YearPlanReport

2017: Where Do You Want to Be In a Year?

February 3, 2017 YearPlanReport No comments

Again, not to break the tradition, here is my resolution for the year 2017.

  1. Start getting up at 6
  2. Run 40+ times; hike 3+ times
  3. Lead a project at work to success
  4. Teach dauther basics of  skiing and reading
  5. Travel Balkan countries
  6. Quit coffee and social media
  7. Read 24 books
  8. Write 24 blog posts
  9. Win a T-Shirt
  10. Make github green
  11. Learn something
  12. Buy something
  13. Enjoy the life

This list is rather cryptic and unconventional. As they say, it is not that “SMART” and I agree. Fortunately for me, I’m the boss of my life and this is how I would like to put it for this year.

The road on a picture below appears to be smooth and straight. There are some shadows and lots of light in the end. Also, I don’t know if the road is still there where the light is, do you?


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What have I done in 2016

February 2, 2017 YearPlanReport 2 comments

It is quite late into the year 2017, but I decided not to break the tradition and write my yearly report.

When I planned my 2013 I had “the best thing that could happen” listed as I knew my daughter was coming. When I was planning for 2016 I didn’t expect to have a second child.

But here I am with my son just some minutes after he was born on 16th of December 2016.

Me and Theo

I’m really glad and looking forward to see him grow and build his own life.

Except of this main and life changing event, few other things happened: we have moved to slightly bigger apartment, and I made some progress in my career (more on that sometime later).

Here is the list of planned things and their completion rates:

  1. Run 2-3 times a week for at least 5 warm months.
    100% I ran 50+ times totaling 320km. Here is a nice post from me that some people find inspiring.
  2. Make start of the day more healthy and productive. Ideal scenario would be: get up at 05:55AM, drink glass of water, do exercises for 15-30 min, shower, some important task and/or planning for the day, breakfast, work… But I will consider this item achieved if I start doing exercises regularly even if it is only 2 times a week just for 10 minutes.
    15% This is too difficult for me, though I managed to be at work around 7:30 for two months or so and do exercises sporadically.
  3. Travel to the UK, Norway, sea side country, and do a car trip somewhere nice.
    100% Visited UK, Ireland, Georgia, Croatia and few other Austria bordering countries for shorter trips. We had to cancel Norway because of the the wife’s pregnancy, but it was equally compensated by a trip to Ireland and adventures mountains in Georgia.
  4. Spend one hour every day with my daughter playing and learning things.
    50% I’m bit shocked that I had this in a plan. Spending quality time with children is important and should be done without saying, but we neglect it too often.
  5. Count not more than 12 weekends in a year when we didn’t go out to do some activities.
    50% I kept track of these “bad” weekends and there are definitely more than 12, though, in part, it was caused by unforeseen circumstances.
  6. Learn 12 simple skills from other people. To achieve this goal I will first identify 12 people from the community and those surrounding me and chose some characteristic I admire.
    15% Didn’t work out. Maybe very few things from guys at work.
  7. Read at least 6 technical books.
    65% 3 books read. 2 half read.
  8. Watch at least 12 pluralsight courses.
    100% Watched more than that but probably benefited from few.
  9. Write a simple stock analyzing web site. It could have any set of features, point is to get something interesting running.
    0% I don’t count retarded attempt on it.
  10. Write any simple useful open source tool. I have WCF related idea in mind.
    0% Unless this git bash script counts.
  11. Learn at least two web technologies. I have NodeJS and AngularJS in mind at the moment.
    25% No activities on NodeJs, though some on Angular. More are coming in this year.
  12. Share knowledge more actively. Minimum would be to write 24 blog posts, answer 12 questions on SO, help few people online.
    50% 16 posts. 7 SO answers. Few comments on blogs.
  13. Acquire B1 German certificate, attend German course, finish entire German Duolingo tree.
    100% All of these completed. This also allowed me to acquire permanent residence permit in Austria.
  14. Learn English language prosody and fix pronunciation of vowels. Optionally attend a specialized language course.
    10% Few failed attempts.
  15. Save 24X my monthly spendings, go through 13 investment books I read in 2015 and extract notes, do reviews and write about them.
    30% Saved some money, not as much because of the move. Total fail on book reviews.

This gives me 47% overall. Apparently, I fall into the 92% category of people who fail on their year resolutions.

Nevertheless, I find this exercise of planning for a year to be useful. At least it gives a sense of things that you want to do if otherwise you are too chaotic.

I hope you all have had a good year and will have even better one this year. Happy New Year! (Yes, yes… I know – it’s February outside, but someone had to be the last to wish you “Happy New Year!”)


