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personal

Resolutions for 2016

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It is that time of the year again. Time to review the year that finished and plan for the year ahead. At least this time I’m writing this in the first days of the year instead of the first months like last year. For me, 2015 was a rollercoaster. Started very steady with lots of work and projects, then changed direction completely.

Like in previous years, here’s how my main 5 points from 2015 went:

1. Health
This topic has not progressed in a year at all. This must be something to prioritize.

2. Projects
Last year I started notasbit.com as a WordPress blog to write about tech news. But then I transformed it into an automated news grabber which released me from having to write the news themselves to prepare for the radio show which I still have going on. That project is one of my favorites, as it needs very little maintenance and brings me a lot of entertainment. Is the project I’ve done that I use the most. Then I have a project with my cousin to help him in his tourism agency that has been going on for 6 months now but in very slow progress. It’s been an learning experience for me working with his team and developing it on my own. Also there’s another project I’m working on for a head hunter agency which I’m very interested in finishing for publication.

3. Photography
I had no big plans for this area of my life for 2015 other than having some lenses. Well, one of my biggest dreams of having a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 has become a reality. I’ve been wanting that lens for a while to improve the photos I take in low light in the theaters at the ballet. Another big change happened after the robbery incident. As I mentioned in my blog post then, I took that bad situation where they stole my camera body as an opportunity to improve my gear. So I finally made the jump from a half-frame body to a full frame. Now with the Nikon D750 and the zoom lens, the quality I get in low light is something I struggled for with my previous gear. My main machine is now a Macbook Pro, so I’m now fully editing my RAW files in Lightroom. I also started to get more into video this year with several videos published in my Youtube channel.

4. Travel
We never got to go to Cuba, but we did travel to several places in the country and visit friends which was nice.
5. Writing and reading
I missed on the 6 books in the year, I only got two read. And on the writing, well, this blog was almost forgotten. Only 5 posts in all year! Then notasbit blog got changed into an automated system, so no writing there either. I think I used that time to do more projects this year instead.

To remember 2015 here are some of the images captured in the year:

Fish in bags

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Sala Covarrubias

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Hotel Quinta Real Villahermosa

Hand made chocolate

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So far, this 2016 doesn’t seem to have much surprises or any ups and downs. On 2015 I’ve focused a lot on searching ways to diversify my income and came up with some plans. I think that this 2016 will be about executing those plans more thoroughly.

Health

I keep promising myself to do more about my health with the tendency of not reaching my goals. I won’t stop promising myself healthier life and even though I don’t reach my goals, attempting it never hurts. I’m curious about starting to run. I’ve heard a lot of people getting addicted to it and almost being as annoying as a cross-fit nut. I’ve never tried running as an activity and don’t know where or how to start but I’ll try it. My current body fat is 29%, worse than last year’s post. I need to lower that a lot.

Projects

This is an area where I have a lot of things going on at the same time. I’m worried that because of the high load I won’t be able to manage and complete anything. My mum suggested to have an agenda and set aside time for each project in my day. It is a good idea, since most weeks go by and because of work I forget to put some time for my projects. I want to continue and finish up all projects started last year. I don’t plan on starting new ones anytime soon but a lot of things can happen in a year.

Media

This time I switched the word “photography” to “media” because I’ve been experimenting with video too. I’ve been following several vloggers and I’m very curious to explore that. Editing is not an easy task and very time consuming, but daily vlogs are the best way to practice to perfection. I won’t commit to do vlogging yet but it’s a very strong idea I’ve been thinking about for several months. In photography, I really want to make some money out of it. I’m trying stock photography websites with very little results. Paid jobs would be nice but I still lack the confidence. Maybe that’s what I should work on this year: confidence. And in that topic of confidence, I’d like to grow my Instagram account. I’m trying to post more frequently and maybe a 365 project will help grow my account faster. One post a day. Currently I have 390 followers.

Travel

Cuba is still in the plans for this year. We’ll start the savings planning early in the year so it can happen. Besides that, there’s not much planned so far for the year’s traveling. I guess less travel times means more time to focus on work and projects.

I hope 2016 will be a year of steady grow in several areas in my life, preparing for a more exciting 2017. But, many things happen in a year, who knows if this year will be as calm and steady as I see it in these early days of the year.

Categories
personal

A year in review and plans for 2015

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I’m laughing alone reading last year’s resolutions post. If you could see how things are today, compared to what I had planned that day, you might say that my life paused for a whole year. But no, actually very important milestones happened in my life but these pages were forgotten for the second half of the year.

It seems that I’m getting worse than last year in reviewing my year goals and achievements. Last year I wrote the post on February and this year, it’s already March! Anyway I don’t want to skip a year just because I couldn’t find the right time in the first days of the year.

