My 2023 goals
Setting myself goals isn’t normally something that I tend to do. I think about the following quote from Dodgeball more than I’d like to admit:
“I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed. And I gotta tell ya… it feels phenomenal.“Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), Dodgeball
However, this year, I do have some things in mind that I’d like to focus on, and also some things that I’d like to focus on less.
Let’s get straight into it.
1. Create more
I’m always coming up with ideas, but I rarely proceed with them. This year, I’d like to start bringing these to life, even in the most basic form.
In no particular order, here are the things I want to work on this year:
- My personal website
- I want to update my website to be more personal. Right now, it’s a portfolio. Which is something I don’t feel compelled to update all that frequently (usually only when I need to search for a new job). I want it to be more about me; my hobbies, interests and a collection of information that I’ve found useful. I don’t want to do a full re-design/re-brand, but I’ll probably tweak the format slightly and tighten up some design aspects with what I’ve learnt over the past couple of years.
- In 2021, April and I moved to the Lake District where there are 214 distinct fells (mountains) as described by author and illustrator Alfred Wainwright. twofourteen is a brand that we created to document our travels throughout the Lake District. There are lots of ideas that I have for this website to make it useful for anyone visiting or wanting to learn more about the Lake District.
- Pongo Place
- To get started with a no-pressure, fun project and to learn a new tool (Framer), I’ve decided that Pongo Place will be the first thing that I build. It’s a website all about Orangutans – my favourite animal on the planet. It will be a site to educate and learn more about orangutans, as well as a place for me to re-post interesting or funny things that I find online. I’ll drop a link here once I connect the domain.
- SaaS products
- There are three products that I’d like to build an MVP for this year. One in travel, one in hospitality (food & drink establishments), and one in software. I don’t want to reveal too much about them just yet, but I’ll be building them in public when I start them. Hopefully, building in public will create a sense of responsibility, as well as build up interest on the side.
2. Allow time for hobbies
With probably too many hobbies for one person, this goal may be challenging. I’ve always seen hobbies as time-fillers, but I don’t think that’s the right way in looking at them. Hobbies ultimately define us and make us interesting people. Without them, all we do is eat, sleep, work, and repeat.
Let me go over my current hobbies, and talk about my micro-goals for each one.
I’ve been doing photography more seriously for just over a year now. Taking my camera with me on most walks that we do here in the Lake District. So far, pretty much all my photos live on my local NAS, or are lost in the noise on Instagram – I’ve only printed 3 of my photos so far. This year, I’d like to change that. Alongside my goal of improving my personal website, I’ll be adding a section for my photography. It will include my favourite photos, as well as a way to buy them. I would also like to think about a potential exhibition series, as I’ve had a few ideas on that recently too.
Here is a selection of my favourite photos I took in 2022.
I don’t think there’s any greater place to be than out on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. It’s great for the mind and good exercise for the body. This year, I’d like to hike more. More trips, more distance, more places. This will tie in nicely with my twofourteen goal, as well as negate the requirement of an exercise goal.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
We picked up our first paddleboards last year and loved every minute on the water. Unprepared for winter paddling, we’ve not gone out on them since summer. So I’m looking forward to making the most of the warmer weather this year (and purchasing some more gear to continue through next winter). Paddleboarding, like hiking, is very relaxing. This year, I’d like to paddle on more lakes, and maybe even do some more swimming too.
Guitar (music in general)
I’ve always been strumming some strings since I was in secondary school. But I’ve never really done anything with it (nor got good enough for any kind of performance). My goal for the guitar this year is to create a song or two. I’m not fussed about performing, but I’d like to learn more about composing a song – from start to finish.
I’ve recorded a few clips in the past, but nothing serious and not full songs either.
Warhammer (models & game)
A relatively new hobby of mine (literally picked up a starter kit in the last week of 2022!), but I’ve really enjoyed it. When painting my first models, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to sit down, with some music on, and just focus on learning new techniques and ways to be creative with the painting process. I’m also excited to learn more about the game, and the story behind it all – something I’ve never really looked into.
3. Network and socialise
Since moving to the Lake District, I haven’t really spent much time with others (besides April). But I think it would be nice to reconnect with old friends and meet new people.
I’m already looking at taking part in the local painting workshops for my Warhammer hobby, but there’s also a local board game group that I might try and join too.
Something I’ve also wanted to do is meet like-minded photographers and go out on specific photography trips. When hiking, it’s often hard to spend long enough to properly compose my images, as I’m against the clock to try to finish the rest of the hike. I really enjoyed a paid workshop with the amazing Henry Turner, but I think just going out on a trip with a friend or two would be just as enjoyable.
In addition to physically meeting people, I’m going to try and connect with more people online that share the same interests as me. Whether that’s in design and development, or in one of my hobbies.
4. Less organisation & optimising
Most of the reasons that have previously stopped me from working on things have been my obsessive requirement to have everything organised and streamlined for ease of use down the line. The problem is, by the time I finish doing all that stuff, I’m bored with the project or my fire for it has been put out.
Therefore, as I progress through my projects this year, I’m going to focus on MVP and just getting stuff out there, without thinking too much about the future and being 100% optimised from release.
Optimising processes and workflows can come next year – maybe.
There’s a lot to think about with these goals, and even more to do. All of these goals are things that I think will not only help improve my skills but also me as a person.
I hope you liked reading about my goals for this year. If you did, or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you. Head over to my contact page to drop me a message, or follow me on one of the social media links in the footer of this website.
If all my projects fail this year or my plans fall through, I won’t be sad or disappointed. I’ll be happy that I tried.