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2016: Where Do You Want to Be In a Year?

January 19, 2016 YearPlanReport 2 comments

Some people say that the best way to motivate yourself is to be inspired and/or desperate. At the moment I don’t feel like I’m any of those two. I was very ambitious and inspired in the past, but I guess things change as you get older.

One thing that still helps me a bit with motivation is planning and recognition of my work by others. You can get inspired just by thinking on what you want to do in your life. Also, in my opinion, planning puts you in somewhat desperate situation as you want to complete items from the list. I don’t know if you like planning or not, but I use it for the above reasons and for the reason of keeping track of greater picture of my life goals.

I’ve been writing year resolution posts on my blog since 2010. There are few things that I’ve learned about planning for a year. It is easy to overestimate what can be done and to lose track if no detailed planning was done. So for this year I want to set somewhat smarter goals and do a detailed elaboration on achieving them. I will break down tasks to monthly tasks and keep track of those separately from this blog, as it will be a total mess to post it here.

92-of-all-new-year-resolutions-fail

Let me start my planning with list of life areas to improve.

I want to improve:

  • health by running regularly and doing some gym
  • life satisfaction by travelling and having more quality time with family
  • soft skills by copying the best characteristics of people I admire
  • professional skills by learning one or two technologies and doing a personal project
  • foreign languages proficiency by acquiring German B1 and fixing English accent
  • financials by learning more on investing, keeping expenses low and deciding on home purchase

Now let me convert this list into some concrete achievable and measurable items.

  1. Run 2-3 times a week for at least 5 warm months.
  2. Make start of the day more healthy and productive. Ideal scenario would be: get up at 05:55AM, drink glass of water, do exercises for 15-30 min, shower, some important task and/or planning for the day, breakfast, work… But I will consider this item achieved if I start doing exercises regularly even if it is only 2 times a week just for 10 minutes.
  3. Travel to the UK, Norway, sea side country, and do a car trip somewhere nice.
  4. Spend one hour every day with my daughter playing and learning things.
  5. Count not more than 12 weekends in a year when we didn’t go out to do some activities.
  6. Learn 12 simple skills from other people. To achieve this goal I will first identify 12 people from the community and those surrounding me and chose some characteristic I admire.
  7. Read at least 6 technical books.
  8. Watch at least 12 pluralsight courses.
  9. Write a simple stock analysing web site. It could have any set of features, point is to get something interesting running.
  10. Write any simple useful open source tool. I have WCF related idea in mind.
  11. Learn at least two web technologies. I have NodeJS and AngularJS in mind at the moment.
  12. Share knowledge more actively. Minimum would be to write 24 blog posts, answer 12 questions on SO, help few people online.
  13. Acquire B1 German certificate, attend German course, finish entire German Duolingo tree.
  14. Learn English language prosody and fix pronunciation of vowels. Optionally attend a specialized language course.
  15. Save 24X my monthly spendings, go through 13 investment books I read in 2015 and extract notes, do reviews and write about them.

In the end of this year I don’t want to find myself among those 92% who fail with their new year’s resolutions, therefore keep an eye on me and I promise I will keep an eye on you, provided that you share your list with me.

Happy New Year!

 

2016-Feb-01 UPDATE: This is how I’m now tracking completion of the above list. I have a broken-down list of tasks for each month in OneNote and I also have recurring and detailed tasks tasks in Wunderlist app.

ExampleOfTrackingNewYearResolutionList


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What I have done in 2015

January 15, 2016 YearPlanReport No comments

Year 2015 was the year of travel.

AndriyBudayInIceland_1500_500

In the resolution for 2015 we only planned for Iceland and the coast of Italy. But now I wouldn’t even be able to count the number of countries we visited in just one year with our little daughter.

I somehow managed to take short vacations almost every warm month. For that I had to work some additional time, but extra effort was definitely worth the experience. Outside of Schengen Area we went to Turkey and Israel and in Schengen Area itself there are only two countries left where we haven’t been.

I was so much engaged in enjoying my life that didn’t progress that well with my professional life, but on the other hand I expanded and improved some other areas of my life by travelling, investing and doing sports.

Now let’s go through the resolution list:

Travel to Iceland

It was the greatest trip of all we had so far. My wife wrote series of blog posts on this trip (in Ukrainian).

Travel the coast of Italy and do many other car trips

Italy was a week and two days car trip from Austria, but besides of this one we had two Nordic car trips. We drove all the way to Finland from Austria and also took a hired car from Germany to Sweden. I legally set my speed record of 220km/h. I drove two absolutely different car types in Iceland and Israel – two absolutely opposite countries by weather and security situation. Contrast between these two countries is just staggering. You cannot appreciate it unless you visit those two.

