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  • Writer's pictureAshley Ng

New Website, Who Dis?

It's happened! I've done an adult things and purchased a domain name and made a website. Woohoo!

So, new year, new site, new goals.

It's the start of a new year (it's actually February, but close enough), so that means new goals. For the past two years, I've done an exercise to answer four questions, "what went well", "what went ok", "what could have gone better", and "what's new". You use the first three questions to reflect on the previous year, and the goal is to move something from one group to the one ahead of it. For example, if you think eating healthy "went ok" last year, what do you need to do to get it to "what went well" at the end of the year? The "what's new" question is something I added this year, because I felt that there were things I wanted to do in 2019 that I didn't have goals for in 2018, and didn't fall under the other questions. E.g. I want to read more in 2019, so the goal is to read at least twelve books this year.

Professional Goals

With that said, here are just some of the goals I've made in no particular order.

One, release a React Native app. Pretty self-explanatory. As I've learned the wonders of Expo, I've found it much more enjoyable to learn more about React Native. Two, improve my writing. Most of my blogs (on Medium) have been more for me to remember what I accomplished. I'd like to actually cater to an audience and actually have something meaningful to share when I blog. Three, vacationing. Burnout is real. In 2018, I officially took 17 days off, 10 of which were work related travel and events. So in 2019, I'm going to take a 4-day weekend every three months. As much as I love traveling, these will be stay-cations because I find the time before and after exhausting. From packing, cleaning, traveling to and from, unpacking, and then just getting back into the mindset of work isn't enjoyable. Four, code review. This is something I wanted to improve in 2018, but didn't actually turn out as well as I'd hoped. I tried blocking off time in my calendar, but just ended up ignoring it for a good part of the year before deleting the event. So, the main thing I want to try and focus on is to manage my GitHub notifications better, either via email or a desktop/website application.

Personal Goals

Why stop at professional goals? I am human and do have a personal life outside of the office, therefore I do have goals that don't pertain to my work/job. One, meal prep snacks. I'd like to consciously prep healthier snacks during the work week and not rely so much on granola bars. Hopefully this will cut some grocery spending and help me eat a little bit healthier. Two, increasing my running distance. The short story is that I use to be able to regularly run five to six times a week at a distance of five to eight miles. I ended up having a knee injury about two years ago and my distance hasn't been the same. I've since fixed the issue with physical therapy and mitigating it with weight lifting, so I'd like to focus on increasing my distance to hopefully get close to what I was at. Three, lose 5% body fat. I've actually had this as my goal for the past three year and have never been able to reach my target percent body fat. This year, I've created a progression schedule for the year so that I can have a better idea of where I need to be. E.g. lose 1% by March, lose another percent by May, etc. Four, learn more about design and design tools. I finally learned the true power of Sketch, and I fell in love with it. So now, I'd like to actually spend time designing my own app ideas (rather than just rough sketching), as well as just improve my design knowledge base. This is in hopes that I can also create my own logos and icons.

What went well in 2018?

So why just talk about all the things that didn't go well? Let's see what positive things happened in 2018. One, I focused on my professional growth during work hours using slack time. Before, I had always done a lot of my personal development after work hours. In the Summer of 2018, Hudl started to be more vocal and promote employee growth and encouraging their employees to dedicate 15% of their time to personal development. This made me more comfortable to step away from squad work and to focus on my personal development. Two, meal prepping. I don't remember why I actually started meal prepping, maybe to save money, maybe out of laziness. Either way, it has been really convenient (and probably a lot healthier) knowing I have dinner ready in the fridge. Where the alternative would have been Hot Pockets, sandwiches, or to eat out. Three, I presented at a conference. I presented at Hudl's internal conference called BitsConf. It was only a lightning talk, but it was a start, and it has me excited to present a full session.

In 2018, I grew a lot, was intentional about my growth, and learned a lot about myself. If 2018, is any indication of what is possible for me, I'm excited to see how much I can grow in 2019.

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