My 2018 – The Year of Revolution

2018 - background

It’s time to end the year with an annual public reflection, started in the previous year on my Facebook wall. Now, for the first time on this blog, you can read what took place over my last twelve months.

*clap clap* YEAR REVIEW!

I heard it is recommended to start the post with the most mattering message right away, so let’s jump right into it (also, let’s keep the emojis for a little bit of colour 👏👏):

General

  •  Finished the MSc Data Science and Computational Intelligence course with distinction  👨‍🎓
  •  Found my first technical position (International Engineering Consultant)  💼
  • Improved my body shape 💪
  • Was more active in sharing own content on social media 💬
  • Continued to note a daily journal (never missed a day since April 2017). It clearly helped in the preparation of this post 🗒
  • Worked with Todoist and OneNote for another full year ✅
  • Implemented new productivity method: “Three Goals” which I am consistently using ✅
  • Continually updated my technical knowledge through: #unknownews, Hacker News, Inside,  weekly trending repositories on GitHub, Ars Technica, dobreprogramy,  subreddits, and many personal blogs 📖
  • Regularly watched MiroBurn and devstyle vlogs that were the main source of my motivation 📼
    • I did watch other YouTube channels almost regularly, which I have listed here 📼
  • Listened to even more podcasts 📻
  • Discovered some great ways to increase my focus by using Brain.fm and toggl. I might describe them once on this blog ⚡
  • Was actively using several mobile apps to develop myself, such as Brilliant and Elevate 🧠
    • Also, deleted all kind of time-wasting games ❌
  • Meditated for 112 days in a row (at the moment of publishing this post) 🧘
  • Improved my programming skills (mainly in Python and Java) 🐍
  • Advanced my math and machine learning skills 📊
  • Constantly supported my Dark Google Calendar style (the number of downloads increased by 10k since last year) 
  • Learned to play chess (theoretically). Now I need a lot of practice 😅
  • Deleted/unfollowed lots of time-taking activities, such as browsing some disturbing news, newsletters and social profiles. Despite the fact, I’m still fighting with it ❌

