On 2017 Goals

Last January, I set some goals for myself for 2016. How did I end up doing on those?

  • Saying no to things: I said no to so many things last year! It was great! Okay, it wasn't as easy as just tableflipping and being done with it, and there were a fair amount of feels involved with quitting some things, but overall I did much better about not stretching myself too thin than I did in 2015.

  • Only speaking at 4 events: So close! I spoke at 5 conferences last year, but one of those was keynoting Velocity, which had been specifically on my bucket list so I decided that that was ok to make an exception for. It wasn't always easy to say no to other invitations to speak, but on the speaking front at least, I was waaaaaaaay less stressed out than in 2015, so I'm considering this a success as well.

  • Give at least one technical conference talk: My talks at CodeMania, Monitorama, and Velocity Santa Clara were all fairly technical. For some reason, my brain has set the bar for what constitutes a "technical" talk way higher for me than for anyone else giving a talk, but if I'm talking about the internals of Nagios or our provisioning system, I think that counts, so shut up, brain!

  • Publish a post on Code as Craft: BOOM.

  • Climb more rocks, play more cello, generally spend more time on non-work activities: Well, I swapped out climbing for power-lifitng halfway through the year, and played more violin than cello, but I also did a whole bunch of knitting and was overall very good at not working too much.

  • Bigger projects at work: I forget what yakshave I was referring to last January, and I ended up joining Etsy's new monitoring team in June (and new teams naturally have some planning and other ramping up associated with them) so I didn't feel like I got as much accomplished here as I wanted to, but I'm cautiously optimistic about 2017.

And speaking of 2017, here's what I'd like to focus on this year:

  • Promotion to staff engineer.

  • Being able to squat my body weight. Power-lifting is super fun, and over the past 6 months I've gone from squatting and deadlifting just the bar (45 lbs) to squatting 105 and deadlifting 125. My trainer and I have been focusing a lot on form, especially depth in my squats, so I want to be able to squat my body weight with good form.

  • Complete one good-sized project on the monitoring team. Since it's a new team, we're still getting our sea legs, but I have a couple ideas for things I want to work on in 2017.

  • Learn and level up photography. I got a "real" camera (read: a DSLR, not a cell phone camera or a super-compact point-and-shoot) for Christmas this year, and I want to make sure I actually know how to use it. Naturally, there are cat pictures involved.

  • Take an actual vacation. Not a staycation. Not "oh I was going here for a conference I'm speaking at and I guess I'll stay an extra couple days". I want to take a real actual vacation with no conference attached.

  • On that note, I want to continue practicing self-care, practicing saying no, and again limit myself to 4 conferences. Preference will be given to conferences I haven't been to multiple times before and ones in places I'd like to travel to (if you've got ops/devops speaking opportunities in South America or Scandinavia (and have a code of conduct) let me know).

  • Finally, I want to write another Code as Craft post and speak at a Code as Craft event.

I've been using the Volt Planner since back when it was the Spark Planner, and one of the things I quite like about it is being able to page back through and see what I accomplished over the past year. Some other things of note I did in 2016:

  • I blogged once per month - probably the most regular cadence I've had since I was an angsty teenager on LiveJournal.

  • I read 49 books, and actually let myself not finish another 2 that I really wasn't feeling.

  • Oh yeah, we FINISHED THE BOOK!

  • I got to play my violin on stage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

  • I learned enough lua to make a tiny game.

  • I went to 8 cat cafes on 3 continents (preference will also be given to speaking opportunities in cities that have cat cafes).

  • One time, I did two complete pull-ups in a row.

  • I kept a list of one thing that I was grateful for every day, which really helped me stay at least somewhat positive, which I definitely needed in 2016.

So, here's to taking care of myself in 2017. It's not necessarily going to be an easy year, so I want to focus on the things that I can control, the positive impacts that I can have, and looking for opportunities for cupcakes.

achievements, blogRyn Daniels