January 2023 goals recap

Goals Posted on February 2, 2023

Seeing as I set goals for myself this year, I figured it might be worth checking in now and again to see how it’s going. We’re one month in, and so far, I think I’m off to a good start.

Pongo Place Progress

The first goal that I set for myself, was to create more. I listed a few ideas and products I wanted to build or improve this year, with the first being Pongo Place. I made a good start on this project by creating a logo, tidying up the home page and making it responsive. But sadly, that’s as far as I got with it.

A grid of logos showing the progression of the Pongo Place logo. Starting with a somewhat alien-looking face, it eventually ends up looking like a half-decent orangutan.
The funny progression from alien to orangutan…

I did, however, document this work on Twitter as part of my goal to network more, and share my progress. These early tweets gained a little bit of interaction which encourages me to share more in the future.

I’m happy with the progress so far (as I ended up building something else!) and I’m looking forward to building out the other pages, hopefully in February.

Mortal Deeds, a DnD player shop

So, why didn’t I make as much progress with Pongo Place as I’d hoped? Well, it’s because of this.

"Mortal Deeds" logo banner
Mortal Deeds is a community created by James

I was playing some games with an old friend of mine called James, and he told me about how he runs a small DnD (Dungeons & Dragons) community called Mortal Deeds. James is a DM (Dungeon Master – someone who runs the game, telling the story to the players), and he had built out a custom shop for the players to spend their hard-earned gold in, but it was just a raw Google Docs sheet.

It was hard for players to view items, and evaluate their inventory, gold or play history, let alone for James to make all the updates as players wanted to purchase items from the fantasy store.

He wanted something a little nicer for the players, and I had an idea of how I could help him.

Mortal Deeds shop

Introducing, Glide apps. Glide is a powerful, no-code tool that lets people build websites and web apps using Google Sheets as a database. (You can also use Airtable or even their own, built-in sheets tool).

I tried it out ages ago, and really enjoyed using it, but it was still quite a young piece of software back then. It’s come a long way and I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly impressed. I won’t go into too many details right now, as I plan to write a dedicated blog post on my experience and thoughts on the tool.

The shop we built turned out to be much more than what we were expecting – this was purely down to how easy and quick it was to get something up and running in Glide. The new shop is a place for James to invite players, add and manage the shop items, and also help run his games!

Mortal Deeds player profile

Hiking & Hobbies

Hiking hasn’t really been a thing so far this year. We’ve only gone on a small walk around Ulverston and ticked off just one Wainwright Fell (Helm Crag).

To be honest, the weather hasn’t been very good on the weekends and being the wintertime, there’s no light after work. April & I did, however, plan and book our accommodation for a long walk at the beginning of May – The Cumbria Way. We’ve got a fair bit of training to do before then so hopefully, this hobby picks up a bit more traction and next month’s blog post will be filled with stories & photographs.

Speaking of which, because of the lack of hiking, there’s also been a lack of photos. I only took just a handful at Ulverston and a few for Helm Crag worthy of posting.

What has gone surprisingly well though, is my Warhammer miniature painting.

I started a new Instagram account to document the models I paint which is actually getting more likes than most of the photographs I post on my photography Instagram. 🙄

Socially socialising

Part of my new Warhammer hobby has resulted in plenty of trips to my local Games Workshop store. One cool service they offer is the ability to book a slot to come in and paint with others and learn from the staff that work there. This has been something I’ve enjoyed as everyone is very friendly and supportive of new players & collectors.

There are no direct career benefits to this hobby, but it’s certainly been enjoyable to relax away from the screen (to which I’m glued to for the other 23 hours of the day).

In addition to this, I’ve also tried to be more active on social networks. Commenting on more posts instead of just scrolling past them, trying to share more updates, and asking questions on posts by industry leaders.

Optimally unorganised

OK, so this is a tough one. I felt like with the Mortal Deeds project, I jumped right in and was able to build something very quickly without worrying about doing everything perfectly. But with Pongo Place, I struggled. I still want it to look good, and as a website that I’ll be managing myself, I want it to be easy to update and work on.

It’s still early days on this goal, and to be honest, I haven’t really thought about it much. Good thing I’m writing this recap as I probably would have forgotten all about it and ended up spending too much time on projects that might end up in the bin.

Focus for February

Reviewing my goals has been an eye-opener and made it very clear what I should be focusing on this month.

Aiming to get further on (if not complete) Pongo Place will be a priority, along with trying to get back into Hiking and Photography on a more regular basis.

Completing the Mortal Deeds web app with Glide has also given me something to write up and talk about which should help with my networking goals. So expect another blog post in the next week or two where I deep dive into Glide apps!