Time-based

  • January
    • Shared Todoist summary of my 2017. Argh, Todoist! I’m still waiting for the summary of 2018 ✅
    • Started the year with first semester exams of my MSc Data Science course 📚
    • Wrote my affirmation, which I’m trying to read daily ✍
    • Started a German language course to remind me of some of its rules 🇩🇪
    • Received one of my favourite t-shirts for being a course rep 👕
  • February
    • The trip to Birmingham with my friends (some of the photos are available on my Instagram) 🚄
  • March
  • April
    • The trip to London with my friends.  We’ve visited Sherlock Holmes museum and London Eye (you can find one of the photos the top of it on my Instagram) 🚄
    • Shared one of my most significant projects on GitHub about classifying CIFAR-10 images 💻
  • May
    • Published an article on LinkedIn “#WhenIWas15 – the formation of a childhood hero fighting with uncertainty for desired success” 📰
    • Finally found someone with a similar music taste to mine (believe me, it’s hard, and it was during the German language class) 😅🎵
    • Finished second and last session of MSc exams 🎉
  • June
  • July
    • Package with my “Post Traumatic” preorder arrived. I was one of the first 500 customers and was lucky to get Mike Shinoda’s signature 🎁
    • Received my Course Rep reference 🎖
    • Started to drink Aloe Vera daily (Ugh… the taste was horrible at the 1st time) 💚
    • Thought about a potential name for this blog. Initially, it tended to have a ridiculous title, which I changed the next day 🤔
  • August
    • Purchased this domain and the required hosting 💸
    • Announced the blog on social media 📢
    • Started using Brain.fm to focus on writing my dissertation 🎧
    • Finished working on my thesis after ~4 months (Ahh… that relief) 🏁
    • Read Blogging for busy programmers to get some inspiration 📖
  • ✨ September ✨
    • Posted a trailer of this website. It pushed me to be quick with finishing some of its extra content 📺
    • Between the trailer and site publishing, I’ve written my e-book: “Data Science Resources” + finalised all the subpages and implemented a newsletter system
    • (07/09/2018) Published this website. The same night I’ve received excellent results from my dissertation 📣
    • (08/09/2018) Too much of stress required me to start meditation streak 🧘
    • Published the 2nd blog post: How did I automate Micrograph Analysis? 📰
    • Last shift at my part-time work (oh, I didn’t mention it yet? That’s how I survived in the UK) 🏁
    • Flight to Poland! ✈🇵🇱
    • Continued my gym streak after a very long time with my friend. Before, in the UK, I used to exercise at home and run outside 💪
    • Organised my Pinterest profile with high-quality infographics (Data Science, Math, Python, and more…) 📌
    • Attended the World Business Experience conference. A fantastic day where I was also able to meet in person three of my favourite vloggers. You can read some of my words of gratitude here 💰
    • 2 days later I promulgated the blog post about the conference 📰
  • October
    • Updated my e-book, which you can download from the right-hand side panel of this website 📘
    • Spent my 1st week in Dubai. You can find 9 posts on my Instagram with lots of photos (sorry for the spam) 🏖🇦🇪
    • Tasted bulletproof coffee to give myself more energy in the morning in a healthy way ☕
    • Took part in a developers meeting: rg-dev #22 in Rzeszow, where I was able to meet a long-time influencing blogger 👥
    • Started 30 Days of Code challenge on HackerRank 💻
    • Watched one of the best movies: “The Cleaners“. Was lucky, that the school trip reserved the show as it’s not popular in the cinemas 📼
  • November
    • Think I found my favourite quote of the year: “No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun” ~ Pink Floyd 💡
    • First floating session for 1 hour 💚
    • Published another blog post about managing your goals 📰
    • Finished 10 km run in 53 minutes: “6 PKO Bieg Niepodległości” on the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence (pic or it didn’t happen) 🥇
    • Organised a list of “biohacking” techniques that I apply/might apply in daily life. Maybe one day I will share it on this blog ✅
    • Revisited Coventry for 3 days to attend the graduation ceremony. Afterwards, I took part in a short video interview to promote CU campus in Wroclaw (Poland) 🎓
    • Received a GLP certificate 🏆
  • December

What do I think about all of it?

September, right ✨? What the heck happened here (magic)? Guess, I was just too energised after being done with my thesis, and I finally had time to put my words into actions. Definitely, I’ve been tired like nowhere before (whenever I remind of these days I feel sleepy); however, I wanted to give myself a break a little later, after knowing that the work is completely done.

Anyhow, I cannot lie that I will remember this year as a success, although not everything worked as I planned, it certainly will have a significant meaning for the rest of my life. At the beginning of the bullet point list, the highlighted points indicate the most crucial events, where only one of them was my initial goal for this year – graduating. Somehow, it turned out that I was even able to find a position, which suits my interests.

Now, if you ask me about my favourite moment from the current year, I will answer “coming back to the graduation ceremony after a few weeks spent outside the UK”. This 3-day trip let me reflect that all the good happening in my life right now was worth the effort on the grounds in the UK. It let me like myself even more and spend long-time monologues which raised amazing ideas, where some are still in the “to-implement” list. 😉

Here you can see a photo taken by one of my good friends on this day (I did smile a little wider on the other shots, but this one perfectly suits my caption).

If you ask me which moment of my existence do I consider to be the most life-changing, I might facetiously answer: “New Year’s Eve 2016”. Right, it was two years ago when I took another sip of champagne and finally decided that it is time to have some fun, get out of my comfort zone and try my best to study in the UK. Too many things happened from that time till this day, that are not the main idea of this post, but I do consider describing it for the benefit of those in a similar situation like I was. In general, the advice cannot use the binary format (yes/no), so there is a lot to talk about, and if you wish to read about it, please let me know in the comments section, and I will push myself for another time of reflection. 🙂

Tough year
Here I am, still alive

Coffee did its job flawlessly. Although, it wasn’t needed for the 4th point, as it didn’t work out for the full-time master’s students.

