📅 2021 in review

Settings goals is pointless if you don't look back and reflect on how you did. It seems like 2021 was a shit show in so many ways, but I was also very productive at the beginning and end of the year. Let's break down each of my 2021 goals and see how I did.

💏 marriage

I wanted to improve on communication and appreciation this year, and I think I've come a long way! My wife and I grew a lot this year as a couple, and we had some very intentional conversations about how to have the best marriage. Communication is at an all time high, and we're feeling very connected to one another.

Also, we just celebrated our seven year anniversary with an awesome day in downtown Austin!

😁 positivity

I'm not sure how I did it, but throughout the achilles injury I was mentally tough and stayed positive throughout my recovery process. I truly believe that without a good attitude, my recovery would not have gone as well as it did. I finished physical therapy in the summer and have been pushing myself to get back to where I was in the gym before the injury.

🦶 recovery

In regards to training, the first half of the year was focused stricly on recovering from my achilles injury. It was a lot of very focused exercises, and didn't really leave room for training any other body parts.

In the second half of the year I started training upper body again, and slowly introduced running. By October I ran a 5k at a 7:40 / mile pace, not bad. When I started feeling more comfortable I reintroduced lower body days. Starting from just the bar, I've been able to work up to 225 on squat at 315 on deadlift so far without form breakdown or pain.

I've been alternating lifting and running to ensure I don't bulk up too much this winter, and to keep my heart in good shape. The only thing I'm still avoiding is sprints, which is what caused the injury in the first place. I think my mental barriers are finally coming down, and I'll bring back sprints in 2022.

ğŸŽ™ podcast

I definitely surpassed everything I dreamed of for this goal. I started Web Dev Weekly with Richard Gottleber and released 31 episodes which averaged over 100 listens per episode! We are currently taking a break for the month of December, but I'm working on a new custom website for the show and we've got a backlog full of ideas for next year.

ğŸŽ¥ twitch

While I didn't release any merch, I completely overhauled my Twitch overlays with a completely custom site. I also built a chat bot that responds to !commands and has rewards for redeeming channel points, like changing my VS Code theme or the color of my Hue lights. I even added a notification to this site when I'm live.

I got the chance to stream during work hours to support Extra Life, a great charity organization benefitting children's hospitals.

Although my streaming slowed down quite a bit during my job transition, I've been picking it back up lately. Now I'm streaming video games like Halo Infinite in addition to web development.

📺 youtube

I did very well on YouTube this year! I created 24 videos and gained 273 subscribers, nearly doubling my subscriber count from last year. I released two tutorial series, one covering webpack and another covering firebase, along with some other one off videos.

Lately I've been experimenting with more eye catching thumbnails. I feel a little weird doing them, but we'll see if it attracts more viewers in the long run.

🏡 bradgarropy.com

This site got a lot of love over the last year, with a total redesign of the home page, a lot of behind the scenes rework, and a newsletter signup form.

I've attempted to convert the site to Next.js three different times now, and each time I've convinced myself not to halfway though the project. The first half of the migration goes very smoothly, but it's the markdown rendering chain that trips me up every time. Despite the advice of other developers, I'm still not ready to let go of the idea just yet.

As far as content goes, I published 14 blog posts this year, and my very first newsletter issue! It's definitely tough choosing where to create content, but I find the blog better for technical deep dives.

🤠 daily texas country

After I started the podcast, committing to both Whiskey Wednesday and the podcast on a weekly cadence became a bit stressful. So I decided to stop content creation for Daily Texas Country. That doesn't mean I'll never pick it up again, I really enjoyed making the videos and keeping up with Texas country music! So it's not dead, just on hiatus.

⏱ murphy

After my achilles injury, I found it very difficult to create marketing material for a workout app when I could barely walk. Although I did want to convert it to Next.js, it seemed pointless if I couldn't produce any new marketing material to gain traction.

ğŸŽ¬ conclusion

As planned, I focused on lot on strengthening my foundations in 2021. Things like my website, my podcast, my YouTube channel, my fitness, and of course my marriage. Next year I plan to take calculated steps to building real products online, and sharing my progress through my social platforms. It will be my first steps towards solo entrepreneurship.