Every year, I set goals for myself as a way to reflect on the previous year and project ahead on what I hope to do.
In past years, I’ve recorded these goals using everything from Evernote to pen and paper to READMEs in a GitHub repository. This year, I’ve decided to post my goal in a more publicly visible way for a couple of reasons.
- Accountability - If my goals are public, then it’s harder for me for me to back out of doing them.
- Openness - My online persona is fairly controlled. I write about Python and Django, but there is a lot more that I do in life. I hope that outlining my goals reveals a bit more of who I am.
This will be the year that I finish my Understand Django series. Rather than go out with a pitiful whimper into nothingness, I’m going to write three final articles. The topics of these articles are based on an informal poll that I ran on Twitter and include:
Once I finish the series, I intend to transform the body of work into an e-book and self-publish it.
When I look at my writing goals for last year, I missed my mark. I wanted to have an article out every month. With the combination of only writing about Django and a self imposed constraint of writing three thousand word articles as a target, I didn’t complete all the writing that I wanted.
This year, I’m going to remove my 3k word constraint. By doing so, I’ll try to write more often or be willing to write on topics that are a lot smaller in scope. I still won’t be shifting to listicles, but I’ll free myself to write more whimsical and less structured articles.
With some of my time, I stream on Twitch and create a Django podcast. My goal is to create an environment that makes it easier to create and produce.
In my current arrangement, I have a lot of setup and teardown work. That setup overhead work really eats into my desire to create new things. Because of a lack of desire, my podcasting production suffered for sure, and I probably did fewer streams than I might have otherwise.
At the end of the year, I switched my streaming location to the basement of my home. This gives me a permanent place to leave a configuration so that I can jump right into media production. Now that I’ve committed the space to that, I plan to get equipment so that I can launch into things immediately. My hope is that reducing content creation friction will cause me to do more and improve my content through practice and repetition.
I had aspiration of being something more with my media production. Now, I’m less focused on the numbers and growth. I want to make content that helps people learn and grow, but I’m not seeking an audience. I’m done with spending tons of energy on growth. Instead, I want to make content that I’m happy with.
I like to code for fun. Hopefully this isn’t a surprise if you’re reading this website.
My major coding side project is my homeschool application, School Desk, that I built for my wife and other homeschooling families. This app is the primary focus of my Twitch stream. My goal with School Desk is to continue building it where it is useful and complete enough to appeal to more families.
The app is currently in the red (by less than a dollar as of today), but I would love to increase the customer pool enough so that the app is sustainable and I have some financial incentive to keep it going. I would continue on it anyway since my family is using it and the service is valuable to us, but being firmly in the black would be nice.
School Desk is my side project that is grounded in reality. I also want to explore more in software. That is why I have a big audacious goal of building a web framework in Lua.
Lua is a fascinating language to me. The language is fast and versatile. I also see that its community and tooling is small and somewhat underdeveloped. So, to explore, I’m taking a road less traveled and building what I can. I’m working on a Lua web framework that I hope will someday have characteristics of Django.
I don’t foresee this being a wildly successful project. I’m doing it to bring some of my personal tastes to an area to see what I can produce.
The fun part to me is that this is a gigantic project.
Lua doesn’t have the same kind of WSGI/ASGI application interface
that Python has.
Because of that,
I’m also trying my hand at building a web server.
I’ve settled on
and I think I want to adopt ASGI.
I will try to make
uvicorn for Lua.
The beautiful part about this is that it doesn’t have to be a success. No one is asking for this, and I don’t have to fulfill anyone’s expectations. Maybe I’ll create something useful or maybe I’ll just learn. Either way, I think the journey will be the fun part.
I’m considering streaming the journey, but that’s contingent on having it be trivial to jump into a stream when I’m motivated to work on the project.
One of the things that brought me the most joy in 2021 was my guitar. I had zero experience playing an instrument prior to that year. In fact, I was in awe of people who could play an instrument and sing. My brain couldn’t really process how it was possible to do such complex activities at the same time.
Fast forward to today and I’m still in awe of some of those musicians. I have nothing but respect for those who are capable of playing very complex arrangements. But, I am no longer mystified by the ability to play and sing at the same time. While I’m not fantastic by a long shot, I practiced guitar for nearly an hour for about 5 days per week last year.
Learning a brand new skill took me back to that place of joy and frustration for not knowing how to do things. And, over time, I observed as my own skills developed. Things that were impossible suddenly weren’t anymore.
In 2022, I want to continue that journey, learn more chords, gain some knowledge about music theory, and become a more competent musician.
For my own sanity, I had to make very deliberate choices about my social life.
Once upon a time, I was a huge gamer. This still flairs up today when I binge on a game like Metroid Dread and wonder how I just spent three hours straight of playing a video game. I have a dedicated game night where I play some online video games with some local buddies. This has been a great and casual way for me to stay connected with the lives of others and helps ground me.
I’m also continuing to run my local Python meetup in Frederick. The group was on hiatus for a long time, but I restarted it in the second half of last year. I’m not in a huge tech city, so having this outlet is an excellent way to join up with people who have some similar interests as me.
I also try to set goals and be proactive in my relationship with my family. My children are both under 10 and rapidly growing into people with distinct personalities and aspirations. My goal is to have a dedicated time with each of them with the things that they are interested in at least once a week.
My children have taught me how to seek the betterment of others, often at the expense of myself. Children aren’t the only way to learn to empathize and do things self-sacrificially, but, from my own experience, I’m pretty sure we’d all be better people and have a better functioning society if we all had people in our lives that we loved above ourselves.
I’ve slowed down significantly with my Chinese and Russian study. I spend time on Duolingo every day, but many of the sessions are to practice words that I’ve already learned.
I would love to complete the Chinese Duolingo cirriculum this year and get through half of the Russian.
Learning new languages was quite fulfilling last year. I’m not proficient enough in either Chinese or Russian to carry on a conversation with a native speaker, but I’ve loved learning about the different ways that people think and communicate.
Finally, I have goals for my own personal health. I regularly deal with a certain level of chronic pain. Through a combination of lower back issues, shoulder pains, and wrist injuries, I have to be very proactive with exercise.
Weighlifting and yoga have helped me condition my body enough so that my injuries are kept in check. To that end, I need to continue exercising at least a few times a week.
The other thing that I need to improve is my diet. I have terrible willpower when it comes to sweets. I stay in reasonable shape by intermittent fasting regularly, but I should work to consume fewer sweets this year.
As a personal area of physical growth, I’m going to continue exploring with my OneWheel. I bought a OneWheel this year because I thought it sounded interesting, and I wanted to learn a new physical activity. I didn’t grow up doing any board sports (I was more of a biker), so riding a OneWheel has been great fun and a great stress reliever.