Improve German by attending at least 1 course

Attended two courses and hopefully learned something.

Improve English fluency and vocabulary by spending more time on learning words from read books

Subjective, but I guess there is some improvement. I indeed spent some time after reading books on vocabulary. Next big milestone should be my accent.

Read 4 sci-fi books

Done. Enjoyed some.

Read 13 software engineering books

Partially done. Unfortunately, I started way too many of them and haven’t finished reading. Notable mention would be “C# in Depth”.

Read 13 investment books

All done. This was my list. Will have a separate review list, maybe with ratings.

Start project with potential to make money

Not really. Had few friendly offers to work on things together, but I didn’t like any.

Do programming in other languages than C# or JavaScript

Total fail. I tried to start learning F# and didn’t get it past few simple “hello world” apps.

Take part in at least one programming contest

SRM at TopCoder, but this probably cannot be considered a “contest”, therefore fail.

Visit at least one conference (even small one)

Visited .concat() in Salzburg

Write at least 26 blog posts

17 blog post written.

Increase community visibility by contributing more on github, tweeting, commenting on blogs

Subjective, but fail.

Improve health by exercising and attending swimming pool for at least 1 month

Rather success than fail. I didn’t attend swimming pool, but I ran for couple of months and will start again when it gets warmer.

Make at least 2015 euro profit on new investments in 2015

Success and fail at the same very time. I didn’t set this goal properly as I didn’t know much about investing. I was up and down as much few times during the past volatile year. I have some very small realized profit, but I’m not so keen on being active investor as it only makes brokers rich. Will tell more when it gets to it.

It is a bit late to say, but I wish you all

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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What I did in 2014 and idea on what I want to do in 2015

January 14, 2015 YearPlanReport No comments

A quick recap of year 2014

2014 didn’t turn to be forth life changing year in a row. I still have the same job and live in the same place. As I probably mentioned before, I’m working as subcontractor to International Atomic Energy Agency (UN associated organization). This year I’ve mostly done JavaScript and less of .NET. But I don’t mind. That is because JavaScript has its own beauty.

My daughter is now bit older and of course occupies a lot of my time. She needs more and more attention as she moves closer to being two years old. In her year and a half she already travelled more countries than her grandparents in their lives. 2014 was definitely a year of travel. We visited islands of Malta and Mallorca and I’m really glad that my daughter is fine with planes, because this means that we can have more distant trips in future. Of course we travelled by car all around Austria (Prague and other places in Chez Republic, Munich, Slovenia and Croatia, Poland, lots of Hungary, etc) and in Austria, mainly visiting public swimming pools, museums and having some outdoor activities.

Ukrainian independence day, August 24 2014

Picture taken at Ukrainian independence day celebration in Vienna, August 24 2014

It is fair to say that we tried to have each and every weekend somewhere outside. This of course had impact on what I could do to improve my professional skills outside of the work, which I didn’t do much except of reading few books.

There is one different thing that I started doing in 2014. I’m investing my money now. And not just bank deposits or mutual funds as I used to do, but the real thing – exploring equities and other instruments and buying then (for long). I’m planning to do more of this in 2015.

Plan for 2015

This is continuation of my year plan/report thread. I had similar plan for 2010, 2011, 2012, and for 2013. Completion of 2010 list was almost 100% successful, completion of 2011 list was less successful. 2012 list completion is somewhere in between. Both 2011 and 2012 greatly changed my life. Same was with the year 2013 and it was mostly successful. You can see above how my 2014 year went.

Last year I didn’t come up with new year’s resolution. Things didn’t go sideways because of that, but I had nothing to compare my achievements with. I think I will better have some simple list on what I’m planning and want to do.

  1. Travel to Iceland
  2. Travel the coast of Italy and do many other car trips
  3. Improve German by attending at least 1 course
  4. Improve English fluency and vocabulary by spending more time on learning words from read books
  5. Read 4 sci-fi books
  6. Read 13 software engineering books
  7. Read 13 investment books
  8. Start project with potential to make money
  9. Do programming in other languages than C# or JavaScript
  10. Take part in at least one programming contest
  11. Visit at least one conference (even small one)
  12. Write at least 26 blog posts
  13. Increase community visibility by contributing more on github, tweeting, commenting on blogs
  14. Improve health by exercising and attending swimming pool for at least 1 month
  15. Make at least 2015 euro profit on new investments in 2015

It is a bit late, but I wish you all

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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What I have done in 2013

December 29, 2013 YearPlanReport 2 comments

Year 2013 became life changing for me again being the 3rd year in a row, when I say this.

