Wrapping up 2022
I was very harsh on myself in last year’s review. I think it was because I published it almost immediately after finishing work, whereas this year, I’m now almost two weeks into a nice, long break.
It was useful to be harsh to myself last year, though, because I’ve approached 2022 with a much healthier, pragmatic and most importantly, a complete focus on self-care.
It means I have immediately succeeded in one of last year’s resolutions: be happier with myself, this time next year.
This leads us nicely to…
Resolutions from last year
I succeeded in all but one of my resolutions! The only one I didn’t succeed in was the weeknotes one. That’s no surprise though, because I hate writing to a brief, so it was never gonna stick.
The most important one was block booking holiday. This resulted in 6 weeks of holiday this year. That’s an eighth of a year! A massive contrast to the paltry 1 week I took last year.
The other most important goal was getting my weight down to 14 stone (88kg) and maintain it. I got a personal trainer to help me out for a few months at the start of the year which was fairly useful, but I’m giving myself full credit for success here. Sure he helped with nutrition and resistance training education, but to lose over 2 stone was all down to me changing for the better.
I’ve been in an around 14 stone since July, so it took around 6 months. I’m really happy with that because maintaining it has been easy. Im still enjoying life—especially wine—and I’m not killing myself with exercise I don’t want to do. I simply can’t do that because I’m so bloody injury-prone; I always have been.
All I do now is most days, consume around 2000 calories (not really tracking that tho), go for a 5k run 2-3 times a week and do a bit of resistance training like weights 1-2 times a week, tops.
I’m still carrying a bad ankle injury, so next year, I’m cutting down on running, but that doesn’t keep the weight off: diet does. Running is more for my mental health, but I’ll still do plenty to help that.
I feel like I’ve got a much better handle of this sort of stuff now and I’m much happier in my own skin because of that.
Work has been a bit too much this year, but I’m not mad about that: it’s to be expected when I’ve been transitioning from being a freelancer to running an agency. There was a few points where longer freelance projects got in the way of the studio stuff and took up a lot of time and energy.
Now Set Studio is 100% of the focus and I’m happy to say I’ve hired not one, but two people, so 2023 should be much more sensible.
I’m so happy that the studio is in a position to hire. I really wanted to be in a place where I hired one person, but two is unreal.
The first is Leanne: a designer and front-end developer. She is outrageously good and having her on board will mean I do a lot less production work. I’ve done too much of that and not enough business stuff. It’ll be nice knowing she can maintain and push the ridiculously high standards I set for our work.
The second is Liridon: a junior developer. Liridon is doing a career switch and is starting from scratch. I expect by the end of the year, they will be ready to work on client projects, but the focus for the year is they learn and develop a really strong, balanced skill set. I’ll be primarily training them myself, but I’ll be investing in courses, workshops and conferences to help with that too. I can’t wait to see how he develops.
The focus for the agency in 2023 is foundation building. I don’t want us to run before we can walk; I’ve worked for too many agencies that have done that in the past. Instead, we’re in a good position financially to build slowly and kick-on in 2024. Expect some cool stuff from us, but we certainly won’t be killing ourselves to produce too much. Instead, we’ll be focusing on quality and sustainability.
I started the year thinking I’d do no speaking but instead I ended up speaking a 4 conferences lmao.
I wrote a new talk, “Be the browser’s mentor, not its micromanager”. I’ve got a draft post about the talk in the works so I won’t talk about that here, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at conferences again. It’s nice to travel and hang out with pals again.
I think ongoing, I need to break out of the tech echo chamber and speak at different events. As rewarding as speaking at tech conferences is: I feel like I’m preaching at the choir. I think it’ll be more beneficial to speak at design and marketing-focussed events more, long term.
I’m finally getting back into writing. I spent a lot of this year struggling to find some rhythm, but posting a lot on my own site has got it back for me.
I’m going to write more design and tech articles next year. I’m not sure what they’ll be yet, but they’ll come!
It’ll be a split between posting them on here and the upcoming Set Studio site. We’ve also got a nice little design tips and inspiration project cooking up too (for fans of the piccalilli newsletter).
2023 will be a good year for writing—especially on this site as I can do it on my phone. In fact, this whole post has been written on my phone!
Social Media and the web
I can’t really be arsed writing much about the fall of twitter because I’ve already covered it and Mastodon this year. All I will say is that it’s seemingly triggered a movement away from algorithmic, ad networks (known as social media sites) and a movement back towards the open web.
So many people are building their own space on the web again and I love it. Long may it continue. Let’s make 2023 the year of websites!
My music collection has grown nicely this year. I don’t think I’ll add much next year, other than a few key albums from the past and any new releases I really like.
I’ll write more about all of this when my last.fm review drops in the new year. What I will say is 2022 has been an incredible year for listening and discovering new music for me. Probably one of the best!
I’m also learning the piano in 2023. It’s about bloody time I did it properly. I’m pretty handy already, but I want to be able to play it properly and importantly, comfortably, so I can get back into composing and producing music in the long term.
I did that a long time ago and miss it. I used to make electronic and hip hop beats. Maybe 2023 will be the return of “andyvirus”…
I did well with last year’s resolutions so I’m hoping for the same again. 2023 will be different though because I only have one resolution:
I think it’s going to be a tough year with impending recessions, so I’m not going to set lofty goals. I want everything to just tick over as much as possible, while I do the groundwork for 2024.
So next year, it’s more principles for the year, rather than resolutions.
I’d give 2022 a solid 8 out of 10. I’m ending the year in a good place. I’m well rested after a nice, long break from work too.
I hope that will lay the foundation for a great 2023.
I hope you all have a happy and healthy new year 💜
👋 Hello, I’m Andy and I’ll help you build fast & visually stunning websites.
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