Looking back at 2018

posted 1 month ago in Life | 3 min read

By the end of every year, I spend some time looking back at the year that just passed and evaluating how well I did. Did I reach goals? Did I feel good throughout the year and how do I think about the year? I also take the review as an opportunity to adjust long-term goals and goals for the upcoming year.

This year had some major changes and therefore this year feels like it ended too fast. When I look back at my last years' review and what I set as the main focus for this year it was more about doing less, more about investing in people and relationships than on work. I decided to drop side-projects and I set the goals to get into public speaking and open source development.

I started that way. At the beginning of 2018, I got in touch with some people that I hadn't spoken to for a long time (like for years). I also started publishing some work to open source.

From Ghent with love

But during March/April there was a big chance coming towards me. In a sub-clause of my review, I mentioned that I wanted to move to a Dutch speaking area and work there for a while. And by the end of March, I got that opportunity: I got the opportunity to work at Teamleader in the beautiful city of Ghent. And without wasting too much time I took this chance and moved to Ghent in May. I even wrote about it here

That change destroyed my other plans. Instead of getting back in touch with people that I hadn't talked too much I met and still meet new people. For the first time in my life, I'm living longer than 6 months in another country than Germany and I am pretty sure that I'm not going to move back. My plans to continue learning Japanese have been delayed, instead, I'm trying to survive in an environment with a lot of Flemish accents and the amount of work (as an employee) definitely increased compared to last year.

But how do I feel about it? Even after now almost eight months I still think that taking the chance here was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my entire life. It might not help me on my lifetime goal, but moving here and working in such a company with daily learnings gives me so many more opportunities in the mid-term. Opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten in Germany.

2019 is all about learning (and teaching)

For the upcoming year, I do not want to set any big goal. I want to focus that year entirely on learning. Learning to become a better developer, learning to become a speaker, learning to become a better leader, learning to become a better human.

In addition, I want people to learn from me. I'm probably not the smartest man on earth (and I will never be), but I think that I made some experiences in life already that might be interesting for other people. I want to spread the learnings I made and help others. Not sure how I'm going to do that, but I will figure out.

Another thing that I want to accomplish next year is getting something done that I postponed for too long: Releasing my app to learn Tamil. I'm working on it for way too long but in the last days, I made some real progress. In the upcoming days, I will be able to release the first landing page that will keep you updated about the first grammar book that I'm going to release and based on that I will publish an iOS app.

Let's get things done

A piece of advice that I can give you: It doesn't matter how much you plan and envision if you don't execute it will stay a dream. So whatever you think of you should do, go out and make it happen.


Photo by Amin Salehi on Unsplash