Tag Archives: fitness

Beginnings: Never Too Late

We celebrated the 2017 AIM graduates last week and look forward to starting a new cohort this week. In a way, these are beginnings for both groups. Our new students are just starting their AIM graduate careers with perhaps some uncertainty as to their new journey. Our newest alumni now have options open to them in terms of discretionary time and they will possibly pursue a passion or career position or even choose to continue their academic journey.

I think we often tie beginnings to specific events such as graduation or a new job or starting a degree program or any number of life events. In reality, we can declare fresh beginnings at any time for any reason. In this blog post I would like to explore ways we can move beyond our self-limitations and break out in new and productive ways.

Simple Steps

I have written about this topic before but I feel it is important to revisit. This message is as much for myself as it is for my readers. Beginnings do not have to be large undertakings. It can be as simple as taking a class on something you are interested in that is completely outside of your career field. If you have goals to improve your health and fitness, it is not necessary to run a marathon tomorrow but a simple step would be to get out and walk and enjoy nature. That can lead to other greater goals that could lead to running a marathon someday, or it can simply lead you down the path of better health. Sometimes it takes just simple steps.

One of the dilemmas of a new undertaking is devoting time to it. This could require giving something up. If you are like me, you may have habits and routines and commitments that fill your day. If you were to pursue something new, which of those routines would you be willing to give up? Sometimes this is the hardest part of starting down a new path and requires an examination of goals and values.


Congratulations to all of this year’s AIM graduates. I am proud of your accomplishments and am honored to have played a small part in getting you to the finish line. This is not an ending or a final resting place as such, but a beginning. Take advantage of your new knowledge and relationships that you forged and create the world that you want. Often, it starts with a simple step.

Author Kelly BrownAbout Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an IT professional and assistant professor of practice for the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT and business topics that keep him up at night.

Setting and Achieving Goals with Technology

Photograph of vintage map and compass.Technology has been used to establish and realize goals since mariners relied on maps, compasses and sextants to reach their destination. I have read several books and articles over the years that claim setting goals is a surefire path to success. Actually, setting and achieving goals are both required to realize dreams. If this is the case, then can I use technology to help me with my goals? Can technology accomplish my goals for me, or do I still need to do some of the heavy lifting? For this blog I researched applications that help in the process, but I have come to realize they are not magic.

Technology Assistance

If good health is the goal, then fitness trackers are a great way to monitor your progress. I spoke with a clerk last week at a large hardware store who claimed she walked 120,000 steps in the last week. In her case, her kids got her a FitBit for Mother’s Day so they could marvel at the energy she expended while on the job. For her, it is more for information and entertainment than for achieving a specific goal, but I have met others who set daily and weekly goals and are religious about achieving those steps walked or calories burned. In that case, the technology behind the fitness tracker provides very real motivation to achieve goals.

Tracking Goals

The Android app GoalTracker allows you to list your goals with particular target values and time deadlines and then helps in breaking down those goals into manageable pieces. This app will alert you when you are or are not meeting your goals. It provides for a nice visual interface to let you know how close you are to achieving your goal or whether you are on track based on your desired timeframe and values. This is a great way to easily track your progress.

Habit Forming

Another Android app that is helpful is the Habit Bull. This application helps you to cultivate healthy habits or break bad habits through monitoring, suggestions, and reminders. The app provides an intuitive interface for establishing achievable goals in areas such as fitness, finance, relationships, or relaxation. It seems odd that we would need reminders to participate in a relaxing hobby or diversion, but such is our modern world.


For ancient mariners the first step toward achieving their goal was to launch their boat in the water and point it in what they thought was the right direction. The compass and map was their guide, but they had to take the first step. In the same vein, I haven’t yet found an app or technology that will achieve my goals for me but they can help me chart my course, track my progress and stay motivated to complete my journey.

Have you found technology that helps you to complete your goals, whether personal or at work? I invite you to share your experiences of what works and what does not work for you.

Author Kelly BrownAbout Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an IT professional and assistant professor of practice for the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT and business topics that keep him up at night.