2016- Year In Review

2016: Year in Review

In Living by Matthias0 Comments

2016, what a year huh! Celebs kicking the bucket every other day, Brexit, Trump, the terror attacks in Europe and the whole situation in the Middle-East – these scenarios among many others make you wonder whether the world is moving forwards or backwards.

My 2016 was FIRE. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve accomplished, what’s changed and what’s coming up in 2017.

What I did in 2016…

Reading

While I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked in 2016, I read my first biographies and was blown away by how much you can learn just by reading about another person’s journey. First I read Elon Musk’s biography by Ashley Vance, which offers a glimpse into the life of a super smart, super busy and super passionate visionary. My favourite book though was Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson. I don’t want to get into it too much here, since I wrote about some of the things I learned about product management from this book, all in all highly recommended.

Blogging ✒️️

I restarted my attempts at blogging at the beginning of this year. I’m no Shakespeare, but after setting up this site, I did manage to write and publish 10 posts. It might not seem like much but I’m glad I managed to write about different subjects whilst keeping a specific focus in each piece.

Learning

Most of my learning this year focused around technology. I was determined to learn at least one new Javascript framework and increase my overall knowledge about how to build and deploy a complete app. I managed to log 210 contributions in Github and got my hands dirty with ES6 and functional programming, I learned how to build more modular web apps using React and Redux, and managed to build a complete backend using Node and Express – I even managed to deploy it to Heroku! Overall, I feel like I’ve really strengthened my technical skills this year and taken them to the next level.

I also wanted to learn Spanish and practice my Italian. Even though I’m far from fluent, my Duolingo sessions made a noticeable difference on my trip to Barcelona!

Udemy Course

This was the big one for me! I was determined to create my first online course and after months of coding, filming and editing I finally managed to launch by January 26th 2016 . Honestly, when it was done I was just glad that I was able to finish. But after almost exactly one year and over 1700 students, “Unit Testing AngularJS” turned out to be a great success! Not only did it help me make a little cash on the side, but it also made me a better developer and teacher. There really is no other feeling like getting that first sale and first review!

Travel ✈️️

Over the last few years I’ve been gradually trying to travel more and be more adventurous in my travels. 2016 turned out to be a record year for me, having visited a total of 9 different countries! I went to Frankfurt, Barcelona, Gdansk, Athens and Budapest. I finally got to visit the Big Apple and was blown away by the energy that New York projects. But the crowning achievement of my 2016 travels has to be completing the Tour du Mont Blanc – a 10 day Alpine hike around the Mont Blanc Massif, literally climbing mountains to cross from France to Italy to Switzerland and back again. They were all amazing experiences in their own right, now I just need to get around to uploading the photos…

Last but not least, I became a certified freediver thanks to my good friend Matt over at Ocean Freedivers Malta. I had tried regular diving with oxygen tanks before but hated how heavy and restrictive all the equipment felt. Freediving on the other hand just makes you feel, well, free!

Moving On ️

Finally, some unexpected things happened in my personal life too. After being together for almost 5 years, my girlfriend and I decided that it was time for a change and part ways. As difficult as this time was, it gave me the courage to pursue my ambition of living abroad, on my own, in a big city. And so in February I’ll be moving to Berlin to work at a startup.

What I’ll do in 2017…

So I’ve had a pretty good 2016 and with this big life change coming up, new adventures are sure to await me in 2017. Still, I’m always looking to become better and to do that you need to set goals to hold yourself accountable. So here are my goals for 2017.

  • Berlin – New job, new country, new people. I need to make this work. This change is all about forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone and growing. I’ll consider this a success if I’m still there a year from now and happy.
  • Passive Income – I want to try and find another revenue stream- whether it’s another course or selling antique cat statues on eBay – I want to take the next step towards financial freedom. If I manage to earn at least an extra €100 on the side every month, I can afford some more of those fancy craft beers that are all the rage right now. Maybe even some nice vino.
  • Read and Write – Since I’m probably going to have some more alone time during the cold Berlin winter, I need to double down on my reading and writing. My goal is to read at least 5 books and write no less than 12 blog posts.
  • Build my personal brand – This ties in a bit with the above points. It would be great if I were able to write something, that some stranger on the internet actually reads.
  • Travel & Adventure – At 24, now is the time to go on crazy adventures. A music festival, hiking the Scottish Highlands or a trip to the Azores are all calling…

Thanks for being part of this journey, here’s to another great year!

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