I’m not one to set “resolutions” for the new year. I set my personal goals on my birthday, because for me this has more meaning than a calendar change. So instead, on this New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d offer up a toast to those out there striving to reach their own goals, whatever they may be.

Over the past year I have met in person or online, so many more like-minded people than in all my years previous. It’s encouraging, it really is. I attribute the increase in connecting with this new crowd to three things: 1) I set it as a personal goal on my birthday last year, 2) I became involved in the right online social networks (not all will do), and 3) I joined the Ruby on Rails community full time.

Many of you have provided encouragement, motivation, and wisdom as well as shared your experiences. And for that, I am very grateful. I’ve never felt clearer in the direction I’m taking, and I’ve never made as much progress. The fears are still there, as is the little voice that tries to object to the optimism I feel, but thanks to many of you, I’m able to tell that little voice to take a hike.

And so, first to my fellow entrepreneurs and web service startups, I toast you, and wish you the happiest of New Year’s and the best of success in reaching your personal and professional goals (which to me are one and the same).

And next, to those of you who are still unsure where your passions lie, and what direction you want to take, I wish you clarity and peace in the year ahead, and encourage you to seek out those who can motivate you as they have motivated me.

And to any and all who have hopes and dreams of achievements and success, I urge you to persevere through all the obstacles and road blocks that may come your way. Most of them are never as big as they appear, and there are plenty of others out there who have been right where you are and can lend a helping hand and offer some motivational words when needed.

Remember, if its not challenging, and there is little risk of failure, then its probably not worth doing and offers little reward.

Happy New Years!