2015 -> 2016

Each year since middle school I have created a collection of goals that I try to meet before the year closes. In the past, this has helped me stay focused on what I should be doing, and even though I sometimes don’t meet my goals, generally having them helps me accomplish more than I would without them.

In addition to having goals, I’d like to start publicizing them. I think this will help me increase my level of focus, and a sense of healthy accountability will be established. (Did I do what I say I would?)

Firstly, I’d like to note the things I was/wasn’t able to accomplish in 2015.

Things I was able to do:

  • Wrote 8 articles on technical subjects.
  • Delivered 11 different technical presentations.
  • Taught 3 day-long technical classes.
  • Fostered 3 open source projects with over 50 users that I created in past years.
  • Started and led a team in creating a new open source project, Aquifer.
  • Read 3 books.
  • Studied and became familiar with the process of creating a semantic, well-formed networked API.
  • Switched back to GNU+Linux based system as my primary desktop OS. (whew, no more OSX!!)
  • Met and talked with Richard Stallman. (very interesting fellow)
  • Was shortlisted for a “Young Developer of the Year” Net Award. (I did not win, but the person that did win deserved to 100%)
  • Traveled outside of the country for the first time! (Germany, and Spain)
  • Took several road trips, traveled to a good number of cities in the US.
  • Started planning and studying for my next open source project.
  • Shed a couple pounds of fat.
  • Improved my diet (kind of).
  • Grew a really ugly beard, and then shaved it off.
  • Moved to a better location.
  • Purchased a used 2013 Volvo S60 2.5 T5 and put it to good use.

Things I was not able to do:

  • Work out as consistently as I should.
  • Get back into my running routines.
  • Put as much into my savings account as I had hoped to.
  • Create a neural network that is useful in some way.

2015 was a long, tough year. I was pretty busy the entire time, but I did manage to accomplish almost all of my goals. The main item that I lacked focus on in the last year was my personal health… mental and body. So, with that in mind, here are my 2016 goals, prioritized by importance!

  • Consume wholesome, healthy food consistently. Do not over-eat. (heh, I like food. Pizza specifically.)
  • Exercise 3 times a week at least. Stay the course on my focused exercise plan.
  • Start running and hiking regularly.
  • Start coding on my new open source idea, and release an early alpha version.
  • Speak at at least 4 conferences or camps.
  • Write about technical topics 12 times. (once per month)
  • Write about non-technical topics 4 times. (once a quarter)
  • Start a travel blog.
  • Re-study discrete mathematics. I could use a recap.
  • Write a simple neural network.
  • Learn a new computer language for fun.

The greatest threat to me at this point in my life, I think, is stagnation. It’s easy to just continue to do the things you specialize in, and never learn new concepts. Regardless of the level of mastery I want to achieve when learning a new skill, it’s important to continue learning.

So there we go! These are my goals. Let’s see how this “publicize my aspirations” idea works out! Cheers to all, and I hope you have a great 2016.

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