Tips on crushing 2017

Yeah, I agree. That title is a bit clickbait-y. Maybe I should've called it "Tips on being better than you were last year but it's going to take a lot of work so prepare yourself"?

Oy, c'est la vie.

So! I've had a bunch of things I've had in mind for individual blog posts, all brewing (or rotting?) in my Trello board, but I thought it would be perfect if I could compile all these small tips into one article!

Are you ready? I hope you enjoy it!

It's A-OK to be afraid of looking dumb

When you're surrounded by people who Know What They're Doing™, the last thing that you'd want to do is to look dumb in front of them. This is exactly why places like Planet Fitness are making a killing. They entice people by building a place where people can have free pizza and by kicking out people who are too big and intimidating. In other words, everybody gets a participation trophy.

It's tough, but you need to step out of your comfort zone in order to grow. This doesn't only apply to the gym but also in tech.

  • You need to start asking "dumb" questions that you think are obvious to other people to solidify your knowledge. Ask your friends. Ask your co-workers. Ask online!
  • You need to be OK with making mistakes. Not just with code, but also the decisions that you make.
  • You need to be open to other people's feedback. It will suck because it will feel like an attack on you, but realize that that's also an opportunity to grow.

It will hurt. It will suck. But it's worth it.

There is no try

Star Wars nerdiness incoming! So when Yoda says "Do or do not, there is no try," he's saying that Luke has to give his all and commit fully.

So whatever your goals are this year, you have to commit to it which means setting aside some time in your day or week that will get you a little closer to where you want to be.

Set a schedule. Maybe you'd like to blog every week. Maybe you'd like to finish one lesson on your online course after work. Whatever it might be, it always helps to be consistent. And that takes us to the next section ...

Be consistent. Be patient.

Consistency really is the 🔑 for getting better at something. Anything! For example over the holidays I started learning Illustrator. But since I wasn't consistent with my learning, I kept on forgetting what the damn commands were all the time! I had to sort of start all over again.

So now that you've committed to something, you need to be consistent with it because that's the only way you're going to get results. At the risk of sounding like a meathead, it's the same with the gym. You won't get results by going whenever you feel like it—you get results when you go consistently.

It's going to take a while, so don't rush. You're in this for the long game.

Finally, remember to be content

It might sound counter-intuitive to say that you have to be content when you're obviously trying to get better at something. But I think the two can co-exist.

Yes, you are pushing yourself to get better at something. Yes, you want more more more! But you also have to look at how far you've gone when you first started. You can't lose sight of that or else you'll burn out. Being happy about where you are now really helps a lot.

So remember to push yourself, but don't forget to be content either.


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