2019 really had it’s ups-and-downs. It sure tested me as a living being. It was a wild year and it made me think what is REALLY important in my life; everything ranging from my own development career to friends and family. That being said, I’m glad the year is behind me and can’t wait to start 2020 with a fresh state-of-mind.
A Note on Mental Health
I hate talking about my mental health. So this is getting talked about first. Depression and anxiety is awkward to talk about for me. I feel like I’m just complaining when I talk to about it. I’m realizing that working long hours consistently for the past 2 years have been detrimental to my well-being. I’m making it a point this year to see a therapist regularly. Sometimes you need an hour session to talk to someone who would put you in a right frame of mind.
I have had my days where I’ve wanted to drive off of the road. It scares me, especially when I realize the impact and what is important. Though, I feel like this happening more often which is more than concerning. This past year’s struggles have definitely caused the frequency of these thoughts.
However, I’m realizing that I’m not alone in the game of life. I just need to talk, take fewer side projects, be more active, etc. Everybody has good and bad days. Even some weird years. I’m also worth more than I realize. To family, friends, colleagues and even acquaintances.
I’m not the smartest person in the world, but I’m more intelligent than the average bear. I have skills that I’ve invested over 10 years. Even through the toughest of times, I realize the I have the best, loving wife I could ever ask for, the best family in the world (even though both sides can be dysfunctional), and the best friends. I have more support than I realize and they help me grow everyday.
Also, meditation. I’m getting better at meditating longer. I just need to be consistent with my sessions. I think finding a good book in this category is in order.
It feel weird to get this out publicly, but I’m hoping this category of the post helps someone and myself. Mental health should be talked about.
Life, work and profession
With the mental health reflection out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff.
I’m a goal-oriented person and I have a lot of them. Even though I’d like to achieve them all this year, it doesn’t mean I have to get to them all. Mental and physical well-being is more important. Can’t be a great, productive developer if I’m broken. Need to be more forward if I need a break and actually notice when I need one.
I need to also realize why I’m working. I’m working towards my goal of being financially independent while working on projects that I’m passionate about. I don’t want to be burnt out when I’m older, I want to be able to do things without worrying about money. I’m not materialistic and I hate the concept of money. I don’t want to be rich, but I don’t want to worry about money since the world is driven by it.
This year, I want to take a stab at bootstrapping a small product. I like the minimalism concept and I want to build products for people who need that service. It will keep my entrepreneurial and programming mind happy, while passionately providing support to a group of customers. I have a few ideas for a Saas application, but I’m still trying to work through ideas.
Moving on, I want to convince my current company to be open for me to work remote more often. I am way more productive that way, I can organize my goals better, I’m independently driven and don’t need someone looking over my shoulder, and I won’t drive myself insane commuting three hours a day.
If I can’t achieve the above, then I need to do some soul searching and evaluate if I want to stay with my current employer. Perhaps find a company that’s pro-remote and is used to having a remote team.
Don’t get me wrong, I really love the company I work for. I love the colleagues that I work with. I think I’m a good fit there and I like the way things are going currently. However, that’s not a reason to sacrifice my health, my goals, etc. Maybe this the year where I take the next step grow beyond where I’m at currently.
Most importantly, I should focus on spending more time with family, wife and friends. I’ve been isolating myself on my computer and I need focus on good times when I’m not working. I also need to learn when to stop working.
Here are my goals in list form:
Let us start with my technical goals.
These have been my goals for awhile, but listing them so I stick to them.
- Since I tend to focus on backend development, I want to focus only on PHP and Python. Don’t overload brain using too many languages.
- Use Go as a hobby language, but don’t be afraid to use for projects.
- Be more open to using React. Master Vue.
- Be more active in open source.
- Don’t be afraid to be critical on code/commits. Always be questioning.
- Build tools for myself and community.
- Always be learning.
Keep the drive alive.
- Learn to think better. Always be creating ideas.
- Learn how to speak better. Communicate ideas.
- Be open to networking. Speak to people. Be passionate.
- Empathy. Listen to people.
- If idea persists, build and release MVP of product by summer.
- Take more educated and calculated risks.
- Be specific with goals, always be revising them.
Life and work goals.
Work to live. Don’t live to work.
- Don’t work so hard. Find a balance. A rested programmer is a better programmer.
- Optimize/balance between work and life. Spend more time with Wife, friends and family.
- Be a better husband.
- Focus on mental and physical health.
- Don’t be afraid to tell company that I’m undervalued.
- Convince company to work more remote. I work better that way and more productive. If not, look for a better fit.
- Work towards a salary based on my worth. Always know my worth.
- Take breaks. Spend more time outside. Travel more. Take more time off if needed. Mental health and well-being is more important than a job.
This post has been on my mind for the past couple of months. I’ve been thinking about life and goals a lot. I feel like this post was needed for the blog. It’s always to take a step back from work and to evaluate the path I am taking. Good to audit it frequently. Anyway, I hope everyone had a good new year and I wish everyone a better, healthy year.