Today is the start of the new me; 12 projects in 12 months

01-01-2022 | 8 min read
Today is the start of the new me; 12 projects in 12 months

Let me start off this post by saying: Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2022 will be a successful year for all of you. Today is the start of my 12 projects in 12 months challenge. Inspired by Pieter Levels and many others who have tried this challenge, I want to push myself to actually finish projects.

For many years I've started projects but eventually lost interest, was too doubtful or just didn't think it was worth the time finishing a project, getting the project out there to the real world. So I want to try a different approach and launch projects even though it might not seem worthwhile. I believe the process of actually finishing projects will help me in the future to actually come up with better ideas, building and shipping those projects faster and to build a portfolio of products.


I'm currently working as a .NET developer and I've been doing that full time for the last 11 years. As I still have this full-time job, I will be working on this challenge next to it. I have an active social life and a little daughter, so it will be a real challenge to get enough time into the projects. Since COVID-19 started I've been working remotely from home. This will allow me to work on my side projects easier, as I don't have to spend time traveling from and to work. I don't consider myself an expert on basically anything, so I've got a lot to learn and improve, but I'm really looking forward to discovering myself.

First project

Twelve projects in twelve months, but where do I start? I've got several ideas and am sure more ideas will come to mind when working on these projects. For the first project I will be developing my own website, which will be visible on I've already purchased the domain name some time ago, but developing the website isn't an exception to my other previous projects. I have started it from time to time, but never got to a point where I was happy with it. Since it is my own website, I always wanted it to be perfect, but if I want to change my habits of finishing projects I should change my mindset into thinking that good is good enough. At least for now.

I will use my own website to keep track of this challenge, blogging about the progress, the ups and downs, the process and occasionally some tech stuff. It will also be a showcase for the project I'm working on or projects that are finished.

After I've finished my own website I will start working on projects that actually solve a problem. Hereby it will mainly be a "scratch-your-own-itch" thing, which solves something for me but might also solve problems for others.

Build in public

As a long-time lurker of I love the Building in Public movement. Sharing your progress along the way, with all the ups and downs, everyday struggles and (small) milestones is something I enjoy reading from others. So I want to give this a go myself.

I think it is the way to prevent procrastination, at least for me. It will be a good incentive to get things done. I believe it will make me feel accountable for the work I'm doing. It will also encourage me to join the conversations, spreading my knowledge. Who knows which opportunities will rise from this.

My plan is to keep my blog up-to-date by publishing at least one blog post each week. This blog post would summarize the work I've done during that week, which milestones I've reached (if any) and all other things I would like to share reflecting on the week. I will also be tweeting every day about the progress, so do follow me on Twitter. By tweeting every day, I am sort of forced to spend time on the challenge every day. Of course, if I have anything else I want to share I will also do that through this blog or through tweets.

Finding Time

One of the biggest challenges of this "12 projects in 12 months" challenge will be finding time, if that's even something that I'm able to do. I probably won't "find" the time where I can spend countless hours straight working on the project. Instead, I want to work on my side projects whenever I've got the time.

Think about it. If you are looking for the time to work on your side project for a couple of hours, you probably won't find it often. You will postpone working on it because you only have 15 minutes, but if you work 15–30 minutes twice a day, at the end of the week you have between 3,5 and 7 hours of work done. Don't let the limited amount of time be an obstacle for working on your side project.

I like the quote by Aytekin Tank, the creator of JotForm:

"Everyone has leftover minutes in their day."

I will try to work out a schedule where I'm able to work every day on my side projects. I want to fill in the gaps in my day. After I had my breakfast and walked my dog I often have the tendency to watch some TV, time I could very well spend it on my side projects. My lunch break takes about 45 minutes to one hour, but actually eating my lunch will take me about 15 minutes. Who doesn't play games on his/her phone while visiting the toilet? I do or at least I did, but I'm willing to change that. During the toilet visit, I can also work on my to-do list, send out some tweets or work on my blog. I want to maximize the time I can spend on the projects without neglecting the time I spend with my family.

Goals for 2022

Start and finish 12 projects in 12 months

Like the title of this challenge suggests, the main goal is to start and finish 12 projects in 12 months. This is my initial goal, but if any project during these 12 upcoming months shows any potential to become big I might just quit the challenge and continue developing that project. This has happened to Jon Yongfook as well. If you haven't heard of him, you should certainly read his blog:

Improve my English writing

Being from the Netherlands, English is not my native language. Being taught English in school early on, I do speak and write English pretty well, but keeping a blog, building in public requires more English than I normally use during my day-to-day work. So it will be a goal to improve my English writing. Forgive me for any spelling or grammatical errors, I try my best to avoid these.

I haven't looked up any blogging tips prior to writing this post, so perhaps I am making basic mistakes any blogger would know but I have never written and published a blog post before so I guess I will be learning by doing. Making mistakes and learning from them is what life is all about. It would be cool to read this post at the end of 2022, perhaps I'm laughing at myself then.

Overcome my fear of putting myself out there

To be honest, even publishing this blog post scares me to death. Putting my thoughts out there for the, nowadays very opinionated, world to read isn't something I'm comfortable with. But if I want to make this challenge a success I must overcome this fear.

It will be hard sometimes, but I strongly believe that as time passes by I will get more confident and used to spreading my knowledge. This challenge will force me to put myself out there.

I must get rid of the thoughts that I'm not capable enough, that I don't have anything to bring to the table. I'm not an expert on anything, but so are 90% of the people. I believe there are a lot of people in the same situation as I find myself in, so my knowledge and experiences will be helpful for others.

Increase my online presence

Currently my online presence is nearly non-existing. I've got 26 Twitter followers, most of them from ages ago. Which makes sense, as I haven't tweeted anything for a long time. Time to change that, so I will be tweeting about my progress every single day. At least one tweet will be sent out everyday.

I have 1 follower on IndieHackers, a follower that probably followed me because he wanted me to follow him back. By doing this challenge and building in public I want to increase my online presence, providing value to anyone that is interested. It would be cool to grow my contacts on IndieHackers as well, finding like-minded others and connecting with them.

Make money out of it

Eventually I want to see where this challenge leads me. Most products I create are something I will be using myself, but it would be great if I can create something that someone else could use too. I think it is every indie hacker's dream to make at least 10k MMR, but it's too early for me to even think about these numbers. Let's start first, let's publish an actual project first and then set goals. What do you think, do you like this approach or do you believe setting financial goals will help reach them faster? Let me know what you think about this in the comments.

Let's go to work

I probably can go on and on about it, describing every aspect of the challenge and my plan, but truth to be told: the most important thing is to start. Tweeting every day and blogging regularly will give me enough opportunity to explain more about the process, reflect on my initial thoughts and showcase the progress.

It's time to get to work, working on my first project: my own website! If you want to follow my process, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Next post

My first week trying to complete 12 projects in 12 months.

24-01-2022 | 8 min read

Wow, this week went fast! It feels like the days went faster than normal. Already seven days have passed from the first month of the twelve months I will spend working on twelve projects. How did this ...

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