It’s interesting that it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and set myself some goals. The last couple of summers have been a bit strange, I’ve mostly been committed to a single big idea which I’ve over identified with in each of those summer.
A quick recap of past summers: The summer of 2019 and 2020 was no summer at all, because of my National Service 🖖. The summer of 2021, was my work on improving learning systems with axiom. The summer of 2022, was when my work on happily-ever-after begun. Before 2019, was high school and 2018 was marked with our fun startup-project, Beep.
For each of these summers, the OKRs for the startup have been the OKRs for me, and it was my underlying assumption that my personal growth would naturally follow. The results turn out to be mixed, while I’m confident I’ve grown through all these experiences, it’s not legible to me, how I’ve grown. Mostly because I wasn’t looking for it in any way. you-get-what-you-measure so, I’ve decided to be more conscious about it this summer.
The first big area that I want to work on is my writing. I enjoy writing, it’s one of the forms of art that comes intrinsically to me, in the sense that it takes me no special work to appreciate a beautiful piece of writing.
I guess I’ve always known this, as a kid I used to love writing stories and english compositions were one of my all-time-fav examinations. But I’ve only recently rediscovered this love again, when I wrote Top, Bottom, Up, Down last year over summer. So I’m going to set myself two goals this summer, to continue nurturing that part of myself.
Goal 1: Writing a short and brief mini-letter, every day. This is inspired by spencerchang’s 100 mini-essays experiment, except with a name from one of my favourite TV shows. Read more about this at 104-days-of-summer-vacation.
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Goal 2: Writing 4 longer-form pieces of writing, at a cadence of once a month. Writing in long form is a slightly different exercise than writing many short-form letters. It involves deeper thinking and research. I’m not going to constrain the topic of these letters, instead they’ll flow with the experiences over my summer.
Fitness and Wellbeing
It goes without saying that taking care of myself is on the top of my list over summer. The stress of revising for exams really did a number on me, so getting back to my fitness routines will be good for my body, mind and soul.
Thankfully, I’ve already been working on this. I began my 90-day-transformation challenge on the 10th of May, and I’ll be gently continuing on that throughout summer.
Goal 2: Lose 10kg of weight while retaining my muscle mass
I talked about being out of touch recently, in my letter, Answer The Call. And one of the things I mentioned was the sense that I was not building enough. Getting back to building is going to be a key theme of summer, and these goals will support that.
Goal 3: Building and deploying a production site with the Vital project. The Vital project is a squad within Happily Ever After with the intention of converting the Coda tooling which assists our coaching services into productioni-zed software. This will let me work on my software engineering skills a little.
Goal 4: Finish the prior readings and initial prototype for my third year project - Speechless. This is probably the first time I’m mentioning this, but I’m building a silent-speech interface for my third year project. I have to catch up on literature reviews for the project, and work on an initial prototype before term begins.
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Goal 6: I’m going to allocate 3 hours on my weekend to revise and prepare for the upcoming year. I’ve selected my modules for the next year, and they’re all modules that I’m very interested in, so I would like to nail them.
I really hate getting out of my comfort zone. And these cluster of goals are very much forcing me out of my comfort zone, because I’m extremely terrible at being around new people. This goal is about building a network of amazing people who I can support and be supported by.
Goal 5: As inspired by thoughtful-networking, use Clay to recognize and follow up with people who I know regularly.
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Goal 7: Attend 1 social event a week. If I’m going to meet amazing people, I need to maximize my new people surface area, as much as I find meeting new people awkward. Goal 8: Reach 800 followers on Twitter. This is fairly self-explanatory, I’d like to continue growing my follower count.
Goal 6: Achieve at least 1 external grant/fellowship for myself or HEA. A little bit of self-awareness in me has me realizing that I tend to scoff at, or “decide not to” apply for these external validations because I’m scared of failure. I wrote about this in failure-resume, but I think this summer, it’s time for me to put myself out there.
Goal 7: Develop a close, beautiful, supportive friendship group with the Poiesis network. The Poiesis network is a project I’m starting to develop a space for creative technologists to share and learn with each other. It’s actually inspired by the Enlightenment Salons in 17th Century France.