2022: the Year of Building

Introduction

Inspired by the Cortex Podcast’s tradition of yearly themes, going into 2022 I decided to set a yearly theme for myself for the first time. Reflecting upon 2021, I’ve spent the year, largely indoors, thinking; of ideas for projects I want to build, aspects of my life that I want to change. My life could use some action. Not like, getting into gunfights action, some things just need to be done.

This year, there are several categories in which I want to apply the theme of “building”: projects, habits & routines, relationships & connections, and wealth. For each of these categories, I’ll talk about how I plan to approach related aspects of my life differently than 2021, and some goals I’m setting to keep me on track with my yearly theme.

Projects

My 2021 has been spent filling my Notes app with ideas, some of those becoming Xcode Projects and Figma files but never making it anywhere close to a launch. 2022 is the year that I really focus on building and launching a new project that’s already in the works. I’m excited.

Building in Public

I plan to embrace the principles of building in public to hopefully learn more efficiently and get continuous feedback. This will entail regularly tweeting and blogging about progress, challenges, et cetera.

Habits and Routines

I’ve found it easy to get in the habit of doing close to the minimum; waking up just early enough to get to school on time, spending most of my free time watching Netflix, blowing off exercise, getting just enough sleep. When these habits become routine, my quality of life remains mostly stagnant, only fluctuating due to external factors. I can influence my quality of life by creating good habits.

Mindfulness (Journaling)

Getting my thoughts and feelings out of my head and on “paper” always makes me feel better, so I’m going to start doing it more consistently. Acknowledging what I’m grateful for tends to put any stressors in my life into perspective and makes me happier.

I journal digitally because it’s more convenient for me and easily indexable. I don’t think there are any good journaling apps, but I use Day One, which is decent.

Knowledge (Reading)

I haven’t read an entire book in like 6 years. Whenever I find myself picking up a book recommended to me and reading a few chapters I always enjoy reading and learning something, but never really stick with it because TikTok is a more instantly gratifying way to spend a couple of free hours. I’m looking forward to using my free time to learn lots of stuff.

Among other books in my list plump with recommendations, each day I’ll be reading its corresponding chapter of The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.

Muscle (Working Out)

I want to be one of those people who wakes up at like 5 am and does a hard workout first thing in the morning. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll stick to working out regularly. My physique tends to affect my confidence and looking good puts me in a good mood.

Relationships and Connections

Professional Connections

I would like to connect with people in spaces related to iOS development as I learn to build an iOS app. If mentoring an enthusiastic young developer is in line with your goals for this year or if you have any words at all for someone entering the iOS space, please reach out.

Friendships and Personal Relationships

My social aptness tends to decline when I only regularly speak to the same 10-ish folks, so as much as I love them, I would like to branch out to people outside of my main social circle.

Wealth

Income

If the aforementioned projects aren’t released and/or bringing in a little bit of income by this summer, I’ll be looking for a summer job lifeguarding, food service, or interning somewhere cool to have some extra money to invest and save. By the way, if you know of any cool (preferably paid) (summer) tech-related opportunities for high school-age people, remote or in the Chicagoland area, please let me know.

Investments

Most income not being invested into projects will hang out in the S&P 500 index, which I like to treat like a high-yield savings account. Not financial advice.