Now, let’s shift the attention into more specific areas.

Blog

From yes to no, from no to yes. Finally, there is my lovely child in 2018. I hope you liked the way it’s dressed, as each post requires some time in graphical software.

Up till this time I have published 5 blog posts. Is it too much or too little?

Before the publication of this website, I used to think that I will post a piece of content at least once in two weeks. As you might have noticed, I did stick to the rule only for the first 3 blog posts, and later something cracked. Well, it is not about running out of topics to write about, as there is still plenty of them stored safely in my notes so that they won’t be forgotten. What is it the case then?

Last time I have tried to focus on learning a lot of software engineering required for my upcoming position and I’ve decided not to put the highest priority into this blog (sorry, if you were missing me). Moreover, I’ve simply tried to chill after the busy year as everyone can burn out without giving yourself a break. I used to go to the gym, spend time with my family, friends and cats, as soon I might not see them for an extended period.

If it comes to the blog in general, I cannot be more than proud that I’ve finally decided to be more visible online. It’s normal that most of the blogs won’t get immediate attention, and it would be one of the main reasons to shut it down already if I paid notice to the “likes and comments”. The rule is to be consistent, as the majority of bloggers leave their sites after the first few articles.

I guess that the most serviceable function so far was the “Contact” option which helped some of the web surfers to get in touch with me. Also, some of you contacted me about the “Three Goals” page, where one of my friends ended up creating the same kind of a list, which broke my holdup of feelings the moment he asked “Hey, I’ve created something similar, can you check if my goals are designed the right way?”. Woah, surely it’s worth to inspire others similarly.

Three Goals

Goals designed once aren’t meant to be achieved no matter what. I’m still into Beta testing mode and that’s how I changed for example the number of tasks solved in Brilliant app.

Let’s give a brief summary in this table:

Task Result
Blogger Published 5 posts on my blog + 1 on LinkedIn
Vlogger Still thinking about getting myself up on my YouTube channel
Programmer Published a single useful tool and solved more than 60 coding problems online
Eternal Student Using Brilliant and Elevate app daily + doing lots of online courses
Music Producer In the process of polishing my skills. Next year I should have more time to work on it
Marathon Runner Ran 10 km and I cannot wait to run half marathon
Meditator Meditated 112 days in a row (so far)
Public Speaker Hopefully will get a chance to present something impressive
Publisher Hard to estimate the progress of this goal
Businessman There are ideas, which might work one day

Career

I’m going to start 2019 with a new position: International Engineering Consultant, where I will be working on various projects across software engineering and data science.

In the meantime, I’m about to continue developing my skills not only around technical areas.

Moreover, I always consider to work on projects remotely, so if you think like we can benefit from each other, please let me know.

Woah, good job! What about the year 2017?

“Like every other year, this one was even shorter than every other (no way…)”.

That’s how I started to think about the past 12 months of 2017. Using this logic each year can be only shorter, being more and more drained from achievements. But that makes no sense seeing how 2018 flipped my life upside down in a good way.

There are differences in almost every aspect of myself, and it would be easiest to say that everything changed since 2017. Maybe you can find the differences yourself by glancing your eyes over my SUMMARY OF 2017!

Expectations for 2019

Make even more stuff, make it quickly and make it well.

At least, that’s the plan. The list of things-to-do is running out of space, but most importantly all the stuff is exciting, so I shouldn’t burn out myself, which might inevitably happen one day.

Scott Adams – the author of Dilbert and “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” recommends to design systems instead of planning our goals. You see, once you jump into the hamster wheel, you don’t need to plan much ahead as by following the system you’re addicted to, you might win even more. Sometimes, not being able to cross out some of your plans from to-do lists might feel overwhelming and demotivating. That’s why I don’t want to bang my head over all the fails but feel good with the fact of the system I adopted over the years. From time to time, it will just receive a little patch to fix its bugs. 😉

Einstein is someone who is breaking the rule of to-do lists as well. Recently, I was interested in how Albert approached the topic of productivity. After the graduation, he struggled to find a job for two years and suddenly in “Einstein’s Miracle Year” (1905) published four scientific papers, completely changing his life, where as the last work, he presented the most important discovery – the legendary E = mc2.

