I have four ultimate goals for 2019.
- Relationships: I will strengthen my interpersonal relationships and meet more people in my local community.
- Career: I will hone my existing skills, learn new skills, and experiment with how best to provide value to those around me.
- Health and Longevity: I will live this precious life as well as I can for as long as I can.
- Financial Independence: I will liberate myself from my debts.
In order to empower myself to achieve my goals I will try to build these habits.
Personal Goals Reviews
- Trigger: End of work on Sprint Review Fridays
- Actions: Open my goals and habits document and my project management software. Write a blog post summarizing what progress I have made toward my goals, habits, and projects, and whether any of them need revision.
- Concerns: Using the end of a particular workday ritual as a trigger might prove challenging, as I'll still be in the office when the trigger occurs. Either I need to figure out how to do the actions before leaving the office without using company property or I need to defer the trigger to after I get home, which leaves me an awful lot of time to forget the trigger has occurred.
- Trigger: Waking up
- Actions: Brew some fresh coffee. Write my intentions for the day. Review my calendar and tasks. Begin working on personal projects.
- Concerns: I haven't been waking up at a consistent time, and I haven't been waking up early enough to accomplish anything. I need to find some methods to consistently wake up at a given time and then slowly begin waking earlier. I've had success using an alarm app called I Can't Wake Up! Alarm Clock which required me to scan the barcode on my coffee to disable the alarm, and will try this strategy again.
- Trigger: 9pm alarm
- Actions: Quit current activity. Pack clothes, food, books, and laptop for the next day. Brush teeth. Read book in bed. Go to sleep.
- Concerns: It is extremely easy to ignore the alarm. This probably needs a different trigger or reinforcement.
Leave Work on Time
- Trigger: Finish a task after 3pm OR 4:30pm
- Actions: Stop current task. Close email and chat applications. Fill out work log. GTFO.
- Concerns: Alarm based triggers are easily ignored, and when I'm in the midst of a task at the end of the work day I often get fixated on the task. I'm going to try to program my work computer to do increasingly annoying things that will make me quit for the day, e.g. close communication apps at 4:30pm, hibernate at 5:00pm.
These are a few candidate projects which I think will help me achieve my goals for the year. None of them are set in stone, and I'm giving myself plenty of room to redefine them, add more, or abandon them all as I feel suits my needs.
I will teach a small group of my friends the basics of programming computers. This is probably the single most rewarding and valuable skill I've developed over the past decade of my life and I'd like to share that with others. I hope that basic software development skills will empower my friends to take on small projects to improve their lives directly, expand the ways in which they think about the world, and let those who are interested explore software development careers.
Goals: Form Stronger Relationships, Build Career
I will make a calendar to track when I need to contact friends and family. It's easy for me to get too focused on my own priorities or on fires I need to put out and forget to reach out to the people I care about more than once every month or two. Something as simple as another Google Calendar or even a paper calendar with people's names on it would be a vast improvement in managing my personal relationships.
Lansing Codes Contributions
I will make more meaningful contributions to Lansing Codes projects. Back in October I participated in Hacktoberfest by working with a few local developers to migrate the Lansing Codes API from a Rails app to a Node.js and Feathers app. This was a great way to meet people in my community and quickly build a lot of knowledge with tools and techniques I hadn't used before and wouldn't have the opportunity to learn at work. And it solved the decision paralysis I've faced for years when trying to pick an open source software project to which I might contribute. I will finish work on the API migration, work on some enhancements I personally want, and try my hand at project maintenance.
Goals: Career, Relationships
I will experiment with static site generator stacks to find one best suited to quickly build simple, low-maintenance websites. I think an ability to rapidly build low-maintenance websites would be advantageous to me and to a lot of the people I know. I may be able to monetize this skill, too.
Goals: Career, Financial Independence
I will make improvements to my personal website and begin producing consistent and valuable content here. I think covering some of the stuff I learn at work or in my personal projects would help reinforce my learning and deliver valuable knowledge to others. I could also leverage an audience to my advantage.
Goals: Career, Financial Independence
I will at least three multi-day bike trips while the weather's good for camping. Getting into and staying in touring shape is a good motivator to ride and exercise more, and the trip itself can be a lot of fun.
Goals: Health and Longevity