New year, old goals

    New year, old goals

    My attempt a year ago to set public goals was quite successful. I achieved most of them and the average completion score was 0.7. I took a break in the second half of the year, but now I'm well rested and I want to start again.

    I learned some things that work and some that don't. For example, tracking number of books read is not too useful, at least not in Beeminder, but tracking number of minutes spent reading is much better. This way, if you are reading through a really thick book, you are not derailed as easily. Also, tracking pro­duc­tiv­i­ty can be done really well with Pomodoros. They are small enough to be able to do them always, but big enough to have a meaningful impact on your work.

    I also have to decide what my priorities are better. Last year I had a very large range of goals, which had me spread out into many areas, and inevitably some fell through the cracks.

    For example, I realized that in the last trip I took to Romania, I took my camera out of my bag only once. When I was in Israel, half the photos I took there where with my phone. It doesn't really make sense for me to have a goal related to my camera. I didn't even touch my pho­tog­ra­phy goal last year.

    I had the piano goal last year, but I realize that now I will have to drop it. I will keep taking piano lessons, but I will play it at home on a best effort basis. I have too many other things on my plate and un­for­tu­nate­ly, playing the piano is towards the bottom of the list, because I think it's the least beneficial for me.

    The new goals for this year are:


    Get to 82 kg by June: I got to 82 kg last January and I hovered around that area until June, but then I lost the will power to stop snacking, so I put back all of that weight. Since then, I have been reading up a bit about how the body interacts with proteins, car­bo­hy­drates and fats and learned a bit about how some diets work (other than caloric re­stric­tions). When I was 82 kg, everybody was remarking how thin I was, so for now I don't want to go lower than that, but I would like to stay there.

    Exercise three times a week: I don't want to set specific target speeds or weights, because I have a small shoulder injury and I don't know how much it will hinder me. But I still plan to do some sort of vigorous exercise three times a week. This includes running, swimming, weightlift­ing, play squash, etc.


    Read 24 books in 2017/read 30 minutes every day: I read 21.5 books last year. Again, in the second half of the year, I took it easier, so I'm hoping now I can overcome that and if I keep a constant pace of 30 minutes per day, I will make it.

    Write 3 blog posts per month: I did 2.75 blog posts last year, so maybe I can do a bit better now.

    Write into my journal twice a week: I managed to keep this habit for half a year and it's incredible. I look back at what I wrote when I was depressed and it's shocking to me how I was seeing the world back then. And at other times, it's a good reminder of all the blessings that I've had.

    Spend 1 hour per week studying German on my own: I have been taking German classes for two years now and it's decent, but in order to progress I have to up my individual game. For this goal, the following count: Duolingo, Babbel, Anki, reading about German grammar, doing exercises from textbooks. Exception: when traveling.

    Do 4 20 minute Pomodoros every day: In my new team, I have longer "com­pi­la­tion" times, so sometimes I cannot iterate faster than this. Exception is when I am traveling or on vacation.


    Read 3 chapters from the Bible every day: I believe this is achievable even when I travel. At home, I will try to read more when I have time.

    Memorize 1 Bible verse every week: This goal didn't get touched at all last year, so I'm starting it again, in a much smaller version. I have the apps set up to help me and I'm trying to do this together with my girlfriend, so I have an ac­count­abil­i­ty partner for this.

    My goals can be seen on my Beeminder.