/ self

Resolutions & Retrospectives

It is Sunday, my new candidate for writing blog posts weekly, and it is also the last day of 2017. I tweeted my resolutions and I felt like I should go a little more in-depth on my blog. I also wanted to take a look back at 2017 and reflect on what went wrong and what went right for me in my personal life. Let's start with looking back.

Retrospectives

My year in review:

  • Quit my job at Asynchrony (I loved, and still love this company).
  • Took two months off from any work-related activities.
  • Traveled to Asheville, NC (twice).
  • Traveled to Chicago.
  • Traveled to Austin, TX.
  • Went to one dance lesson (way above my skill level).
  • Attempted freelance software development for the first time.
  • Moved to a new apartment.
  • Redesigned and rebuilt Sound of Text.
  • Redesigned and rebuilt my portfolio.
  • Started this blog.
  • Restarted my Twitter profile.
  • Started a Patreon page.
  • Decided to move to San Francisco (progress pending).

What went wrong:

  • Was too late to renew health insurance after quitting Asynchrony.
  • Stopped hosting couch surfers.
  • Handled stress (of freelancing) quite poorly.
  • Didn't read or learn as much as I wanted. I felt rather lazy this year.

All things considered, I am extremely pleased overall. The biggest thing I did was attempting to do freelance software development. It is always something I have wanted to try and it weighed on me heavily to never have done so. It was only a taste of the freelance life, but I learned so much about business and myself that it is easily one of the most valuable experiences I have had in my entire life. Not to mention the renewed confidence and motivation I gained.

On the other hand, it was a stressful period and I put myself in a situation where I was tight on money. This resulted in me traveling less and spending less time with friends. I am not sure I should call this a mistake, but it was a trade-off and I can learn to do better next time.

Resolutions

Time to look forward. I have had an exciting year. I have had a year of learning. How can I apply what I have learned to the coming year?

#1 Always Be Investing (in myself)

When I was younger, I would almost always have a course I was taking (usually on Udacity) or a project to which I was writing code. I was thinking long-term, and I want to get back to that.

I should always have a course I am taking, a book I am fervently reading, or a project which is cementing what I have learned or will provide value to a community.

#2 Be more Functional

This one is quite exciting for me. I want to become more familiar with functional programming principles. However, what excites me the most is the opportunity to pick up Haskell again.

#3 Be more community-oriented

I want to start focusing on communities around me or even internet communities. I have not done enough collaboration in my life and I think it will be valuable for me to meet and interact with more people.

Couchsurfing is one community I would like to be part of again. I would also like to find a hackerspace or mentorship-type community.

#4 Give

I have come to a point in my life where I want to start sharing some of the rewards that I have harvested. I want to share my knowledge, my skills, and my experiences.

Ideas:

  • Write a language/framework tutorial on my blog
  • Start a youtube series that teaches programming
  • Local community 1:1 mentorship (LaunchCode?)
  • Online community 1:1 mentorship (CodeMentor? I am still looking for these)
  • Local community involvement (political?)

Conclusion

These resolutions are a bit vague, and that is intentional. They are more like guidelines than goals. This gives me the opportunity to fulfill them in multiple ways, as Charli Marie pointed out in her most recent youtube video.

If you have your own resolutions or have a response to mine, I encourage you to write your own blog post and send me the link (or just tell me about them). You can reach me on twitter @NickOnTheWeb or send me an email.

Cheers,
Nick