Each new year gives us an opportunity for reflection on the previous. Our accomplishments, failures, and life overall. We often find ourselves making lists of items on which we can improve. How do we determine what is best for us to improve?

I would often find myself making plans to get better at a specific programming language, learn a new one, master design patterns, or a particular algorithm. While I could improve at all of those things is it really what I should spend my time on? I enjoy those things and will do them anyway, so in my opinion, this is a lazy way of planning to get better.

If you’re familiar with the computer science term “reflection,” then you probably understand introspection or self-reflection. Introspection is the examination of one’s thoughts and feelings. This review can help you become a better person, be happier, become more efficient, and many more things.

You can be a brilliant developer, but if you’re an asshole, no one will want to work with you. We should welcome any new ideas with words of encouragement. A crazy idea, in our opinion, could turn out to be a brilliant idea. We should have patience and be less quick to judge or shoot down thoughts. We need to listen to each other carefully. We are rarely put in a life or death situation where a decision has to be made in minutes. Take the time to plan, brainstorm, and think about the problem. Utilize your team if you have one.

Our lives are short, so let’s find ways to enjoy them, and help others enjoy theirs.