2016 is now behind us. The world has changed a lot in 2016 and it will be remembered for various things. Donald Trump got elected as a President nominee and will be the President of United States very soon. Britain has exited from the European Union which can put the world economy into a slowdown. Modi's move to demonetize Indian currency will have its effect on Indian economy at least for the next year.
The end of the year gives me a time to introspect about my life and think about next set of goals in my life.
So how did I spent 2016 and What do I plan to do in 2017?
Health and Fitness
This has been the year of playing, running, and gymming for me. Never have I been so motivated towards my health. I bought a Fitbit Blaze(a fitness tracker) in May and it has been one of the best things that I have bought in this year. I have been wearing it 24/7 tracking my activities and sleep. I have been hitting the much-celebrated figure of 10,000 steps on average.
I have also started trying to sleep at least 7 hours a day. Gym workouts, football games, and morning runs were enough to push me to have a sound sleep. Gymming is also a refresher in between my work hours as I generally hit my office gym at around 4 PM.
The only not so good thing happened was that I dislocated my right shoulder in the month of February while playing Football. I got a chance of using the emergency services at Microsoft and had to be admitted to emergency services in Hospital to get it back to normal position. And now I live with a slightly weak right shoulder. :)
I encourage everyone to include few physical activities into your daily schedule if you have a sedentary lifestyle like that of a software engineer. It will keep you calm, focused and it will for sure result in better productivity.
I am upping my efforts in 2017 to build a great physique. A healthy diet, cardio, and weights will be my friends for sure in 2017.
Friends and Family
I met with very few new people in this year as compared to previous ones. I don't regret this because I have made some great new friends. I hope 2017 will give me opportunities to meet some amazing individuals and maintain the healthy relationships that I have with many of my friends.
My Family is doing great. My little brother is doing great with his hobbies which double up as his professional work. Though everybody is not in good shape physically, everyone is happy which is what matters at the end.
I didn't explore as much this year as I wanted to be in 2016. I did my first Goa Trip with my office colleagues in the start of February. It was a short trip but a memorable one.
Then I visited Surat and Mumbai in the month of June to meet some great old college buddies. It was a refreshing trip which taught me a lot of hard things about life. This trip ended with a 7-day stay at my hometown Nagpur where I enjoyed home food and mangoes.
Two days before Diwali, when everyone was leaving for their hometowns, I took the flight to the place which will always be special to me, IIT Guwahati. Those were two hectic days mentoring juniors for the Code.Fun.Do hackathon. I also got the opportunity to enjoy the college's Diwali celebrations. Memories were just flowing and surely it was nostalgic. It was definitely a little bit odd when I was roaming around in the corridors and I cannot find those usual faces that I was used to watching daily. I then boarded the evening flight to Nagpur on the Diwali evening and reached home just before Laxmi Puja which made everyone super happy.
I concluded this year with my first cycling trip to Osman Sagar Lake on 31st of Jan. We started at 5.30 AM in the morning after having a party on 30th of Jan. Waking up at 5.00 was definitely challenging but the mildly cold weather with a beautiful sunrise and a cool breeze while riding the bicycle made it a worthwhile experience.
I wish to travel more in this year and I haven't made any plans till now.
I started 2016 with the goal of making reading a habit. I had a target of completing 10 books. I finally got to 7 out of 10 which is not bad considering the fact I used to read to less than 2 books a year in the past. This year, I have challenged myself to read at least one book a month which I think is much better challenge than 12 books a year. You can see my to-read list on Goodreads.
I also started with a goal of 12 blog posts a year which turned out to be a much more difficult goal. I was able to publish only 5 blog posts of which one of them blew on Reddit and gathered more than 10k views.
In terms of keeping up tech and coding, I didn't do anything substantial, it was just a mix of various things. I explored Microsoft's Bot Framework, learned React.JS, completed a MOOC graphics course, explored a VR framework and read numerous articles on Hacker News, Reddit, Medium and various other blogs. I still have a list of pending articles and blog posts that I have to read in my Pocket collection. This year I want to learn one new language which is primarily functional, one framework that completely differs from what I already know and read out some books like GoF Design Patterns, O'Reilly's High-Performance Browser Networking, completing Code Complete 2. I also plan to get my hands dirty with an open source project of my choice. I have successfully maintained and contributed to the VSTS Extension Utility Pack solving customer issues and providing continuous support. Contributing to open source is a time intensive task and requires a lot of self-motivation which is very difficult to find.
I have followed F1 and MotoGP very religiously in 2016. These two kept me busy for most of the weekends. MotoGP 2016 season was absolutely amazing with Marquez, Rossi, and Lorenzo fighting to the edge for the top position with an occasional performance by Ducati, Suzuki, and other teams. Formula 1 was a little bit monotonic with mostly Mercedes on top while Redbull and Ferrari were fighting for the third and fourth place. But the final race in Abu Dhabi where Hamilton and Rosberg fought for the world championship was epic. It was a nail bitter where my Fitbit showed my average heart rate as 120 during the final moments of the race. If anyone wants to start watching either of them, just drop me a message and I will give you a headstart with everything required. 2017 will bring new formula into Formula 1, bigger engines, bigger tires, more horsepower and hopefully F1 will bring back the sound of engines which every F1 fan has missed for the last 3 years.
Work took a lot of my time as expected. I learned a great many things in the past year apart from just getting the work done. I have another post waiting in the draft just for that. I will try to publish it as soon as possible.
2016 was not a bad year for me as it was for a number of people across the world. But I hope I can make 2017 a much better one.
So let's start working for the things that will make me happy and see you in 2018 for a similar post reflecting on 2017. :)