Distant of Mathematicians - Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel Taking a Walk
Distant of Mathematicians – Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel Taking a Walk[1]Mccombe, L. (n.d.) Distant of Mathematicians Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel Taking a Walk [online] available from <https://www.allposters.com/-sp/Distant-of-Mathematicians-Albert-Einstein-and-Kurt-Godel-Taking-a-Walk-Posters_i5173604_.htm>
How did this happen? Well, Einstein did not care about being busy all the time. On the contrary, he was a type of a loner who spent little time with friends/family, and most of his ideas popped into his head during numerous walks in the mountains, forests or while making time out playing the violin[2]Oshin, M. (2018) ‘Einstein’s Most Effective Life Hack Wasn’t about Productivity’. [13 December 2018] available from <https://qz.com/work/1494627/einstein-on-the-only-productivity-tip-youll-ever-need-to-know/>.

I write all of this because in 2018, just like Albert I used to walk a lot for no reason. Well, it’s not that I had too much of free time. Instead, I needed to organise myself some breaks from the amount of work, which used to overwhelm me. In the time I walked without further reason, I did not only rest my brain but filled it with lots of ideas (kind of without any effort). Yes, one of them was to start this blog.

Summarising, in 2019 there is no need to save on resting, right? 🙂

So to the meritum, I plan to write more technical bits right here. So far, there is only a single post related to one of my last projects, but it will change. As I have deducted, I plan to focus on quality over the quantity (which is also advised by bloggers with long experience). As for now, I am not sure if I will be lucky to work on projects that I will be able to explain on this blog; however, I am also going to start writing some introductory posts into the world of data science. Yes, you are right, there is already plenty of content out there, but I will make sure to write the most up-to-date recommendations based on my experience.

2019 will be started by taking a flight to Switzerland and beginning with an introduction to my new position. So far, I cannot estimate how much will I need to change my daily habits, as such I’m excited for the best to happen.

Yup, no need to overcare. Just follow the system.

Oh, also, I am going to read more books as there are 154 of them in my list.

Message to you

At the end of this babbling, I encourage you to plan your 2019 the way you will be feeling proud at its end. You might look into the way I design some of my goals and do the same. Just like the mentioned friend, you can ask me for support in it.

Invest in yourself and treat your time well, as it’s a non-renewable resource, which you wouldn’t like to waste.

Furthermore, what are the benefits of writing a year review?

  • Not to lie, it is a blessing to look over your achievements from some time ago. You might even say “oh, I was such a baby back then” considering all the tweaks here and there applied in yourself,
  • You will step into the next year with a fresh mind, feeling that you closed the last 12 months in the desired way,
  • Without verifying your goals, you might not even know how much you’ve done. What books did you read, what have you watched, where did you spent most of your time. Is it what you wanted?
  • The new stage of your life will be planned automatically when you remind yourself of all the stuff you “wished” to complete this year,
  • You will get a motivational kick by appreciating yourself!

 

So, how was your 2018? Let me know in the comments section!

Happy Holidays and a magnificent 2019! 🎉

References   [ + ]

1. Mccombe, L. (n.d.) Distant of Mathematicians Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel Taking a Walk [online] available from <https://www.allposters.com/-sp/Distant-of-Mathematicians-Albert-Einstein-and-Kurt-Godel-Taking-a-Walk-Posters_i5173604_.htm>
2. Oshin, M. (2018) ‘Einstein’s Most Effective Life Hack Wasn’t about Productivity’. [13 December 2018] available from <https://qz.com/work/1494627/einstein-on-the-only-productivity-tip-youll-ever-need-to-know/>

2 Comments

  1. 2017, 2018 still the same Pawelo. Constantly talking be it in real or on reel or on social media.. 2019- infinity same old stuff.. Never change 😀

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