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16 Goals for 2016

1. Write 100 poems

Writing poetry is an good outlet. It is a great way to vent feelings, clear your mind, and make sense of the world around you. I consider it a form of meditation. Before I learned to code creative writing was my passion and I thought I would be a writer one day.

When I discovered code, it was amazing how many parallels I found between the structure of poems and the structure of code. So writing poetry has had a major influence on how I write code.

Even today, poetry continues to interest me and help my creativity flow. So I hope by writing more poetry this year, it'll put me in the mindset I need to be creative in my work.

Follow me on Hello Poetry where I'll be posting all my poems.

2. Redesign and Rebrand Whitespace.

Whitespace only started about two months ago and it's amazing how much my skills have grown since then. I've gotten better at building websites, designing UI/UX, and more! My skills have improved so much that I now look at the current design of Whitespace and constantly criticize it. So it's time to redesign, rebrand, and rebuild! I know I can do better!

3. Go on a Road Trip

This is sort of becoming a hobby of mine. In 2013, I went to Boston to see an Avenged Sevenfold concert. It was during my first semester of university so we were running on a tight schedule, but we managed to leave Fredericton and return Thursday before noon, just in time for a lab. Then in 2014, I traveled to Halifax, NS to see another concert, this time Silverstein. And in 2015, a late night, 4:00 AM decision (not mine) led me to spending a day in Montreal. All of these road trips are invaluable times in my life and those experiences have in-part shaped who I am today. I can't wait to see what unexpected journey 2016 will bring!

4. Wake Up Early #6amclub

I'm not a morning person and I never saw the value in waking up at 6:00 AM. However, when Sean McCabe (who also self-describes as not a morning person) talked about his #6amclub on the seanwes podcast, it finally made sense to me. He explains how waking up early and writing on a daily basis has doubled his creative output. He also discusses how to motivate yourself to keep waking up early and avoid old habits of sleeping in. In order to accomplish all these goals, I think this one is essential to help manage my time effectively.

5. Go for More Walks

Walking, just like poetry, can help clear your head, but it's also good for maintaining physical health. Making an effort to change your scenery will also boost creative thinking. Walking is the perfect balance between exercise and mental relaxation. So for 2016, I plan to go for a walk at least once a week (maybe more often, I'll have to build up to it though).

6. Inspire Someone

I started Whitespace because I want to share my philosophy of being a creator with other people. If others can benefit from my way of thinking, then I think it's my duty to share it. If I can inspire just one person through sharing my knowledge and experience it will be a successful year. It doesn't matter the size of my audience; what I care about is the level of engagement of my audience. I would rather have one subscriber who is getting real value from my content than have 1000 subscribers who never interact with my content. It's not a numbers game -- it's ablout quality connections.

7. Read Every Week

Reading is something I've neglected over the past few years. There's a stack of books on my desk that I've had forever and I haven't read them. So this year, I want to make an effort to read at least once a week. Even if it's just for a half hour each time, it'll still be an improvement over last year.

8. Improve my Verbal Communication Skills

I've always been an introvert and public speaking has never been a strength of mine. So this year I'll be working to change that. As an engineer, communication in Soooo important, and for that reason I want to improve. Making videos for Whitespace is one way that I'm planning to work on my speaking skills. I have also volunteered to give a presentation for CS Square this semester. I'm hoping more opportunities will come up but for now that's a start.

9. Complete Six Creative Projects

Whether it's building apps, making a video series, or some other form of creative expression; this year, I want to increase my output in the form of more sizeable projects. What I'm defining as a project is anything I haven to plan to work on over several days to complete.

10. Keep a Weekly Journal

Keeping a journal each week will help me put into perspective all the work I’ve accomplished over the week. I think it will help keep me going because if I don’t accomplish anything in a week, then what on earth will I write in my journal?!

11. Maintain and Grow Relationships

Sometimes when I get too invested in my work, I feel like I’m neglecting my friends and family. With all these goals I’m setting, it may be a challenge to keep in touch with people in my life. So for that reason, I want to just keep in mind the people in my life who are closest to me and make sure those relationship do not weaken with time.

12. Make New Connections

Although my current relationships with people are important to me, I love to meet new people who share my interests and who will help me grow as a person.

13. Help Organize a Developers Conference

Last summer I went to Maritime DevCon in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was my first conference and I absolutely loved it! Ever since then I’ve wanted to have a part in organizing a conference. It seems like a great way to meet new people and develop a unique skill set.

14. Develop a Working Knowledge of the MEAN Stack

The MEAN stack consists of MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js. I like the MEAN stack because it uses JavaScript across the entire system which simplifies communications between the server and client. I already have a basic knowledge of the MEAN stack but I want to get to a point where It’s my go to stack while developing web apps and services. Currently, my go to stack is SQL, Flask, jQuery, and Python.

15 Maintain a 3.7 GPA

Gotta keep that scholarship! ;)

16. Write Thank You Letters

Showing thanks is one thing that you can never do enough. It only takes five minutes to write a thank you letter, but people rarely ever take the time. I think this small sacrifice of taking a few minutes to say thank you whenever someone does me a favour is well worth it.

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