Welcome back! It's another New Year's blog post. Let's get right into my goals for this year.
1. Obtain the AWS Solutions Architect certification
Right now, I'm working as a Solutions Architect, and I'm all about boosting my career with the right certification. I absolutely love what I do and want to get even better at it, so I can be an even more valuable part of my company. Even though I've got a master's degree, I'm hungry to learn more and up my game.
I'm currently getting ready for the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam, which is set for February 23rd. What's interesting is that a big chunk of the stuff in this exam is also in the Solutions Architect (SA) exam. I'm making good progress with my studies, and I'm pretty confident that I'll be all set to tackle the exam by the end of the year.
I'm on a mission to move up in my career, prove my worth, and pick up some fresh skills along the way. Some folks really value higher education, but let's be real, it doesn't always translate to practical skills like setting up a static IP or tackling everyday tech challenges. It's kind of frustrating, and I'm not alone in feeling this way.
So, getting a certification seems like a good way to bridge that gap and show how I’m capable.
2. Have a good comeback at CactusCon 12
CactusCon is Feb 16-17, 2024 located in Phoenix, AZ and is a lovely information security conference. I have previously spoken at CactusCon, and if you’d like to watch my talk you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIfOhFOmX-8&t=4202s
Sadly, I had to say no to two speaking gigs in 2023. The first one I turned down was because I wanted to keep things honest, both for the talk and the conference itself. The second one, which was a real bummer, happened to be for my favorite conference. I had a sudden emergency that threw me off work and made it impossible for me to make it to the event or travel there. It stung my self-esteem, my reputation, and, of course, it meant missing out on delivering a really awesome talk with loads of valuable content.
Now, I've got my sights set on creating another talk for 2025, but we'll have to see how that pans out. I've been doing talks since 2019, and I sometimes wonder how long I'll stay in the speaking circuit. I used to want to make a difference in the community, and for a while, that was a noble goal. But, you know what? The community's been taken over by a bunch of self-centered folks and posers and being in the public eye has had its fair share of downsides.
Unfortunately, there was this Instagram incident in the past that targeted me and a few other femmes in the community. But you know what? I'm ready for a comeback. I need to make a splash, share my passion and knowledge with the world, and create some really helpful content. It's time for me to shine once more.
3. Maintain a regular skincare regimen
In 2023, I turned 30. It’s time to start taking anti-aging seriously.
The basic steps can be boiled down to cleansing, treating, and moisturizing. This can be expanded upon to additional steps to create a more robust routine: cleansing, toning, moisturizing and treatment. Treatments should be cycled through and used at appropriate times. Treatments include serums, eye cream, exfoliation, masks, and night creams.
Starting with a simple routine is a must; don't go piling on a bunch of products all at once. Take retinol, for instance – it's something you want to ease into, especially if you're in your 30s, and it's not an everyday thing. Personally, I've been sticking to a basic cleanser and moisturizer, but I know I need to step up my game for better results. It's really all about keeping up the habit and staying consistent, just like when you're making a resolution for your skincare routine.
4. Create a monthly blog post
In today's landscape, content creation has become more accessible than ever before. Although I've composed the entirety of this blog post, I've leveraged tools to rephrase and articulate it. This has considerably simplified the content creation process and alleviated the anxiety associated with it. With these readily available tools, it's unreasonable to hold myself back from producing content.
While the specific content of future posts remains undecided, I have confidence that I possess enough material to share something each month. I've previously made this commitment and fallen short. However, with the tools I've mentioned, I am optimistic that achieving this goal will be more attainable for me.
5. Achieve financial goals
This one is private enough that I’m not going to share the details online. I didn’t want to exclude it, because I want to reflect on it later, but if I continue on the path I am currently going, I should be able to achieve my goals in 2025.
6. Produce more content, reduce idle time
Even though this idea is somewhat broad, my aim is to generate content that people can enjoy. Perhaps I can link it to my goals for blog posts and talks, but I also have a desire to add some cool stuff like swag and artwork. I'm looking to provide valuable professional blog posts, share cybersecurity memes, and create various types of media.
I heard some advice that you shouldn’t spend more than 2 hours doing nothing. Instead of using this idle time to do nothing (decompress) I can use it to channel into creating content or media.
7. Create more 3D printing media
I had a blast 3D printing toys for Toys for Tots this year. I could have produced even more if I had planned things out, secured the right filament, and optimized my printing process. I prefer not to leave my prints unattended, so I needed to coordinate it better with my workday. Additionally, there are ways to donate 3D models to local art communities and craft personalized gifts for friends and family.
Right now, I've got to fix my 3D printer because it had a hiccup and stopped working due to a wiring issue. Fortunately, I have the skills to get it back up and running soon, and hopefully, I'll be able to continue my 3D printing projects. Maybe I can even share some of this 3D printing content on the blog and help achieve some of my other goals.
To achieve these objectives, I plan to revisit the concept of a vision board, a topic I've discussed before on the blog. The arrival of a new year presents the perfect opportunity for setting fresh goals. While I have some additional goals I prefer to keep to myself, these are the ones I'm confident I can work on and share my progress with along the journey. Thanks for joining me on this journey, I hope you stay tuned!