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Software Engineering, University of Waterloo

New Year's Resolution Check-In

Three months ago, I wrote a blog post outlining my goals for 2017. As March wraps up, I wanted to check in and reflect on how my goals are doing so far.

New Year new Me

New year, new me


Every year, plenty of people make New Year’s resolutions. Popular ones include getting fit, living life to the fullest, traveling, new lifestyle, etc. This year, I set both specific and generic goals for myself. I wanted to stay accountable to myself and my friends, so that’s why I’m writing this post today.

2017 Check-In

1) Attend over 90% of my classes, work on assignments early. ✓

Every term in university, I’ve said “I’m going to go to class next term”, but failed to deliver every single time. This term, I would say I finally achieved this goal. I believe I’ve only ditched at most maybe 2 or 3 lectures from each class. The one exception is SE350, where I skipped many lectures. I personally learn more from reading the OS textbook than being in class. I’ve also become much better at managing my time, and have completed assignments early.

2) Travel a lot in August.

The main goal I made was actually to work in Seattle for the summer because I wanted to explore a new city and enjoy the beautiful Seattle summer weather. I’m planning to travel in the two week break at the end of co-op, but I’m not quite sure yet where to go and who to go with. Hit me up if you have any suggestions.

3) Continue gym consistency 3x a week, new PRs, leaner body. ✓

I’ve been consistently going to the gym 5x a week around 7AM, and achieving new PRs. In March, I also began extensively cooking and meal prepping, so I only eat out 2 or 3 times a week. As a result, I’ve become more lean, and cut my food expenses by half!

4) Seek mentorship and follow through with it, gain significant value from it.

I didn’t really seek mentorship from anyone this term, though I have an awesome manager for my summer internship. Hoping that he’s a really great mentor!

5) Waking up and getting out of bed, rather than playing with phone in bed. ✓

I instantly get out of bed when I hear my alarm now.

6) Stay accountable to my progress, acknowledge when things are going downhill. ✓

This blog post is a testament to my accountability. In addition, I wrote a blog post about rough times earlier this year. Overall, this term has been quite smooth.

7) Set aside dedicated time for productive time, where I must stay focused. ✓

I can always improve on this goal, but for the sake of measuring goals, I think I’ve achieved this. For example, for this Saturday and Sunday, I plan on setting a few hours from the morning and night to focus on CS341. Yesterday, I knew I didn’t have enough energy or focus to be productive, so I called it a night at 5PM. For the rest of the night, I played Tetris and watched Logan with my friend. Awesome movie by the way!

8) Don’t criticize others, don’t blame others, avoid arguing, less negativity. ✓

I personally think I’m a lot less negative and have avoided many unproductive arguments. To my friends, what do you think of me for this goal? On a side note, I’d like to emphasize it’s best to not criticize others. Sometimes, it’s necessary to criticize others so they can improve on something they’ve been doing wrong. Remember to NEVER criticize an individual in a group setting. I’ve seen this one situation way too many times, and it’s not pleasant. Instead, try to criticize individually, and praise in group settings.

9) Remembering to listen to others, put myself in other people’s contexts.

I think I still have a long way to go for this goal. I’ve become better, but definitely not at the stage I want to be in yet.

10) Get G2 driver’s license. ✓

I took driving school classes over reading week, a brutally boring experience that ate up my one week vacation. Over the course of the next month, I accumulated 10 hours driving with an instructor. Before the test, my friend Cotapher also let me practice an hour in his car, so shout outs to him! The driving test wasn’t easy, as it was hailing, super windy, and school children were literally running around on the streets. I passed the test, so I’m excited to drive around when I’m back in the GTA!

11) Be on time for everything.

I’m usually on time for things now, but not for everything. Admittedly, this wasn’t one of the best goals to set.

12) Significantly reduce my use of plastic water bottles.

I’ve only used about 30 water bottles in 3 months. This is a major improvement over last year, where on an average day, I probably consumed at least 4 or 5 plastic bottles.

Conclusion

Anyways, that’s my progress on my New Year resolutions, though I don’t think it’s the best indicator to track how my year is going. I’m pretty happy with myself right now, but again I’m always hungry to get better, be more mature, and accomplish more things.

To my readers, how has 2017 been for you so far?