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Lunar New Year Resolutions!

I missed the chance to write down resolutions during the holidays, so here’s making up for that as the Lunar New Year comes!

As a rule of thumb I try to make the resolutions in substantial and manageable bites (ie. “run 2km every day” instead of “do lots of exercise”). This also helps to monitor my own progress. Without further ado, here goes:

  • 100 lines of code every day, off work, in any language, for any purpose.

    This is mainly to keep myself fresh (… and competitive). I used to pride myself in frontend web development skills but the ecosystem changes so rapidly that I feel like I already fell off a huge distance. It’s time to pick up the myriad MVC frameworks, workflow improvement tools and transpiled languages that have sprouted since my happy days of writing everything in plain HTML, CSS and JavaScript (well, jQuery).

    So that’s the main motivation for this goal. For starters I’ll try to write a simple game of Ultimate Tic Tac Toe in the browser, and try to use as many of those shiny new tools as possible. As progress is made I could add AI to it and then things could get less frontend-y. But as the main purpose is practice, any coding will count (contributions to open source repos, hacky for-fun scripts, etc) — except code written at work.

    The important thing, of course, is to manage those bites. 100 lines of code per day is the mark I’m setting for now. It could be too much or too little, and I’ll adjust this mark as I see fit to maintain my commitment.

  • Run 2 kilometers every day.

    Part of the “get fit” general goal. I’ve become so lazy physically that I think it’s starting to drag me down psychologically as well. It’s definitely a bad trend and I plan to remedy that by joining the joggers that are a plain sight in the streets of Sydney. 2km/day is a start, and that number is bound to go up as the days go by.

    Now in the spirit of making substantial goals, I’ve given the timetable and routes some thought. My current plan is to go running at around 6pm from the office and come back for dinner at 6:30pm. The running shoes can be kept at the office lockers. The major problem with this schedule is the unpleasant sweat and odor at the dinner table, but I could probably work around that by going to dinner at 7pm. Hopefully fewer people will be at dinner by then.

    As for the routes, I’ll start with the surrounding area. 2km isn’t a lot and I’ll probably be running inside Pyrmont most of the time. When the distance goes up I could run further into Glebe and more to the west and south, as the CBD isn’t really suitable for running with all its traffic lights.

  • At least 1 meetup every month.

    Ofir recommends for bored weekends, and it does look promising. There are weekend trip meetups, language exchange meetups, video game meetups and even coder meetups (yeah, like I don’t meet enough coders every day…). It seems that some of them could take quite some time, so I’m setting 1 per month as the current mark. It’s similarly subject to adjustment.

  • Keep up with edX courses I signed up for.

    I have 3 courses right now: GSE1x Unlocking the immunity to change, 21W.789x Building Mobile Experiences (this is somewhat work-related), and UT.5.01x LAFF: Linear Algebra - Foundations to Frontiers. Not much to say about these as they do already have a schedule; all I have to do is keep up with them.

That already looks formidable enough, but I think it’s still very possible to do them all. I’ll give myself leave to skip these on special occasions (traveling, partying, vacation) but on regular days, I’ll make sure not to eat my own words.

So that’s that. And a very happy Year of the Horse to you!

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