At the beginning of the year I knew that we are waiting for the baby. I decided on changing my job and approximately at the same time when my daughter was born I changed my job. Now I work for UN associated organization and I started working on something interesting – an offline capable web application written with EmberJs.

My plan for the year 2013 was quite extensive and had 21 items. I’ve achieved more than half of that but still much wasn’t done. Interestingly things not done are mostly skills related, which should probably keep me alerted.

Now a bit on each item.

The best thing which could happen. My daughter was born on 10th of June. Here are few pictures.

image

image

Now she occupies tons of my time. But it is not an excuse it rather has to be reason to do more!

Travel a lot. We definitely travelled a lot year. Because now we have small baby at home we are somewhat limited in distances we could travel. Thus year was mostly Austria explorative. My wife writes a blog post for each of our trips to different attractions.

image

image
Buy a car. I bought Ford Focus Traveller with big boot. Now we need one. It is diesel car so driver experience is somewhat different, but on other hand car proves itself great for long trips. Also I already took car for 5 times to Ukraine this year.
Ski high in the Alps. Not that I skied much this year. But I have a picture that proves that I skied high in Alps. Taken in Obertauern.

image
Learn German for real A2. I think I’ve failed here. No real need in communication in German. But I’ve attended A2 course so maybe I’ve learned something. At least for sure there is improvement when comparing to 2012.
Improve English fluency by applying more synonymous and idioms. Maybe. Now I work at UN where I have to collaborate with different people from all over the world in English, including native speakers. 
Perform well & keep being challenged at work. I’ve changed my work. Now I’m self-employed and work by contract for UN associated organization through the other company. I’m happy that I’m quite challenged now, mostly thanks to interesting project and Iraqian boss.
Contribute to open source. Fail. One gist doesn’t count.
Deliver many technical presentations. None delivered. Instead I performed quite few presentations to our users. I even had to wear suite.
Extend social network at work & outside. Mostly failure here. My exposure has changed now. I feel myself somewhat in very closed community of developers.
Write some web project. I do this now at work all days long.
Do programming in other languages than C#. Yes, now I mostly program in javascript.
Take part in one or few programming contests. Fail, except of some TC single round matches.
Visit one or few conferences. Fail.
Improve blog quality. Fail, since nothing has changed on this blog and post frequency is low.
Write at least 41 blog posts. Fail.
Increase community visibility. Fail.
Read as many books as I like. Well, this couldn’t have been a fail.
Consistently do exercises. Fail.
Reach 2013 reputation at stackoverflow. Fail.
Earn 2013 euro outside. Since now I’m self-employed and earn significantly much more than before. I would say that here I’ve oversucceeded here.

Generally it was very good year. I’m very happy because of my born daughter. She is great. Next year we will start learning programming and travel a lot together.

Unfortunately it is very likely that whatever I say is just like on the picture below:

image

Nevertheless, I wish you all

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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2013: Where Do You Want to Be In a Year?

January 30, 2013 YearPlanReport 9 comments

Dear Reader,

I always thought that it is important to keep track of things you are doing and also to have a plan so that you know where you are moving and where you want to be.

This is continuation of my year plan/report thread. I had similar plan for 2010, 2011 and for 2012. Completion of 2010 list was almost 100% successful, completion of 2011 list was less successful. 2012 list completion is somewhere in between. Both 2011 and 2012 greatly changed my life. Same is expected in the year 2013.

Here below is my resolution list for 2013

  1. The best thing which could happen
  2. Travel a lot
  3. Buy a car
  4. Ski high in the Alps
  5. Learn German for real A2
  6. Improve English fluency by applying more synonymous and idioms
  7. Perform well & keep being challenged at work
  8. Contribute to open source
  9. Deliver many technical presentations
  10. Extend social network at work & outside
  11. Write some web project
  12. Do programming in other languages than C#
  13. Take part in one or few programming contests
  14. Visit one or few conferences
  15. Improve blog quality
  16. Write at least 41 blog posts
  17. Increase community visibility
  18. Read as many books as I like
  19. Consistently do exercises
  20. Reach 2013 reputation at stackoverflow
  21. Earn 2013 euro outside

I tried to keep each point very concise therefore my list may be lacking some of SMART-iness, but in a light of high unpredictability for a long term it would be much easier to remember and follow such a plan.

What do you want to do in this year? Any good suggestions for me?


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