Goals

Life is short – I must prioritize the goals that are most important to me. There isn’t enough time to do everything I want to do, and sometimes, some things aren’t always possible for one reason or another. I’m sharing this list publicly to show some of my successes and failures, in hopes that it will help me be more accountable to achieving my goals in the future.

In chronological order, here are the highlights from my list of major personal goals (along with the year it was declared):

Red goals are currently in progress, crossed out goals have been abandoned or modified, greyed out goals have been put on hold, and green goals have been accomplished [with the year it was done].

  • Become a scientist. (1995) Become an engineer. (2003) [2016]
  • Win a science contest. (1997) [2000]
  • Become the first human to set foot on Pluto. (2001)
  • Win a scholarship to attend US Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. (2001) [2003] 
  • Learn to play (Chinese) Chess well. (2001)
  • Win a gold medal at the Calgary Youth Science Fair. (2002) [2004]
  • Find the love of my life. (2003) [2015] 
  • Start building a family. (2003) [2016]
  • Attend the most prestigious high school in Calgary. (2004)
  • Pass all of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s violin examinations. (2004)
  • Master playing Symphonie Espagnole, by Edouard Lalo, on the violin. (2004)
  • Become an excellent Dance Dance Revolution player. (2005)
  • Thoroughly research my family history and write about it. (2006)
  • Win an award at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair. (2007)
  • Learn mechanical engineering fundamentals. (2006) [2014]
  • Get into a good university with full financial aid. (2006) [2009]
  • Obtain my driver’s license. (2008)
  • Find the courage to really come out of the closet and be myself. (2009) [2013]
  • Maintain a GPA I can be proud of. (2009)
  • Scale a personal project into a real organization. (2009) [2015]
  • Become the varsity coxswain of the lightweight women’s rowing team. (2009) [2013]
  • Be granted a patent. (2009) [2016]
  • Get a Bachelor’s degree. (2009)
  • Join the Canadian National Rowing Team. (2010) [2012]
  • Go to the Olympics. (2010)
  • Build my own motorcycle. (2010)
  • Improve my Cantonese for formal/professional contexts. (2010)
  • Hike to the top of a significant mountain. (2010)
  • Stop being skinny fat by building physical activity into a regular part of my life. (2011) [2016]
  • Build a for-profit company. (2011)
  • Figure out a way to immigrate to the US and be able to build a life here. (2011) [2015]
  • Learn computer science and software engineering fundamentals. (2013) [2015]
  • Build a useful software application. (2013) [2016]
  • Learn to speak Mandarin and read/write simplified Chinese. (2013)
  • Learn to play the guitar. (2013)
  • Learn electrical engineering fundamentals. (2014)
  • Design my own printed circuit board. (2014)
  • Compose an electronic music piece. (2014)
  • Remix a song. (2014)
  • Assemble an electronic music mix. (2014)
  • Complete a Tough Mudder-like event. (2014)
  • Build a side project that generates recurring revenue. (2014)
  • Receive an offer for one of my dream jobs. (2014) [2015]
  • Build a different set of skills and learn about another industry by working at a meaningful company. (2015) [2016]
  • Learn embedded systems. (2015)
  • Save up to renew our marriage vows at a proper ceremony. (2015)
  • Make a home that I actually feel comfortable in with real furniture. (2015) [2016]
  • Build my own workspace: an electronics lab bench and machine shop. (2015)
  • Navigate a salary negotiation conversation successfully with an significant outcome I am happy with. (2015) [2016]
  • Build a home for my family to live, create, learn and thrive in. (2016)
  • Design and build a full stack software application entirely by myself. (2016)
  • Work with a manufacturing facility to produce a hardware product. (2016)
  • Earn the privilege to lead at an organization that I didn’t start myself. (2016)
  • Manage a product rollout involving product management, client development and user adoption. (2016) [2017]
  • Be able to competently execute all of the powerlifting techniques with a substantially weighted barbell. (2015)
    • Squat [2016] 
    • Bench press [2017]
    • Deadlift [2016]
  • Lift more than my own body weight. (2017)
  • Do one unassisted pull-up. (2017)
  • Ship a product that achieves mainstream adoption within a market. (2017)
  • Deeply understand complex, technical systems as a product manager without being the one to build it directly. (2017)

Professional goals related to specific organizations/initiatives that I work on have been excluded from this list. I have also chosen to stop setting “bucket list”-type goals (travels, experiences, etc.) because I’ve found those to be less meaningful for me.