Happy New Year

January 01, 2017

A new year … a fresh, clean start! It’s like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on! A day full of possibilities! It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy … let’s go exploring!”

Bill Watterson - Calvin and Hobbes

Well said, Calvin. With 2016 finally sputtering into the record books, a new year is here! I wonder what tidings it will bring forth?

I am delighted to have a new big white sheet of paper to draw on. The question I’ve been mulling over the past few weeks is “What exactly do I want to draw?” I’d like to list some categorized answers I’ve come up with to this very question.

Computer Science

Rails API design

Build APIs that follow the JSON API specification through test-driven development.

Ember.js

Build ember front-ends, join the slack the community, and contribute to the project.

Redux

Learn to handle state more efficiently when using reactjs with redux.

React Native

Develop my first iOS application. I have an idea for a seemingly simple one to help build one’s vocabulary.

Machine learning

I believe this is the future of computing. I thought this article by the New York Times was fascinating. I’d like to get through as many of the linked resources as possible. Maybe dust off my python skills and pair with a few friends who I know are also intrigued by this as well.

Functional Programming

Explore elixir, phoenix, and haskell. I have already taken an introductory course on elixir and phoenix and found it to be an incredibly refreshing approach.

Wellness

Last year I started setting aside more and more time for mindfulness meditation and yoga. I am a huge fan of the Calm app, and will continue to use it for my daily meditations.

Other, more physical ventures, include beginning the Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Program and participating in the Nike+ Run Club.

Finances

I started utilizing the online budgeting platform YNAB to get the ball rolling in regards to more closely monitoring my finances. Then plan is to chip away at my student loans and save at least 25% of my earnings.

Culture

I have plans to visit New York City before spring of this new year. A lifelong dream that will finally be realized alongside a dear friend.

I would also like to keep track of the books I am reading using this new blog. Upon finishing a book, I plan to write a quick review and jot down my favorite quotes. I have no plans to put on my critic glasses, I just want a single space where I can document my readings.

Lastly, if I learned anything from 2016, it is the importance of an informed electorate. It’s something I can no longer take lightly, and I will continue listening to NPR and reading the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Conclusion

I do tend to view a new year as a fresh, clean start. Any impetus to pursue betterment is justifiable, however trite it may seem to others.

Let’s go exploring.