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The Year Ahead (2019)

Last updated: 2019/01/01

Five years ago I would’ve argued that New Years resolutions were arbitrary and ultimately dishonest. I would have arrogantly told folks that 80% of New Years resolutions fail by February and if you were really serious about accomplishing your goal you would’ve started before January 1st. But to be frank, five years ago I was a cynical jerk.

I now think there’s immense value in taking a moment to pause and reflect on trajectories. And the new year is a natural checkpoint for reflection. Our accomplishments, failures, and future goals can be calibrated and we can see whether our choices have been helping us defeat our limbic system. If the choices have been counter-productive, we can try to adjust our approach.

Reflection

1. Parenting

Being a Dad has been the most rewarding role I’ve ever undertaken! My kids have grown so much and I’m thankful for the moments during the day I can spend with them . Working remotely provides the flexibility to help put them down for naps, eat with them at lunch time, and see them whenever I exit my office.

For 2019: Keep it up, and also create more opportunities to have memorable experiences as a family. We didn’t take any notable vacations in 2018 and I’d like to remedy that in 2019.

2. Career

After suffering from mild burnout at a previous company, I started work at Etsy in October. It has proven to be a great decision and the new position has rejuvenated my interest/passion for software engineering.

For 2019: Produce high quality work and become knowledgeable enough in the Etsy codebase to regularly assist my peers. As a stretch goal, I would like to have published at least one post on our Code as Craft blog.

3. Engineering

I was able to read a couple of technical books this year, but don’t really feel like 2018 was a year of engineering growth. I’ve refreshed my PHP knowledge since working at Etsy and have learned to appreciate it as a language. PHPUnit requires a different approach to testing than RSpec and I’m thankful to have the exposure.

For 2019: Read at least 2 more technical books, take a linear algebra course, and contribute to open source again. Launch at least 3 more products (I’ve built them, I just need to release them! Perhaps a story for a future blog post).

4. Fitness

2018 was an amazing year for physical improvement. I started cycling regularly and concluded the summer by riding my first metric century (a 62 mile race). I was one of the last people to cross the finish line, but it was a great thrill and I felt proud of the progress I made.

For 2019: Ride a full century! Also try to finish 2019 with 1500 total miles (I was just shy of 1000 miles this year).

5. Writing

I started this blog in 2018, but ultimately only wrote 1 post. Blogging has never been something I’ve taken seriously and I’m not going to be too hard on myself for the lack of activity. However, since quitting all social media it’s my primary way of sharing my thoughts with the world at large. It’s also a great way to get better at communicating which should have benefits in many other areas.

For 2019: Keep blogging! I’d like to see at least 10 new posts by the end of 2019. I have ideas for them, I just need to be persistent and make it a priority.

Conclusion

2018 was one of my better years in terms of personal growth and development. I’m hoping to keep the momentum up going into 2019 and also take advantage of new growth opportunities as I see them. I hope to be more disciplined while also leaving room to enjoy life fully. I hope to approach every interaction by assuming good intentions and practicing empathy.

I’m sure 2019 will have it’s share of failures, but these are the things I’ll be working towards!