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Setting goals for an ambiguous year

arashnrim profile image Arash ・6 min read

Here's a quick rundown of the writing. Sorry if it's long!

  1. First off: who am I?
  2. Taking off: how do I move forward?
  3. Staying afloat: how do I remain determined?
  4. Dodging obstacles: how can I manage the ambiguity of the year?
  5. The list: what are my goals for the year?
  6. Conclusion

🎉 Happy new year! Here's to another year; may 2021 be a better year for us all.

I have seen a lot of new year resolutions so far on my few days here; most of them interesting, catered, and personalised to each individual poster. I find it interesting how we are still set to thinking that we can be totally different people when the clock strikes twelve, signifying the Earth's complete rotation around the Sun. For some, it works, for most, it doesn't. I presume you can take this as an introductory post to who I am (hello!) and, hopefully, a form of accountability when I do get to this point again next year.

First off: who am I?

Hey! I'm Arash, a student hailing from Singapore. There isn't much about to say about me just yet — as much as I would like to think of myself as a developer, there is yet so much more for me to learn. I was introduced to the world of mobile app dev in 2018, and I have stuck with that ever since.

Since I have worked on only some projects (a handful, only two), I have been feeling pretty unsatisfied with how little I have done over the two years. For some reason, I keep feeling this internal pressure for me to do well — release something helpful, really laudable, really cherished — in and for the dev community. I've seen works and works of art (and ingenuity) by the youth, and for some reason I feel like I can't do the same because I'm still so far away from being an actual developer.

Taking off: how do I move forward?

There is yet so much for me to learn, and I cannot emphasise that enough. I believe a good place to start would be right here at Dev; from what I have seen, most people are supportive while genuine with their words and comments. It is easy for newbies like myself to get into and assimilate with the dev community.

I have also begun to take interest in looking out for some help-needed open-source repositories. I have always been deterred by the idea of contributing to open-source, but I greatly want to make some kind of change that is appreciated by many (no matter how long the run is). There are so many developed, well-organised projects out there with good first issues out there, but I'm still a little stuck in my shell to contribute since I'm afraid that one small mistake can break a perfect system. For all those reading this far, I ask you: how did you begin contributing to open-source projects?

Staying afloat: how do I remain determined?

I think that burnout is a real issue for many of us here. Once in a while, when we don't give ourselves enough of a break, we tend to get tired of working on code. Burning out is just as easy as gaining an interest in code to me; I notice that after I get excited on doing some code, something happens that causes my excitement to tumble over and start burning out. When that time comes, I'll be sure to remind myself of taking breaks. Of course, while that may do the trick for a while, it isn't the solution to all. I reach out to you: how do you remain determined in your work as a developer?

Dodging obstacles: how can I manage the ambiguity of the year?

This year will be a fairly stressful one for me; with national exams around the corner, having to handle the transition into adulthood, and trying to follow what I aspire to be, it can be a huge mess or a great success (hey, that rhymes!). I hope the latter happens, but things aren't always guaranteed, right?

I've also always faced the question (that I don't think many devs ask themselves): what is technology? The thing I've been chasing after has been something so intangible and non-material, so what is it exactly? What path of technology do I want to go down? What paths are there, even? Sometimes, these questions catch me off-guard as I contemplate my choice for stepping into the world of tech. As ambiguous it may be, it also gives room for interpretation and free-roaming. Seeing it in another light, technology encompasses almost everything we do nowadays: why give a specific definition for it?

The year is going to be tough, but I hope that that wouldn't be enough to deter me away just yet. I hope to read more of your publications on how things are going for you as the year progresses; it does serve as an inspiration for me to read people's progresses here. The first few days showed me that, and I hope to see more too (and not just because the new year is around the corner!) over the year!

As ambiguous the year can be, I think the main goal for me is to take it one step at a time.

The list: what are my goals for the year?

The previous few paragraphs has been a more elaborate explanation about who I am, but I have not exactly touched on my goals just yet. Well, here they are!

  • 📖 Read at least 12 books this year
    Reading two books a month doesn't seem like a difficult goal. At the same time, it doesn't sound too easy as well. I'll try to make it a point worth remembering that reading has its benefits. I also shouldn't force myself to read just for the sake of reading, but I should read to learn.

  • 📝 Start a blog
    I've read that developers should start a blog to share more about who they are. It's also fascinating how we can often show our true selves by writing freely. I would like to try this out, and perhaps this post can already be considered a prelude to this goal!

  • 💻 Complete another code project
    Over the past two years, I've mostly stuck with two main projects; both of them are iOS projects and don't really have much of a user base at all. I'd like to tackle on making another project this year that I feel genuinely satisfied with. While I'm not sure about it just yet, I hope that I'll get it done as the year goes!

  • 💻 Hone another programming language
    I think it's an important thing as a developer to grow continuously. As technology can be ambiguous, the paths we take on our journey as developers can also be an individual one. I'd like to learn another programming language to expand my skill set and prepare me better for the future!

  • 💻 Contribute to open-source
    It's exciting to learn of open-source projects, but a different ballgame to consider contributing to them for me. If you have some recommendations on open-source projects for first-timers, do suggest them if you'd like to! I want to contribute to provide a positive change that can impact others' experiences well.

  • 🧠 Get through the year with optimism
    I predict that this year can be a tough one for me. Nevertheless, I hope that I'll continue being who I am and fight through the negatives, as heavy and dull they can get. This is way easier said than done, though, so setting it as a goal for the year makes me look up to it and never forget my intention for the year: to make it a meaningful one.

Conclusion

Alright, that's all! I've typed a little too much here. If you've read this far without skipping, here's a ⭐ from me to you.

What are your resolutions, goals, and hopes for this year and the future? Do feel free to share them here after reading this. Even if there's no activity here (reactions and comments may not matter as much!), I know that I've at least a solid plan for where I'd like to go this year.

All the best in your journey to be you in 2021! Happy new year.

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