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My 2020 Review

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The year started pretty well. My wife and I managed to get a few dates in, and we spent some time redecorating our flat. After the first lockdown, a couple of friends visited us, and they spent a weekend with us before the second lockdown hit.

I read many books, including No More Plastic, The Four-Hour Work Week, Deep Work, Money – A User’s Guide, Crushing It!, Contagious and Think and Grow Rich. They were all fantastic reads, and I definitely recommend all of them to anyone who might be interested.

I released my first eBook and sold 14 copies. Next year, I will be looking to expand the book, and sell it for more money.

My blog moved away from a static built site into WordPress because WP is a whole lot easier to deal with and allows me to focus on writing.

Top 5 blog posts

Posts worth mentioning

My top 5 doesn’t really show what has actually happened to me this year, so here’s a few that does explain…

Some not-so-good points worth mentioning

Of course, the year has had plenty of bad stuff happen which has affected my family and I.

I haven’t had the chance to see my mum in person for starters and give her a hug that she definitely deserves right now. I’ve had a few family members pass away, and I couldn’t go to their funerals because of COVID.

My wife’s side-hustle has taken a dive this year, but thankfully it’s extra income and hasn’t affected us too much financially.

To conclude

I hope everyone has a lovely New Years and I hope you can still get some enjoyment out of celebrating the year to come. Personally, I will be viewing some live rock/metal event on Facebook and enjoying a few alcoholic beverages. Find some time for yourself, and enjoy the final day of 2020. See you in 2021!

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My Goals for 2021

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Every year from 2018 I go over my goals, and whether or not I managed to complete each one. This year will certainly be no different even though it’s been a very different year.

Last year’s goals

Clear £7k debt

This year gave me time to focus on my debts. My wife and I have only had one holiday this year. This has allowed us to pile on any left over money towards our credit cards and savings. I have now cleared my £7k debt, and we’re now working to clear my wife’s £8k (now £4k) debt.

Technically these debts are shared between us, but each debt is the total from our own credit cards. It has also allowed us to visualise what needs to go where.

Save at least £1,000 for a house

This one is amazing see because we have surpassed this saving. All together, we have £2,878.10 saved in a LISA account for a house. Part of this wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t read the book “Money: A User’s Guide”. That book has been worth every penny and is absolutely priceless.

Gain 100 subs on YouTube and Create at least 12 videos for my YouTube channels

I’ve decided to group these two together since they’re both YouTube related. I also didn’t achieve either of these goals. I know I would have gotten 100 subs easily if I just published some videos. However, I have not been in the right mindset this year. I constantly tried to push myself, but in the end, I couldn’t do it. Maybe next year, but it won’t be a goal.

Have at least 1 “date night” a month

Of course this one failed. We started off really well, and had some lovely date nights. However, due to the pandemic and lockdown we couldn’t see this one through. I would definitely like to try this one again when we’re certain the virus has gone.

Finish my course on Laravel

Another failed goal. I know failure isn’t a bad thing, and I don’t feel bad. However, this would have been really nice if I did succeed. I did rewrite my current posts for the latest major Laravel release, and released another post. Overall, I didn’t come anywhere near finishing and work was my biggest focus for this year.

Next year’s goals

  • Pay of my wife’s debt of £5k
  • Save £10k towards a house
  • Get 500 daily readers on this blog
  • Get 100 email subscribers on my development blog
  • Finish the free part of my development course

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2020 – New Year – New Decade – New Goals

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Looking back at 2019

Last year has been yet another big rollercoaster. I wanted to stay working at Lightfoot for another year, but it didn’t quite turn out as well as I had hoped. I started my own business to become a contractor, and my wife is still using pet-sitting as a side hustle.

Lightfoot, unfortunately, had money issues after missing out on sales targets. This left them with the horrible misfortune of letting employees go. I was one of them, but I managed to bounce back almost straight away. I started my own limited company and began contracting with the University of Exeter.

It’s been a scary, but eye-opening jump and I’m glad to be finally giving it a go after all my indecision over the years. I seem to be very much in profit and able to pay my taxes which is definitely a great step in the right direction.

My goals from last year

There were two goals I managed to meet last year and that was Be happier and have 0 panic attacks and Post more on my blog. Despite being made redundant last year, I managed to stay calm and not panic about my impending job loss. I did, however, have a feeling it was going to happen, and I think this is what helped me overcome any anxieties I may have had.

In January of last year, I decided to post every day for the month. I ended up surpassing this and posted for a good 3 – 4 months before slowing down. If I posted just every day in January, then I would have beaten my goal to post more. I won’t be doing the same again this year, but I will try to post as much as I can.

Here’s my list from last year…

  • Clear my £10k credit card debt
  • Go abroad for the first time ever
  • Raise more money for cancer and mental health
  • Stop being last in Crossfit competitions
  • Be happier and have 0 panic attacks
  • Help create an incredible business for my wife
  • Save for a house
  • Post more on my blog

Something unexpected happened

Partway through January, I decided I wanted to try and go vegan for economical reasons. I told my wife and she said she didn’t want to do it which was fine with me. After creating a few vegan meals and sharing some of them with her, she decided that it wasn’t all that bad and she wanted to join me on this journey.

