Pradeep CE

Passionate programmer, web developer, motorcycle enthusiast, book lover, aspiring writer and wanna-be entrepreneur :)

Mid-year Check-in: 2020 Edition

July 08, 2020

The Premise

New Year’s resolutions are a lot of fun. It always begins full of possibilities, promises and hopes of conquering the world. Everything seems achievable — I can lose ten kilograms, I can ship one app a month for twelve months straight, I can read twenty books this year. I have been there before, and I am there now.

However, in the zeal to excel, I often tend to forget my own limits and capabilities. What seems so easy at the start of the year, often feels monumental as the year draws to a close. So here’s a mid-year check-in, to take stock of what my goals for this year were (if I can recall them correctly 😬) and how far along I am in achieving them.

You’ll see how far behind I am: I’m writing this to let you (and myself) know that it’s okay if things haven’t exactly worked out so far. You are only half way there, and there is still plenty of time to catch up. And I’m hoping that putting this out there will hold me accountable, and push me into achieving my targets!

The Stats

One thing I feel I did right this time was to set concrete deliverables. Instead of saying “Grow my Instagram profile”, I said “100 posts on Instagram”. This is beneficial in two ways:

  1. It allows for a clear metric of success: if you have 100 posts by the end of the year, you have succeeded; else, you have failed.
  2. It allows for better tracking: if you have 30 posts, you know you are 30% done, and have 70% more to go.

Okay, enough theory. Here’s the data (as of writing this):

  1. 100 posts on Instagram. Mainly because I used to post my poems there.

    • Done: 37.
    • Left to do: 63.
  2. 20 new blog posts.

    • Done: 0. Yup. A big zero. This is my first post this year!
    • Left to do: 20.
  3. 20 books read.

    • Done: 4.
    • Left to do: 16.
  4. 6000 pages of a book read. This overlaps with the previous goal, and helps keep me in the habit of reading. I assign an approximation to digital books, so that they reflect a physical book’s pages count.

    • Done: 497.
    • Left to do: 5503. Whoa!
  5. 500 podcast episodes listened to.

    • Done: 41.
    • Left to do: 459.
  6. 2 solo trips, 3 trips with family or friends, and 10000km of motorcycle rides.

    • Done: 0. Amongst all of them. COVID-19 sent these flying straight into the toilet 😐
    • Left to do: Ugh.
  7. 12 side projects shipped.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 12. Small experiments don’t count. I have a couple of projects in the works now. Updates soon!
  8. 1500km of running or walking intentionally for exercise.

    • Done: 438+.
    • Left to do: < 1062. I downloaded my Google Fit data as CSV and ran a python script on it, in true hacker fashion 🙂
  9. 1 musical instrument learnt.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 1. I’ve been experimenting with the Bansuri for a while now.
  10. 1 additional language learnt.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 1. I am learning Hindi from Duolingo. I’ll consider this complete if I can hold a regular conversation in Hindi.
  11. 30 conference videos watched.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 30. A humble goal. Totally doable.
  12. 50 Thirukkural and their meanings memorized.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 50. I wanted to read some Tamil as well this year.
  13. 4 publishable paintings or sketches made.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 4. “Publishable” means anything that’s a little cohesive and can convey an idea. I’m just starting out, so the standard here is pretty low.
  14. 100 problems solved on an online judge.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 100. I’ve been putting this off year after year. So this time, I want to complete this just for the satisfaction of having done it.
  15. 30 data structures or algorithms learnt.

    • Done: 0.
    • Left to do: 30. Write a simple program using these. This is just for fun, because I’m self-taught and have never touched a proper algorithms or data structures book.
  16. 1000 calls to friends or family just for the sake of calling.

    • Done: 10. That should tell you how much of am introvert I am.
    • Left to do: 900. It doesn’t count if it’s a text, or an incoming call, or if I have spoken to them in the past week. Goal here is to get back in touch with people.
  17. Just one more thing: The Secret Goal™️. I also have a goal that I’m not ready to talk about yet. But I’m definitely on track to check this off the list. Again, blog post soon! 😁

Going Forward

As you can see, my performance so far is laughable: I have not done things more than I have done things. If you are like me, you have two options:

  1. You can either call it a day (or a year) because you’re ridiculously behind schedule, and because there is a better chance of you failing than succeeding.
  2. Or, you can hit the ground running and challenge yourself to check off every single item from your list. It doesn’t matter if you fail — do it just for the exhilaration of giving it your all.

I’m choosing to do the latter. For the next six months, I’m going to give it my all to try and check the items in this list off. Who knows, I might be surprised at what I can do!

Live the hustle! 🔥💪


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