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Road to 29

In the past, I’ve focused more on specific project goals. This time, I want to try something different. I want to first clearly define where I want to go and then figure out how I’ll get there.

I’ve seen that this process of not really ruminating on the where I want to go result in ideas that end up going nowhere because it isn’t actually pushing me towards the self I want to be. Daniel Kahneman talks about how we have two selves. One that is an “experiencing self” and one a “remembering self”. The remembering self is the me that keeps score, judges myself, and tells me where I “should” be or things I “should” have done. Of course, the “experiencing self” has no qualms about spending time making Oliver laugh or going out to dinner with Joni. Important things to me, but all the “remembering self” can think about is how that wasn’t time spent learning some new JavaScript framework or working on a personal project. I think this misalignment of priorities is at the root of much of my anxiety, so my goal with this is to clearly define both career goals and personal goals, so I can say “see I told you so, remembering self, you wanted this!”. Let’s do it.

Where I want to go

The truth is, sorry future employers, I do not want my career to define who I am. Although work does dominate my “best hours” (the hours I’m most productive), it does not prioritize higher than my family and my own mental health. For that reason, I want to define an equal number of personal and professional goals.

Personal Goal Number☝️

It may seem silly to have to say this, but I need to never lose sight of this one… Focus on my own physical and mental health.

Personal Goal Two✌️

I really want to try and break out of my comfort zone. I feel like the greater part of my life, I’ve known what I enjoy doing and what I don’t enjoy doing. I want to work with my hands… get out of the house… ultimately, force myself through that thought process that says, “oh watching tv all day will be just as rewarding as fun as a day trip or finishing that lingering house project”.

Professional Goal Number☝️

Continue pushing myself into challenging situations. I think one of the most interesting things to me about working in the web world is how easy it is to create systems that can make your life easier. There is nothing more satisfying than creating something that just runs so smoothly that you don’t even have to worry about it. But guess what, that isn’t the end of the road! My goal is to enjoy that moment and then continue into the unknown learning new tools to continue to build more modern and interesting websites and applications. I know I get great satisfaction from this process, so why ride the “maintain things” mentality into retirement when I can apply new knowledge to new problems and end up getting to explore this cycle professionally and create awesome things along the way.

Professional Goal Two✌️

Don’t run away when times get tough. It’s really easy to just throw up your hands and say “whatever I don’t care”, but that’s not why I started myself on this journey. I want to push myself, challenge myself, and put myself in situations where the best option isn’t necessarily the first one that comes to mind.

How I’ll get there

So here is where the rubber hits the road. Not just the “where” I want to go, but the how I’ll get there. Some more specific than others, but hopefully all attainable and no shame if I can’t get them all.

Personal Objectives

  • Work out Mon/Wed/Fri for an hour (Squat 225lb, Bench 165lb, Row 135lb, Deadlift 265lb, Overhead 100lbs by Sept)
  • Write out thoughts instead of letting them monopolize my brain.
  • Get outside, specifically, go hiking.
  • Try to express creativity in a more tangible medium. For instance, build a hydroponics garden with Erik or fix a shelf.

Professional Objectives

  • Continue focusing on JavaScript front end development. This primarily includes building tools with modern, vanilla JavaScript and learning a framework like React.
  • Help Pods in their push to developing their Friends of Pods program, creating unique “friends-only” add-ons, and working on the push towards version 2.8 which includes a complete rewrite of their edit screen using React.
  • Create a Cougs help Cougs job board. I think this could be a great opportunity to create a simple job board targeted at WSU students and alumni that would allow me to implement React in a meaningful way on a project from beginning to end.

Nic

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