Adiós 2020. Setting Goals for 2021.

   |   6 min read

"Thanks for the memories 2019. You were a good one." - Year end blog post for 2019.

Well... the same can't be said for 2020.

I think most people would agree that 2020 was a challenge, but it wasn't without its highs. This is the third year that I review my previous end of year post and compare it to how I did. Then we'll set goals for 2021. So let's review:

2020: A Reflection

As you'll soon see, I failed miserably at my 2020 goals. I did hit some milestones that I didn't expect or plan for, but for those I actually wrote down... that's a hard nope.

Family Time FTW

Goal: At least one date night with the wife a month and a minimum of 2 days/nights a week with the family playing, building, etc.

I really started out well on this one. For the first two months of the year, my wife & I were able to get away for a quiet date night. It was awesome. And then lock-downs stopped all dining out. Restaurants in my part of the world have reopened but we don't really like the idea of going out and risking exposure to ourselves & others when our medical professionals are struggling with near max capacity hospitals. We'll probably take this back up in 2021 once we've received vaccines and the hospital situation has normalized.

Verdict: Partially achieved.

A tube of you's

Goal: Generate at least 2 original videos for YouTube each month, but the stretch goal will be to have something up weekly.

This goal caused me to chuckle a bit. Why? First, I didn't generate a single original video for YouTube in 2020. Second, because I was going to add a similar goal for 2021. Reading through these made me realize I never made a point to track the goals I set to see how I was doing. 2020 completely disrupted my work-flow & thought processes. So this goal was a complete failure.

Verdict: Failure to launch.

Bloggers?! We don't need no stinking bloggers!

Goal: Write at least 2 posts per month, not including those for Vonage.

When I created this goal I had such high hopes. Not including posts for Vonage I finished with 5 posts for the year. That's less than half of my goal, but I did learn something about myself. Blogging is not my go-to content. I can write them, but the effort involved is much higher than code, streams, and videos. Once I get a few paragraphs in, I can crank a post out, but that start-up process is really difficult.

Verdict: Not achieved.

Summary

As you might expect, this year was a big mess. Most of the goals I set in last year's post weren't met. One thing I didn't include in last year's post (because it didn't exist at the time) was my personal development plan (PDP). Everyone on our team at Vonage created one year and 1-3 year PDPs. Some of those goals mirrored those above, but others, like averaging 50 viewers per Twitch stream, were hit mid-year.

One goal that I wasn't tracking but achieved was improving as a Developer Advocate. I think it finally clicked this year how my role not only supports developers but brings value to my organization. I'm leaning into that in 2021, but also setting some ambitious goals.

Let's talk about them:

Target: 2021

I'm really hopeful about my goals for 2021, both personally & professionally. Hopefully, a couple years of tracking these have improved my process. Rather than setting a "goal" for 2021, I want to track metrics across 3 areas: Personal, BBB, and Giving. So let's go through each:

Personal

I'm making a concerted effort to have time away from not only work, but content creation in general. This means more family time, date-nights, and home projects.

Metric Targets:

  • 12 date nights with the wife
  • 26 family game-nights
  • Finish basement

Bald Bearded Builder

BBB has several content outlets (YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, Blog), I want to focus most of my efforts on YouTube and Twitch this year. I'll still produce content on the other platforms, but their specific role will be to enhance what is happening on YouTube and Twitch.

YouTube

Although I didn't publish anything on YouTube last year, I spent the last couple of months of the year planning for 2021 content. I've finally got a good process in place for planning, writing, recording, and editing content and want this year to be the year of YouTube content. These goals are aggressive, but I want to be aggressive and intentional this year.

Metric Targets:

  • 100 unique videos released
  • 1,000 subscribers
  • 1,000 hours watch time

Twitch

Don't worry Twitch. I'm not leaving you. In fact, my goal is for the content to be more fun and educational in 2021. Between guests, special projects and more (that I can't leak right now), we're in for a fun ride!

Metric Targets:

  • 50 streams released
  • 10,000 followers

Giving

As many of my Twitch viewers know, we donate our revenue to non-profit organizations. In 2020, we gave just over $10,000. We provided funds to non-profits like:

  • Backpack Buddies
  • Girls Who Code
  • St. Jude Children's Hospital
  • Montgomery Bail Out Fund

Also, we provided conference, workshop, and Pluralsight scholarships to members of our community with a focus on underrepresented groups. In all, we provided:

  • 3 conference/workshop scholarships
  • 6 3-month Pluralsight subscriptions
  • 10 1-year Pluralsight subscriptions

In 2021, I want to blow this out of the water, but it is largely dependant on our community. Giving is supported by Twitch subscribers, Patreon patrons, and swag orders.

Metric Targets:

  • $15,000 given to non-profits
  • 10 conference/workshop scholarships
  • 20 Pluralsight (and other learning platform) subscriptions

Summary

These goals are aggressive, but I want to be aggressive and intentional this year. These don't include goals I need to meet at work. So while I'd like to add metrics for blog posts or conference talks, I want to focus more on a few hard goals and try to achieve them.

One thing I hope to do is provide quarterly updates to our supporters in Discord. This will provide some transparency to those who support me and encourage them that they are making a difference in others.

What kind of goals do you have for 2021? Hit me up on any of the platforms and let me know!