn as much as I can because I will be saving to go on a Nikon Mentor Series trip in 2010.

I Commit to Finding Opportunities for Creativity

I bought The Imagineering Workout in Disney World and want to read a bit of it each day to inspire myself to be more creative. Along with that is a book I won at IZEAFest, the CSS Cookbook by Christopher Schmitt. I can’t believe I didn’t get him to sign it at IZEAFest 2008. I’ve got to think of things like that. So, what will a book on coding do to make me more creative? Well, it will allow me to code better blogs that are more dynamic and eye pleasing as well as functional.

I Commit to Stopping the Drowning Spiral of Personal Debt

Leaning on the stack are two books. One I’ve been meaning to read for years but it was pretty dense, that is Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. I’d just like to read it and see the theories. The other is a book that my friend Meghan (Happy Birthday Meghan) let me borrow, it is called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. While I buy into most of his principles I do have to agree with John Chow that you should never live on cash.

Will I accomplish all of these goals? Better subscribe to this blog to find out.

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14 Responses to “BenSpark’s 2009 Commitments”

  1. That’s a great list of things to commit to– I stopped doing resolutions a while ago. A little too much stress to try and keep them.

    As for not signing your copy of CSS Cookbook, if I get invited back for IZEAFest (I had a blast!) I would be more than happy to sign it :)

  2. Chica says:

    I’m committed to watching you grow, such great goals for ya Drew. I hope you accomplish all of them and then some. See ya next year! ;)

    Chicas last blog post..See ya next year!

  3. Drew says:

    Hi Christopher,
    I should have asked, no worries I’ll be going to conventions this year and hopefully we will cross paths again.

  4. Drew says:

    Thanks Chica,
    I’ll be watching your progress as well. Happy New Year!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    That’s quite a list! It’s great that you’ve committed to so much personal and professional growth. Happy New Year!

    Elizabeths last blog post..Happy New Year!

  6. Drew says:

    Thanks Elizabeth,
    Ted put me on many people’s radars so I’ve got to produce some results for the year. I am excited about it and a bit overwhelemed. What have I gotten myself in to.

  7. Drew, that list is HUGE! Good job putting it all in writing and committing to the changes.

    Have you printed it so you’ll see it everyday?

    I always find if I have a written list and I can cross things off as I accomplish them it’s very satisfying :)

    Happy New Year to you, Alison & Eva!

    Heather in Beautiful BCs last blog post..Join the TEDHead’s for a Fabulous 2009!

  8. Erik says:

    Drew,

    Love your list. I commit to being flexible in all things and letting the photographer within win a few more arguments.

    May peace, joy, health, prosperity and killer photos fill your year.

    Happy New Year!

  9. MLDina says:

    I’ve made a few new years resolutions as well, hopefully I’ll be able to stick with them. Are you planning on tracking/updating your progress with them on your blog?

  10. Drew says:

    Heather,
    I hadn’t thought to print it out. I guess that would be a very good thing to do. I may add them to Remember The Milk Which is a To Do List of sorts.

    Happy New Year to you as well!

  11. Drew says:

    Dina,

    Why else would I have a blog. :-) Happy New Year!

  12. Drew says:

    Erik,
    Thanks very much and good luck with your new blog that you are launching.

  13. Chelle says:

    Great list, I hope you can see many of these out! They say that the more you tell people about your goals that you’re more likely to carry them out. (Not really sure who “they” are though!) I think its true though when you have an audience you’re more determined to prove it to them and yourself.

    Happy New Year to you and your family and happy reading all those books too!

    Chelles last blog post..Resolutions for the New Year

  14. Drew says:

    Thanks Chelle,
    I figure that by putting the list in writing on this blog then I sure am going to reach at least one or two people who will help “keep me honest”.

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