Can 2021 Be Like Turning 21 again? You know... Fun and Exciting?

07 January 2021 — Written by Andy Delso

I had mentioned in my previous post that I have been reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. It is quite an eye opener on the science behind habits and how to form better ones.

I am only about 25% into it, but I thought planning out my 2021 goals should follow what I have been reading.

Clear made this a point quite early on in the book:

The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.

He additionally likened it to stating "I am not a smoker" instead of saying you are quitting smoking.

As such, I am going to identify who I want to be and then follow that up with a set of habits I wish to follow based on his principle of "habit stacking":

One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.

Finally, I will dig a bit deeper into what I want to accomplish and why.

I am a father

When my children are speaking, I will put down my phone or thing I am doing (if I can) and give them my full focus

My children mean the world to me. Most parents can identify with that sentiment I would think...

I will read to them as much as I can, encouraging great books like Eragon that they can learn new words from and explore their imagination.

As stated in my last post, I feel like I don't get to spend enough time with them even with the increase in time available during quarantine. I know I am spending more, but it doesn't feel like it at times.

Using this focus, I will play more, draw/color more, teach more, and sing more with them.

I am a husband

When I lay down in bed, I will tell my wife I love her

I know I say it, but this just seems like a good habit to improve upon. I've been married 3 months, and it is going well so far all things considered.

I will say it more outside the bedroom as well, as that is just as important.

When we watch a movie or show, once a month it should be a movie in Hindi

Just before the end of the year, I came up with the notion that I know very little Hindi and I am married to an woman of Indian heritage. I tried the Duolingo route, but it was very confusing when they tried to show the alphabet/sounds portion. So I lost interest very fast.

My wife mentioned she learned through watching Hindi/Bollywood movies.

I will watch movies in Hindi with her, and attempt to learn that way.

I am a developer

On workdays, When I finish lunch, I will read an article or chapter about software development

This year more than ever, I want to improve as a programmer. I have had a full year as a developer (in title) and it was great!

Primarily, I will improve not with any particular language but with how I code in general. As such, I will finish reading Clean Code as my first technical book of 2021. Already I am learning a ton from "Uncle" Bob Martin. Time to put it to good use after vacation!

Related to the above, I will be better about reading articles I bookmark to read later. My Pocket is way too full and Firefox tabs are getting overwhelming on my phone...

I will continue working on the "Fragments" game we started probably 3 - 4 years ago.

Regarding programming languages, I will focus on the ones I am using instead of looking into others like Rust. This means I will focus on JVM (Kotlin mostly) and JavaScript (mostly Next).

I am a reader

When I tell my wife I love her before bed, I will pick up a book to read to calm my mind

This year I will hit my reading goal on GoodReads of 20 books, utilizing books of various types (novels, comics, technical books, etc)

I've found that reading after chilling to some TV or streaming is a great way to calm my mind and tire my eyes.

I will finish books like Atomic Habits, Clean Code, and try to keep up with new Star Wars releases.

I am a creative

On Tuesday's at 8pm I will do something artistic for at least an hour

Art is something that has always been a part of my life wether it be drawing, writing, painting or music.

This year Tuesday nights will be my creative night at a minimum for 1 - 2 hours.

Things I am looking to do:

  • Continue working on pixel art for "Fragments" game
  • Paint my backlog of Hordes and Malifaux miniatures
  • Utilize coloring books more often and use those nice colored pencils I bought a few years back
  • Continue to pick up my guitar whenever inspiration hits
  • Continue planning a role-playing campaign as I read source material
  • Write one blog article a month, be they personal, technical, review, or thoughts

I am a streamer

When I stream on Twitch, I will stop looking at my viewer count

This year, I am going to stop focusing on how many viewers I have. It seems like an unhealthy goal to have, especially because I am not in it to be the biggest streamer.

I am also not into streaming for the money other than to possibly purchase another game to stream or to use for a giveaway to my followers.

I will promote positivity on my stream. I will continue to value the many friends I have made through streaming. Thank you SaxTrain and ShayShayFace for your continued mentorship and friendship.

I am an athlete

After the kids go to bed, I will do some sort of physical activity

This year more than ever I need to get into this mindset. I am fairly concerned about my cardiovascular and digestive health.

There are multiple things I could do at home from Apple's fitness subscription to even Just Dance on my Switch.

Other alternatives to consider are a stationary bike, or the Switch Fit related game...

Making it a general habit could have cascading positive effects on my life.

I will play more tennis when the weather permits, and introduce the sport to my children.

This Month's Song

Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low hit my mood for December/January with his lyrics. The title of the song, January Gloom (Part 1) is a bit blunt as well, but suits my mood. Again, this song alludes to my feelings about my wife, and her being one of the best parts of my life.

I got myself a brand-new pair of boots

To keep the rain out

I got myself a brand-new leather coat

To fight the cold

I've gotta find a way to break this spell

Before I lose it

A victim of the season, need a better reason

To be miserable

I blame it on the weather

Can't keep it together, no

So can you save me from this January gloom

Hiding in your room, the things that we could do

You're like the sunshine in the lazy days of June

Hiding in your room, save me from this January-

Another drop of Hudson in the dark

To lift these spirits

Another record spins my heavy heart

And flips the script

Some crazy way to turn this life around

You know I'll take it

A victim of the season, fuck another reason

To be miserable

I blame it on the weather

Can you make it better now

Come on and save me from this January gloom

Hiding in your room, the things that we could do

You're like the sunshine in the lazy days of June

Hiding in your room, save me from this January gloom

And all the things I'd like to tell you

Save it for another day

Somewhere not so far, just for now

We'll shut those words away

And there you are, and there you were

You do your best or do your worst

All I want, all I need for now is you to save me

So can you save me from this January gloom

Hiding in your room, the things that we could do

You're like the sunshine in the lazy days of June

Hiding in your room, save me from this January gloom

(Hiding in your room)

Save me from this January gloom

© Andy Delso 2021