New Year’s Resolutions for the long-awaited year 2021

Today is January 1st. It is time to review what happened last year and set the next year’s goals. Following last year’s post structure, I will review 2020’s new year’s resolutions, and then I will commit to the new ones.

In the 24th issue of the newsletter, the one previous to this post, I also shared insights about writing and keeping the new year’s resolutions (among other topics). It will help me when thinking about mines.

So, let’s go: What happened with last year’s resolutions?

Healthy Goal: Morning workouts

Last year I decided to move my freeletics workouts to the morning to gain time in the afternoon or evening to spend with my family. I wrote about the pros of doing morning workouts. I partially did it; pandemic changed the plan.

I started doing it in January 2020, but I stopped the plan when the lockdown arrived by the mid of March. That doesn’t mean I stopped doing workouts; I just changed the hour. I returned the mornings in October, and I lost it in December with a foot injury, and after that, with tons of excuses and procrastination.

There were secondary objectives, like OCR or swimming. I was very motivated with the first one, and I really was going to participate in one challenge with some colleagues in May, but the pandemic canceled any chance. Regarding swimming, no way, and during the pandemic, I quitted from my gym subscription.

I already shared my experience with the Freeletics App, and during the lockdown and following months, it really helped me a lot. If you have the chance, try the App in free mode.

Learning Goal: Reading books and Data Science competition

As occurred with the morning workouts, I started reading again, keeping the pace I committed to. But surprisingly, during the lockdown, I lost it. And I never recovered it.

I have read a lot of articles for my writing purposes, and I used several books in my research process, but In this case, I failed in my commitment. I still have lots of books to read, as you could see in the blog post that I wrote about the reading habit.

Regarding the Kaggle competition, I didn’t achieve it. Managing people keeps me away from coding, but this year I was able to dedicate some time to programming in python, I did write an application and several scripts for automation, and recently I started playing and doing some analysis with the Twitter API. Still, I didn’t prepare for any competition. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a data scientist, it is just a challenge because I like it.

During the year, I decided to subscribe to and started training, but I discontinued it. And at work, I was offered a LinkedIn training subscription, and I selected a list of courses that I still have pending.

Mindly Goal: Daily Mindfulness

I included mindfulness in my daily morning routine. It was easier to include the habit, and while I kept it, I succeeded. I started using the Headspace app.

The morning exercise, reading, and mindfulness habits followed similar paths because I included them in the same morning routine, inspired by the 20/20/20 formula from the 5 am club book. You could learn more about it in the following post.

When the lockdown arrived, and I changed the routine, I lost the constancy. During these days, I moved from Headspace to Calm. And when I recovered the routine in October, I also did include mindfulness.

In case you’re curious, I only do the 10-minute Daily Calm to keep the habit.

Writing goal: Monthly article in the blog

While reading the past resolutions, I just realized that I only committed to a monthly article! I am highly astonished… I thought it was weekly!!

Well, considering this, I can celebrate that I highly succeeded. I wrote 36 posts, and I still have 7 drafts pending to publish, that I hope to finish the following week.

And I also started writing a newsletter. I just tried it, but in the end, I sent 24 issues since May.

I wrote all the blog posts and the newsletter issues in English, which, in my case, raises the difficulty. If you decide to write in English, please let me suggest you try Grammarly. It will save your life.

Family Goal: Spending more time with the family

One reason to move the exercise to the morning was to have free time in the evening. And for the first months of the year, I succeeded with it.

Then the pandemic arrived, we were lockdown, did WFH, and I have spent a lot of time with them. So, half because I did right, half by chance, I met the goal. I enjoyed the time with them.

The lockdown had many drawbacks, from the work and family perspective. While many colleagues were moved to temporary lay-offs, the people who remained had to face the brutal increase in the amount of work (at least, in my case) and the new urgent operative ideas. I wrote about some of these experiences, remembering the online selling from the physical stores.

It also affected the family. While we were all at home, my wife had to stop working for 2 months temporarily. During this period we had a salary less.

Work Goal: Overcome uncertainty

It was a demanding and challenging year, mentally. Lockdown pushed us close to burnout, and this year’s projects also did. But these are peanuts compared to my mental burden and my doubts during the last years about my career and future, especially since we are centralizing in Germany, which made me sometimes feel like an imposter.

Regarding the work, in general, I succeeded with the ongoing projects. And I feel valued by my team and bosses. But there is still lots of uncertainty in the workplace regarding the future.

This year showed up that I have a clear goal in learning how to work from home. I am still adapting, but I have much room for improvement. And I guess I will have time to gain experience with WFH in the following weeks.

Also, I have been doing coaching sessions focused on improving self-awareness and motivation, and I have an action plan as a result that I have to execute.

I know what I like and what I want, but I don’t know what to do regarding my career. Last year I committed to making a decision, but it is not easy. I still have work to do.

New Resolutions 🎊

This year’s resolutions won’t be surprising; I want to continue the plan from last year, adding some new goals.

These are the goals that I am committing to for the rest of the year.

  1. Health: The main idea for this year is to keep the morning workout. The plan will start with a 15-minute daily plan for the next 6 weeks (there’s a training journey in Freeletics). Then I could increase it to 30 minutes, but I am thinking of looking for an additional cardio activity to do with my kids. I would love to include some sailing, but this will be a bonus. But if there’s a new goal on which I want to put special focus this year is sleep. I want to sleep for 7-8 hours regularly. This will be a huge challenge.
  2. Learning: I have a massive “to do” list, but I would like to focus again on reading books, 1 book per month. I already selected the first two books. Also, I will try audiobooks, at least one. I am wondering If I could listen to 2x speed. Also, I will continue with the training pieces that I still have ongoing (Educative, LinkedIn Training, Data Science). At least for this first half of the year, then I will review the progress and make changes if needed. On the other hand, I want to play music again, not decided if piano or bass guitar, or both. But the challenge with music will be related to the 5th resolution.
  3. Mindfulness: Keep the current daily Calm, and I will also try Calm’s resource to help with sleep.
  4. Writing: Keep writing the newsletter and the blog, in the current timings until the 1st year of the newsletter, then I will decide if I should continue or not with it. The challenge here will be to avoid writing the newsletter during the weekend. I will send it on Saturday morning or Friday evening, starting next week.
  5. Family: Now that I know how to gain time during the workdays, the challenge will be to move the newsletter to gain the weekends. The second goal will be to look for activities that I can share with my kids. I plan to include exercise activities related to the 1st point and music playing related to the second. I also have an idea about how I will do it and when.
  6. Work: As a result of my coaching sessions, I have a plan to follow. This is the main goal. Also improving my WFH skills in terms of organization and communication. Regarding my career, be honest with the people around me and with myself and decide about my future.

Setting shorter term goals

Most of my resolutions, the main ones, are SMART and can be divided into feasible pieces enough to build or change the habit.

Instead of reviewing yearly next year, I committed to doing a monthly review with the updates on each six resolution topics. I will add a comment to this post each month.

If something doesn’t work and needs to be changed, it is better to realize the sooner. Also, setting short-term goals helps with motivation.

Who knows how the year will surprise us, but whatever will happen, these will be my six main goals for this year. I am sure that I won’t achieve them all, but I will succeed with most of them (think positive!).

I hope you will also succeed with yours, and I wish you the best year 2021 possible.

Thanks for reading.

Also published on Medium.

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