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It is time to make some obligatory resolutions for the upcoming new year…

 

Learn Something New Every Month

The first thing I want to commit to for 2018 is learning new things. It’s really difficult to keep up with the world of web development. I once read in an article that 3 months in the web world is like 3 years to the rest of the world. In order to stay relevant in the ever changing landscape of web development, one needs to be constantly on top of latest trends and new technologies. I haven’t had the time (read: desire) to take on any new and challenging projects or to familiarize myself with new and exciting frameworks. 2018 is the year for learning!

Declutter & Embrace Minimalism

My world has gotten overrun with stuff. Everything feels extra. The clutter-depression-anxiety routine I have fallen into these last few years has been exhausting and its time to break the cycle. Clutter overstimulates our senses, draws our attention away from important tasks, makes it difficult to relax, causes anxiety, and creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment. I simply have too much STUFF surrounding me. My wife and I have already begun the process of decluttering our home and my desk at work has recently undergone a major purge of many of the things I recently considered “necessary”. The small amount of work my wife and I have done in just the past few days to declutter our lives has had a huge impact already on my day to day life, which has been a boon to my mental state. The goal here is to not only declutter my physically world, but my mental and emotional worlds as well.

Take More Walks

This resolution may seem like a small thing to some, but for me it is critical to my continuing happiness. I tend to get myself stuck in a loop of negativity. I fixate and obsess over problems unless I forcibly remove myself from a situation. If I don’t, then a dark cloud descends, causing me to slip back into my apathy. Stepping away (hopefully before its too late) will give me the time I need to break out of my negative feedback loop and reset my brain to think about challenges from a different perspective. Plus, since most of my daily exercise consists of little more than walking to and from my car, a brisk walk a couple of times a day would be a welcome improvement in my physical activity.

Eat Breakfast

This one might also seem a bit strange for some. I haven’t eaten breakfast on a weekday for probably 15 years. Sure, there’s been the outlier here and there, but by and large I have skipped the “most important meal of the day” five days out of the week for as long as I can remember. I walk into stressful situations with no fuel for my brain and body and usually don’t eat my first meal until 1pm or sometimes not until I get home from work. I figure I can nip a portion of my emotional issues right in the bud by simply eating a morning meal. I think it was Jedi Grand Master Yoda who once said, “Hanger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering,” or something like that. Now I just have to solve my “sleep-in until the absolute last possible millisecond before I MUST get up to get ready for work” problem so that I have the time I need for a morning meal.

Find My Passion Again

Burnout is real. It’s knocking on my door, imploring me to let it in, and I’m worried I’m getting close to giving in. I have forgotten why I became a web developer in the first place. I used to love the thought of a challenging project. The fire that once burned strong inside of me is little more than a flickering candle on a charred and withering wick. I’m tired. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. In 2018 I intend to get to the bottom of my current mental state and champion my emotions instead of letting them rule over me. It’s time to rediscover my passion for web development.

Be Kinder To Myself

Not much explanation needed here. Simply put, I’ve been treating #1 like a piece of #2. I’ve been unkind, unforgiving, and disrespectful when conversing with myself. I strive for maximum efficiency and get really down on myself when I fail to meet my own expectations. This spills over and I find myself holding others to my unreal expectations for myself which results in some pretty toxic feelings. Or worse, I fail to feel at all. Showing more compassion to myself will help me to be more kind, forgiving, and respectful of not only myself, but everyone else around me.

Conclusion

It’s not going to be one “thing” that rights the ship. It’s going to take a lot more than that; an amalgam of the things above plus a whole lot more. It’s going to take time and hard work. The new year will undoubtedly have brand new surprises, but hopefully with my renewed resolve to face it all head-on, paired with an increase in emotional bandwidth, I will make 2018 my bitch.

But not yet.

Its still 2017 for a couple more weeks, and we have 11 days off at the end of the year. I intend to do absolutely nothing during our holiday break. And it will be glorious!

Brent Stromberg
By Brent
Brent is the Web Manager at Uptown Studios. He joined the team in July of 2012 rearing to go and has become a front-end web development guru. His posts usually consist of snarky quips about 'user experience' or regales the reader about the coolest/latest web-nerd trends.