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2016 - Year in Review

I made a lot of plans for 2016, some worked out, many didn’t. Let’s take a look at it.

2016 was an enjoyable year in many ways. I started it out with laying quite a few plans, settling in a new job, moving to a new city, etc.,

Some of the goals for 2016 were broad, like learning to say No (which went well), 15 minute rule (went well), delayed gratification (did not go well), No Zero Days (60-65% success rate), Measure (utter failure), Path of least resistance(mediocre). For this to make sense, you might want to read my 2016 post setting up my goals for the year.

Although the other goals were not broad, they weren’t specific either. It was as if I set myself a set of guidelines. Let me go over how I did on these.

Do more analog

Analog this year resulted in a major project. Building a bed. It was a fulfilling experience. SO helped quite a lot on this, and it was a blast.

Stay Healthy

I’d say this was more of mixed results. When I set out, I wanted to consistently work out and put in more than 300 days of working out, which did not happen, but I’ve worked out for more than 200 days last year which is the highest in a year for me so far.

I’ve also run more than 365 miles in 2016. An unexpected bonus is that I ran a marathon in Septemeber 2016. This was totally unplanned for at the beginning of the year but is a major accomplishment in 2016.

Although I do feel like I have a healthier body compared to last year, I haven’t shed any pounds which is a little disappointing.

Mastery of tools

I did get better with some of the tools, with some I haven’t even begun yet. My unix, vim bash skills are better than ever. I do need to try out emacs this year.

Explore new programming languages

This is an absolute failure. I had a huge list of languages that I wanted to learn but ended up picking up only Swift which wasn’t even on the list last year (not that it matters). I need to work on this in 2017.

Devops

I haven’t spent any time on DevOps in 2016 because I didn’t find it interesting, but did end up spending time building systems software.

Learn more about security

It’s a shame I didn’t spend any time on this in 2016, a total failure.

Manage money better

This went pretty well thanks to all the efforts by G in helping me with this. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job last year and will continue to keep doing so.

Read often

My reading did take a hit in 2016, but I was able to read a few books in 2016, most of which were pretty good. The one thing I realized in the process is I quite enjoy reading and should do more of in 2017. There’s one book I read that made me feel like that maybe I should write a book of my own. Writing it here seems ridiculous given how bad my writing is but hey, a man can dream.

Write more

Writing is something that I’ve wanted to do more of but has always taken a backseat to everything. Here’s hoping things will be different this year.

Hardware

I did two hardware projects which were quite fun. - Hacking an Amazon Dash button which I explained in a post here - Building a TV tracker, to measure the time I have the TV on (An Arduino project, which I have to write a post for).

Although it was fun to do all these things that I planned ahead, the best experiences of 2016 were the unplanned ones. - New friends I made - The many trips SO and I took, the one with friends, trips to visit family were are all enjoyable. - The best time of 2016 though has to be the one month I fostered two German Shepherd puppies. It was impulsive, unplanned, chaotic and stressful but there are no words that can explain the joy those two pups brought into my life. As much as I was complaining about being unable to handle the two pups during those four weeks, SO and I keep thinking about them at least once every day.

In conclusion 2016 was a good year and I’m looking forward to 2017.