2020 Musings & Goals

Another Post!!

I mentioned in my first post back blogging that I would not be posting so much, but here I am with my third post in as many days 😄.

This is unlikely to be the norm, but as I mentioned in my first post, I am not going to force anything - either way. I won't hold back posting because I have posted recently or I wont post things for the sake of it.

Anyway, onto the meat of the post, first things first - HAPPY NEW YEAR

Motivation

A lot of this post will center around motivation, I feel I have failed a lot with my goals in the past because of lack of motivation. I think that is because I was looking at things the wrong way. I personally don't think we need motivation, as odd as that sounds.

My biggest success last year was transitioning into a career as a dev. It took many months of hard work, lots of ups and downs. I didn't succeed because I was motivated, I succeeded because I gave myself no other choice. I gave up on socialising, TV, sports and more.

Whenever I couldn't be arsed doing something, I just did it anyway, regardless of whether or not I was motivated. I knew the only way to get a job was to put in the work, so I treated it like getting dressed each day, like eating, like showering or like anything else you just do.

Guess what? It worked! I got the job.

So bear that in mind for the rest of this post, my goals and challenges I set for myself this year I am not going to focus on being motivated, I am going to focus on making realistic achievable goals and just do them.

Reading

Self improvement is important to me, I have grown a lot over the years, but I still think I can do more, reading in my opinion is one of the best ways to expand ones mind and improve our perspective on things. My initial goal was to read 12 books this year, one per month. However based on my lack of reading last year and my plan of making realistic goals I have decided to cut that goal in half, so six books.

This is much more achievable and I would rather smash this goal by reading 8 or more books than have to push really hard only to fail on 10 books.

I am not too sure yet which books I am going to read, Atomic Habits is on my wish list, first up is 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari. I have not started it yet, but it is on my Todo list for today. Yuval is the author of two other very highly regarded books, none of which I have read yet, Sapiens and Home Deus, so if this first books go well the other two could be on my list for this year.

Compartmentalising My Days

For the past 3 years my Mrs has been banging on about lists and writing things down. She prefers the old school way of pen and paper, but I am all in on technology 😆, so I prefer apps and software to help where possible.

I use Trello at work and sometimes for personal things like holidays and recipes, but I have decided to go one further and break down my day into small achievable wins in the form of Todos. Each morning I create Todo's (I am using Google Tasks) with what I want to achieve/do for the day and check them off as and when I complete them. I set a reminder for 8pm on all incomplete Todos, which just helps keep me on track and give me that last push at the end of each day.

Ticking off lists/Todos/whatever is really satisfying and somewhat addictive, which again helps with a little drive and dare I say it, motivation.

Meditation

I am torn on this one, I meditated a handful of times last year, I loved it every time yet I never made a habit out of it, which is a little concerning. I really want to meditate once per day, but I don't want to set such a difficult goal and set myself up for failure, but at the same time I don't just want a bunch of easy wins here that give me some false sense of achievement.

So I have decided to couple this with my next goal and aim to meditate 3 times a week.

Health and Fitness

This is a big one for me this year, another I have struggled with year on year. I am not going to go out and join a gym, jump back into Thai boxing or anything rash just yet. But in terms of exercise I am committing to 3x per week. This will start with home workouts, bodyweight focused mainly as well as the Bas Rutten All around fighters workout, I have done the latter before and it can be really brutal, which is great 😄. In terms of bodyweight I will pick back up the r/bodyweightfitness recommended routine.

The other side of getting fit and healthy is diet. Again something that I have found tough over the years. I feel most failures have come from not being prepared, which results in eating out, ordering takeaway or binging on sweets and snacks.

After a lot of thought I have decided to prep meals on Sunday for Mon-Fri, I am actually super excited to get started with it, this Sunday will be my first day prepping my lunches, so I am going to start the day going shopping for containers, mason jars, ziplock bags as well as a whole bunch of food.

The plan for breakfasts is overnight oats and smoothies, lunches will be mostly salads paired with a protein and some type of light dressing. Evening meals will be more varied and interesting so that I don't get sick of eating the same thing.

For the first time ever I feel really good and positive, I hope to grab some images and do a write up on my first experience preparing a weeks worth of food, so look out for that.

Bonus Points

The above is what I am mostly focused on for this year. Bettering myself physically and mentally through diet, exercise and meditation. Expanding my knowledge, way of thinking and decision making through reading. No doubt as the year goes on other goals will pop up, but they will likely all be focussed around this core.

Everything so far has been on a personal level. I do also want to achieve some specific things work wise. Overall I just want to be a better developer at the end of the year than I am now, which should happen just through work, but I also want to push myself outside of work, look at things that I don't deal with day to day in order to stay current and well rounded.

Some specific things I want to work on are:

  • Typescript
  • Testing (Cypress)
  • DevOpsy stuff (Docker, Kubernetes)

I plan on utilising all my resources, mainly Corey and the Better Developer community to achieve the above. Again I think these are all realistic, Typescript and Cypress are very JavaScript focussed which is already my thing, so they should come (somewhat) easy. Docker and Kubernetes will be tougher, but I have faith that with hard work and good help this is very doable.