Priorities for 2022

Here’s a belated welcome to 2022. I’m writing this from my standing desk, nursing a fresh bout of sciatica brought on by yesterday’s massive snowfall, and my subsequent shoveling. (Whoops.)

I haven’t seen a dumping of this magnitude since my college days in Kingston. Eastern Ontario is known for its aggressive winter. Seeing that much snow land here in Ajax was something else. Thank goodness I splurged on a snow blower two years ago…!

I used to write an annual blog post about my goals for the upcoming year. I stopped because I never stuck to those goals. I have OKRs and KPIs to juggle at work. Thinking about metrics, outside of that context, was just too much.

Still, reflecting on the year gone by, and thinking about the year coming up, is a nice exercise.

Last year was a doozy. It felt like the world was teetering even more, but for us, things were alright. It was my first as a father, there were big & successful projects at work, and though we were trying to navigate the chaos of COVID, we did it from the comfort of home.

Comfort food was my big vice in 2021. I haven’t been this heavy since college. I started feeling it in the fall, and decided to take up running; then saw a physio, learned that I have some chronic lower back problems, and had to pause running to sort that out; then my sciatica flared up, and… well… here we are.

Things need to change. So I’ve returned, after a two or three year abstention, to lay out some priorities for the year, with metrics (!), mostly so I have something to track against. I’m sharing them publicly because I appreciate it when others do the same. So here goes…

Improve health & confidence by losing 20lbs.

I’m leaning into the Atomic Habits approach. It’s been the most effective thing for my accountability in other areas, so I’m applying it here, too. That means timeboxing my activities, making them recurring, and measuring progress with constant weigh-ins. I know my confidence and sense of well-being increases when I lose weight, because I’ve done it before. Running and cycling will be my go-to. I’m doing my first (virtual) 10K in March, and hope to do more runs through the year, if everything goes well.

Do more creative work by completing 4+ courses.

Links to Domestika courses have languished in my Todoist backlog for at least two years. I’m resolving to get through at least a few in 2022. I figure one per quarter is a good starting point. Illustration, painting, photography, and sculpture/crafting interest me the most. I even overhauled my home office to create more space for it, placing my brushes and pens and other supplies within easy reach.

Write more by publishing 50+ blog posts.

This is, admittedly, a stretch goal. There are 52 weeks in a year and I’ve already gone three without writing one. My thinking here is to do more “learn in public” type writing, fast and loose, so my blog posts feel more like what you’d get from me in, say, a Slack conversation.

Read at least one book per month.

I spend so much of my time reading newsletters and articles (sup Instapaper?) that I rarely pick up a book. Yet my office is full of them. I bought a half-dozen books on leadership and product management last year. I need to get through that pile. It ties to the goal above — writing more — because each book is a source of things worth sharing, or ideas worth spinning out.

Beyond non-fiction, I also want to read more fiction; particularly more fantasy novels. Watching the Wheel of Time series, and scouring through book-versus-show discussions, reminded me of how much I enjoyed disappearing into a good fantasy world.

Professional development through certifications and participation.

Last year I finally gave in to the fact that I prefer to set my own schedule and learn at my own pace. So I’d like to complete 12+ on-demand certifications this year, of varying scope, and feed that into my “learn in public” resolution above.

Beyond that, I want to grow my capacity as a team leader and mentor. I’m most comfortable in doing that asynchronously, because it gives me more time to chew on things before sharing.

More family stuff.

There’s a lot going on this year. My wife ends her extended maternity leave, and our little one heads to daycare for the first time. It’s a huge change. That means evenings and weekends will be more important than ever for family time.

We caught a lot of that in snapshots and videos last year. At the time I felt like it took away from the moment, but now I’m enjoying looking through the stacks of photos, putting together albums and mounting pictures around the house. I want our home to be full of more memories from 2022.

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…and that’s it! From losing weight for health and wellness, to capturing more family memories, those are my main priorities for the year.

Have a great week. 🙂