Reflect and Looking Forward in 2021

It’s the time of the year when you see lots of bloggers & content creators making a post, video, or something else to reflect on the past year and make predictions for the next.
Well, this year, I’m one of them!

We all know a lot of stuff has happened in the past year. I’m trying to keep a positive mind and not focus too much on life’s negative things. Focussing on the good things in life makes me much happier and energetic.

Reflecting back

It looks like the 2020 post never got published (or I forgot to create it), so I can’t check if I met my goals.

What I do know is having said to my family:

This year, I’ll be home a bit more and not travel to lots of conferences!

Guess what? I’ve managed to accomplish this, even more as I had expected in January 2020!
Because I got to work a lot from home, there wasn’t any commute anymore, and I also didn’t have to travel to conferences, meetups, or any other gathering type. This meant a lot of (quality) family time, which is the best way to spend free time, in my opinion.

Sure, not seeing all of my tech- and conference friends in-person for over a year isn’t fun, but I know this will soon be sorted out.
In the meantime, I had the time to enjoy seeing my kids (2 & 4) growing up and playing with them a lot more.

Another thing I wanted to start doing is creating more video content.
Guess what? This also happened, for the same reason as the one mentioned above.

At the beginning of 2020, I thought about doing more live-coding sessions on Twitch. Starting with one evening and even try to do two evenings of live-coding. And while this sounded nice when planning the whole thing, I quickly discovered this wasn’t something I enjoy doing.
Because I didn’t get the expected energy from the live-coding sessions, I stopped doing this halfway through the year.
I did continue playing a significant role in the 4DNCasts, which my colleagues and I started with in 2019. These sessions take up a lot of time preparing the content and editing the videos to make it all look good/better.

Speaking at conferences was still a thing in 2020, be it virtual. The difference in the quality of virtual conferences & speakers compared from the beginning to the end of the year is astonishing. We have all learned to adapt to the new way of attending & participating in conferences.
Is it any less fun? Well, yes. But, if it is well-organized, the full experience can still be fun to attend. I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at NDC Sydney & Update Now and attend Build Stuff. All three big conferences were held at the end of this year, and you can see the staff has had time to rethink & adjust the conference experience.

I love blogging because it forces me to look into a specific subject more in-depth than I would do otherwise. In 2020, I tried to keep up a cadence of 2 posts per month, which I couldn’t keep up with as there are ‘only’ 19 posts. Am I unhappy with this result? No!
Reflecting on all the other stuff I’m doing/did (live-coding, speaking at conferences, writing articles, creating other videos, etc.), I think the goal was unrealistic to begin with.

Looking forward

A new year!

I expect my commute will be relatively low compared to 2019. This means there will still be a lot of time to create content. But I have learned from 2020.
At the time of writing this post, I’m feeling quite tired and burned up. Lucky for me, I have a very supportive wife, and I’m quite good at doing self-reflections & listening to my body, so I’m sure this will feel better sooner rather than later.

What does this mean?
Well, I’ll be delivering less content and in a different form.

I’m not planning any speaking engagements for Q1 & Q2 of 2021. This doesn’t mean I won’t attend anywhere, just that I won’t pursue every CFP there is.
Speaking at virtual conferences is good fun. IF you have something interesting to say; if you don’t, it’s just a strain.

I will not try to write two blog posts per month. Instead, I’ll deliver posts when I have something interesting to write about and have done some in-depth research on the matter.

I will also start doing more explanatory videos on YouTube.
Looking at myself, I love starting my day by looking at some short videos (5 to 10 minutes) and a cup of coffee. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been preparing this and got a couple of sessions lined up. The first ones will be about ARM templates, as I have quite a bit of experience on that matter, so it’s easy to create content for it.
Other subjects/Azure resources will follow later on.

My expectation is, creating higher quality posts and short videos will give me the energy boost I need. Researching a specific subject is very interesting (to me), and making videos is a great extension to be more creative and an extension to my photography hobby.

More sport & weekend activities.
Sporting is something I haven’t done in quite some time. I’ll start with this, and seeing I am not planning to create content five evenings per week; I can probably squeeze this into the schedule. The same goes for weekend activities, like hiking with the family, taking long strolls, etc.
This resolution also goes hand-in-hand with my photography & video creation plans.

I hope all of the goals can and will are met in this new year. Do you also have some new year resolutions you want to share or suggestions? Let me know in the comments!


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