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Personal Retrospective: Q3 2019

4 min read · October 23, 2019

Category: General MusingsTagged with: RetrospectiveReflections
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Photo by Meiying Ng

Back in August, I completed my first quarterly personal retrospective as a means of being more intentional with life. I believe increased introspection allows for finer course corrections and recognizing the milestones of accomplishments along the way. For me, a setting intentions allows me to more proactively engage with life, rather than having it happen to me. For more details on the why, please check out the original blog post.

Q3 saw a lot of progress in the focus areas I had set, with some exceptions. In this retrospective I want to revisit the year end goals, what went well in Q3, and what I want to invest in for Q4.

What are my 2019 year end goals and progress?

In my Q2 retrospective I set 3 goals for the remainder of the year. Overall, I am satisfied with the direction and progress towards these goals.

  1. Write more: I have been make substantial headway in this focus area. Q2 was the most prolific I had been in terms of writing blog posts, coming in at 10 posts published. This has been an energizing experience for me and also helped to solidify my learning path. Synthesizing topics I have learned or experienced increases my retention of them.
  2. Continue building and engaging with community: I have been consistent in this area as well. Spending quality time with individuals has been great for fostering relationships, connecting at a deeper level, and having long term conversations. There have also been many great conversations at meetups talking with others working to break into the technology scene.
  3. Read 4 books: This past quarter I read two books, one fiction and the other non-fiction. I am on track to complete this goal by year's end. It has been beneficial to prioritize reading fiction again. It spurs creativity through the appreciation of other art forms.

How did Q3 stack up compared to goals set?

Overall, I came close to meeting most of my goals for Q3. The main lacking area was increased physical activity.

  1. Exercise more: 😞 This goal was the weakest for me. I made no progress in this area. I continued taking walking breaks at work, which was good, but did not fulfill the goal of being more active.
  2. Play more games: 🎉 We have been playing more games as a family, and it has been wonderful. We enjoy each other's company doing something intentional together as a group. This has been noticeably better than defaulting to watching something together. We still watch movies together, but have a more balanced approach. I would love to see a continued emphasis in this area.
  3. 2 hours a week writing: 🤷🏼‍♂️ I am really happy with the amount of writing I did this past quarter, publishing 10 blog posts. September proved to be a dry spell in writing for me. I didn't hit the strict average I had originally set as a metric,but am pleased with the increased emphasis on writing.
  4. 2 Community 1:1s per month: 🔥 This was a great area to prioritize. I engaged with people at a deeper level, which lead to great conversations that weren't possible in a meetup structure. This has been a fantastic way to cultivate relationships for me personally. The amount feels right and achievable. This past quarter I had 5 community 1:1s.
  5. Read 2 books: 📚 I completed this goal just in time. This past quarter I read Professor Frisby's Mostly Adequate Guide to Functional Programming and The Handmaid's Tale. This also accomplished my goal of being more balanced in my reading between fiction and non-fiction.

What do I want to start doing in Q4?

  1. Exercise more: I need to be more active. My energy levels are not where I would like them to be. My biggest challenge is making time for the gym a priority. My goal is to spend at least 30 minutes a week engaged in more strenuous activity.
  2. Experiment with a new language: I have so far focused my development knowledge within the JavaScript ecosystem. I have an increasing appreciation for typed languages and want to revisit using ReasonML on a personal project. An additional benefit is that ReasonML is a functional language, which should further reinforce lessons learned from my 30 Days of Functional Programming challenge. More to come on this in the near future.

What do I want to keep doing in Q4?

  1. Keep writing: I am really pleased with the increased focus on writing. It has been great as a learning and communication tool. Last quarter I focused on the amount of time spent writing each week. I don't think this is a valuable metric for me and was too prescriptive. This quarter I want to maintain the velocity of 10 posts published within the quarter.
  2. Keep reading: I want to continue my progress towards reading 4 books before year's end. I have started reading the next book on my list, The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck. Similar to last quarter I want to read one fiction and one non-fiction book.
  3. Continue community 1:1s: There is so much value to being connected to community and investing in it. Even as a strongly introverted person, I need community to thrive. I want to continue developing more in depth relationships with people through an average of 2 community 1:1s each month. This was a really valuable experience for me the past quarter and worth continuing to prioritize.

Completing this structured reflection has been a substantial benefit to how I engage daily life with increased intention. I would love to hear what goals you are working towards, and what helps you move forward in your desired direction. You can connect with me on Twitter.

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