Goals For 2022

I've been in a reflective mood as the new year begins. That seemed like a good time to think about what I want to achieve in 2022.

These are my goals for 2022 and what I've learned in the process of writing them down on paper.

Motivation

At the end of last year, I felt satisfied with what I've done in some areas of my life but not others. On reflection, this is because I've not dedicated enough focused time before to thinking about longer-term goals and therefore, I couldn't accurately measure how much progress I've made.

To ensure it doesn't happen again this year, I sat down for a few hours to reflect on where I am and where I wanted to go.

I'm posting this publicly for accountability and in the hopes that this inspires you to go through a similar exercise.

Goals For 2022

To avoid this list becoming too long, I'll include only long-term goals.

Health

Diet

Getting elevated blood pressure and cholesterol readings during my last health screening got me taking my health more seriously.

Since last year, I've started logging everything I eat. Looking back at that data, I haven't been doing enough to limit my intake of unhealthy food.

To get blood pressure and cholesterol readings back to normal levels, I will:

  • Have 2 servings of fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a week.
  • Limit my intake of unhealthy food to no more than 3 times a week. Most of this comes from snacking on biscuits and other similarly unhealthy foods. This can be replaced with fruits instead for a quick win.
  • Maintain my weight. If I gain weight, it should be muscle rather than fat.
  • Reduce body fat percentage from 14.5% to 12%, as measured by my scale. Although body fat measurements from scales are notoriously inaccurate, data over time still provides useful information on whether its trending in the right direction.

Sleep

For the longest time, I've been getting less sleep than I should. The first week when I finally got adequate sleep was a revelation because I didn't feel like a newly risen zombie in the morning. I rediscovered what waking up feeling well-rested is like and I want more of that!

I've been moderately successful with getting at least 7 hours of sleep per day, 7 hours seems to be optimal for me. However, I don't keep to the same sleep schedule on weekends and sometimes find it hard to fall asleep.

To improve my sleep, I will:

  • Develop a bedtime routine to help me wind down 30 minutes before bed. This should exclude anything that gets my mind too active such as using the computer or reading certain types of books.
  • Whenever possible, sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This should help with falling asleep at the right time.
  • Stop having coffee by 18:00. I used to think that I was immune to caffeine by now, but it interferes with my sleep if taken too late in the day.
  • I'd love to wake up automatically at the right time without aid of an alarm. This will be a stretch goal.

Coaching

I enrolled in Newfield's coach training program in May last year. I will be graduating in Feb 2022 after logging 21 hours of coaching in the field. I'll be writing more about my experience in a separate post.

Becoming a Newfield Certified Coach (NCC) requires 60 hours of coaching. I intend to log another 40 coaching hours for this certification to build on existing momentum and more importantly because I enjoy it.

Becoming A Better Software Engineer

Beyond clean code and design, what does it mean to become a better engineer?

I believe this depends on individual interests, talents, and career goals. As there are many possible things I could learn, I needed to answer this question myself to better direct my efforts.

To me, this means:

  • Increasing leverage: this means having a bigger impact while not doing proportionately more work. I believe this is part of what sets exceptional engineers apart. For example, shortening the feedback loop during development and improving team-wide productivity with better tooling have a disproportionately high return on investment.
  • Gaining context: there is a business, cultural and technical context behind every codebase. The why is more important than the what. There is rarely a best solution to a problem for every situation, the best solution depends on this context.
  • How can I leverage awareness of human systems and the coaching competencies I've developed? I used to think of engineering as being a primarily technical endeavor. But because each member of the team is a human being first and engineer second, I now believe that engineering is a primarily human endeavor.
  • Finding my niche. What sets me apart? What are the strengths I can nurture?

I'll be having conversations about these ideas soon to figure out my goals for this section. In the meantime, I will:

  • Raise 4 merge requests to different open-source projects and have them merged. This develops the ability to understand new codebases and increases my exposure to more code. As it is easiest to scratch your own itch, I will do this by attempting to fix issues that I run into instead of just leaving bug reports.
  • Read 6 books on software engineering and write a review for each.

Writing

Writing effectively is becoming increasingly important in the era of remote work. I've found that putting pen to paper helps me develop my ideas, organize my thoughts, and solidify my learning.

I set up this site 2 years ago to practice writing. In that time, I've only written 5 posts.

This year, my goal is to write 12 posts (excluding this one)1.

Mentoring

I would not be where I am without a lot of luck and the right people in my life.

As a way of giving back, I am thinking of volunteering as a mentor. Since coaching is a part of mentoring, this complements my coaching practice. I have some ideas in mind for this, let's see how this turns out.

Decluttering

I've accumulated quite a lot of coffee gear as I worked on levelling up my coffee last year, culminating in the Lagom P100 grinder.

I will give away or sell off gear that I have upgraded from and no longer use.

What I Learned Through This Goal Setting Exercise

I found that having these goals written down makes them more tangible. The writing process helped me connect with the why behind the goals and what I truly wanted.

Carving out these few hours from the bustle of everyday life helped me see the forest for the trees.

I highly recommend doing a similar exercise for the coming year if you haven't already done so.


  1. I'll try my best to avoid turning this site into a coffee-focused blog 😂