So last year I had 5 major points of focus and I’ll review what happened on each:

  1. Health – Although I did lost the weight I wanted, I’ve accomplished somehow to gain it all back in December and January. I think I got even worse. My formula to loose the extra weight does work, but my formula to keep myself in shape is missing. So in that regard, I’m back to where I was last year.
  2. Projects – Artistelink has not happened. I didn’t even wrote a single line of code for it in the whole year. I mentioned that two days before writing that post I got some bad news that would change things. Well, things did change, work-related. But now that things have settled, it was a great change! I couldn’t have thought of it better. Artistelink might happen someday, but that idea evolved into something more that is half-way done and I’ll talk about later.
  3. Photography – There hasn’t been much paid jobs this last year, but I’ve done a ton of “free” work that I haven’t published but I did processed most of the RAW files I had pending back then. I still owe my family’s 2014 Christmas photos…and 2015’s too. I also got started editing video since I got a GoPro and combining footage from my DSLR and the GoPro has been fun.
  4. Traveling – I did a lot of travelling through 2014, and ended up moving permanently to Mexico city. I’m still not used to the traffic, but it’s not a big deal since I work from home. So in this regard, I consider it an accomplished goal.
  5. Writing and reading – I don’t know how to consider this. On one side I forgot to update these pages in more than 6 months! There’s a lot to write down, get off my head and share. But, I also started a news blog in Spanish: Notasbit. I update it every week with the latest tech news that I talk about on my radio show segment. Oh yes, that’s one of the things I haven’t shared in these pages: I have a radio segment every Tuesday at 5 pm Central Time in Zona3 Radio in Guadalajara. Okay, that aside, I have been writing a lot, just not here. On the reading side, I finished 3 books from my queue. Not much for a whole year, but it’s better than nothing.

So having 2014 craziness gone away now, my life has settled a lot more since moving to Mexico and getting married (this deserves a post of its own to elaborate the details). Settling down helps a lot to focus the mind and stop thinking about a thousand possibilities and end up doing none. I hope to get more done, more consistently.

Health

A few days ago I had some studies made on my respiratory system. There is a possibility that I’ll need surgery to help me finally breathe better. Maybe this is the root of the cause of my dislike of aerobic exercise? The Fitbit has helped me a lot on being conscious about my daily activity and I’ve done a lot better than before. I also got the Aria smart scale and I use it daily to keep track of my progress or failure. I need to get in better shape and a stronger body. I don’t mean big muscles, just a healthy body with a lower body fat percentage which is currently at 27.4%.

Work and Projects

Currently I love my work, my workspace (home) and what I’m working on. It hasn’t been all roses, but it’s been a great learning experience so far in the project management, client management and team management areas as well as programming challenges and new technologies. It is the whole package. Apart from that, in the first days of the year several projects came to my door by clients so life will be very busy. I have two main side projects that I’d like to get going this year, one with my dad and one with my brother, so that’s the goal here.

Photography

I’ve been using Darktable all these time and I recently tried Lightroom for the first time. I’m still skeptical if I’ll prefer Lightroom or not, mainly because my main machine (running Debian) can’t run it but I’ll continue exploring. I like how fast it was even in a slower computer compared to the one I use with Darktable. If it helps me get more done faster, it will be a huge selling point for me. Project wise, I don’t know, I don’t have real plans here, except for getting better lenses.

Traveling

I just want to go to Cuba this year. It might be the last year before McDonald’s or Starbucks starts popping up over there now that the US has announced they will reactivate relations.

Writing and reading

I’ll continue posting on Notasbit every week and try to update here at least once a month. I have a long queue of books to read. So far I’m half way though two books, so that’s more than half of last year’s mark. I won’t commit to a book a month yet, but let’s put the goal at 6 books this year at least.

Let’s see how a settled life affects my achievements. I’m optimist on being more focused and able to control better my environment. Working from home allows me to have a great quality of life, healthier home-cooked food, walk the dog between tasks, etc. It can also lead to bad habits like less socialization, being in pajamas all day and don’t shower for a week… but being married means I need to socialize with at least one person and shower every day. I’ll work on the pajamas part, as it’s 2 pm while writing this post and I’m still wearing them (oops).

Categories
personal

Resolutions for 2013

You'll take a decision about something in the near future

This 2012 has been a year of big changes in my life. There’s been ups and downs like never before and a complete emotional roller coaster. I switched jobs, moved to a new city on the other side of the country, made new friends, reunited with old ones, lost my photography gear, got new one, and well, many weird and exciting things happened.

I can’t say I’ve been in complete control of my whole life, I’ve let life take some choices for me, but that hasn’t been bad either. I guess that when you don’t know where to go, letting go will take you to places you never imagined. Sometimes not having a plan can be the best plan.

From last year’s resolutions, I can safely say that I’ve accomplished my list fairly.

