Self reflection of 2013 and goals for 2014

December 28, 2013

2013 self reflection and goals for 2014

Last years posts can be found here

It’s been a fantastic year. For 9 months out of these 12 months I’ve been working for a great company called Specialmoves, a digital production studio that makes everything from websites to apps. It’s a job I love and I met some amazing people. You all know who you are. In September I said goodbye to my company and to England and for the last 3 months I’ve been travelling around Asia. Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and currently in Taiwan. It’s a journey that I’ve chosen for myself and I’ve learnt so much along the way. I imagined I’d be in china by now but I’ve been sidetracked in Taiwan. I’ve met a great family that takes care of me and who I think of a second family and I’ve found a place I really enjoy living in. Not only that but it’s the perfect environment for me to continue learning Chinese.

So my travel plans will be to stay in Taiwan until the end of January, then fly to Malaysia for a couple weeks to visit family travel a bit. Then I’m going to come back to Taiwan and spend another 3 months knuckling down and studying mandarin.

I thought i wouldn’t be doing this, but I feel like in life if you get those good feelings about a place, person or dream. You need to grasp it and give it a chance to flourish. Travelling can always wait. The world will still be there.

My goals for 2013 in retrospect:

Web Development/Career

In the last year I’ve worked on the biggest project of my life, for a brand I use and love, Wacom. pushed me to my limits on what I knew in terms of web technology, teamwork and also the incredible amount of work we had to put in as a team at Specialmoves. I learnt an incredible amount of JavaScript, by observing my more experienced team members code and also by writing some of my own that pushed my own abilities.

I got much much better at writing native JavaScript code from scratch and in turn improved my jQuery skills as you begin to understand what’s happening under the hood when you understand both native JS and jQuery. I also got to play with different frameworks such as Backbone and Angular, which seems to be the future of web apps when they’ve matured. This is something I should think about for 2014.

** Chinese**

Chinese has been my main focus this year. I’ve grown leaps and bounds from when I wrote my goals for 2013 in 2012. The first 5-6 months I was studying very hard. I drifted off in the next 3 months, but still kept up the same level and then in September, October when I started travelling I pretty much. Since November I’ve restarted my learning as I’ve realised it’s just as important to me as travel and having language partners is only enough to keep up my language, not improve.


Well, I’ve definitely ticked this box. I only attended to make the most of the 4 weeks of holiday I had per year, but when I realised how much travel actually means to me I knew I had to do it now. Although instead of seeing more of China (not including Shanghai in February) I seem to have seen much more of South East Asia and even more of Taiwan. The time period of 4 weeks I set myself to improve my Chinese before going to Shanghai went exceeding

Passive income

I have done none of this. And now that I’m in Asia, doing this makes a lot of sense as I’m planning to be in Taiwan for a little while.

Goals for 2014

Going to keep it punchier than my last post so it’s easier to track and if I edit this post I’ll add the date it was edited on that goal.


C1 level of Chinese by my birthday of this year.

Read an entire book in Chinese

Web Design/Development

Rebuild my own portfolio website into something I’d be proud to show as a portfolio piece.

Start building freelance contacts so I can work location independently.

I didn’t build a WordPress theme last year, so I’m going to have to start this this year.


Start collating some of the ideas I’ve gathered from my blog to write a draft of a book on learning, habits or motivation.

Continue writing this blog every week this year and not miss one week. Consider writing more if there is more to talk about or start another blog or a more specific topic


Keep up my fitness I’ve been doing so far. Make sure in whatever country I’m in I keep up something to keep me active, fit and healthy.

And if anyone has motivational problems about setting goals and push yourself, they need to watch this:

[Post]( by [Sports Motivation](

Profile picture

Distilling the complicated into the simple. And sometimes general wonderings. Follow me on twitter