Last week of the year is a great time to look back and figure out what are the results and make some course corrections to achieve even more significant results next year.

Usually for this purpose I use, widespread in the software engineering word, the practice called “retrospective.”

I am trying to do it consistently on the different timeframes week/month/year and analyze my performance. It requires a lot of consistency and to be brutally honest I do not always do it well. The biggest problem I am having with it is an absence of the external feedback about my achievements and fails, this is discouraging to keep repeating the process. Nevertheless, even in this kind of one man show setup, it brings tremendous benefits.

The primary goal of the last year

I like to start with the primary goal or the central vision of the given period, in this case, for the last year. My biggest and the central goal was to obtain independence from my employer. I had a plan to become an indie maker who lives out of his entrepreneurial income.

I have to say that unfortunately, I failed with this one. I didn’t make any money from my side projects, so I did not become closer to be less dependent on my employer. I still think that this is a great goal and I should keep perusing it. Right now, looking back, I realize that to making it done require much more dedicated and more versatile work then I anticipated in the beginning.

When I challenged myself within in the beginning I had no solid idea how to achieve the goal, I just had some barely visible lighthouse somewhere far far away, and in the end, I did not really move forward because I saw no clear steps how to get there.

As far as I believe that this direction is very valid for me, I need to figure out how to make it work this time. I used to work with one guy who keeps telling me that if you want to eat an elephant, you have to do it piece by piece. My main idea of how to make the goal working is to split it into the set of the high-level tasks so instead of aiming for something incomprehensible I will focus just on the steps.

What was done

Even though I stated on the slightly sad theme overall year was not so dramatic, and I manage to achieve quite a lot.

I actually figured out one important project and was able to finish and launch at least alpha version of the product. This was a fantastic experience and total disaster altogether. I tried to make things right and did high-level market research and then just lock myself and build it. After the launch I released that I have no clue how to market and sell it, what should I do to bring the customers in so at the end of the day I gave up on it. Not sure if it was the right decision, but this is how it ends up. Maybe at some day I’ll open-source the project or relaunch it, but for now, it is just a pile of the source code on my hard drive.

The second significant accomplishment I would say is I found a way to reevaluate myself in the professional terms and build a better understanding of my abilities and what I can do with it. It started quite randomly when I was approached by the recruiter from the tech giant firm with an opportunity. I was happy and terrified at the same time because I heard how hard it is to get the place there. Nevertheless, I take the chance and participate, to my surprise I passed it and was invited for the next steps. This slightly encourages me to look around and apply for the positions in other companies as well, in the end, I got the offers from multiple places, and this helped me with burdening imposer syndrome.

Based on my experience I have a plan to write a huge tutorial on how to prepare and to get a position in the tech as a developer early next year.

Future plans

It is time to figure out what I’d like to do next and actually how I am going to do it.

Keep working on the primary goal to become less dependent

From the active point of view, I plan to keep moving towards “my lighthouse” and work on becoming less dependent on the employment. As I described, in the beginning, I will split the path into smaller steps so it should be easier to understand and accept internally and then just execute it one by one.

Automating myself

First of all, I’d like to build a good base for the future. A most suitable approach for me is to implement a set of the habits that promise significant results over an extended timeframe.

The main habits I’d like to obtain next year are:

  1. Daily reading
  2. Write at least one sentence daily
  3. Learn foreign languages on the daily bases.
  4. Work on my projects at least 30 min a day.

This kind of setup on the long-term run should help me become a more productive and fundamentally smarter and more efficient human being.

Active position on the person grows.

Another thing in my grow to find a personal coach or change the location where I live. This is caused the fact that I am slightly stuck in a tiny city, and it is harsh for me to find a successful role model who can help me develop myself and achieve my goals further. I see a few possible ways to overcome it:

  1. Move to the more crowded, accessible location and surround me with people who are much more advanced than I.
  2. Find a personal coach who will help me to figure out the grows path.

The second option seems to be a more straightforward win for me, so I think it worth to start with this option first.

Keep working on my fitness goals.

Last year was very good for me regarding achieving my fitness goals, so next year I plan to keep doing it, and this year I plan to double my longest running distance.

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