Goals for twenty-two

One could say that posting New Year's resolutions at the start of May is slightly belated. I can't argue with that. However, as my academic year comes to an end, I am feeling a sudden boost of motivation to work on myself. To act on this motivation, I set myself five goals for the remaining time of 2022.

  1. Work on side-projects.
    As I go into the last year of my computer science degree, I would like to improve my portfolio of projects a little bit. Projects are a fun way of learning new things, and a great thing to talk about during job interviews. The goal is to successfully finish 5 projects by the end of this year. Today is the 1st of May, so with me planning on taking time off this summer for travels, and with my dissertation project starting in September, I roughly have a month for each project. Some might take much less time, and some might be more ambitious and time-consuming like redesigning this website.
  2. Get my blog running again.
    I would like to write more for the rest of this year. To me, writing is a great exercise for my mind, so I want to get better at it. This is a form of creative output, and I can't reliably schedule my creativity. Sometimes, my writing flow will behave like stop-go traffic, other times the words might just flow onto the screen. This is why it doesn't make sense to me to set a goal like "write 500 words a day". Instead, I want to have published 37 new articles (54-17, it's week 17 now) on my blog by the end of this year. Whilst it's good to have this quantitative goal, I also want to improve my writing style. Having re-read some of my own articles here on my blog (and also this very article itself!), I feel like I come across as this fabricated version of myself which sounds good to employees but is also a bit artificial. I'd like to become more true to myself when writing these articles (which I might not be able to achieve right away, but baby steps).
  3. Perform music.
    Not playing as much piano as I used to creates a lot of disappointment I have for myself. The reason for this is that I am too perfectionist about my playing. During busy times, I tend to start a piece, maybe not practice it for a couple of days, and then be too critical with my own playing of that piece so that I drop it altogether. With this goal, I aim to get back into the rhythm of practising more regularly, but also be less critical with my playing. Once every two months of this year (so 4 pieces/performances), I want to perform a new piece to a close circle of friends. A well-chosen, personal audience should enable a helpful and friendly feedback loop with low pressure. However, as the audience will consist of my close friends, there still exists an urge to not run a performance into the ground as their opinion matters to me.
  4. Keep up my swimming routine.
    I'm quite into swimming as I keep noticing how good it is for me. This goal should motivate me to keep my swimming routine up: until the end of this year, swim 350km. If I aim to swim >10km a week, this should work out.
  5. Get to know new people and keep in touch with old friends.
    As I go into my last year of university, I realise how important it is to maintain a good network of friends and useful contacts – both for having a good support system and for feeling accepted. With this goal, I aim to contact 1 new person a week, so 37 people by the end of this year.

My thought process behind these goals was to make them as realistic and quantifiable as possible. Goals which try to enforce habits onto my much-varying daily structure would simply not work. I might work towards some of these goals a lot during some times, and much less during other times. With this article, the starting gun has been fired. I'm curious how fun, difficult, fruitful, or maybe even surprising this journey will be.