Chris' Full Stack Blog

Goals for 2021

Posted on December 20, 2020

Yep, It’s that Time of the Year Again!

Each year I set a set of goals or resolutions for the coming year, and also review and grade myself for the past year’s goals. Here’s that post for 2021.

Goals for 2020, Reviewed

  • Work ‘for the man’ less - maybe even ‘work’ less

✅ Achieved! At some point work was fairly slow, and my coworker and I agreed I would work on his projects Wednesday - Friday, while I could use Monday and Tuesday to work on my own projects. That has stuck through all of 2020, and has provided me plenty of time to work on my blog posts, further learnings in Generics and TypeScript, and nearly finishing my social coffee app, RŒST.

  • Make more software engineering tutorial videos and blog posts

✅ Halfway achieved, at least in terms of the blog posts. I’ve posted dozens of TypeScript and Generics type blog posts around the web this year, which is why it’s finally time to hook up to other channels like YouTube, Design by Humans, Redbubble, and Dribbble. (see below to see where I’m hope to go with this)

  • Improve cooking skills

✅ Achieved! I’ve found and developed numerous tasty recipes this year, though I want to get even better! It’s a continuous work in progress.

  • Homebrew an amazing beer

✅ Achieved! Towards the end of 2020, we brewed a milkshake IPA, which was completely inundated with dry hops, resulting in what I called a ‘mango bomb’ beer, on par with some IPAs I’ve had from a variety of craft breweries.

Well, I gotta say I was going pretty easy on myself in 2020. Time to revert to the mean this year! 😈

2020, Full of So Much Hope… Then… Nothing

I started up 2020 in a blaze of activity: starting up my own SAP instance, where I could program ABAP, and even recorded a full course for SkillShare about BitBucket Pipelines. Then COVID-19 thing hit. I got dragged into the markets, trying to make some money there, and I didn’t even finish uploading the SkillShare course I had made. As a strong introvert (INTJ), I originally thought I would be unaffected by all of the social distancing and whatnot that seemed to nearly break other people. I didn’t realize that not being able to do anything very social for nearly a whole year would start getting at me.

The worse offense? Around March, I discovered Call of Duty Warzone (which was free, you can’t blame me!), and my year was effectively over. The hardest problem was that all of my good friends from back home played, and I thought there would be no harm in always playing with them, and it was great talking to a lot of people I hadn’t heard from in years. Additionally, a lot of drinking was related to most of these game nights.

While this Warzone addiction didn’t affect my main employment duties, it did put a pretty big dent in all my side projects, like my course making, digital art, and RŒST app.

To be fair, RŒST is already out for Android phones, but because of an issue in Apple’s review process 🙄, RŒST’s release for iOS has been stalled. But I am very close. However, at the same time I’m coming to terms with the fact that releasing an app is not exactly the “if you build it, they will come” scenario. Even at best case if it were to gain traction and go viral, would require a lot of upkeep and perhaps hiring a few people to help maintain the community. This is a bit of a sad outcome on an app that I’ve probably spent nearly 5 months total develop time on, but the final outcome remains to be seen.

Goals for 2021

So, to combat the wastefulness and depressing aspects of this year, in addition to some other goodies that have recently come up in my life, I’ve devised my goals list for 2021:

  • Close on a house! (Scary 😱)
  • Publish five SkillShare courses by April 11th, 2021, and tie it with socials, YouTube, and digital art (more below)
  • Video games and drinking only allowed on Fridays (exceptions: parties, holidays)
  • Start daily meditation
  • Start intermittent fasting
  • Find a publisher and publish my book
  • Start a second book
  • Do some insane super hikes
  • More camping
  • Run a marathon

I realize there aren’t any software related goals here! Within software, I feel like for almost any use case, I know enough tools to solve almost any software related problem. Perhaps I can learn more patterns and become even better at recognizing when to use which, but I see that as a matter of “learn new patterns when you need them, and no sooner”.

I’ve also gotten in a habit of blogging here anything new that I learn, which reinforces the new concepts even further. It’s also gotten to the point where syntax quirks of a language are irrelevant, and I’ve carried out massive projects in ABAP, JavaScript, React, C#, Python, and PHP. Have I achieved the coveted (and in my opinion, contrived) Senior Developer status? Yet another thing that only time will tell.

Courses, YouTube Presence, and Digital Art

As a result of 2020, my fellow Americans, in my first 100 daysTM of 2021 😂 (read: by April 11th, 2021), I’ll be releasing no less than 5 SkillShare courses - no excuses this time, not even ANOTHER global pandemic. I also want to release these courses in more channels than just SkillShare, perhaps free samples on YouTube which can drive interested software developers to my courses and some developer digital art.

Wait, a House?!

Also, I’m looking to buy a house in 2021. Nearly all my friends and family my age already have purchased a house, and at this point in my life, perhaps as a big side effect to being homebound all 2020, I feel that I haven’t taken any responsibility recently, and nothing major has changed in my life. Things are just too comfortable for me right now, if that makes any sense at all.

This also isn’t to say that I’m looking to buy a house just to “keep up with the Jones’” so to speak. It has a myraid of reasons in terms of another channel of income, responsibility, ease of mobility between my two countries of residents (United States and Austria), and other challenging home improvement projects!

As a side note: interest rates for mortgages have never been lower, and inflation is also a risk into the future with all this quantitative easing (AKA money printing) that’s going around. So if you were near pulling the trigger for a home, I would strongly consider it with those two pieces of information!

Knowing my luck, inflation will start early and screw me just as I start looking at houses next year. 😂

Fasting and Meditation

I listen to a lot of podcasts where either the guests or hosts frequently meditate. In a smaller vein, a subset of others also do some sort of fasting routine. I seem to remember in my undergrad studies I did this type of fasting, whether by not having enough time to eat or opting out of eating to see if I could go a bit longer. I remember some boosts of energy associated with this behaviour, but I’m not sure if this haphazard method was from my ‘fasting’ or may have just been the simple fact that I was younger back then 😂. We’ll see. I’m curious to see the effects of doing both meditation and fasting in 2021.

Writing

I suppose this one kind of snuck up on me, although I’ve been relatively good at it for a while now - I suppose all these blog posts and my usual reading goals have helped immensely. About 10 years ago I started writing a fiction book involving a matrix-like virtual reality, massive capture the flag game. However, after doing a lot of research on authoring and publishing, many recommendations stated that it’s easier to get a non-fiction book published to become ‘known’ so to speak, and then focus on your fiction works. As my own interests and awareness have changed over the past decade, I decided anyway that perhaps a non-fiction book would be easier, and perhaps more helpful to society, to create.

Starting around Thanksgiving of this year, I formulated the basis of a non-fiction book which, after just 3 weeks of writing, is already 25K words! Ideally, this could mean every 1-2 months (granted the topic is interesting enough for me and that I can find enough stories and references to actually put something together), I should be able to reach the ‘community accepted’ minimum word count for non-fiction books of 50K words.

We’ll see how much I ‘enjoy’ the attempted publishing journey in 2021, but so far, I’ve really enjoyed the grind of the writing process (and truly amazed myself at getting to 25K words already - I realized I had more to get out than I thought.)

Thanks!

Well, that’s it. Looking forward to 2021 and getting my act together as an adult.

Cheers 🍺

-Chris

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