2021 Goals Review

I’ve thought for a couple of years now that I should document my goal process. If you know me, you know I’m really into setting professional and artistic goals and generally my career. For the last 3 years, I’ve set annual goals that I’ve found to be really productive. I have a small group of friends I review these with every year, but now I’ll share the process with you. In this post I’ll review my previous goals, and then in my next, I’ll update my hopes and dreams for 2022.

My goals for 2021:
* Get back the french I lost while living in Ontario for 9 years: Big fail. This seemed more important when I was working in manufacturing, much less important now that I’m not at that job. I think my listening skills are much better after being involved with a few french academic things this year though.
* Finish defending my PhD proposal and write at least 1/3 of dissertation: Success! I had a rough time with this goal again while working full time. My very supportive committee helped me out and I feel like this was a massive moment of growth for me, like I learned a new skill I didn’t have before in academic writing. I also am finishing chapter 2 just now, so i’m more like 2/3 finished my dissertation draft.
* Acquire and sell colourful alligator clips: Huge success!!! I didn’t think I’d do this through the supply chain shortages but I did and sold almost 300 sets of clips. I’m very, very happy about this. Still 1200 sets of clips to sell though. They are on sale on Adafruit, which is a dream come true.
* Build at least 1 real wearable project: fail.
* Give 5 talks & show 2 new pieces of art: Fail. I think i exhibited once online in TSixHundred and gave 1 talk in Art&&Handmade. I did order new parts to make a new void, but I don’t think I achieved this goal. I did one interview on the Opposable Thumbs podcast, does that count?
* Finish “resistors” “Capacitors” and “transistors”, (Bonus for “motors”): Fail. I am halfway through making “resistors”.
* Participate in #BadgeLife: fail
* Have clearer vision of long term career: Weirdly, I think I succeeded in this. I think I want to try and get a prof job post PhD.
* Not get side-tracked by moral crusades: Success! I think I’m also better at being quiet about things that make me upset. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but its certainly easier.
* Work on trust issues in relationships: Success! I will flag for myself this goal wasn’t very measurable.
* Regular communication with people: I think also success, but same note on not measurable
* Improve regular Twitter / Instagram electronics posting: Same note 🙂

Some fails this year:
This year was very difficult for a huge part of my skill set which is community. I had several community involved initiatives that did not pan out as I’d hoped. Lots of event organizing hasn’t gone as planned, and I think I’ve taken that very personally. Its just not the time for events right now.  I’m very sad that all the goals I failed at were “making things” goals. I don’t want to loose that part of myself.

The unexpected:
I had a lot of interesting opportunities the be involved in bigger things. A goal i have had quietly. but didn’t write down, has been to be involved in the “larger” community, not simply local Toronto arts. I think I did that:
– Secretary, Board of Directors for Pleasure Dome
– Treasurer, Board of Directors and Summit Chair for Open Source Hardware Association
– Teaching at School of Machines, Making, and Make-Believe
– Being involved with the Milieux Institute at Concordia, although this is something I want to do more with in the future.
– Publishing a few academic papers in journals including the Canadian Journal of Communications
– Microcontroller columnist for Make Magazine
– Guest editing 2 issues of The Prepared !
– Got a studio space I love

I think I succeeded in breaking out of the rut I was in before 2020 and took a few projects to the next level. I feel like I’ve gotten so many more academic skills this year, but I do miss making things with my hands. It’s something I will continue to reflect on for my 2022 goals. I’m also trying not to dwell on the ongoing pandemic, even though as I write this lockdown is unfolding across Canada again. I generally feel confident, and in much better mental health than I have been in years. My thoughts are clearer, and I think it comes through in my writing. My freelance career is also doing great, I have a handful of stellar clients I’m excited to work with more.

Personally, I’ve developed a lot of good friendships through pandemic channels this year. Very thankful for slack and discord communities. Very thankful for this summer in Toronto, and friends passing through Montreal this year. I felt loved by the people close to me.