My 2021 year in review outlines my goals for 2022. Now that we are a bit more than halfway through the year I thought it would be a good idea to stop and reflect on these goals1. Time to see where I’ve excelled and where I’ve slacked and determine what is still worthy of pursuing and what I should give up on.
Checking In On 2022
By the end of this year I’ll graduate. With that in mind I’ll need to start making some decisions about where I want to work full-time and where I want to live. I also want to consider less traditional options like digital nomading or consulting for the start of 2023.
This is an interesting time to be reflecting on this aspect of my life as I am very much in the thick of it right now. After lots of reflection I’ve decided that I want to work a remote job where I have the geographic flexibility to both live by my family and travel the world. It is to be determined which specific company I will end up at.
While there is basically no forseeable way for me to not graduate at this point, I’ll save the gratification of checking it off until the moment comes.
- Leverage my connections to have multiple full-time offers post-graduation.
- Seriously research the possibility of digital nomading or consulting at the start of 2023.
Travel and Adventure
Thanks to remote schooling and work I spend a lot of time at home. Travelling abroad and doing adventurous things is a great way to spice up my life.
For future years I should be less specific about where I want to travel unless plans have materialized or I’m hellbent on going there. Rather than Eastern Canada I’ll be travelling to Scotland and Ireland at the end of the summer2. I’m still planning to canoe a lot and bike an imperial century. Nothing completed here yet but definitely on track in this area of my life. I even managed to get a bonus trip to Portland in too.
- Travel to Eastern Canada.
- Do a multi-night canoe trip on the North Saskatchewan.
- Bike an imperial century.
I’ve had some trouble with physical and mental health problems over 2021. Looking forward to 2022 I want to take a more holistic approach to my health, or in other words, I want to do a lot of yoga.
2022 has largely been a good year for my health – both mental and physical. At the start of the year I was doing daily yoga and reaped commensurate benefits. Although I’ve since stopped doing daily yoga I’m going to count this as a success. I’ve developed a love for yoga and have it my back pocket now for days when I’m feeling physically stiff or mentally frayed.
In late May I began consistently weightlifting with the Stronglifts 5x5 program and have been really enjoying it. I’ve had multiple failed attempts at starting to lift in the past but it really seems to be sticking this time. I’m two months in and I still get excited to go to the gym every morning. Spending some time with a trainer at the start was really helpful for solidifying proper form for the lifts (which was a big challenge for me in the past). As of July 21 I am: squatting 170 lbs, deadlifting 185 lbs, bench pressing 100 lbs, barbell rowing 90 lbs, and overhead pressing 70 lbs. An added bonus is that my knees have never felt better. Should be fun to see where I’ll be at by the end of the year.
- Build a habit of doing yoga multiple times a week.
- Do a mix of body weight exercises at home and weightlifting at the gym.
- Keep biking and training for a century.
I find the digital world to be both a blessing and a curse, software itself is amoral but amplifies the underlying good or bad. On one hand I’ve never been more connected, empowered, and informed. On the other hand I’ve never felt so isolated, paralyzed, and confused. Not quite sure how to get off the treadmill or if I even want to, but the following seem like some rational first steps.
Total bust so far. Besides becoming more aware of the downsides little has changed in my life. I need to spend more time researching and reflecting on how I can actually make improvements in this area of my life.
- Avoid having my phone be the first thing I interact with in the morning.
- Limit the empty calories I consume i.e. Instagram, Youtube, etc.
2021 was a big year for my finances: I read some great investing books; started investing in crypto; got my traditional investments in order; and built a big spreadsheet to help me keep track of my overall financial direction. I’d be happy if all I did in 2022 was continue to dollar cost average into my investments and keep my spreadsheet up to date — compounding will take care of the rest.
I’m on track with my goals here and there isn’t much else to add. This is a big win.
- Keep dollar cost averaging into passive index funds, ETH, BTC.
- Keep my spreadsheet up to date.
Building things makes me happy. I don’t intend to be prescriptive about what I’ll build in 2022 — all that matters is that I build something.
So far this year I’ve built two and a half projects the most exciting of which was StudyBuddy which took home 1st at the HackEd 2022 hackathon. We ended up trying and failing to turn StudyBuddy into a business opportunity but it was a great learning opportunity. I should write more about that experience. It would be fantastic if I could build one more solid project for the year.
- Build and publish 2+ projects.
