Goal cycle 2

Iain Smith

Iain Smith / August 24, 2020

7 min read

Top of minch moor

Cycle 2 was from the 6th of July - the 16th of August. Reasons, why I am doing cycles, can be found here. From the previous cycle, I set the following goals:

🏆 Big Goals

Big GoalMeasureTracking
Improve my 5k PB of 23:06Improvement of PBMy 5K PB is now 22:34
Learn about BLoC and RxDartDo course5+ / 5 hrs

🏅 Habits / Small Goals

I am a runnerRun 4 times a week6 / 6 weeks
I am a runnerRun 500 miles in a year371 / 500 miles
I am a bloggerWrite 3 blog post3 / 3 posts
I am a readerRead Steal Like An Artist and Keep Going2 / 2 books
I am a learnerKnit my hat0 / 1 hats

🤔 Thoughts

😃 What went well?

Like in Cycle 1, I have been enjoying this process. I feel more focused on the goals, and I am starting to understand how small tasks can lead to substantial achievements. Whether it's a run a day that grows to 4 a week or reading a couple of pages a day to complete a book, seeing these significant results is motivating me to keep going. For example, this is the longest I have run consistently without training for a half marathon, and I have been running four times a week for 14 weeks. I do weirdly miss it when I am not running. I feel like I am building a running habit now.

I am a runner

Strava fitness

I have maintained my fitness level of 52. I don't think this is a bad thing as I managed to improve my 5K PB of 23:06 to 22:34, and again this has helped keep me mentally positive.

Also, I am feeling more comfortable running four times a week. If I'm having a moment of "I don't want to run today", I tell myself that I can walk around the park instead but, I still have to put on my running gear. Every time I have just ended up running it and at a respectable pace too.

I have increased my goal of running 500 miles to 600 miles in a year. This will see me running four, 5ks a week until the end of the year. I am not going to try to beat my 5k PB as I want to see if this will happen naturally. Also, I am going to try to run just a little farther each time rather than only 5k. With all these minor changes, I am hoping to see an increase in my Strava fitness for the next cycle.

I am a reader

Austin Kleon, Keep going book

I set out to read the next two books from Austin Kleon's inspiring trilogy; Steal Like An Artist and Keep Going.

I managed to finish both of these books, both very interesting for creative personal development. I won't go into too much detail here and will be writing a more detailed review of these books, similar to my Show Your Work review, in the next cycle.

I also started to read 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris but didn't like it; I may come back to it. However, I did pick up Happy by Derren Brown and read the first chapter. I enjoyed it, so I will aim to finish it in the next six weeks.

I was reading in the park when it was sunny, but the weather has since changed so I will need to find a new place for reading if I want to keep this up.

I am a blogger

I wrote three blog posts in the last cycle. The topics were:

I think my writing is getting better, so I am going to keep practising with more blog posts.

I like the idea of having one per week, so I am going to try to do six as a goal for the next cycle. Also, I am aiming to keep the read time to under 5 minutes, so again they should be short. I have a couple of ideas for the next 3, another book review and some more thoughts. Still, I would like some technical posts, possibly focusing on Flutter or Xamarin. I will keep that in mind for this upcoming cycle.

I am a learner

I set out to continue learning:

  • Knitting by finishing a hat I had started
  • BLoC and RxDart by completing a course

I am not going to lie I didn't even do one row on my hat, I have completed ten rows and pulled it all apart as I made a mistake. I might pick this back up in wintertime when I probably need the hat, but for now, I will leave it. And I tip my hat, once I finally knit one, to all the folks that can knit while watching TV. It isn't easy to follow The Wire's dialogue while also remembering if I should be doing a knit or purl.

We have started to look into Flutter development more at work, and this allowed me to complete the RxDart/BLoC course I was halfway through. I now understand a bit more about reactive programming, a new programming paradigm for me. Also, It helped me realise what RxDart's purpose and when you would want to use the BLoC pattern. I will be writing follow-up posts on both these topics as I found them fascinating. Furthermore, these topics lead me to start Reso Coder's Domain Driven Development course, which I am aiming to finish.

👷 What can I Improve?

I forgot the retro section at the end of the week, so I will set an alert to do this at the end of the week. With this, it is easier to keep track of what I'm thinking at each point of the cycle.

I will also need to find a suitable place to read as the days of sunshine in the park will be gone soon. Possibly somewhere in the house that I won't be distracted.

Also, I would like to track exciting events or discoveries that happen in these periods. I went to a CodeCraft talk presented by Gillian Neish on "Getting racism out of our systems in tech". Where she talked about discrimination and showed Jane Elliott's lesson in discrimination, it was very moving. It showed how a simple but practical experience could explain how discrimination feels from both sides.

I also went up Minch Moor, see the header image, which was very beautiful. It would be good to document these.

I might add another section here called "Discoveries" to capture these events; the title is a work in progress.

🔁 What do I want to do next?

As I have discussed:

  • I will continue my running but slightly tweak the goals to focus on fitness by increasing the run distance.
  • I am aiming to get most of the way through the book Happy by Derren Brown
  • I want to finish the course I started from Reso Coder on Domain Driven Development.
  • I am going to do six blog posts, once a week, with at least one on a technical subject.
  • I want to improve my typing speed, so will look into improving my words per minute.
  • I have an idea for a beer festival app that I would like to create, so I am going to do a course on UI/UX design and start to plan it.

See you on the 4th of October for the end of cycle 3!

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