Goals for 2021

My resolutions for the new year to help achieve my personal, programming and business goals

By Daniel Bate

01 Jan, 2021

As we enter the new year I wanted to discuss some of my goals and resolutions, both as a professional and personally. This is something I've never really focused on to much previously. I prefer to manage my progress in the short term and let long term progress happen naturally. However I've decided to test this out for 2021 and be more accountable to my goals.

Read a new book each month

One common theme between all of the people I follow and idolise, regardless of whether they are within a business, personal development or tech realm, is that they are all keen readers. This is an area that I've always lacked in, and always felt that I needed to spend my free time programming. But as I learn and grow I've come to realise that becoming a better programmer and more investable person in general, takes more than just coding all day. By reading more I'm opening myself up to way more than just tech articles and becoming more well rounded and knowledgable in the process. I've been working my way through Atomic Habits by James Clear, a great read for anyone that's looking to habituate positive processes and perfect for smashing those new year resolutions. I'm also reading The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, who discusses various lessons that he's learnt from being CEO of Disney for 15 years. This book also came highly recommended by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.

Improve my personal branding

One of the most noticeable aspects of some of the most popular tech instagram content creators, is that they all have really strong personal branding. Branding that is reflected through all of their content and across all of their channels. Currently I only have an instagram and a blog, but I'd like to get my personal branding nailed early. I'm planning on investing into my personal branding by speaking with a designer to help me revamp my own website, and also create graphics that can also be used in my blogs and Instagram page.

Start a newsletter

I've started getting into producing longer written and tutorial content on my instagram page. However I feel this would have a better place in a newsletter or as blogs. Creating a mailing list will also be a really valuable thing to have if I wanted to start generating some paid content and it would also be beneficial to not be so reliant on Instagram. I've put the wheels in motion by adding a link on my portfolio to join my mailing list, and will start trying to drive content to it from my Instagram page.

Learn Node.js

Currently I do a lot of work with JAM stack, mostly generating static websites for smaller projects, or I use Laravel/Vue for larger projects. I want to learn Node so I have another technology available to me when I am building a full-stack project that doesn't justify using Laravel. I have used Node before however only to hook up a contact for to a React SPA, so I want to delve deeper into its use cases. This will definitely add a lot of value to me as a developer and should speed up my development processes.

Start transitioning to a more plant based diet

Over the last couple of years, I have started to become more aware of my personal impact on the environment. I believe that in my lifetime it will eventually become a necessity rather than just a consideration (this should already be the case but it is not popular opinion) to seriously evaluate the impact we are having on the planet. Not because it's just something we should be doing, but because it is essential for our own survival and the survival of the planet over the next 100 years. After watching the recent David Attenborough documentary A Life On Our Planet, I've decided in 2021 I want to start seriously managing my diet to have a more positive impact on the environment. I'm not going to be perfect, but I believe any progress I can make is beneficial.

Start doing more with my savings

Due to the current economic situation interest rates are incredibly low, and I've started to become more aware that the savings I am starting to build since leaving university are devaluing. Therefore I want to start being more savvy with my money. I'm certainly not going to suddenly become a forex trader overnight, but I want to start doing something that is more beneficial than leaving my money in a low interest bank account. I've already started by moving some of my savings to a stocks and shares ISA, and also setting aside some money that I plan on investing into some tech stocks and also crypto currencies, but I'll discuss this in greater depth in a future blog post.

These may change and I may not achieve all of them, so I want to emphasise that being forgiving is also really important. This is also a reason why I've never really liked setting goals, incase I get frustrated with failing or not achieving them, therefore forgiving yourself is essential. Likewise fixating on the wins rather than the losses. Good luck with your own 2021 goals!