2021 Review • 2022 Plan

Table of Contents

Here we are again, another year come and gone. Let’s look back at the lessons learned and mistakes made.

All up, it’s been a big year, we’ve all been redefining ‘normal’ post-2020. There’s been more division over the concern for safety and I genuinely hope you and your family are safe and well, thanks for reading this.

Disclaimer, this is a self-indulgent article and will not be value-focused. Since 2019, I’ve written yearly recaps as an exercise to be more intentional and increase personal growth.

1. 2021 Review

Here’s a list of some events from 2021, for a full list of events, see all newsletters.

  • Jan: Started part-time teaching online.
  • April: Started #100DaysOfHacking.
  • June: Started passive investing.
  • Aug: Started monthly newsletters.
  • Sep: Two year Wedding Anniversary and switched to Pearler.com for investing.
  • Nov: Announced job change and moved house.
  • Dec: Renovations, holidays with family, stay-cation and lots of video games.

2. Job

Ah, my day job, an IT Teacher. I honestly love my job, I’m extremely grateful to my peers and the students who make the workplace what it is.

At the beginning of 2021, I started a Part-time position teaching online, I was terrified. But after a lot of consideration, speaking with others and reflecting on 2021… I’m happy to say I’m officially moving over to online teaching Full-time in 2022!

My experience of ‘moving sideways‘ in a large business felt like navigating a landmine field sometimes. The long-standing corporate relationships, feelings of loyalty, and above-pay-grade politics were harder than I expected to understand.

I learnt I can’t please everyone, but I can help with impact. I tried to help the team I’m leaving fill the void of losing a colleague. My job still has to get done, so I wrote tutorials, recorded explainer videos and provided everything I could.

It’s been a crazy 3 years since I started teaching in 2018, I’ve grown so much and had the honour of teaching 100+ students. I’m thankful for the mentorship, friendship and lessons imparted from my teammates. It’s been a rollercoaster and I’m grateful for it all.

3. Website

This brings me to this website, the one you’re on, Mr Ash.co. This is my learning sandbox and an excuse for Professional Development.

I’ve been writing blogs since early 2019 and I’ve always struggled with organising my thoughts into content. I write about programming, web design, WordPress, hardware, and other tech subjects. It wasn’t until August that I grouped these broad topics under three topics, 1) Work-life, 2) Cyber and 3) Web.

Now everything feels organised and connected to my brain, it’s fantastic! My 2021 vision statement was, “I’ll have clearer thoughts on subjects and better package them for others.” It’s nice to know it’s worked.

I realised the importance of blogging and publishing content consistently to improve over time. A motto for me is always, “Progression, not perfection,” and it’s ringing true, slowly. Here are all the articles I posted for 2021, there are 33 in total. Back in 2020, I had posted 21 articles, that’s 12 more each year.

I also started #100DaysOfHacking, I pick a Cyber Sec topic, learn it and then write a tutorial blog post to help someone else. It’s been a lot of fun! It’s led me to start learning Cyber SecurityProgramming with PythonHomelabbing and more.

4. Friends, Family and More

We were lucky enough to go to Sydney for a week and see my wife’s favourite musical, Hamilton. It was amazing and we loved exploring the city together. We went to the Gold Coast with her side of the family which was nice. There was a lock-down in the middle of it sadly but there was a pool, spa and we could still get take-away from amazing restaurants so it wasn’t bad.

In August we adopted my grandparent’s dog, Max, so he’s kept us busy. He was timid when he arrived but it has been such a nice journey watching him become more comfortable. We had a stay-cation when we house-sat for some family and look after their pets for a week, which was interesting on the pets’ part, the dog got a tick, it was a whole thing.

My Grandad passed away which was really sad, Grandma asked me to speak at the funeral. I was apprehensive at first, but it turned out to be really nice. It was one of the most lively funerals I’ve ever seen, it was the best way to send Douggie off.

In September we crossed two years of marriage, a massive milestone! We celebrated by staying in a local area here in QLD, close to home vacations are great. My wife and I are also on a regular gym routine, I’m so proud of us. Plus our friends started coming too, now’s it even more fun.

Come Dec, we moved houses, all the way across the lawn, ha! My wife and I lived in a studio 1 room house behind my parents. We’re moving into the big house where we gain an office/guest room, entertaining space, pantry and an actual bedroom door! It’s a dream for us.

Pair that with starting my new job and it’s exciting! Moving online full-time brings its pros and cons as most decisions do in life. I’m keen to work from home with flexible arrangements, so I’ll be up early to kick off each day.

5. 2022 Plan

To help move forward into the new year, here’s my annual plan:

Vision Statement: In 2022 I’ll learn in public via my blog. I’ll have more audio/video to support blog posts and find a balance of entertainment and education. I’ll be more comfortable putting myself out there for others to learn.

Key Point Indicators (KPIs):

  • 1 blog post per week, 40-50 total
  • 1 newsletter per month, 10 total
  • Newsletter friends, increase to 200
  • YouTube subs, increase to 400
  • Monthly blog views/visitors: 3k/2k
  • Pearler FI Progress: 2/5 100%

Focus Area: To be comfortable recording and sharing video content for students and readers online.

Thank you:

About The Author
Ashley Ball

Ashley Ball

“Learn, create, share, repeat.” • IT teacher, former web designer, learning CyberSec • Road to #100DaysOfHacking on Hackers Learning Path.
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