2021 Year in Review

December 30, 2021

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A lot has happened in 2021, and so I thought what better way to get all my thoughts about the year than write a blog post for it. So here is a quick rundown of the highlights and other things I can recall from 2021.

My Goals for 2021

Since 2018, each year I have created a list of goals I set for myself to try and complete by the end of the year. My goals for 2021 were the following:

  • Finish five new books - According to StoryGraph, I read nine books this year. All of which were Fantasy books by either Brandon Sanderson or Robert Jordan (plus one from the amazing Robin Hobb).
  • Learn to draw - I can confidently say this one was probably the biggest failure on this list. Near the end of 2020, I had started on DrawABox and made it the grueling 250 box challenge and burned out somewhere around 100 boxes.
  • Climb a v6 - For obvious reasons I had to put climbing on hold in 2020, and I was hopeful that 2021 would allow me back in the gym. Luckily my wife and I were both able to get fully vaccinated around the end of March which left me ample time to get back to training. Near the end of July, I climbed my first v6 since returning to climbing.
  • Finish creating a video game - This year I participated in both Ludam Dare events. Both times “finishing” a game, neither are games I would call “good” but they are games that I finished. You can find them here and here.
  • Familiarize myself with two new programming languages - I was able to consider myself “familiar” with a few new languages this year. I got knee-deep in C# this year while working on a project in Godot. In a similar vein, I also got familiar with gdscript Godot’s built-in language. Near the tail end of the year, I also started playing around with Nim, a newer language, and have been having a blast with it. Although I still couldn’t tell you what prompted me to try Nim in particular.
  • Eat better - While not perfect, it would have been pretty hard for my diet to get worse than 2020, which was a year filled with Doordashed fast food. I can confidently say that I ate much better in 2021.
  • Write at least one blog post a month - Well you can click on the home page to see, but I did write enough this year. If I posted every half-finished post I started I would have probably hit it. But I got side-tracked too many times and will need to work on that in the future.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how I did this year, 5/7 isn’t too bad in my eyes. Plus, I can always try those goals again later on down the line.

2021 Highlights

Goals weren’t the only things that consumed my year, many more things happened. I started a new job at the end of 2020, and the team I am on wrapped up a major multi-year project (that I joined in the middle of). Getting up to speed and becoming a productive member was very rewarding. Halfway through the year, I got married. My wife and I had a wonderful destination wedding in the stunningly beautiful Anchorage, Alaska. Being able to exercise in the form of rock climbing for the majority of this year was incredible, I was able to surpass my previous peaks and was able to go outdoors more.

In addition to the above, I also played some incredible games this year. Deaths Door is an adorable souls-like game, that has punishing combat, and a story that has stuck with me each day since I played it. I also “suffered” another bout of Rimworld which I play for about a week each year, and every time it consumes me for that week. Another game that consumed me entirely for the bit I played was Noita, which is a game that I can’t even begin to describe. But if anyone enjoys incredibly complex rouge-like gameplay, combined with the most rewarding secrets in any game I have ever played I cannot recommend it enough. Finally, the last standout game for me this year is Metroid Dread, which I just wrapped up a few hours before writing this post. Metroid Dread was an incredible ride from beginning to end, which brings on such strong feelings of nostalgia but doesn’t rely on them to be a stand-out game.

My Goals for 2022

This is the first time I am posting these goals anywhere, as they have been kept in my notes each previous year. My intention for these goals is to give me the motivation I need to accomplish things I am already interested in or passionate about.

  • Read ten books - According to StoryGraph I read 7 of those nine books between January and August. So if I can keep up a consistent reading habit, ten books should be very doable.
  • Earn at least one dollar online - Whether this is finally starting a YouTube channel, finishing and selling a video game, or launching a web app I would like something I do/create to begin earning some additional income. Even if it is only one dollar.
  • Climb a v7 - Pretty straightforward, at the moment I’m at a place where I can climb some v6’s, so with some disciplined training, I should be able to achieve this new goal.
  • Write six blog posts - This is a spin on my failed goal from last year, the idea is instead of confining myself to the timeline of one post each month to instead shoot for six total for 2022.
  • Drop at least three Google products - As much as I would like to “De-Google” entirely, I have far too much stake in their ecosystem right now to decouple entirely. But if I can replace at least three products I would be happy.
  • Meditate every day for 5 minutes - My days are generally pretty packed. Between work, hobbies, friend and family. I think spending 5 or so minutes each day free from distractions would be a welcome change.
  • Plan and stick to a personal budget - I am aware that I can be somewhat reckless with my spending. Gaining some insights into how I spend my money, and devising a plan to redmey seem like a good goal for the upcoming year.
  • Complete 180 Pixel Dailies - This sort of a shot in the dark, as art is something I have struggled to become proficient at over the years. So if I can draw and post for half of the days in the year I would be happy.

Conclusion

Last year was filled with some amazing events, and I feel like I improved myself a lot. I’m hoping to carry that momentum into 2022 and continue improving. I’ll be sure to update this post if I finish any goals early or create something for my “Earn a dollar online” goal. Thanks for reading and I hope 2022 is amazing for us all!


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A tech focused blog by Tyler Polito.

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