2017 review, 2018 goals

It’s that time of year again. First, a review of last year’s goals:


Climb two big mountains, and do the Knife Edge on Katahdin. I wrote this one when our plan for last year was to do Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood on our trip out west, but we ended up doing Rainier instead. We didn’t summit (or even get close), but given the circumstances I think that coming down when we did was the correct decision, so let’s call that one a qualified success. Total failure on the Knife Edge, though. Summer just got away from me this year and we just missed the time we had scheduled to do this.

Eat one vegetable every day. I definitely have had days where I didn’t eat a vegetable, but in general I think my diet has gotten healthier, which was kind of the point. I’m still struggling to find a way to improve it without having it take more time out of my day, though.

Cover 2,000 miles total. Nope. Shamefully, my yearly miles are somewhere around 500. Part of that was due to the addition of different kinds of training (more climbing and strength work), and part of it was due to an absolutely brutal autumn where I barely logged a mile. In late summer I fell trail running, breaking a toe and cracking a rib, which confined me to the exercise bike for cardio (our crappy bike doesn’t measure miles covered, but I wouldn’t count them anyway). By the time I’d recovered from that I was getting sick constantly (my daughter started at preschool and my wife started a new job at a college so I was suddenly exposed to a lot of new germs) and unable to get much training in.

Even so, though, I wasn’t on pace to hit 2,000 before all that happened, so this one’s definitely a failure.

Read 20 books. I don’t know how many I read. It was not zero, but it definitely wasn’t 20 either. Fail.

Take Lily on her first camping trip. This one is an unqualified success (and she actually liked it, too!).

Overall, a decent showing, but I have to admit a lot of things about this past year didn’t play out the way I’d hoped. I’ve got some different approaches and some different goals for 2018 and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to achieve more success across the board next year.


This year’s goals may seem like a lot (comparatively), but I’m including some professional and financial goals in here as well, which isn’t something I’ve done before.

Read some of a book every weekday (and track on goodreads). The problem with trying to read n books in a year, for me, is that I can read pretty fast, which makes it easy to put off for another day. This way, I’m hoping I’ll be able to work it into my daily routine as a regular habit (even if it’s only for a few minutes a day), on the theory that I’ll end up having read more books in the long run.

Add one professional qualification. Currently I’m getting a lot of practice with technical skills (like After Effects animation) but not learning enough big-picture type skills; the type of skills I need to have on my resume to take on bigger leadership roles. I’m not sure precisely what form this will take, but I’ve been looking at a variety of online and offline professional certificates, as well as considering executive/part-time Masters programs.

Eliminate loans and rebuild emergency fund. We used most of our savings to buy our house a couple years ago, and since then we’ve been continually pulled backwards by expensive repairs, medical costs, and other things like that. But I’ve got some loans that are nearing pay-off-able territory and I’m expecting to make a bit more money this year. I want to pay most of them off avalanche style and use the extra savings to rebuild our emergency fund. Doing this will also mean doing proper budgeting every month, rather than my previous system of crossing my fingers and hoping things add up.

Get a winter Washington summit. Given how this past fall went, fitness-wise, I think it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to complete the quad traverse, although I hope my partners do. But whether or not I can do that, despite a couple of attempts, one stymied by extreme cold and another by injury, I still haven’t actually summited Washington in winter at all. This winter I want to get at least one summit.

Cover 1,000 miles running and/or hiking. A still ambitious but more achievable goal. This breaks down to running/hiking around 20 miles a week, which I’m unlikely to do in winter, but hopefully I can exceed that rate in spring, summer, and fall to make up the difference.

Either (a) climb 5.10 or (b) run a marathon. Giving myself a little freedom to pick a fitness-related goal for the warmer months. Ironically, running a marathon is probably the easier of these two for me (I did a 32 km/20 mile run for my 32nd birthday in 2017) because I’m a pretty terrible climber, but either one would be fun and fulfilling.

Reduce time wasted on social media. If I want to achieve all of this other stuff, I definitely need to cut down on my time spent on bullshit. I’ve already blocked my Facebook feed using a Firefox plugin, which allows me to use Facebook effectively for work without getting distracted by my own feed unless I’m specifically tagged in something. The next step will be figuring out how to do something similar for Reddit, which I want to be able to continue using but somehow waste less time on.

Make meditation a regular part of my day. This has to become a part of my routine, somehow. I think the easiest way will likely be to fold it into my fitness stuff and try to work on running meditation (or meditation while doing whatever I’m doing).

Complete one passion project. I’m not sure what this will be or how I’ll have the time to do it, but I’ve been kicking around an idea I like for a podcast, and an idea I like for a short documentary film for quite a while now. This year I hope to find a way to dive into one of them (or some other thing that grabs me), although this is probably one of the least-likely goals to get met.

To have any hope of doing this stuff, I definitely will need to increase how well organized I am, and figure out a daily routine that works (which has been another problem since my daughter started preschool/wife started her new job). I’m using Todoist to organize my daily work and paying-the-bills tasks, but I think I’ll also need to break some of these goals down into sub-tasks broken up by the month. Perhaps Google Calendar would be the ideal tool for that. I’m not sure yet.

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