Challenges for 2023

What To Expect This Year.

January 1, 2023

New Years Resolutions

It’s the start of the new year and like most other people, I have some goals I’d like to accomplish. There are some people who claim these are useless and that most people don’t meet their goals at all. But, those people should be ignored; if you’re not meeting your goals then that means you need to review the whys and make changes to how you work towards them. Sometimes the goals are too abstract - and I’m going to be running the risk of this today - and sometimes they’re simply unrealistic.

Accomplishments are commonly moving posts because as you learn more about your goals then you’ll change the path to get there. If you’re not changing the path then maybe you’re not actaully trying to reach them; maybe you’re trying to look like you’re working towards them. Like being moral, sometimes people don’t want what they claim but really just want to be treated like they already have it. A liar doesn’t want to tell the truth; they want to be treated like they’re telling the truth.

And so, many of these are tasks I wanted last year but failed to reach. And, that’s fine because I learned more about what I’m doing wrong last year and have gained some motivation to push harder to change them. Without further ado then let’s get started.

1. Replace My Current Job

There are many reasons for this - much of which cannot be discussed publicly - but part of the reason is that simply my hopes and plans did not work out. I was hoping that via some internal projects I could transition from my current role to something related to data. After all, the final goal is still to be a Data Scientist and I have not been motivated enough to produce a lot of works since I figured it would of been self evident to move me. Clearly, something happened somewhere along the way to prevent this from happening. Either I failed to convince well enough with my projects or perhaps some kind of internal political games which I was unaware of blocked this. Regardless, it did not pan out and now I’ll have to work much harder to translate what I know into visible public projects.

This presents a problem though as many jobs require some form of accredidation via College and I’m not going to do this. So, either my public works will need to be excellent enough to overcome this or I’ll have to take a job somewhere and then try to transition again. A final option would be to start a business around this. But, frankly, this is unlikely as I neither have the current business acument nor would most any client be willing to take on someone who did not already have experience. It is not impossible but that is definitely a last resort.

2. Drawing as Primary Creative Outlet.

One of the problems I’m having is that all these little hobbies are so interesting to stick your fingers in. Trying to make a videwo game was fun; trying to draw can be fun; writing a book would be fun. But, doing all of these is simply not realistic. And, switching between them is hurting quite a bit. I’ve played around with and learned about each in turn. I’ve even been trying all of them to some limited extent. But, if I have a job and also have to produce data projects then that’s two hard blocks of time. Trying to fit writing a book and drawing and making a video game on and off over and over is simply stupid.

I have to pick one and I pick drawing; this was a really hard choice. At heart, I would like to pick making a video game but drawing is such a useful skill and would allow me so much flexibility to create. Being able to draw most anything I could imagine is very alluring. And, I do really like drawing. I believe I’ve written before that I find drawing humbling. I’ve been treating it more like brushing my teeth than an actual skill; I draw some boxes or something as fast as I think I can just to say I did: just to check the box that I practiced today. This is not how you get better and it is not how you enjoy the hobby.

3. Scalable Side Gig

Honestly, this is more a necessity every day. It gives some bargaining power against employers who constantly try to undervalue. It also allows one to invest money against the growing econmic failures of our current Society.

The real problem with these is that they either have to be very cost efficient with respect to time. Something like Door Dash and such are very bad investments and you’re more or less back to just working a part time job. In the past, I had a second job which took the other two days of the week which my present job did not. You end up making a choice about whether spending that time to improve at your current job out of office will get you more money then your side job. If working a minimum wage is worth more than taking a raise at your job in a promotion then why even bother getting the promotion? You mind as well stay where you are and work at McDonalds until you can leverage your current job against a new employer and a hiring raise.

4. Fitness (Fighting, Massage, Physical Therapy, Gym)

Evne when I was physically active, I was not taking care of my own body. To say I was doing harm would be an understatement. I have never been good about sleep and I’ve never spent the time to stretch or go to a gym. I’ve never really been overweight since my jobs were mostly physical and I did an enormous amount of walking. Office work has done even more harm since now I lack much of physical work I used to do; And, with the need to spend much of own time learning and reading and coding I have deglected even the walking I used to do so much of. This year is when I work to fix that; at least the physical part. I’m surely eternally doomed to a broken sleep schedule.

5. Finish Reading Bigger Books.

I already wrote about how keeping track of the number of books you read is the wrong way to go. You just end up with pressure to read smaller books which are almost always barely worth reading compared to the much larger ones. So, the only book count I am doing is to read Five Important Books: 1. An Encyclopedia of World History by William M. Langer. 2. Tragedy & Hope by Carroll Quigley 3. Arthashastra by Kautilya 4. Economics by Paul A. Samuelson 5. Alogrithms by Robert Wedgewick

This does not mean I wont be reading other books but that my attention will be focused on finishing these. I hope this will also help remove the Completionist Drive as this pushes one to skip forwards as opposed to simply enjoy and pay attention.

6. 36 Blog Posts

I realize that the Completionist Mindset mentioned above will do this harm but splitting posts apart should help some. I will need to write only three posts per month and I think this will not be that hard. I’m slowly getting better about what should and should not be turned into a post. I admit that some of the Game Review posts can probably be considered more fluff than real content yet. But, I’m quickly also learning about how to write those better as well.

My projects posts do have direction now though. The posts are intended really for three audiences: people looking for some guidance, people looking to confirm I know what I say I know and myself to remind myself of solutions I’ve stumbled across. There are very different expectations for each of these. For Guidance folks and myself, I’d prefer the posts to be closer to Technical Documentation with code examples to be easily copied out. I want the writing to be simple and to the point to remind me how to do something. For people confirming competence, they want something closer to a Traditional Data Story. There is a genre of book that is like this called **Narrative Non-Fiction* which is a solid comparison of building a story out of - usually - historical events. That is what I need to work towards: telling a compelling story which is true and also browsable for those looking for solutions.