2018 Mid-Year Reflection

This is the first year in which I have set resolutions. Due to my coworkers switching departments, I was thrust into more responsibilities. I have learned a lot so far and since we are halfway through the year I’ll reflect on my progress and see what I can further improve on.

On a side note, I started video blogging for the first time. Improving my communication skills has become a priority for me in the recent months. Even though it’s essentially just me speaking into a camera, it’s still a great way for me to improve how I articulate and communicate my thoughts. Like every habit, I’ll start small and aim to do one every month. There will be no editings involved so please bear with me as I improve my communication skills gradually. 😀

Thank you in advance to anyone who watched my first video content. And if you prefer written content, please feel free to skip the video and thank you as well for your time! 🙂

Complete My Vocab Project

My Vocab is an Android vocabulary builder application that I’ve been spending the past few years working on and off. While learning Spanish a few years back, I needed an app to help me record, translate, and review the vocabulary I wanted to learn. At the time I just finished my commerce undergrad degree a few months ago and wanted to learn more about programming. So naturally, I decided to build a vocabulary builder application to help me learn more effectively and I’m glad it has been able to help others as well.

A few weeks ago, I’ve finished developing all the key features that are beneficial for what the app was set out to accomplish. I have addressed all the reported bugs as well as redesigned the screenshots for the app store listing.

I’m glad to say I’ve completed this project! It has been a great journey up to this point and I’ve definitely learned a lot from this experience.

Be Conversational in Spanish

Up until two months ago, I was watching anime in Spanish every day as well as reading Spanish books during my commute. However, since then, I’ve opted for reading personal development books in English instead. Therefore the time I’ve spent on improving Spanish is considerably less than before even though I still watch anime in Spanish every day.

In order to reach my goal, my action item on this front is to find a Spanish meetup for me to have Spanish conversations on a weekly basis.

Read 20 Books

I’ve read 6 books so far. For a few months, I was dedicating 1 hour to read every other day. I was reading at a good pace, but it has slowed down considerably since. In the past month, I have only been reading during my commute. As improving my communication skills and finishing up My Vocab project became a priority, I put less and less emphasis on reading.

One thing about setting goals that I’ve learned is to reflect and readjust your goals periodically. I thought about readjusting my goal to 15 books instead. However, If I can dedicate 30 mins each day for reading as well as getting better at skipping materials that aren’t beneficial, I can still accomplish my 20 books a year goal. We’ll see how I do at the end of the year, but for now, I’m still sticking with 20 books.

Build Personal Brand

After reading Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, I learned the importance of building a personal brand. I have since been posting articles once every 2 weeks on my personal blog as well as Medium. I don’t have any goals in terms of wanting X number of followers since my content is for me to document my learnings and to connect with people. I’m happy with my progress and as long as I keep posting content on a regular basis I’ll consider this goal accomplished.

Start a New Project

This was my fifth and final resolution for the year. It was made due to My Vocab project coming to a close. I wanted to improve my technical skills off of work which is why I wanted a new project to work on.

However, my focus for the year has changed since. I’m going to put a stronger emphasis on improving my communication skills rather than my technical skills. If I were to start a project, it will be because I have a good idea or an opportunity that I’m passionate about. So until then, this resolution has been crossed off my list.

Improve My Verbal Communication Skills

This is the area which I have dedicated the most time for in the past month. Communication skills have always been something that I need and want to work on. And public speaking specifically is an area where I struggle the most. I want to be able to speak in public confidently but more importantly, I want to be able to articulate and communicate my key messages effectively.

I have been taking an online public speaking course by TJ Walker. By recording myself speaking and getting feedback from TJ Walker, I can see the improvements I’ve made. However as helpful as the course has been, it is still an online course. To complement the course, I’ll look for and participate in either a toastmaster club or a public speaking meetup at least once every two weeks. And as mentioned, my video content will be a channel for me to practice as well as share my progress with you.

I’ve made some good progress but there are some action items I need to take in order for me to reach my goals. I’m very excited to see how much progress I can make by the end of the year! Thank you for dropping by and I’ll love to hear your thoughts and feedback. 🙂

 

My 2018 New Year’s Resolution

Yes… I know… you are probably thinking that nobody makes their New Year’s resolutions nearly 3 months into the year. In my defense, most of my resolutions were decided a while ago but it was just recently that I committed to blogging. For 2017, my spare time off of work was spent mostly on developing my flashcard mobile application. And for 2018, I have a few goals that I want to focus on to have an even more productive year.

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Resolution #1: Be conversational in Spanish

My father has always stressed the importance of learning a 3rd language which has always stuck with me. Being able to travel to Spanish speaking countries and to communicate fluently is something I want to accomplish. I have taken a few Spanish courses in university along with reading books and watching Netflix shows in Spanish. This has greatly improved my reading and writing. However, speaking and listening are areas I struggle with, especially when the conversations aren’t slowed down for me. To be conversational in Spanish, I want to push myself to communicate in Spanish 3 days a week.

Resolution #2: Complete and promote my flashcards mobile app project, My Vocab

Whether it’s going to Spanish classes, reading Spanish books, or watching animes in Spanish, it’s common for me to come across words that I don’t understand. Whenever this happens, I jot down the words on my notebook so I can review it later. However as time goes on, this process becomes more and more infeasible. I read Spanish books during my commute to work and watch Netflix shows in Spanish during dinner, so having a notebook wherever I go is not practical. And secondly, as I jot down more vocab, organizing and reviewing the vocab gets more and more difficult. With my interest in programming, I decided to develop a flashcards mobile app, My Vocab, that allows me to record, translate, and review words I want to learn. With the main features developed, I want to promote it to see how far I can take it and get as much feedback as possible.

Resolution #3: Read 20 books

I have always enjoyed reading and have been reading on and off throughout the years. With a stronger emphasis on improving my Spanish, I have spent the past year reading Spanish books during my commute to work. However, that’s where it stopped and I had never thought about dedicating more time to read. That is, until the following conversation I had with my girlfriend, Grace:

The conversation was simple, but it got me thinking. I can be more productive, I can read more, and I can do more. I searched up books I want to read immediately and established my book list within a few hours. The following day, I went on Indigo and purchased all the books on my book list that are available. I have dedicated time slots to read since then and have decided to read at least one chapter every day. I can already feel the impact it has on my thought process and is definitely one of the best decisions I have made this year so far. All it takes is one push or one inspiration and I’m thankful to Grace for that.

Resolution #4: Develop my personal brand

The first English book I decided to read this year is Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuk. Throughout the book, Gary stresses the importance of developing your own personal brand. A personal brand to me is the way people remember you. Developing my personal brand can help me connect and build trust with a bigger audience and also for my case, document my growth and learnings over time which I find invaluable. To start it off, I’ll write a summary of every book I read and share the learnings that I take away from it.

Resolution #5: Start a new project

With My Vocab mobile app project coming to a close, I want to challenge myself to start a new project that can potentially be a business. I haven’t decided on the idea yet, but I’ll share it with you here once it’s decided.

So here are my 2018 resolutions as well as my first blog post. I’m excited about what this year brings and I’m looking forward to reaching my resolutions! Thank you for spending the time to read what I have to share. Feel free to leave me a comment on your 2018 resolutions as well and we can keep tabs on how each other is progressing throughout the year!