Each year I make a bingo card of new year's resolutions. It forces me to think about what I want to do in the new year and it gives me lots of ways to feel like I'm accomplishing goals.
I think this year went well?
When I first looked at my 2018 resolutions, my failures seemed large and my accomplishments seemed slight. But the stuff I accomplished took sustained effort and I should be proud of that.
Also, I saw my friends and family, made some new friends, and started two book clubs.
In most respects, this was my best year for running since I got back into it. I only missed three weeks due to illness or injury (and the only injury was minor). I ran 135 more miles than I did last year (and 35 miles more than my best year post-return). I even started running with friends again.
I ran regularly (only missing two weeks to illness), but didn't push myself. I opted for minimal distances, so even though I went on more runs in 2017, I ran 100 fewer miles.Distance running didn't go as well. I only ran double digits once this year and really didn't go on long runs much at all. Nonetheless, a great year for running overall.
I was a little burnt out on reading at the beginning of the year, but reading went well. I maintained my book-every-week streak that started a few years ago. I read sligtly more than I planned. I made time for longer, more difficult books. I even started some book clubs.
The only thing that didn't go well was trying to read books from more places. I actually regressed a bit—almost half the books I read were from the US. But this wasn't a complete failure, and I can try to do better next year.
This went poorly. I started a lot of project but didn't finish many. I didn't make any bots, and I didn't do a nanogenmo.
But also, I was looking at previous years-in-review and this only went well one year so I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe I don't want to do hobby programming that badly?
One thing I want to work on is keeping better notes on projects (what I was last working on, what problems remain) so that it's easier to pick projects back up after breaks.
Also, I should do some stuff with prolog. I actually learned it this year and it's as cool as I remembered. Cooler, even.
This went well and I'm really excited that I started using my parents old film camera (that is like 50% older than me). More of this in 2019.
By the end of 2017 I had finished the Duolingo course and didn't really have a great plan to continue learning. I thought I did, but reading and News in Slow French wasn't enough.
A mixed bag. I played a bunch of good video games. I watched some spooky movies but wasn't as into it this year. I went some new places but only on work-related trips. I didn't do a bunch of things I didn't really plan on doing.
Last time I tried to separate goals from specific metrics a little last year by coming up with 3 objectives for each goal. Honestly, this worked pretty well. In all cases I felt like accomplishments and failures lined up with my own feelings about how I did.
I'm doing a similar thing this year. I'm going to allow myself to decide for myself whether I've accomplished a goal, but for most resolutions I've included metrics to help me evaluate and keep me focused.
Failing to meet metrics won't necessarily mean I failed the goal (and vice versa), but for things like running, I've found it useful over the years to have larger goals and then monthly and weekly goals that help me keep on track.
Depending on how things go, I may even update metrics throughout the year as I evaluate progress.
- Make it Through 2019 Without Dying
- Maintain Healthy Sleeping Habits
As always, my (hopefully) free space will be not dying. I'm a big fan of being alive.
When I was trying to come up with some final resolutions yesterday at 3:30 AM it dawned on me I should maybe make healthy sleeping habits a priority as well. Oops.
- Run 850 Miles
- Run 65 Miles/Month
- Run 15 Miles/Week
Run More Often:
- Run 170 Times
- Run at least 3 and preferably 4 times/week
- Run a Half-Marathon
- Monthly 9 Mile Run
- Weekly 5 Mile Run
- Faster Average Pace
- Further in 30 Minutes Each Month
- Further in an Hour Each Month
Running is my main focus this year. In 2010, I ran 1000 miles, and if possible, I'd like to do so again in 2020. To do so, I'm going to need to see the same milage improvement the next two years that I saw this year.
I don't know if my 2020 goal is reasonable, but I've decided to make improvements on all fronts (even pace which I really don't want to because pace training isn't fun. I'm looking forward to this.
- Read 100 Books
- Read a Book Each Week
- Read 25,000 Pages
- Regularly Read Recommended Books
- Maintain a Book Club
Resolutions are as much about maintaining healthy habbits as forming new ones. I'm happy with my reading in 2018 so I'm just focussing on keeping reading a priority.
- Remotely accessible
- Programmatically accessible
- Media & Projects Organized
- Minimal Firefox/Sublime Tabs
- Good Backup System
- Keep a Diary
Almost every photo I took in 2018 (~8000) is in a folder named unsorted. I find it hard to come back to programming projects after a break because info about what I was doing will be spread across a dozen documents named 'TODO'. I mostly scrambled to come up with favourite things and resolutions even though I know exactly when the year ends.
Making resolutions is one of the things that has helped me be more focused and organized. I'm hoping by making organizing (both on a computer and in real life) a major focus this year, it can help me with everything else.
- Resume Learning French
I'm sad that after a year of hard work I fell off of working on my French in March of 2018. I need to do some thinking about my plan for resuming studies in 2019 but I'm committed to being back on track as early in the year as possible.
- Eat Vegetarian
In 2018 I mostly ate vegetarian, but I had meat often enough that I felt uncomfortable saying I still was a vegetarian. I'm going to turn that around this year.
Make Generative Art:
- Big Art Project
- A Few Small Projects
- Port Bots
- Take Photos Regularly
- Use Film Camera
- Use Instant Film Cameras
Learn to Draw:
- Daily Sketch
- Work out how to learn this
I didn't finish any programming art projects in 2018, and I don't like that. I'm going to aim to do one big one and some smaller things.
Photography is going fine so I just want to have a goal that keeps me focused.
I also want to learn to draw? I don't really know how I'm going to do that (other than practice a bunch), and I don't expect to be good at the end of this but I'd like to see some good initial progress.
- Watch a Movie Each Week
- Themed Movie Months
Discover New Music:
- Find Some New Music
Play Video Games:
- Play Some Video Games
Relaxing is good to so I want to feel like it's alright to do that. Instead of just watching spooky movies in October, I'm going to have a light movie theme for each month to get me to watch more (and different movies). Should be fun.
Improve Friend Camp:
- friend.camp Patch
- Mastodon Patch
- Finish Projects
- Daily-Use Project
- Hardware-Based Project
This is the year I learned my lesson and put fewer programming things on my list. Other than art stuff, my only specific goal is to make some improvements to the Mastodon instance I'm on because I spent a lot of time there in 2018 and I want to do my part to make it a nice place to be (uh, infrastructure-wise. I'm already trying to do that community-wise [which is the more important one]).
Learn to Skate:
- Buy Skates
- Go Skating
- Go on a Trip
- Pet 50 Cats
- Any Sort of Non-Trivial Project/Task not Covered by Other Resolutions
Winnipeg has a cool giant skating trail a quarter of the year that I like to run on, but what if I also skated? I don't have a good feel for my base skating ability (probably passable, at best), but I hope I'm better by the end of the season.
The only trips I went on this year were work trips. I got to see a bunch of friends (sometimes for the first time in person), but that's still a bit of a dissapointment.
Pet 50 cats is the best resolution I've made in 6 years of doing this. I don't know if that number is too low or too high but I'm going to find out.
I've also given myself a space for some kind of project that I haven't accounted for. I want to feel good working on some cool or important thing even if I didn't plan on it at the beginning of the year.
This year I got rid of a lot of regular resolutions I never accomplish, and really focus on making a full set of resolutions that are acheivable, and to set goals that will help across the board. I'm hoping that works out and I accomplish more in 2019. Let's find out.
P.S. Another strong argument for better organization this year is that this list is actually 26 items, not 25.