Last year I focused on reading less short/medium-form blog content and more long-form book content. Blogs have their place, but I felt that I was missing some of the nuance you find in books. I also wanted to rediscover fiction. It was a good start last year but I want to pick up the pace. The Kobo I got for christmas should hopefully assist with this.
So far I’ve read about 6-7 books which is just under pace. In particular I enjoyed reading Andy Weir. The biggest detriment to my progress here has been my summer internship at Microsoft which has replaced all of my reading time with socializing time — this is a tradeoff I’m happy to make. I still desire to read a lot more so I have big hopes for the fall.
- Read 1.5+ books a month (for a total of 18+ over the year).
I tend to overthink (understatement of the year) so I should definitely be writing more. In the first year of this blog I managed to write eight posts. I chalk it up to a productive spurt in the early COVID lockdowns. In 2021 I only managed to write five. I think it’d be a big win if I wrote ten or more posts in 2022. Writing has compounding benefits so I want to start the compounding sooner than later.
Having already written 11 posts (including this one) my expectations have been far exceeded. I have also started a meager email list that should hopefully grow over time. The wide range of topics that I’ve written about has helped to keep me interested in writing. I also have had some success with Hacker News. One post garnered minor interest and another made it to the 2nd spot on the home page. This felt great!
- Publish 10+ blog posts.
Learning guitar was one of the best decisions I made in 2021 so I want to keep my foot on the gas pedal. The hardest thing here will be continuing to do focused practice; at the one year mark I have enough skill that I find it really easy to waste a whole practice session just noodling rather than working on the fundamentals.
I am still loving guitar but I have struggled to find time for focused progress. With my summer internship over and hopefully some more free time at my disposal my goal is to reprioritize this. I want to avoid getting stuck at the intermediate level. One positive here is that I found and played with a jam buddy a couple of times. He was way better (understatement) than me and I learned a lot playing with him.
- Complete Justin Guitar Beginner Grade 3.
- Complete Justin Guitar Ear Training and Theory up to Grade 3.
- Keep playing in front of family and friends to practice performing.
- Find more people to jam with.
- Stretch goal: Record a cover of a song.
2021 was the year that I got red-pilled by crypto; I started buying ETH and BTC; I started mining HNT; but most of all I read and listened to a lot of crypto content. In 2022 I want to double down on actually tinkering around with crypto. I’m convinced that Web 3.0 is going to be huge so I want to get in early. The end goal of the tinkering is to discover what still needs to be built and to go build it.
Besides continuing to dollar cost average into ETH and BTC I have made no progress here. Frankly I think that my passion here has just cooled off which I am more than okay with. I’m still convinced (even in the current bear market) that there will be a myriad of world changing use cases for crypto. I’m also still convinced that there is an adequate possibility of a highly asymmetric upside for owning crypto on a multi-decade time horizon. All that being said I currently have no desires to build or actively participate in the space. Besides investing I’ll still keep hosting Helium miners cause it is low effort and fun. I’d also still like to pick up some ENS domains.
- Continue to dollar cost average my way into ETH and BTC.
- Purchase or host more Helium miners.
- Register an ENS domain.
- Try out some DeFi protocols.
- Buy some NFTs and get involved with the communities.
Overall I’m pleased with how 2022 is going and I’m excited for what is to come. In doing this check-in I’ve come away with some observations about my methodology.
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
— Bill Gates
First, I should be more ambitious with the goals I’m setting for myself. In some of the sections it felt like I was really just projecting what I was already going to inherently do rather than setting an ambitious goal to achieve. I’d rather aim high and miss in a few places than aim low and succeed.
Second, I need to strike the right balance of being specific and metrics-driven versus abstract and aspirational. In areas like finances and writing it is a great idea to be metrics-driven. It is clear that I’ll be doing that exact work and being specific will help me drive towards meaningful goals. However, in areas like travel I should be less specific about my goals. It does me no good to say I’m going to travel somewhere and then just change my mind during the year. Rather, I should just aim to travel anywhere.
Third, I want to spend more time reflecting on the categories I’m using. Are they at the right level of granularity? Am I missing any categories? Are private areas of my life being properly reflected upon? Lot’s of stuff to mull over here.
See you in the new year.
Checkboxes will be ticked for anything that has been completely finished or is so clearly on track that I consider it complete. The latter statement of course leaves open the unfortunate possibility that I will regress in the coming six months and will need to uncheck that box. How awful. ↩︎
And you better believe that I’ll still be checking the Eastern Canada box off because a big trip is a big trip. ↩︎
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