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Michael Jolley
Michael Jolley

Posted on • Originally published at on

Cheers to 2019! Bring on 2020!

Thanks for the memories 2019. You were a good one.

2019 wasn’t without some struggles, but there were several huge wins that I’ll never forgot. One of the things that I started in earnest in 2019 that led to one of the most dramatic changes in my life was live-streaming on Twitch. In addition to the amazing people I met, it awakened a passion in me to help others succeed which led me to a career change. In the last quarter of the year, I started as a Developer Advocate at Nexmo. So now I get to learn, teach and help others succeed and get paid for it!

So yeah, 2019’s been a good one, but let’s see how I did versus the goals I set to start the year and plan some goals for 2020.

How did I do?

At the start of 2019, I made a blog post reviewing 2018 and setting goals for 2019. It’s the first time I’ve made a blog post like that. Looking back, I’m glad I did because now I can compare the start and end of the year.

Goals for 2019

Don’t stop be-logging

I set a goal of one blog post a month with a stretch goal of 2 per month. Looking back, I posted exactly 12 blog posts during 2019 between this website and the Nexmo blog. I did miss some months, but also blogged twice a few months to reach the goal. Honestly, there was a bit of luck involved in hitting this goal. I did a very poor job of prioritizing it.

Verdict: Achieved.

I’ve got a Twitch that needs to be scratched

Another goal for 2019 was to start streaming regularly on Twitch. Little did I know how much this decision would change my life. Let’s take a look at some of the ways I was impacted:

  • Met and now interact with amazing viewers who have taught me way more than I’ve taught them
  • Joined some of the most impressive people I know on the Live Coders team
  • Made life-long friendships that have provided an ear when I was struggling and feedback when I was trying something new
  • Hosted a series of streams, the Heroines of JavaScript series, highlighting women in technology where my two daughters were able to interact and interview some amazing developers.

Verdict: Achieved.

I like to lose it, lose it

After losing about 40 pounds near the end of 2018, my goal was to drop another 40 pounds in 2019. How did it go? Well… at least I didn’t gain any of that weight back. I’ve basically maintained that weight loss this year but never continued. In February, I started working from home exclusively so I lost access to our office gym. This drop in activity coupled with a major case of runner’s knee, which sidelined me for a few weeks, really stifled the momentum I had gained.

Verdict: Failed

Level up the wood working

Our new dining room table.

I really enjoyed wood working in 2018 and wanted to level-up my skills in 2019 with a goal of being proficient enough to build a new dining room table for the family by the end of the year. Fast forward, we actually had a friend of mine build the dining room table, but I did get to build some shelves for the girls bedroom and frames to screen in our back porch. So while I didn’t build the table, I did level up my wood working in 2019.

Verdict: Achieved.

Hanging with my girl

The last of the 2019 goals was setting up regular date nights with the wife. All of the social and family events we are involved in really hindered us from having regular date nights, but we definitely need to make this a higher priority moving forward.

Verdict: Failed miserably.

Goals for 2020

Family time FTW

This is my #1 goal for 2020. During the holidays I purchased several games for the family and we’ve been playing together three to four nights a week for the last few weeks of December. We are loving it. From card games to Monopoly, the quality time is so amazing. This isn’t just a game night goal though. I’ve got a couple wood working projects I want to complete this year and I want my kids involved in all of them. And with this year marking our 20th anniversary, I really want to focus on spending time away from kids. The only way to accomplish that will be to schedule it in advance so that’s what we’re doing now.

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

A tube of you’s

Ever since I started streaming on Twitch, I’ve been archiving the streams in an un-edited form to YouTube. But in 2020 my goal is to start creating original content for YouTube. I’ve got a few ideas, some longer form, some shorter, but overall the purpose will be to provide helpful tips, interviews and learning guides. So if you’re not subscribed to the channel, get over there and hit the subscribe button so you know when the floodgates open.

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

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

I hit my goal of one post a month in 2019, but I’m finally ready to step it up. As part of my job, I’ll be generating one or two posts a month, but for the purposes of these goals, I only want to include posts hosted here.

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

Sum it up

2019 was very good to the bald, bearded household and we’re really excited about what 2020 holds. We also wish that 2020 is the best you’ve ever had.

Do you have any goals for 2020? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave them in the comments.

Credit to Heather Durham Photography for the Thunder on the Mountain image used in the header.

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