1. I’ve started to take track of my health checks and weight. I’m also planning on writing a simple application to keep my records and visualize the data easily.
2. On the startup ideas line, I’ve done some experiments and I’ll soon publish some of them. There’s still more to improve on that but efforts have been done in this area.
3. My third item was keep traveling going. Well, I moved to a different city all the way across the country. Mexico is a big country with different and rich cultures in different areas, so moving to the south west coast has been a whole different experience. I’ve been loving the weather and enjoying the lifestyle.
4. The last item was to write more. I didn’t achieve writing more than last year but at least I published the same amount of posts. Ahh if only I had stopped procrastinating and published this post before the year ended, I could have proudly say that I wrote more than last year.

So for this 2013 resolutions list, I’ll do the following:

### Health

Nice meal

I reviewed all my previous resolutions posts since 2008 and saw a clear pattern of them: loosing weight has clearly been an issue. This year I’ve finally managed to do exercise more regularly by joining a gym. The results haven’t been great but at least I have more resistance and my health has been stable.

I still need to loose a lot of gained weight over those 4 years. I can’t plan to loose it all in one. What I want to do is at least loose 5kg and not gain them back the whole year.

### Photography

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2012 has been a very active year for me in my photography hobby. I got new gear and I’ve been using it quite a lot. I hope this year I can enter a photography course to get better at it and get some formal training or at least assist a professional shoot to learn in the field (or studio).

### Cooking

Just add bacon

I’ve been cooking for myself even before leaving my parent’s house. I’m not great at it like my friend Luis Perez, but I’m fairly good. I’d like to learn new recipes and cook more elaborated dishes. My cooking specialties right now are steak and hamburgers. I’d like to expand that. And I’m writing this as I smell something nice cooking at Luis’ kitchen.

### Projects

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This year I’ll launch one project. I’ve already launched one with low but nice results. I have some other projects I want to get out there, but I want to focus this year on only one. Let’s see how that goes.

Oh! I forgot to mention, the fortune cookie message in Spanish says: “You’ll take a decision about something in the near future”. Yes, I know it’s stupidly obvious, but what can you expect from a cookie? Although, sometimes what is most obvious is the least obvious (or expected).

Categories
personal

Resolutions for 2012

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At first, according to my last year’s resolutions post, I thought this year’s resolutions would look like the image above. Fortunately after reviewing a bit further, I did manage to accomplish 5 of 7 goals, so it’s not that bad.

This 2011 has been a year with lots of changes. The good times have been great, but the bad times have also been very deep. It’s been a year with a lot of travelling, learnings and experiences.

For this year, I’m still having trouble setting up my goals. I’ve been thinking about this post for the past two weeks and still things look blurry. Maybe because of all the things that happened last year and I still don’t have a clear mind to see where I want to go. Right now I feel this 2012 is a blank sheet of paper. Anything can happen.

Still, I don’t like having absolutely no plans. There’s a saying that has been sounding in my head for the last months: “If you don’t decide what to do with your life, life will decide for you…and it might not be what you wanted”. So I must set a few goals at least.

Improve health by getting fit.

I need to get closer to my ideal weight. I need to loose about 10kgs. I’ve been loosing weight with little effort following some tips from The 4-Hour Body
. I interrupted my diet but I will restart it since it has given me good results.

Quantify and monitor life.

I would like to start monitoring and quantifying more the things I do in life so I can take decisions based on real numbers not just on appreciations of what I’ve done. For example, I just told you that I did more exercise last year than the year before. That’s just a hunch. I really can’t tell exactly by how much hours of exercise I exceeded the year before. Also because of my high cholesterol detected a few years back, I must test my blood regularly. I want to keep track of my health improvements and blood tests so I can motivate myself to keep making good health choices as I watch my progress. Things like that can be measured and tracked, and will aid me when taking decisions in health, financially and other aspects of life. Reading Sacha Chua’s blog has inspired me to start tracking and monitoring life.

Keep exploring startup ideas.

Release early, release often. Last year I did release the changes I had promised, but I’ve also had time to develop some new ideas but haven’t been published. I’ve been approached by a lot of people with ideas and the most common thing is that no one executes. I did some prototypes but nothing got published. And if it’s not published, it doesn’t exist. Those ideas must get out of my mind and my local machine and out there to gather feedback in hopes that one of them might also get some wings. If not, I still win, by learning what doesn’t work and why.

Keep the traveling going

It’s very refreshing and inspirational to travel around and change locations out of your routine. You know what they say, that sedentary life is bad for health. I think it not only applies to a sitting down in front of a computer kind of life, but also a not getting out and staying in the same places can age your mind.

Write more.

Even if it’s not a blog post to publish. I want to do writing as a mind exercise of setting my thought clearly and in order in a written form. Writing your thoughts, memories and ideas down helps organizing your mind and it’s cool to be able to go back and read what you’ve thought before, how you felt, etc. The mind can’t retain all the details. The book Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past
was a very inspirational read about getting into writing, as well as a good guideline on how to start and what to do.