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Brock's Bytes - September 26th, 2022

Brock Herion
Brock Herion
Hey there! As always, thank you for taking the time to read Brock’s Bytes and I hope you enjoy this week’s edition.

Fall is officially in the air! Here in Chicago, this week started to get between 50-60 degrees outside. Couple that with the return of pumpkin spice at Starbucks, and it’s pretty easy to figure out why this is my favorite time of year.
This week was a little more laid back for me. I spent a lot more time focusing on myself and my routines. After spending some time analyzing what my long term goals are, I’ve been slowly shifting my day over to build habits that support these goals. I’ll talk a bit more about what my goals are and how each habit supports said goal.
Now without further ado, let’s get into this week’s bytes!
I got up at 4 am everyday
When I tell people I’m up at 4 am, I usually get a lot of strange looks. Most people follow up their look by asking me why I’m up so early. The honest answer is I’m a just morning person. I’ve been getting up early for as long as I can remember. I would get up at 6:30 on a weekends for fun when I was younger. Besides enjoying my mornings, waking up this early gives me a huge jump start to my day. It gives me about three to three and a half hours of focused work before I actually start my work day.
I worked out everyday
Here’s the first part that fits into my larger long-term goals. When I get up, the first thing I do after getting dressed was to head the to gym for an hour and workout. And when I have lunch, I usually go on a walk for about a mile. Both of these habits help me with my goal of improving my physical health. Ever since I stopped doing gymnastics, my fitness suffered a quite a bit. I went from moving at least three hours a day to sitting for eight hours coding. I’m working to not just get back in shape, but surpass where I was when I was athlete.
I cooked my own meals (almost) daily
My second major goal for this year was to cook healthier meals at home. Again, this fits into my goal of improving my physical health. I cooked mostly lean protein like chicken and learned how to use a slow cooker. Having the slow cooker made it really easy to let a delicious, healthy meal cook all day. This was a game changer for me because I don’t really like having to cook at the end of the work day. I like being to take time for myself to relax and unwind. Plus, it saves me money on eating out, which means I’m putting more away to eventually buy my first home.
I prioritized working freelance and side projects
I made a conscious effort this week to stay on top of my projects outside of work. It’s really easy for me to get distracted with playing video games or watching TV after work, so I made it a priority to make some progress on each of my projects. These projects are a great chance for me to work on my skills that I don’t always have a chance to outside of work. They’re a great way for me to keep pushing my skills forward. And while I didn’t have any major announcements or releases for anything, I am still moving and making progress on them.
I picked up a course on UX/UI design
As Chirpmark continues making progress, I keep getting some amazing feedback on it. This week, I actually got some feedback about the UI. It wasn’t anything drastic, but mostly small suggestions that would make the experience so much better for the user. As somebody who does mostly back-end work, these are things that I hadn’t really learned or thought about. Refactoring UI was recommended to me and I spent the weekend digging through it. It’s from the creators of Tailwind CSS, which is by far my favorite CSS framework. There’s an incredible amount of information here that really changed how I looked at the apps I was building. I started refactoring one of them and the difference in quality already is staggering. If you’re looking improve your UI/UX skills, this is the course for you!
I spend more time reading
My second goal for myself this year was to read 24 books. As of right now, I’ve completed 17 and have two in progress. Now you may be thinking that it’s counter-intuitive for me to be reading two books at once. However, one of them is actually an audio book that I like to put on while I’m at the gym or on a walk. I really enjoy listening to fiction and biographies on Audible, and right now I’m listening to Steve Jobs. On my Kindle, I tend to have books that I want to take notes on and dissect in further detail. On my Kindle, I’m currently reading How to Win Friends and Influence People. Both of these books have been great thus far and I would recommend reading them. You can get them both on Amazon in whatever format you prefer!
How to Win Friends and Influence People: https://amzn.to/3DPwWpA
I made more coffee at home
One of my favorite parts of my morning routine is my cup of coffee. Usually I’m pretty bland and will just brew a pot to drink from. But because it’s now pumpkin spice season, I had to really fight against the urge to just go to Starbucks and get a latte. I decided to buy some syrups and some sauces to make my favorite drinks at home. I already have an espresso machine, so it was just a matter of figuring out what to make. I decided to try my hand at a pumpkin, brown sugar, oat milk shaken espresso. Not only was this drink delicious, but I found making it to be really relaxing. There’s something that I’ve always loved about making coffee or even cocktails this way. Each ingredient adds something special to the drink and helps create a unique set of flavor. It’s so relaxing and has become a staple of my morning routine.
I neglected writing
If there’s one area I really dropped the ball this week, it was keeping up with my writing. I haven’t written in my journal at all, I did not release a new blog post, and I didn’t finish the script for my YouTube video on React Query. I did manage to create a demo project for that though! I also did not do my weekly reflection yesterday on how my goals went this week. I haven’t felt really up to writing lately, and even writing this newsletter took a lot more effort from me than usual. I love writing and want to keep pushing myself in this area. For the coming week, writing will be a higher priority of mine than it normally is.
That’s a wrap!
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you learned something new! If you enjoyed it, please consider sharing
Want to get in touch? You can reply to this newsletter or send me a message on Twitter @brockherion.
Until next time, Brock
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Brock Herion
Brock Herion @brockherion

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