So the end of the year is coming and as I did last year, I'm reviewing my year for both my future reference and for anyone out there interested in reading it.
2014 was one of the best years so far, which means I had a challenge coming in to 2015: make it better, or at the very least stay at the same level of awesomeness.
I managed to not only improve upon the aspects of my life that were going great, but also turn around several other things that weren't that good in 2014.
Let's get started!
2014 will forever remain very dear to my heart career-wise - it was the year I started taking my freelancing/consultancy business seriously and I realised the potential I had.
In 2015 I managed to build upon all the work I put into my career last year and I worked with great clients on very interesting projects.
Despite not having any groundbreaking stuff to announce, I'm very happy with my performance this year. I more than doubled my hourly rate and my skillset has improved substantially.
I feel much more confident taking in new projects knowing that I've performed consistently on a very high-level for the past couple years.
Education wise, I finished 3 out of the 5 years of my Engineering Masters without failing any classes, which means I now have a degree in engineering sciences.
Unfortunately you can only be a real engineer in Portugal if you go through the 5 years, so I'm still a year and a half away from finishing my studies. I managed to find a nice balance between my career and my education, so that's not really a problem. I could certainly make better use of the time I spend studying and working on college assignments, but at the end of the day this was my decision and I'm sticking with it.
I haven't been to any conferences or hackathons this year, which is a bit disappointing, but I'll be trying to change this next year - more goals to come in the end of this blog post!
Overall I feel like this year was a solid improvement career-wise. Not terribly exciting, not groundbreaking, but if I could keep up this pace I would be more than happy with myself!
This time last year I was unhappy with myself for not hitting the gym for a couple months. A few months ago, the "couple months" turned into a full year without any real exercise. I decided that enough was enough and I started going to a new gym, waking up at around 6:30AM and working out for around a hour before college.
This alone made me go from 68kg to 64kg and made me much happier with my physique.
On a more serious note, I always had a tendency to develop tonsillitis and I was recommended after going to the doctor after another crisis to start taking a monthly penicillin shot, because my symptoms were in line with a more serious general infection. So far that seems to be working as I'm 3 months without any problems.
Friends, Family and Relationship
About this time last year I was sad because me and Maria couldn't make our relationship work. Fortunately we decided to give it another go this year and things have been really great. It's not always easy to maintain a relationship, but it really is worth it. When we both look back at all the hardships and adversities, we clearly see how each one of them molded us into what we are today, and that's something I will always cherish and keep very dear to my heart.
My advice for you is: find someone who truly makes you happy, who respects you as the person you are and then go out of your way to make them happy too. Don't just let things happen, be pro-active and work towards both your happiness and your also partner's happiness.
Family-wise, there isn't much to report, which is a good thing. I'm very fortunate to have a family that's very supportive of one another and I couldn't ask for better people to have around me.
Goals for 2016
I was able to accomplish most of my goals for 2015, including launching 2 new side-projects and making numerous business connections. Unfortunately I didn't got around to travel to a new country, which is why I will start off the goals for this year with that exact thing!
Travel to a new country
In 2015 I was so focused on so many different things that I really didn't pay any attention to traveling. I spent a week in the sunny Algarve but that was about it.
Next year I want to focus a bit on traveling again because I truly enjoy getting to know new places, the whole trip is exciting for me, even waiting on the airport, and I want that feeling again.
Launch my new product
Last year I set the goal of launching 2 new side-projects, whether they are successful or not. I was able to launch 2 new side-projects, an iOS app and a SaaS web-app. As expected, none of them were a hit - I built them mostly as practice.
However, for the past few months I've been working on a new product, which has over 1,000 people signed up for the beta and more than 50 users already actively using the iOS beta on TestFlight.
I'm planing on releasing the product in a couple months, after my finals, and hopefully this one will be a hit. I'm really looking forward to it!
Keep up with my gym routine
As I mentioned in the Health chapter, I've been going to the gym before classes. The problem with this schedule is that it gets really hard for me to wake up that early, I'm a real night owl. However it is something that I have to do, so I hope I can keep it up next year.
Maintain my happiness
At this point in time I'm really pleased with pretty much everything in my life. I'm actively working with clients on interesting projects, I managed to save up enough money so that I don't have to really think about it considering my lifestyle, my family is healthy and I am in a very happy relationship.
The problem with having everything going on for me is that as they saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. In 2016, I need to focus on actively maintaining everything that's going well, whether it is keeping myself dedicated to my studies, going out of my way to improve my career and make my clients happy and being the best partner I can be in my relationship.
That's it for 2015. If you're still reading up until this point, I'd like to thank you for your time and wish you a successful 2016.
Feel free to follow me on twitter @ruigomeseu or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you'd like to discuss anything!