2021: Quarter 1 Review and Goals Looking Forward to Quarter 2

A short recap of the 2021 first quarter that is gone by, and looking forward! I did reasonably well in three out of for focus Areas.

Rahul Pulikkot Nath
Rahul Pulikkot Nath

Table of Contents

This year I started setting Quarterly Goals, and the plan was to track every quarter to keep a check on the progress.

We are already at the end of March, and as promised, here is my first Quarterly review post.

2020: What Went Well, What Didn’t and Goals
A short recap of the year that is gone by and looking forward!

Review of Q1, 2021

Here is a summary of how I progressed with the Goals I had set for the first quarter of 2021. At a high level, my focus was on 4 Areas of my Life - Improving Family Experience, Learning,  Fitness, and Grow my Audience.

I had set SMART measurable Goals for each of these Areas. It enabled me to come up with percentage progress. Some of these items were either a done or not done case. I ended up coming up with some figures to account for my progress.

E.g., with Run a HM in 2:00 by the end of March 2021 even though I could not do this, I have used some calculations on how I am progressing, based on information from Strava/Garmin to arrive at a progress percentage. While this might not be accurate, it still gives something to refer to.

Since this is the first time I am doing OKR styled Goal tracking, I feel I might have overcommitted on certain Areas while also acknowledging that I have been lazy with others.

Goal Review with percentage progress for Q1, 2021

Let's take a closer look at each of the Areas and see how I progressed with it.

Improve Family Experience ●●●●●●○○○○ 60%

Much of the things went as planned for this Area. Except for buying a house (which we are still actively looking for), I made good progress on the rest.

We made lots of day trips around Brisbane (parks, golf course, beaches, etc.) and had a great time doing it (all of it following and safe as per the COVID guidelines in Queensland).

I am also happy to see that Gautham can ride the bicycle without the trainers, one of the kid projects that I took on.

Gautham with his cycle, happy that he can ride on his own

I averaged around 70-80 mins for screen time, which is slightly more than what I originally intended it to be.

Learning ●●●●●●●●●○ 89%

By far, the learning goal went very much as planned. Except for the The Art of Reading online course (course launch date got pushed to April 19th), I was able to complete most of the things I initially set out for.

I wanted to read the book on Microservices, but that didn't happen. I did get started on it; however, I didn't continue past the second chapter.

To make up for that, I have been reading up on AWS for my new job at OFX. I am working on setting up a Learning path for AWS using some ideas from Ultralearning. (Of course, I'll publish it once I have a rough plan)

Improve My Fitness ●●●○○○○○○○ 30%

I lacked the most in this Area. Ever since I dislocated my shoulder early last year (New Year's day 2020, to be precise), I have been slacking off on my running and cycling.

I have been on and off running and a bit of cycling with little or no core exercises. With the start of the New Year, I intended to get back to it and build my old routine.

Even though I set out to do an average of 5 activities per week (3 runs and 2 cycle), I ended up roughly doing 2 activities per week.

Strava training calendar summary for Q1, 2021

While I could blame the weather, other priorities, etc., I was lazy. Even on the days, I went out running, I found myself running slower and shorter distances without exerting a lot.

I was on and off with the Core workout exercises and never got on a regular schedule with it.

With less workout and more food and working fully remote, the only things I gained is some weight.

Grow Audience ●●●●●●○○○○ 58%

The main focus for growing my Audience has been with YouTube, and it has been just ok. I had a goal of increasing 2500 subscribers while only halfway there with 1200 new subscribers.

I did not do anything different other than my usual content generation. I gave up on YouTube Shorts right after the first one (as I did not like the video format) also never got to do any YouTube Live.

Same with growing Twitter followers, I wanted to add 200 followers, but only at around 54 now.

Part of this might also be because I have set a very high goal to start with.

Below is a snapshot of my Content Calendar for the last quarter. I published 6 blog posts and 9 YouTube videos.

Content Calendar for Q1, 2021

I have been mostly consistent with the content schedule of 1 video per week and 2 blog posts per month, except for a few missed out weeks between Feb and March. This was mainly because I was stuck and procrastinating with the JWT Authentication in ASP NET Core video.

I didn't do anything on 'Pre-Launch Online Course', and I decided to discard that goal (right after the first few weeks into January). I ignored it from the overall percentage score.

Goals for Q2, 2021

Taking on some  learnings from the last quarter

  • Overcommitted on the YouTube and Twitter growth count.
  • Did not try new methods to grow Audience
  • Ideas were not tracked or monitored closely
  • Fitness Goals felt unreachable (were set based on my fitness levels over a year back)

For the upcoming Quarter, My high-level Areas of focus remains the same - Fitness, Grow my Audience, Learning and Improving Family Experience.

I have adjusted some of the SMART Goals and Ideas based on the past quarter's learnings. The Ideas are more measurable and added tracking against each of them. It helps track progress every week of the Idea and see how that is affecting overall goals.

Check out my December Newsletter if you want to learn more about Goal Setting!

Some of my main Key Results for the second quarter of 2021 are:

  • Run a 10k in under 53 minutes by the end of Jun 2021
  • Gain 2k YouTube Subscribers and 100 Twitter followers.
  • Improve my Expertise in AWS and also Improve my Content Generation Skills.
  • More family trips and Buy and Move to a House
Areas, SMART Goals, and Ideas on how to achieve them - All managed in Notion

I am aiming high here with these Goals and would be happy to hit 80% of them. I will do a follow-up review towards the end of June 2021 and see where I stand with these Objectives and Goals.

How's the year been going for you?

Cover Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash