2017 just ended and 2018 began with the classic party and fireworks. I’m was never one to make new year resolutions as they usually ended with nothing 2 months in the new year. At most. Yet, this year I feel like promising myself to focus on a few things that I neglected during 2017 and I absolutely want to reassess in 2018. More like to pin them down and feel more accountable. So let’s start.
I had barely any time to code in 2017. Working 8 hours a day, nearly 2 hours of commute every day meant the time to code was reduced to the minimum; I’m not one that can easily get “into the zone”, so if I don’t get in it quickly, I have no time to reach it later. It becomes thus a wasted day, in terms of coding.
Well, 3 years since I moved to Poland and I can barely speak basic phrases. I feel pretty ashamed about this as I’m usually good with languages and can get the hang of a new one quickly. I remember speaking spanish, using the correct past/future form of verbs, after 2 weeks of studying it. Reading books in portuguese after a month with barely any help from a dictionary wasn’t a struggle either. Polish is much harder but still, I should speak it by now. 2018 will be the year then.
Being less influeced by the environment
I never thought I would be the kind of person to be influenced by it, but the environment around me indeed influences me a lot. Much more than I thought. Much more than I liked to believe, especially. Disorder in the apartment, lack of planning and an excess of noise causes in me a lack of focus that, along with the lack of time, meant not achieving much of what I hoped in 2017. My brain can’t focus when there are uncompleted tasks clearly visible around me, or even simple chores that needs to be completed before the next day. I promise myself to take more care of the environment, making it more productive for the brain and overall more welcoming. A warmer apartment for my inner thoughts and creativity.
I had to reduce my Goodreads Reading Challenge to a handful of books per year. In the past 15-20 books read each year were the norm. I’ll be honest though: I don’t expect to increase this much. It has not such a high priority as coding and Polish at the moment. But I do plan to read at least a couple of books more, making 7 a realistic objective.
Listening to more music
The “albums I want to listen to” on Spotify list is getting out of hand. It’s longer than my playlists, and I have made 44 of them. I can’t even remember the moment I added some albums to it, probably 2016 or even 2015!
Clearly I’m not that commited in listening to those albums. I find hardly anything that piques my curiosity nowadays, due to the domination of hiphop and boring pop of the music scene in the last years. I dislike both genres since time immemorial, thus it’s got harder to find interesting rock/metal bands. Nearly none of them hits the spotlight anymore and I’m sure I missed plenty of them.
Things I discovered being not important
I thought getting fit and working out 3 times a week was a passion of mine. I did enjoy it, for months. Unfortunately I had to stop going to the gym early in 2017 and truly felt bad about it. For a while. At the end of the year I realized the gym isn’t that important and I don’t feel like going back to it anytime soon. Most of the gyms are horribly overcrowded places anyway. I don’t miss them now.
Contrarily to common advice, one of this new year resolution won’t be working harder. I learned this year that it is more important to work smarter than a lot. My boss won’t be happy reading this yet what’s the point of working so hard if that means destroying your free time as you’re too mentally tired to do anything? If the quality of your works is still high, then it’s fine caring a bit less about the work and avoiding doing extra work, if possible.
Perhaps I simply don’t believe much in my job anymore. Could be. I prefer to take this as giving more priority to my personal projects than the actual professional job.
What I expect from 2018
Plenty of travelling. I did a lot in 2017 and plan to continue this year too. More continuous learning, which means reading and coding above all. I often felt last year that I had stopped trying to learn new things, stopped my self development and that is one of the saddest aspects of 2017. Some things were ok to be put aside for a while, like the gym, while others weren’t and 2018 will have to have more of them.