Emils Solmanis

2015 in review: personal growth hacking

the personal

One of my commitments getting into 2015 was sorting out my health and the habits influencing it most. You know, the stuff that everyone says they’ll finally do this year and then forgets about the week after — lose weight, start exercising regularly, eat better. Give it another week and the usual box of donuts is back on the coffee table next to the couch.

I’m a sucker for numbers, and I find it rather easy to lie to myself if there’s no evidence to back something up. So to succeed, I knew I’d need to track everything I did. So I got myself a Withings, a RunKeeper account, a heart rate monitor and signed up for MyFitnessPal to keep track of the absurd amounts of sugar I consumed.

Hard stats in hand, I can proudly say I’ve achieved everything I set out to do in this regard, and more, since I’ve also absolutely quit smoking (like “I don’t even smoke when I’m at the pub anymore” quit). It really messed with the running, so one of them had to go, and I’m not one to give up easily once I get started. RunKeeper says I’ve run 780-something kilometres since I started in early February, which might not seem like much, but in reality that’s 2.4km per day on average. The cherry on top of all this is that I’ve also finally restarted cycling for commuting, which is something I sorely missed since moving to London. I’d been using my bike for moving around almost exclusively for some 5 years, so it felt really good getting back into that habit.

the professional

I knew early in the year that I wasn’t completely happy with how things were done at work, so I knew it had to change to let myself feel truly happy. I also knew quite well what I was looking for, so the search began, but finding a place that appreciates individuality and independence, and also has great social culture and gets the team together on a regular basis is not that simple.

Yet, the place found me. Chris got in touch with me, we went out for coffee with Mirona, and (an interview later) the rest is history. The two months + change I’ve spent here so far have been awesome! We’ve had amazing food, super fun Away Days and parties, celebrated metaversaries and just enjoyed ourselves. We’ve also worked hard, built things that successfully survived their public launches and then optimised those things.

Having switched back to Java because of MetaBroadcast, I’ve gone even deeper into the Land of Language Agnostics. I’ve gotten to know Cassandra much better, which had been a desire for a while now, mostly since I already knew HBase quite well and wanted to know how they compared in a production scenario.

I’ve had the chance to be a part of a team of smart, talented people and work on my collaboration skills.

I can’t possibly tell what 2016 has in store, but since I love pushing my boundaries, all I can say is bring it on!

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