What I want my 2016 to look like

Every year around this time, I hear people talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it be going to the gym more often or traveling around the world, it seems like everyone wants to change something about themselves. Personally, I have never made resolutions or goals for myself. I always told myself that what I had accomplished the previous year was ‘good enough’ and that I didn’t need to change anything about myself. Well, this year is different. Here are my goals for 2016:

Get my driver’s license

I turned 16 years old in July of 2015, at which point I was technically allowed to get my driver’s license. It has since been about 6 months and I still only have my permit. Getting my driver’s license will be one of the first things I do in 2016.

Design something new every week

Near the end of this past year, I became interested in digital art and web design with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and other coding programs. I quickly learned that there is no shortcut to become good at art, rather the only thing that I could do was to practice. I want to create a new design, logo, or website every week to force myself to work under time constraints and constantly be practicing.

Learn Javascript and related frameworks

Related to web design, I want to learn javascript to make my websites more interactive and interesting. Afterwards, I want to continue my learning with web development by learning specific javascript frameworks. Overall my goal is to advance as much as possible with my programming and computer science skills.

Attend 5 hackathons

In conjunction with my previous goal, I want to attend at least five hackathons during 2016 to motivate myself to expand my coding skill set. Hackathons force me to put aside all other work and focus purely on learning something programming related. I hope that these events allow me to learn more than the simple Java and HTML which I currently know.

Type faster than 100 WPM

This past year was the first time that I actually learned to type properly. That’s right, before 2015 I only typed with two fingers on the keyboard. Now that I’ve actually learned to be more of an advanced typer than a 5-year-old, I want to be able to type faster. Part of this is because I want to be a more efficient coder and not be help back by my typing speed. The other part is that I no longer want to continue being humiliated by my friend while she’s typing 130 WPM and I’m lucky to get a measly 55.

Read a book every month

I read exactly 1 book the entirety of last year. As my amount of schoolwork has increased, along with sports and other extracurriculars, I have lost the time to simply sit down and pick up a book. I have not placed any importance or urgency on reading. I want to make reading a habit and not just something I am forced to do at school.

Try a new food every week

Since pretty much the day I was born, I’ve been a picky eater. I hate all types of vegetables that aren’t potatoes or corn. I always order the same dishes at restaurants and I eat my cheeseburgers with just the meat, cheese, and bun. As simple as it may seem, this goal will probably be the toughest for me this year, but that’s exactly what I want. I want to push myself to try new foods, and to eat healthier.

In the long run, I set these goals to be more than just goals. I think an important part of resolutions is to make them more than just a one time thing. I want to use these goals as stepping stones to develop habits for the years ahead of me. I hope that I don’t fail within the first week of the new year and I wish anyone else aspiring to change themselves in 2016 the best of luck.