We now cook vegan-based meals and we only ever eat meat/dairy if we go to a place that doesn’t offer any alternatives. I would like to be 100% vegan by the end of this year and that means cutting out all restaurants that don’t offer vegan alternatives.

Goals for this year

This year, I’ve chosen to have more actionable goals by putting a number on everything I do. That way I’ll know when I have achieved and even surpassed my goal. Last year, I wanted to pay off my £10k debt and due to things breaking and losing my job, I didn’t manage to get close. I now have just less than £7k left to clear which down by a decent 30%. I have also set aside £1,000 as an emergency fund in case anything breaks or I need something for work. This way, I won’t be dipping back into my credit cards.

  • Clear £7k debt
  • Save at least £1,000 for a house
  • Gain 100 subs on YouTube
  • Have at least 1 “date night” a month
  • Create at least 12 videos for my YouTube channels
  • Finish my course on Laravel
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A year review 2018

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After reading Tim Ferriss’ year review, I decided to do something similar. I couldn’t go through my calendar as I never use one for events (maybe I should start next year).

You can see below my results below.

It’s shows both positive and negative events for the year. Hopefully I can learn from this for next year.

Positive

  • Created WODemocracy
  • New car
  • Helped Tiff start pet sitting business
  • 2 years at work
  • Met Dmitry and Valery
  • Cut down debt by half
  • More consistent at CrossFit and entered three competitions
  • Twitter/blogging is more consistent
  • Made new connections
  • Got my first passport

Negative

  • Worry about job loss
  • Yogi Bear (cat) passing away
  • 3 panic attacks

Overall, I’ve had more positive events than negative ones, hopefully this carries on for next year.

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Looking to 2019 and my personal goals

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Looking back this year

2018 has been massive for my wife and I. I helped her start her business Brooks Pet Sitters, and although it’s been tough, she’s loved every second. Our goal was to have 20 clients this year, and we now have 45. Some have been incredibly supportive, while others not so much. We learnt how to pick our clients and separate the good from the bad.

Tiff left a company to work on it full-time as business was going well. We then had a few months of quiet which meant Tiff had to go back to work. She’s now working full-time and using petsitting as a side project until we gain more clients. This is fantastic news as she was going to pack it all in, but she loves and already has bookings for next year.

As for me, my training has been more consistent throughout the year, and I’ve taken part in more competitions. I’ve raised money for cancer with Battle Cancer and invested money in Plum, me@mybest and Your Sommelier.

Goals for next year

To keep myself accountable for next year, my goals are as follows…

  • Clear my £10k credit card debt
  • Go abroad for the first time ever
  • Raise more money for cancer and mental health
  • Stop being last in Crossfit competitions
  • Be happier and have 0 panic attacks
  • Help create an incredible business for my wife
  • Save for a house
  • Post more on my blog
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Plans for the new year

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I never do the “New year, New me” bullshit, I have always believed that the end of the year is a time to reflect what we have done over the past few years and what we can improve upon for the new year to come.

A little look into my past

Let’s start with looking back at what happened to me. I have gone through two workplaces, my first workplace was struggling with money and had to let some people go, me being one of them (Sound familiar?). The other company had to let me go due to me not being able to pick things up quick enough.

All in all, I am now way more positive about this than I have ever been and I’m proud of myself with the fact I can now handle these situations in a much more positive light. Both companies have been fantastic to work with and I wouldn’t change my choices for the world.

A little peak into my future

Now coming into 2017, I will be starting a new position on January the 3rd and it won’t be PHP or backend based. I will be a frontend React developer which will be completely new, but also very exciting. The company isn’t an agency and offers a great product which I believe will be incredible to work on.

I’m now creating a business plan so I can create my very own online store which will be selling technology and gadgets. I tried to start this before, but I didn’t go into it 100% and I made so many mistakes. I believe that now I am older and much wiser, I will go into it with everything I have and actually make an incredible career out of it.

There are many more plans for next year which I will be sharing as it gets closer, so please keep your eyes peeled and subscribe to my Blog’s RSS feed. Any comments are also appreciated and I really hope you guys have had an amazing Christmas and have a very happy new year.

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New Year, New Blog, New something?

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Affiliate links:

Please be aware that the links in this article are affiliate links. If you click on them, I will gain some sort of commission. All money gained will help future blog posts.

I am really stoked to show you guys my brand new Blog built with October CMS. For my hosting, I have used Digital Ocean (click the link for $10 free). Digital Ocean is a fantastic hosting company which I just love to use as they give you complete control over your VPS, and they even give you One-click apps to help you get started.

The technology I am using to drive my Blog is DockerNGINXPHP 7 and Maria DB. I don’t believe I have containerised each of my instances as much as I could have. However, it’s been great to use Docker in a real world situation.

The tutorials for Docker are really good. But because it’s such a vast topic, you don’t really know what’s going on. Unless you just bite the bullet and build your next website using it.

I will release a tutorial on how I got my website up and running next week. Hopefully it will help others in getting started.

As for the future of this Blog, I would like to start attaching podcasts to each Blog post I create. (I may even go back to previous posts and attach a podcast to them).

If you would like to hear more from me, then please feel free to follow me on TwitterTwitch. Or you can subscribe using the form below and entering your email address.